Travel / Asia / East Asia


Taiwan 台湾:
is an island located in the South China Sea. It is separated by the Taiwan Strait from Mainland China. Taiwan is also known under the name of Formosa and perceived itself as the 'original' China. As a result of the civil war and the proclamation of the communist People's Republic of China in 1949, Chiang Kai-Shek and his followers flew to Taiwan.

Recently Taiwan's population went beyond 23 million. Due to the relatively small area of about 36'000 km2 and its topography, Taiwan is characterized by a big population density. The urban agglomeration of Taipei counts about 7 million inhabitants. Besides the capital, industrial cities like Kaohsiung, Taichung or Tainan are important economic players as well.

Taiwan's west cost is characterized by heavy industries, high-technology, traffic, smog and noise. Its eastern and southern parts bedazzle with lovely but also wild and weather shaped landscapes. There are mountain peaks reaching almost 4000m, untouched forests, steep shorelines, fearsome gorges, fern tree groves and marvelous beaches.

Especially Taiwan's colorful dragon temples draw ones attention. They are popular photo subjects and look almost kitschy to Europeans.

Buddhism but also Taoism and the teachings of Confucius influence the daily life. Besides ancestral worship, belief in ghosts and superstition are still common.

By the way, Taipei hosts the world second tallest building. 'Taipei 101' rises up to 509m altitude and houses the world fastest elevator (382.2m in only 37 seconds).

In Europe, Taiwan is still not well known and difficult to travel, if you don't speak Chinese or don't know a local guide.
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