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Discover Taiwan
2013/12/3

The Republic of China(Taiwan)

The Republic of China(Taiwan) was founded in 1912, making it the first democratic republic in Asia. In 1949, the government moved to Taiwan and maintained jurisdiction over an area encompassing the islands of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, Dongsha, Zhongsha, and Nansha.
Area : 36,000 square kilometers
Population : 23 million
Language : Mandarin / Taiwanese / Hakka / Indigenous Languages
Religion : Buddhism / Taoism / Christianity / Islam

Rudimentary Introduction

A north-south oriented, elongated island, Taiwan is located on the southeast coast of the Asia continent, and separated by the Taiwan Strait overlooking Fujian province of Mainland China, situating in the eastern-asian island arc of the Pacific west coast; to its north are Japan, the Ryukyu islands, and to its south are the Philippines islets, it holds a transportation stronghold traveling across Asia.

Besides the Taiwan main island, there are also the Penghu islands, Kinmen, Matsu, South Sea China islands, as well as the Green Island, Orchid Island among other offshore islands, encompassing a area of approximate 36,000 square kilometers (or 14,400 square miles).

An island risen from the tectonic movements of the Eurasia plate and the Philippines sea plate, Taiwan is considered rather young in geological history, and because of the rising stratums, there are constant mountain making movements, which in turn formed the Taiwan main island’s ravines, high mountains, hills, plains, shorelines in a host of enriching topography, coupled with the surrounding seas on four sides and the influence of a subtropical climate, Taiwan is blessed with a wide array of majestic yet highly variable natural landscapes despite the limited space.

With Tropical Cancer passing through the south of the island, Taiwan is blessed with a wide range of climatic characteristics of the tropics, subtropics and temperate; as a whole, the sun radiating warmly and comfortable, coupled with the sea island’s oceanic system, has culminated Taiwan with an enchanting cycle of the four seasons, and a smoothing, delightful weather; it also harbored a wealth of wildlife and plants in Taiwan, with the percentage of protected species and indigenous varieties account for 20% of the global wildlife specimens, a telltale sign why Taiwan is the hub of world protection.

Taiwan’s 23 million population blending the aborigines, Taiwanese, Hakkanese, and many ethnic groups from all provinces around China, coupled with the ever-increasing foreign residents, have come to concoct a tapestry of bedazzling humanity culture, as reflected in the aspects of architect, religion, living custom and dietary preferences and so forth, all highlighting Taiwan’s agility and sensuality to delight and bedazzle.

Cultural Differences

Taiwan has evolved into a unique custom of its own as shaped by the traditional concept, cultural practices, religious belief, and which has become a social consensus. There are subtle differences between the cultures of Taiwan and other countries, in terms of interpersonal relations, religion, work, ethnicity, all of which come to highlight the Taiwan people’s characteristics and whimsy.

The Taiwanese are hospitable and passionate, a quality that foreign visitors find most memorable in the initial contact. Most of the Taiwanese tend to go after the grandeur when it comes to extending their hospitality, which is particularly ominous in terms of its food that is diverse and in great abundance. In which, the drinking culture often takes the foreign visitors by surprise; on the contrary, when invited to most families as a guest, unless otherwise agreed in advance, bringing food with you during the visit is considered a social disgrace.

With numerable temples and shrines all around Taiwan, most of the renowned temples are packed with the worshippers, and among them many of the faithful are seeking the divine guidance with the deities. Every religion has its peculiar way of communicating with the divine power, and seeking a divine enlightenment in the form of a sonnet is a primary means how the Taiwanese communicate with the deities, which covers a wide array of subjects ranging from day-to-day affairs to major event; regardless whether you are a believer, seeking the entitlement has emerged as a national pastime for that peace of mind.

Upon closer examination, visitors who have been to Taiwan soon learn that there are no fourth floor buttons at hotel and hospital elevators, and could this mean that the fourth floors have mysteriously disappeared? Of course not, it is the result of the age-old Taiwanese conventional thinking. In the Taiwanese concept, with “four” being phonetically resembling to “demise”, the number four has long been reckoned as an unlucky time since time immemorial, which remains so for the older generations of the Taiwanese; thus at hospitals were the topics of death remains a taboo, and hotels that offer a resting shelter have no room for the number “four”.

In terms of work, the Taiwanese are known for their diligence and responsibility at work; according to surveys, seventy percent of the Taiwanese general public would sacrifice their leisure time to work, up by more than 10 hours than most people; by upholding a distinct living attitude than that of the Western countries, in the small Taiwan with a society mentality of “working hard and spending hard”, its 23 million population, with the heritage passing down for generations and the historic evolvement, has developed a living culture uniquely of Taiwan, which might besiege some foreign visitors to crinkle their eyebrow in disbelief, but undeniably it does reflect directly the ample of vitality in the Taiwanese people.

From the Perspective of Tourism

In the sixteenth century, the Portuguese sailors marveling Taiwan as the “Formosa” has laid down the cornerstone of Taiwan being the “Beautiful Island”.
Modest in size, Taiwan is home to a wealth of natural resources and humanity facets. The island has 319 villages and towns, where the landscapes of the villages and towns reflect their distinct flair; on the island, there are 6 National Parks and 13 National Scenic Areas, which gather the island’s best in natural scenic beauty and tourism resources; moreover, there are numerous amusement parks, museums, leisure farms, malls and so forth, offering a wide range of amusement and entertainment. Blessed with the surrounding seas making Taiwan accommodating many foreign cultures, the “gourmet” is one of the representative elements; furthermore, the ethnic groups of the Fujianese, Hakkanese, mainland migrants and aborigines, and the many religions and architecture coexisting in harmony, are a true testament of Taiwan’s diverse cultural facets.

The sea-flanking environment and the immense mountainous forestry provide an abundance of the unique and enriching natural landscapes; the comprehensive “hot spring” mode has further shaped the fame as the “island of hot spring”. The unique experience of traversing in the island’s mountains and lakes and taking in its precious and rare ecology have culminated an alternative leisurely culture, likened to an all-encompassing museum, manifesting the island’s rich cultural heritage. The every-stimulating theme parks pose as delight and challenge to the thrill seekers. Moreover, the leisure farming aiming to rediscover the rural tranquility and the religious festivities with a unique local fair are elements that bring visitors close to Taiwan’s peaceful coexistence with the land, its rustic humanity and the grassroots tie and agility. Also not to be left out are the yearly festivity chart packed with fanfare, as they are scattered across the 12 months, where events big or small reflect the abundance of Taiwan’s villages and towns, showcase the Taiwanese people’s passion, and also a glimpse of how Taiwan is reaching out to the world, where one stop gets you a glimpse of the many sights and sounds that Taiwan has to offer.