Taiwan, is a tropical island best known for its microchips and cutting edge technology but what few realise, for its size, it can claim to be one of the world’s most mountainous islands. This verdant lush tropical island is located in East Asia with the Tropic of Cancer cutting right across its center, Taiwan is frequently referred to as the Hawaii of Asia. Mountain ranges cover 2/3 of Taiwan and are some of the highest in Asia, the most noteworthy is YuShan or Jade mountain which reach heights of 12,694 ft. or 3869 m. The diverse geography and terrain of Taiwan adds to the variety of plant and animal species and lends itself to activities of all sorts, including hiking, biking , bird watching and surfing just to mention a few.
With some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, Taiwan is not your typical Asian destination. Taiwan Tourism Bureau has implemented free wifi throughout the nation and Taiwan became one of the first countries in the world to offer free Wi-Fi on a mass scale to its citizens, and now it is extending that to any foreign tourist.
But, that’s not all, also included in this powerhouse of a nation is a mass transit system that is clean, safe, convenient and reliable. All signs and ticket machines are in English. English signs around stations indicate which exit to take to nearby sights. Excellent roads, buses, trains and subways that will get you to all the places you want to go in a comfortable timely manner and all at an unbelievably affordable price.
Taiwan became one of the first countries in the world to offer free Wi-Fi on a mass scale to its citizens, and now it is extending that to any foreign tourist.
Friendly and helpful locals.We can guarantee you will be surprised at the frequency at which locals will randomly approach you and ask if you need help. The local Taiwanese are shy and reserved but have a love for helping strangers. You will be sure to make plenty of friends here. Even though the national language is Mandarin Chinese, there always seems to be someone around that can speak enough English to help you out. The sophisticated and well educated population will easily put western visitors at ease. Queuing up for lines and speaking softly is a common sight across the nation. Leisurely shop the markets, because there is simply no begging, hawking or high pressure sales here it’s just not their custom.
Taiwan is an amazing foodie destination, diverse, affordable and abundant are just some of the ways it has been described. A 2015 CNN Facebook poll rated Taiwan as number one ” Best food destination ” in the world. And one can’t help but notice food is everywhere! Every block has a restaurant and every corner has a food stall.
The Taiwanese love to eat, and their diverse fare reflect both their multicultural background and the traditional roots from which they come. Chinese, Japanese and aboriginal food cultures are blended into the local Taiwan dishes for a truly Asian fusion eating experience. The western palate influence is seen in the addition of cheese dishes, pasta and pizza shops sprouting up around the cities. Taiwanese street food is a culture all of its own and is constantly evolving, with new menu items popping up all the time at the night markets across the nation. A whopping 24% of Taiwan’s arable land is used for farming, resulting in an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables for these culinary delights.
With a plethora of temples, ancient rites and deeply held religious beliefs one visiting Taiwan cannot help but notice a deep connection between the past and the present in modern day Taiwan. Also, easy to discern is the predominantly Han Chinese culture taken from mainland China. What many visitors may not be aware of is that Chinese migration to Taiwan is only a recent historical occurrence, happening as late as the 17th century when the Dutch were in search of farm laborers. Up until this time, Taiwan was mainly inhabited by what we now refer to as the aboriginals, descendants of the Austronesian peoples of Southeast Asia. They have lived on the island for thousands of years. Taiwan has 16 recognized tribes who share similar values but these indigenous tribes all have unique histories, cultures, languages, and practices which distinguish them from each other.