Taipei 101, Taiwan

Taiwans travel

When Western traders first came over five hundred years ago to what we know as Republic Of China (Taiwan) today, they named it the Isle of Formosa, the Beautiful Island. A small country, only 36,000 sq km in size and with a shape like a sweet potato, it lies on the western rim of the Pacific Ocean, just off mainland China, and north of the Philippines. The twenty-three million strong population speaks mainly Mandarin Chinese or Taiwanese, or localized languages like Hakka and others. English is also popular, making it easy for visitors. Mostly Buddhists, there is a fair share of people who profess Taoism, while a minority of Christians and Muslims co-exist peacefully with the rest.

Taiwan Tours

by Mark thanks for 2,000,000+ views

Taiwans’ two main international airports are ideally located, with CKS International Airport near its capital city Taipei in the north and Kaohsiung International Airport servicing Kaohsiung, its second largest city in the south. The two smaller international airports feed into Taichung and Taoyuan. Another fourteen domestic airports make travelling by air convenient and easy. This is because Taiwan is a highly forested mountainous country, with 258 mountains that reach 3,000 meters above mean sea level and Yu Shan (Jade Mountain), touching 3,952 m, the tallest peak in Northeast Asia. Hill climbers and cross-country trekkers find Taiwan a godsend, with deep gorges between hill ranges. The limited living space makes Taiwanese cities very densely populated, with most roads rather narrow. Taiwan’s railways, only 1496 km in length and narrow gauged, are a boon to the Taiwanese people, mainly along the thickly populated western corridor.

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by sese_87

Taiwan has warm weather all year round, yet it has all four distinct seasons. The annual average temperature is a comfortable 22º C, with minimums between 12 to 17º C. Thus snow is rarely seen, except on a few mountains during winter. The rainy season is from March to May, with the occasional typhoon paying unwelcome visits in the summer, between June and August. Life, however, is not affected and work carries on at a hectic pace in this highly industrialised country. Taiwan is blessed with unmatchable ecological diversity, with a huge amount of flora and fauna concentrated in a small area, making it a self-appealing venue for eco-tourists. Close to 18,400 species of wildlife can be found on the island, a fifth of which are classified in the rare or endangered species, like the Taiwan mountain goat, Formosan rock monkey, Formosan black bear and the land-locked salmon, among others. Taiwan boasts of seven national parks, with distinctly varied landscapes, like the famous Xueba National Park and its hazardous slopes and the Yangmingshan National Park which includes volcanic craters and lakes. Various types of dolphins play around off the Taiwanese coast and there is a coral reef and mini-archipelago as well.

Yangmingshan National Park

by Hayden Liu

Other art forms are glove puppetry; oilpaper umbrellas, particularly in the South; dough figures and blown sugar figurines; Chinese knots; scented sachets; whipping tops; diabolos; kites and the widely acclaimed calligraphy, possibly the most prized form of Chinese art. Festivals like the Lantern, the Mazu Culture, the Ghost Festival and aboriginal complete the yearly artistic calendar. Taiwan’s Chinese cuisine and unique Taiwanese snacks from oyster omelettes to tempura, Tainan Danzai noodles, rice tube pudding and braised pork rice, along with Hakka and aborigine dishes tickle the gourmet’s palate.

Places worth visiting include the National Palace Museum in Taipei a microcosm of the five-thousand-year Chinese history. It has the rarest collection of truly eye-catching Chinese Arts, a gateway into Chinese culture.

Taiwan time is at UTC+8 and its currency, the Taiwanese New Dollar (TWD). The exchange rate is One USD =32 TWD.

Date posted: 4th August, 2018

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