Taiwan – Formosa (The Beautiful Island)
Taiwan lies off the southeastern coast of mainland Asia, located off the southeast coast of the Asian Continent at the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, between Japan and the Philippines and right in the center of the East-Asian island arc. Taiwan forms a vital line of communication in the Asia-Pacific region, which makes it the perfect travel destination.
Taiwan has been abundantly endowed with mountains; over 200 of its peaks are more than 3,000 meters high, making Taiwan geographically unique. There are 9 national parks which offer a variety of distinct topographic landscapes. In addition, Taiwan has a very rich marine ecology. You can see groups of bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, and pan tropical spotted dolphins jumping out of the Pacific Ocean along the east. Azure seas and magnificent coral reefs can be found in Kenting at the southern tip of Taiwan, and on Green Island and the Penghu Archipelago. This is a wonderland for you to discover and be amazed.
Taiwan has beautiful warm climate all year round. You can leave your winter coat behind but are advised to bring an umbrella, especially in summer afternoon. The north part of Taiwan belongs to sub-tropical climate zone, while the south part belongs to the tropical climate zone. The typical summer days in Taiwan are hot and humid, but on the contrary, winter days are cool (cold sometimes) and dry.
The history of Taiwan can be traced back to at least 7000 years ago. Austronesians, the ancestor of the island’s indigenous peoples, arrived in small groups and became the earliest known inhabitants of Taiwan. During the age of discovery in the 16th century, Western sailors arrived in the Far East, and were amazed by the beautiful island, the Formosa.
In the first half of the 17th Century, the Dutch established a presence at Anping. They not only conducted missionary activities, trade and the production of various goods but also recruited many Han Chinese immigrants from the China coast, leading to a multicultural history of Taiwan. The number of Han Chinese immigrants in Taiwan steadily increased during the short-lived Cheng regime and Qing period over the next 200 years, creating a primarily Han society in Taiwan.
In the late 19th century, the island became a colony of Japan for 50 years. A traditional society became a modern society. At the end of World War II in 1945, Taiwan was liberated from colonial rule. Since then, the island has experienced an economic miracle and introduced political democracy achievements that have attracted the world’s attention.
Today, Taiwan boasts an excellent infrastructure, convenient transportation system, and high-quality communication services. It also has accomplished, in the face of several international energy crises and economic downturns, a remarkable record of economic development and political democracy by virtue of the perseverance and unremitting efforts of its people.
Culture & Religion
Taiwan is highly diverse in terms of religious belief, with the practices of Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Mormonism, the Unification Church, Islam, and Hinduism, as well as native sects such as Yiguandao and others. The country not only respects traditional faiths but also opens its arms to other types of religious thought from the outside.
Attractions Near Taipei
National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum protects and preserves the 5000-year cultural legacy of China with advanced technologies; cooperating with private connoisseurs and ushering in exhibitions from the Mainland; bringing the Museum’s collection to the global community and welcoming arts of the world to the Museum.
Taipei 101 is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei. Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground. The building ranked officially as the world’s tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. Taipei 101 was architecturally created as a symbol of the evolution of technology and Asian tradition.
Yangmingshan National Park
Yangmingshan National Park is the most natural of Taiwan’s four national parks. Established in 1985, it covers an area of 11,456 hectares. The park is a favorite haunt for flower lovers during cherry blossom season. The beautiful natural surroundings also offer a perfect place to relax in the great outdoors and get away from the city for a while.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
In the wake of Chiang Kai-shek’s death on April 5, 1975, Chinese communities at home and abroad generously donated funds for the government to build the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as an expression of their high esteem for the late President and as a way of eternally cherishing his memory.
Built in 1740, Longshan Temple serves as both a religious and community center for local residents. Several different deities are worshipped at the Temple, and there are many festivals held there during the course of the year which are particularly lively occasions.
Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market is one of the largest night markets in Taipei. Shilin Market was built as early as in 1899 and the market is famous for various snacks and eatery. Many visitors have come to Shilin Night Market to enjoy the delicious foods, such as large pancake enfolding small pancake, hot pot on stone or Shilin sausage.
Beitou hot spring
Beitou hot spring has been famous since Japanese colonial times. The area is around with historic monuments and natural scenic spots. The hot springs hotels in this area are large both in scale and number, and the natural and humanities resources are also the most plentiful here.
Danshui is located in northwest of Taipei basin. Danshui is surrounded by mountains and rivers, and the scenery is beautiful. Take the ferry across the river from Danshui, and in just six minutes you will arrive at Bali Left Bank. Additional scenic spots of interest include Danshui old street and Fisherman’s Wharf.