This guidebook is written by Cheryl Robbins, the founder of Tribe-Asia. Cheryl has spent many years traveling to Taiwan’s indigenous communities and has compiled some of her experience in this book.
This book focuses on nearly two dozen indigenous communities in seven townships of Hualien and Taitung in eastern Taiwan. These include Xiulin, Ruisui, Donghe, Beinan, Lanyu (Orchid Island), Taimali and Jinfeng townships. Places of interest in Taitung City are also introduced.
In each township, places to stay, eat and shop are introduced. In addition, cultural and ecological attractions are included. Many of Taiwan’s indigenous communities are located in places of natural beauty, making them excellent cultural tourism and ecotourism destinations.
In terms of accommodation, the emphasis is on homestays and guesthouses run by local residents who are passionate about passing their knowledge of the local culture and attractions onto their guests. In terms of food, the emphasis is on restaurants that serve indigenous cuisine or that use local ingredients to create innovative dishes. In terms of shopping, readers will be pleasantly surprised to find a large selection of artist studios and artisan workshops. These are great places to find souvenirs that are truly representative of Taiwan.
The purpose of this book is to provide information about Taiwan’s indigenous areas in English for international travelers. To date, this information has been lacking. It is the author’s hope that this guidebook will be a starting point for inspiring international travelers to visit off-the-beaten path destinations in Taiwan. Information about transportation and directions for reaching the indigenous communities are provided. In addition, for most places, GPS coordinates are listed. Taiwan’s indigenous people are very hospitable, especially to foreign visitors. Thus, although not much English is spoken in indigenous communities, this should not keep international visitors away. There is much that can be said with a smile.
Although this book is written by a long-time foreign resident in Taiwan for international travelers, it has also been translated into Chinese. Hopefully, this will encourage Taiwanese to visit more of their country and discover what makes it so beautiful—its mountains, rivers, forests, culture and people.
Cheryl Robbins was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of California, Davis, she decided to experience life in another country. Her interest in learning Mandarin Chinese brought her to Taiwan in 1989.
Cheryl has traveled around much of Taiwan and its offshore islands both as a tourist and as an arts, culture and travel writer. Her articles have been featured in a number of publications including Taiwan News, Fountain Magazine, Travel in Taiwan Magazine, Compass Magazine and CNA Newsworld. She is also the co-author of “The Real Taiwan and the Dutch: Traveling Notes from the Netherlands Representative”, which was published in 2010, and the author of “A Foreigner’s Travel Guide to Taiwan’s Indigenous Areas: Central and Southern Taiwan”, which was published in 2012.
During her time and travels in Taiwan, she became interested in Taiwan’s indigenous culture and cultural industries. This led her to complete a Master’s degree in Cultural Management from the University of Northumbria, Newcastle, England and to found Tribe-Asia Company, which works to promote Taiwan’s indigenous arts and culture internationally.
She is passionate about sharing the richness of Taiwan’s indigenous culture through responsible and sustainable tourism. Cheryl is a licensed, professional tour guide and can lead individuals and groups and design itineraries for those interested in traveling into indigenous areas. For more information, go online to her Website at www.tribe-asia.com
Cheryl currently divides her time between Taichung and Taitung, Taiwan.