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Taiwan has been well endowed by nature, and visitors can enjoy these natural charms at eight national parks around the country. They include Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) National Park, a volcanic area in the outskirts of Taipei City; Shei-Pa National Park, which straddles Hsinchu and Miaoli counties and is home to the rare Formosan masu salmon; Taroko National Park, site of the world famous Taroko Gorges in the east coast county of Hualien; and Yu Mountain (Yushan) National Park, which embraces several counties and cities in the central cross-island region. Kending(Kenting) National Park welcomes visitors with a South Pacific ambiance in Taiwan's sunny south. Kinmen National Park, located in the offshore islands of Kinmen, is rich in military history; and Dongsha Marine National Park greets visitors with white coral and shell beaches and other geological wonders. Finally, both culture and natural attractions await your discovery at Taijiang National Park.
Historical Background Shei-Pa National Park was established in 1992, located at the border of Hsinchu, Miaoli and Taichung. It faces Guyan Mountain (Shan) and Le Mountain (Shan) in the north, Dajia River in the east, Beikeng Shan and Siaosyue Shan in the west and Yuluowei Shan and Dajia River in the south. Total area of the park is 76,850 hectares.Shei-Pa National Park is the fifth national park of Taiwan. The mountainous scenery is spectacular as there are several mountains in the park. The mountains are of different heights and the drop height reaches 3000 meters. The highest mountain is the Shei Mountain, 3,886 meters in height and it is the second highest mountain in Taiwan. The Shei Mountain, Yu Mountain (Shan), Nanhu Da Mountain (Shan), Siouguluan Shan and Beidawu Shan are the five highest mountains in Taiwan. Daba Jian Mountain is 3,492 meters in height. Daba Jian Mountain, Zhongyang(Jhongyang) Jian Mountain and Dafen Jian Mountain are called the three Jian Mountains in Taiwan.
Yushan is the centerpiece of the Yu Mountain (Shan) National Park, which covers a total of 105,490 hectares including large sections of the Central Mountain Range. The park encompasses a variety of habitats ranging from broadleaf forest at lower altitudes to mixed forest, coniferous forest, bamboo, and finally, at the highest elevations, waist-high arrow bamboo, clumps of conifers, and bare rocky outcrops. Flowers include azaleas, which abound in spring, and a wide variety of colorful alpine blossoms. The park is home to a large variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and butterflies. In the past, many of these species became endangered due to over-hunting; but with the establishment of the Yu Mountain (Shan) National Park, they are gradually making a comeback. Larger mammals such as the black bear, sambar deer, Taiwan macaque, and serows (a type of goat antelope) can sometimes be seen, and their call is often heard.
Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) National Park is located in the north of Beitou. Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) was called Tsaoshan (Grass Mountain) during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, because it was covered with grass and was seldom visited. After the World War II, the KMT government renamed the mountain Yang Ming Shan and built a park here. Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) National Park is the only park in Taiwan that has volcanic geography and hot springs. It is next to Sha Mao Mountain (Shan) and Chi Hsing Mountain (Shan) with Ta Tun Mountain (Shan) on the right and Kuan Yin Shan in front. The magnificent mountainous scenery and comfortable weather have made Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) National Park a perfect summer resort. Total area of the park is 125 hectares, designed in traditional Chinese style. The natural beauty of the part has won it the reputation as urban forest and the Taipei garden.
Taroko became a national park in 1986, including Hualien County, Nantou County and Taichung City. Taroko is famous for its spectacular mountains and marble canyons. Cliffs and canyons stretch along Li Wu River. Four million years ago, the island of Taiwan was formed by the collision of plates. After millions of years of wind erosion, the marble rocks were exposed and cut by Li Wu River, creating impressive grand canyons. From Tsing Shui to Nan Hu Peak, the drop height is 3,742 meters. Such special geography has also bred special flora and fauna in this area.
The waterfalls characterized Taroko National Park and the most famous ones are Pai Yang Waterfall, Yin Tai Waterfall, Chang Chun Waterfall, and Lu Shui Waterfall. Yen Tze Kou and Chiu Chu Tung are the most impressive natural scenes in Taroko and the canyons here are the narrowest. Tourists can appreciate the natural beauty along the tour track. Swallows nest on the cliff, chirping and flying back forth. The Taroko monumental is designed in Chinese style and Chang Chun Temple is to remember those who sacrificed their lives for building the central highway.
Kinmen, also known as Quemoy, is a small island with a very big reputation. Situated just off the coast of Mainland China, it was the site of fierce fighting between Communist and Nationalist forces when the latter withdrew from the mainland in 1949. In that fighting the Nationalists emerged victorious, forging stories of loyalty and valor that live on today as important part of the historical legacy of the Chinese people of Taiwan. As a result, Kinmen has been regarded as hallowed- almost sacred- ground by the people and government of the Republic of China. Until recently closed to outside visitors because of its status as an island fortress guarding against a continuing communist threat, Kinmen has recently been opened to tourism.
The Dongsha atoll, located in the north of South China Sea, is about 400 Kilometers from the island of Taiwan.. Shaped like a full moon, the completely Developed coral atoll features a rich marine life and unique geographical and Ecological features, and has been designated as a national park.
The centerpiece of the Hengchun Peninsula is Kending (Kenting) National Park, Taiwan's only tropical national park. Established in 1982, Kending (Kenting) National Park covers a total area of 33,268 hectares of land and maritime environments. This is Taiwan's most densely populated national park, and it includes large stretches of agricultural land's providing visitors with a view of typical Taiwanese rural life. In addition, the national park includes mountains, forests, pasture, lakes, sand dunes, beaches, and coral reefs imply everything you could desire when you want to get up front and personal with Mother Nature.
Established in 2009, Taijiang National Park is located on the southwest coast of Taiwan. The land and sea areas of the park embrace the coastal waters off Tainan City as well as the estuaries of the Qigu River, Zengwen River, Lu'ermen River, and Yanshui River. Also within its 4,905-hectares of land area are the Black-faced Spoonbill Refuge and Qigu Wetlands. The coastal alluvial terrain, old shipping channels and traditional industries further add to the natural and cultural allures of the park. The sea areas of the park extend over 39,310 hectares and include one of the main sailing routes—Dongji Islet to Lu'ermen—used by early Han settlers from the mainland. The majority of this region has long been known as "Taijiang," giving the park its name. Visitors can also explore mangrove forests, wetlands and other ecological and scenic attractions at this emerald Eden on Taiwan's southwest coast.