Southern Taiwan is the most southern region in Taiwan.
The following counties and regions lie within Southern Taiwan, from south to north:
- Pingtung County – The southernmost region of Taiwan reaching down to its extreme southern tip. Beyond the popular Kenting National Park and its capital Pingtung there is not much relevant here.
- Kaohsiung region – A region mostly determined by the second largest city of Taiwan, Kaohsiung. However, also the impressive Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum and Memorial Building can be found in this region.
- Tainan region – Not just the oldest city of Taiwan but also the popular hot spring town, Guanziling, can be found here.
- Chiayi County (嘉義縣) – A county mostly popular for its capital Chiayi as well as the tourist magnet and mountainous area Alishan, mostly discovered starting from Chiayi.
- Yunlin County (雲林縣) – One of the country's least developed regions. However, Yunlin is on the usual itinerary for cyclists going around Taiwan. Chinese mandarin or Taiwanese (relatively widely spoken) are a must as virtually no one speaks English.
- Chiayi – The natural jumping off point for the beautiful Alishan, e.g. by the scenic narrow-gauge Alishan Forest Railway.
- Kaohsiung （高雄；Gāoxióng) – The second largest city of Taiwan, and a port city that took over Tainan's place as the Harbor City.
- Tainan （台南） – The oldest city of Taiwan, and famous for its temples and historic buildings, often under-appreciated.
- Douliu (斗六市) – The biggest city in Yunlin County.
- Taixi – This township on Yunlin County is home to a branch of the Ding clan, descended from Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar, but the local mosque is now a Daoist temple.
- Alishan – Not just one mountain but a mountainous area, and Taiwan's most-visited national park.
- Fo Guang Shan – The largest and most impressive Buddhist monastery of Taiwan.
- Guanziling – One of Taiwan's best-known hot spring areas.
- Kenting National Park – A scenic region and national park with some of the best beaches in Taiwan, famous for surfing, snorkling, etc.
- Yushan – The highest mountain of Taiwan, actually located in Nantou County, but also the name of the related National Park that also lies in the Kaohsiung region.
The most important hubs are Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung. Having said this, from far abroad, the best option is to fly to Taoyuan, and take a train to where you desire to go (less than an hour using high-speed rail). However, many capitals of (Southeast) Asia are comprehensively served from Kaohsiung.
Southern Taiwan has numerous train stations (including high-speed rail (THSR / 高鐵)). THSR is not available beyond Kaohsiung, and stations can sometimes be a bit far off, but often provide a free bus connection to the closest city/town.
Understand, see, do, etc.
See the county and city articles above for all the details.
Tainan and Kaohsiung have experienced bad dengue fever outbreaks after unusually hot weather or typhoons which lead to mosquito breeding clusters in standing water. The latest occurred in September 2015 when Typhoon Soudelor wreaked tons of water damage on the region. Take precautions such as insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants when necessary. If you feel ill or feverish, see a doctor quickly. Blood tests can be quickly run to correctly diagnose dengue fever.