Caption: Photo: Mount Qixing View Over Taipei
Taiwan is located in South China and is part of the Republic of China which has a population of over 23.2 million since early 2011.The capital of city of Taiwan is known as Taipei and has a population of over 2,704,810 since 2015.Its other major cities include:
- New Taipei City which has a population of over 3,903,700.
- Kaohsiung which has a population of 2,722,500.
- Taichung which has a population of 2,655,500.
- Tainan which has a population of 1,874,700.
The people who live in Taiwan have a large variety of ethnic backgrounds, 98% of the population are Han Chinese, 70% who are descended from 17th century Southern Fujian Chinese immigrants and 15% are from central China in 246-210 BCE and 2% are aboriginal people. From scientific studies, their DNA has linked Taiwan's early inhabitants to Polynesian explorers who navigated the Pacific islands.
The common language which is spoken throughout the whole of Taiwan is Mandarin, it is spoken in schools, in TV and throughout the media. Though most of the population are bilingual with the second most common language is the Hokkien dialect of Min Nan (Southern Min) Chinese, this dialect is completely distinguishable from Mandarin. The aboriginal people also speak a vast array of dialects which are unique to their backgrounds. The older generation of people who were alive during 1895-1945 when Japanese occupied Taiwan, can speak Japanese fluently as that was taught during their education.
Caption: Photo: Taiwan Residential Area
Taiwan is most loved for it's natural environment which surrounds the cities and suburban areas. You are able to watch the sunsets clearly in the afternoons as the business workers end their day. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you are able to find peace within the night skys which show the stars quite clearly compared to other major tourist hot spots.
Famous for their Asian cuisine street food which is affordable that the Taiwanese buy from their local street markets. Perfecting the art of takeaway food with many locals and tourists spending their time in these places eating a warm meal made by specialised recipes which have been handed down from generation to generation. With high quality steamed dumplings, egg pancakes, wild boar, Taipei beef noodles, variety omelettes and meat skewers your snacks are always sorted. Watch out for their stinky Tofu which has spent days or even months developing flavour for its unique and pungent taste. Taiwan also has a fresh assortment of quality fruits and vegetables sourced locally, they have gourmet crafted beer, teas and coffee too.
Taiwan is home to many different religions and belief systems which include Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. They have a strong collection of stories which invoke the gods, goddesses and demons which can be seen when they celebrate their festivals and their array of over 15,000 temples. Their belief system is progressive with acceptance, understanding and tolerance of other people’s cultures and human rights.
Tourism makes up a large part of Taiwan’s economy with over 6 million visitors who visited the capital city Taipei. In 2013 tourism added $10.8 billion to their economy which has made them one of the most visited cities worldwide. You can also find historic theatres, modern shopping malls, karaoke themed shops, movie cinemas, IMAX theatre, boating, water sports, beaches and other entertainment areas.
Their specialised traditions including glove puppetry entertainment, oil paper umbrellas used to protect them from the weather, the creation of dough figures, blowing edible sugar figurines, the creation of Chinese knots for decoration, the spinning top game, kite flying, calligraphy and scented sachets that perfume themselves to protect them from unwanted bacteria or insects.
Taiwan have a selection of events which happen all year round including the Double Ten Day Fireworks for patriotic celebrations, New Years Eve celebrated with events and parades, The Taipei Lantern Festival which finishes the Lunar New Year, Ancestors Day where they sweep and clean their tombs, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Ghost Festival. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) named it to be Taiwans “Ecotourism Year of 2017” where they launched activities like firefly, dolphin, butterfly and bird watching.
Traveling In Taiwan | What To Know When Visiting Taiwan
Taipei has the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) which is an underground bullet train network that has cut travelling times drastically It also has the Taipei Joint Bus System (JBS) that is extremely well developed and managed that service the greater metropolitan areas. Cycling is very popular and affordable option and is much safer than many other Asian countries. There are two international airports one in Tapei the other in Kaoshiung which have regular inbound and outbound flights plus a commercial and military airport in Taichung. The transport network is thoroughly maintained to provide safe and easy travel throughout the whole of Taiwan. You can also travel to islands nearby Taiwan to adventure through the lush terrain.
Taiwan is known to be the “Hidden Gem of Asia” where you can travel and be exceptionally happy with what it has to offer. You will find everywhere you go, there is a myriad of stories, folklore and history to be told. The locals will greet you with happy smiles and openness.