Ilha Formosa, the Beautiful Isle, as Portuguese sailors in the fourteenth century called Taiwan, is indeed a treasure! Its mountainous tropical location boasts beautiful sandy beaches, marbled-walled gorges, coastal jungle and forested ranges that reach almost 4,000 metres. Taiwan’s vibrant cities are dynamic, sophisticated and exciting while the markets, restaurants and street-food are second to none. Taiwan’s rich history includes thousands of years of Aboriginal habitation followed by Chinese, European and Japanese in uences creating a fascinating cultural mix. Positioned on the major trade routes and heavily in uenced by Asia’s great powers, Taiwan has some of China’s most important cultural icons and artworks, a residual from the Nationalists’ split from the mainland in the 1940s. As one traveller put it, “Formosa is China in a nutshell” so with a brilliant rail system featuring everything from high speed to heritage train travel, we are set for an intriguing and entertaining adventure.

Our northern autumn journey takes us from bustling Taipei by high speed train (HSR) to the magical resort of Sun Moon Lake. Victorian-era switchback railways traverse the mountains advancing up into the giant cypress forests of Mount Alishan in the high-altitude heart of the island. We continue by rail to circumnavigate the island, heading south to Kaohsiung and Taitung then north hugging the east coast past gorges, ravines, dramatic coastlines and vibrant historic cities.

Luxury accommodation, delicious dinners, plenty of time to explore and shop, while the company and insights of your local guide and host complete your adventure of this fascinating island nation.

At a glance

  • A dozen scenic train journeys
  • Private car from Chiayi to Fen Chi Hu Station
  • High speed rail from Tainan to Kaohsiung
  • 4-5 star quality accommodation throughout
  • Daily breakfast, 18 local and delicious lunches and dinners
  • Experienced English-speaking local guide throughout
  • Small group touring (maximum of 20 passengers)