Out of Thick Air: Taiwan's Mountain Highs

Illustration for TIME by Annie Lee.

Taiwan is a loaded word. Just say it and images of traffic jams, crowded streets and churning factories pour forth unbidden, like evil genies from a bottle. Clearly, the island has an image problem. Most visitors land at utilitarian Chiang Kai-shek International Airport and drive to Taipei, where they spend a few days in the city's perpetual gray haze. But Taipei and the industrial west coast are only a small part of Taiwan. The rest of the island is covered with remote, forested mountains, which are laced with hundreds of hiking trails. Taiwan is home to the highest mountain in east...

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