Taiwan, known as the ROC (Republic of China) , is a small island nation off the eastern coast of China and is one of Asia’s economic powerhouses. The quick industrialization and rapid growth of Taiwan during the latter half of the 20th century has been called the “Taiwan Miracle”. Taiwan is one of the “Four Asian Tigers” alongside Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore. It has the 22nd-largest economy in the world, and its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. It is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom, and human development.
While Han Chinese make up the predominant population there are also 16 recognized aboriginal groups in Taiwan. These groups have more recently been reintroducing their unique customs and languages due to the passage of the Indigenous People’s Basic Act and a consciousness of private and public organizations.
This fascinating blend of people as well as traditional and modern culture is one reason Lonely Planet chose the country as one of the 10 best-value holiday destinations for 2015, suggesting travelers put the country on a bucket list for its cuisine, hot springs, museums, scenery and temples. With a complex network of public transportation, travel in Taiwan is affordable and reliable, allowing you to travel with ease to see these beautiful sights.
The Tropic of Cancer cuts right across Taiwan giving it a tropical to sub tropical climate, creating a climate similar to Hawaii, leading many to call Taiwan the Hawaii of Asia. With the east and west being divided by mountain ranges running from north and south. These impressive mountains which cover 2/3 of Taiwan are some of the highest in Asia, and include Jade mountain or YuShan which reach heights of more than 12,000 ft. But while mountains dominate Taiwan’s centre and rugged east coast, the island’s western third is mostly alluvial plain and is host to most of the population. The diverse geography and terrain of Taiwan adds to the variety of plants and animal species here and lends itself to activities of all sorts, including hiking, biking, bird watching and surfing just to mention a few.