International Conference on Rings and Algebras
In honor of Professor P.-H. Lee
July 10–16, 2011 (National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)


Taiwan is well-known because of its high-tech production, so, many people may assume that it is over-populated industrial country with many factories everywhere. It is surprising to learn that 2/3 of the island is occupied by National parks. Taiwan has a mixture of western life style and oriental charm. In my opinion it is a good mixture, that is, Taiwan is trying to take best from the western world and keep its oriental roots.

First of all, you can go to the Entry Point of Taiwan to get some practical information. On the Destinations page of the site Taiwan Ho! Photo Gallery you can find photos of some destinations of interests. Also, let me describe some places which you can visit.

Taipei (Tai Pei, the Northern City) is the capital of Taiwan. It is the largest city in Taiwan with 2.5 million populations, and is a typical capital city. It is reasonable to spend some days going around in Taipei city. You can walk in the center of city and take a look at the mixture of old and modern style of Chinese architecture. Currently the highest building in the world is located in Taipei, so it can be of some interest to take a look. In order to describe Palace Museum in Taipei I will simply say that Chan Kai Shek brought all historical and cultural reliquiae from China to Taiwan. In case if you are tired of busy life in the center of the city, you may take a subway (one of the best in the world!) to Tamsui (the northern part of Taipei) and have a walk around the Fishermen Harbor visiting numerous small tourist's stores and trying different sea-food or Taiwanese sweets.

On the southern side, Tainan (Tai Nan, the Southern City) was an old capital of Taiwan, and is a very friendly southern city with different kind of delicious food (one can enjoy some of typical Taiwanese meals in many streets and it is not dangerous as in many other countries). Although Tainan has some interesting historical places (like Chihkan Tower, Confucian Temple or Anping Fort), the more interesting activities, in my opinion, is to visit the Lotus valley (May—August), or to do bird-watching. There are many birds including very special one, Black-faced Spoonbill (one of the fifty rarest birds of the world), which prefer to spend winter time in Tainan region, and there are some special places in Tainan region where tourists can watch birds and not to disturb them.

The second largest city in Taiwan after Taipei is Kaohsiung which is about 50 km south of Tainan. If you have a day to spend in Kaohsiung I would suggest a stay in the guest hotel of National Sun Yat-sen University which is located right between a nice beach and a beautiful small hill. You can hike the hill and say hello to monkeys in there, and then take a bath in Southern Chinese Sea. From the university, it is very convenient to visit a small island Cijin right outside Kaohsiung where you can find fresh seafood for lunch or dinner.

Let me briefly describe some other places which can be interesting to visit.

Ping-Tong, a county next to Kaohsiung, is famous because of its agriculture landscape and subculture, and now also the National Aquarium. This is a very rich aquarium. The variety of fishes and other sea animals is incredible. Besides, the architecture of this aquarium is very interesting in itself.

Hsiao Liu-chiu, a small island to west of Ping-Tong, has mixture of the civilization and wild nature. On this island, you can dive or take a submarine and watch the sea world. It is of some interest to visit caves and learn some terrible stories about them. And of course one should try tuna, which is famous in this island.

Going to the southern tip of Taiwan, you will find one of the most known Taiwanese resorts, Kenting National Park. This is a good place for people who like to swim. Since Taiwan wants Kenting to be attractive for foreigners, I would say that Kenting is loosing its oriental charm that it had before. On the other hand, it has become much more convenient for foreigners to reach this area.

Completely opposite to Kenting, Green Island (photos) is a good example of the nature which was untouched by the civilization. You can meet small deer walking not far from your hotel, watch many exotic fishes in the caves and take open thermal bathes moving from hot springs to the ocean. Green Island is located in the Pacific Ocean at the east of the island, and can be reached via small airplanes or boats from Taitung (Tai Tung, the Eastern).

Yushan (Jade Mountain) national park is a good place for people who like mountains. With a peak of 3952 m above sea level, Yushan marks the highest point in eastern and south-eastern Asia. The scenery is certainly breath-taking. To hike to the peak of Yushan needs arrangement before-hand (usually more than a month before), and it is not possible during late December and early March as it is too dangerous. But one still can go around many areas of the park all year round. To go up to Yushan is a travel from a tropical forest to a very poor north nature including all intermediate positions. Crossing Yushan by cars is quite dangerous. But it is really enjoyable to take a shower with hot spring and to sleep under the lullaby of a mountain river.