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 six townships of central and southern Taiwan. These townships include Taian Township of Miaoli County, Renai Township of Nantou County, Alishan Township of Chiayi County, and Mudan, Sandimen and Wutai townships of Pingtung County.
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.