updated 3/23/2009 10:09:57 AM ET 2009-03-23T14:09:57

The real deal: Seven nights' accommodations, round-trip airport transfers, breakfast daily, transportation within Taiwan (bus, train, and air travel on TransAsia) and sightseeing tours with an English-speaking guide, for $949 per person — including all taxes and fees.

When: Departs daily through Dec. 31, 2009.

The fine print: Does not include transportation to Taiwan. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $350. Group size is anywhere from two to 18 travelers. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Goway Travel, 800/387-8850, goway.com.

Why it's a deal: The hotels featured in this package would cost about $500 per person if booked independently (including all taxes). For $449 more, Goway is also booking all the sightseeing tours, the English-speaking guide, and the intra-Taiwan travel (one flight, and a bus or train ride, depending on departure dates).

You'll save time and have peace of mind knowing that a tour company is doing the legwork. Note that the tour is flexible — you can add or subtract things you want to do. Because the tour departs daily, there's also the chance it'll be just you and your companion — meaning all touring will be done by private car.

Lodging: Your base for four nights in Taipei, Taiwan's capital, will be the Golden China Hotel. The 250-room hotel offers free newspapers for each room and, depending on your travel dates, a seasonal in-room fruit basket. It's also within walking distance of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the Shing-Tian Temple. You'll stay one night in T'ai-chung at the Plaza International Hotel, which has an outdoor pool, and two nights in Kao-hsiung at the Holiday Garden Hotel.

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Itinerary highlights: Taiwan hasn't been overrun by mainstream tourists — yet. It's a beautiful island (literally; the Portuguese named it Ilha Formosa in the 1500s) full of mountains, rice fields, and sun-kissed beaches.

You'll get a full city tour of Taipei, whose many skyscrapers include one of the world's tallest buildings. While based in Taipei, you'll take day trips to Chung Ching Park, Sun Moon Lake and the Wen Wu Temple. You'll then visit T'ai-chung, about three hours away, where you'll stay the night and see a village famous for wooden and bamboo items.

From there, travel on to Kao-hsiung City, about a six-hour drive. A two-night stay will give you ample time to see Kenting National Park on the island's southern tip, the Oluanpi lighthouse and Cheng Ching Lake, surrounded by pagodas and temples. One day will also be devoted to Hualien's Taroko National Park, which has a huge gorge full of marble stones (you'll stop at a marble factory), plus visits to Chi Hsing beach and Hualien Stone Sculptural Park. See the full itinerary.

More: Add nights in Taipei for about $75 per person per night. Goway also offers a four-night Classic Taiwan trip that starts at $749 per person.

Before you go: U.S. citizens will need a valid passport for travel; a visa is not required. (Note, however, that you will need a Chinese visa if you plan to continue on to China.) Read more about Taiwan on the country's official tourism site or the U.S. State Department's travel fact sheet.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.


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