Here are some pictures from the Badlands area to the east of Tainan. I went there a couple of months back, but I forgot to put up the photos until now.
The explanation I heard as to why the area is like this is that the soil is bad to begin with, so it's hard for plants to grow. Also, because the sun is really strong in Taiwan, the south-facing sides of the mountains heat up a lot from the sunlight and that makes it even harder for anything to grow. This type of landscape is pretty unusual outside of a drier climate like you find in the western US. Taiwan gets a lot of rain, so I really wouldn't expect to see anything like this.
There's a restaurant up top here with excellent views and lots of dogs.
Taiwan may be a small island, but the tall mountains and active crust here ensure no shortage of variation in climate and landscape!