The Beautiful Isle Famed for centuries as Ilha Formosa (Beautiful Isle; ???; M?ilìd?o), this is a land with more sides than the 11-headed Guanyin. Towering sea cliffs, marble-walled gorges and tropical forests are just the start of your journey, which could take you as far as Yushan, Taiwan's 3952m alpine roof. In Taiwan you can criss-cross mountains on colonial-era hiking trails or cycle a lone highway with the blue Pacific on one side and green volcanic arcs on the other. And if you simply want a classic landscape to enjoy, you'll find them around every corner. Asian Values On Their Terms Defying those who said it wasn't in their DNA, the Taiwanese have created Asia's most vibrant democracy and liberal society, with a raucous free press, gender equality, and respect for human rights and increasingly animal rights as well. The ancestors are still worshipped, and mum and dad still get their dues, but woe betide the politician who thinks it's the people who must pander, and not him – or her. If you want to catch a glimpse of the people's passion for protest, check out Taipei Main Station on most weekends, or just follow the local news.