Top Ten Countries for 2012: Taiwan is Number 9

Lonely Planet has named Taiwan as No. 9 on its list of Top Ten Countries for travel in 2012. Perhaps it’s time for a new year’s resolution after all…

By Stuart Hill

Everyone who lives and works in Taiwan knows it is a little gem in Asia, but now it is official: Lonely Planet has given its stamp of approval on Taiwan as a top travel destination.

A thing to note: that doesn’t mean the capital Taipei is the only reason to go. In fact, based on its description, you’d get the feeling that cycling around the island was the main attraction.

Time for Taiwan in 2012

Lonely Planet names Taiwan in its Top Ten Countries for 2012 and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau entices travellers with images of cycling in Taroko Gorge.

Which is perhaps why the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has resorted to a photo of cyclists  as part of their latest campaign, almost paused as they are on the roadway contemplating the view along Taiwan’s stunning Taroko Gorge, located near Hualien in the east of the island.

Not noted for their brilliance in promoting Taiwan, the bureau seems to have  picked up on a few new key words to help it with its advertising. That said, their “Taiwan, Heart of Asia” still seems a bit derivative of a certain south-east Asian nation that claimed to be “truly asia”.

To give them their due, if you take into consideration that Taiwan people ARE VERY NICE to foreign guests, you could take this display of kindness literally to heart. Then it all seems to make sense.

As the Lonely Planet mentions on its website:

“Taiwan offers visitors a hypermodern skin, an ancient Chinese skeleton and an aboriginal soul. And more than that, Taiwan has some of the world’s warmest people, affable to a fault and so filled with rénqíng wèi (which, roughly translated, means ‘personal affection’) that few who come to Taiwan a stranger leave that way.” – Lonely Planet website.

You could add to that a vibrant democratic nation-state with a highly ambiguous sense of independence. A potential flash point in the vitally strategic trading routes of Asia. Or a long-suffering victim of colonization struggling for a sense of its own identity.

But whatever the reason – intellectual, spiritual, sensual, emotional, or just out of curiousity – Taiwan does have a lot to offer the modern adventurer.

Taiwan Promotional Poster for 2012

One of several billboards seen in the Sydney Town Hall railway station advertising Taiwan as one of Lonely Planet's Top 10 Countries for 2012.

More information about Taiwan:

Taiwan Travel Ideas:


One response to “Top Ten Countries for 2012: Taiwan is Number 9

  1. Taiwan is a great place to visit. Even my parents have been twice and there are still many unexplored areas I would like to see.

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