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Chinese Culture >> Taiwan Culture >> Taiwan

Introduction to Taiwan

Taiwan's total land area is only about 36,000 square kilometers; it is shaped like a tobacco leaf that is narrow at both ends. It lies on the southeastern part of mainland Asian, in between the Taiwan Straits and Mainland China; one of the solitary islands on the western coast of the Pacific Ocean. To the north lies Japan and Okinawa, to the south is the Philippines. Many airlines fly to Taiwan; this convenience makes it the perfect travel destination.Taiwan Coast

Lying on the western edge of the Pacific "rim of fire", the continuous tectonic movements have created majestic peaks, rolling hills an plains, basins, coastlines, and other wonders. Taiwan's climate is of may types: tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate; one is also able to experience the different seasons distinctively. There are about 18,400 species of wildlife on the island, with more than 20 percent belonging to rare or endangered species. Among these are Sakura salmon, Taiwan mountain goat, Formosan monkey, Formosan black bear, blue magpie, royal pheasant, Hsuehshan's grass lizard, and many more.

The government has established 6 national parks and 10 national scenic areas to preserve Taiwan's best natural ecological environment and cultural relics. Take in the splendor and the sheer heights of the cliffs at Taroko Gorge; take a ride on the Alishan train--one of only three mountain railways in the world-- and experience the breathtaking sunset and seas of clouds; hike up to the summit of North Asia's highest peak, Jade Mountain. You can also soak up the sun in Kenting, Asia's version of Hawaii; stand at the edge of Sun Moon Lake; traipse through the Hua-Tong East Rift Valley; or visit the offshore islands of Kinmen and Penghu.

The cultural aspects are also not missed. The blending of Hakka, Taiwanese, and mainland cultures has produced a rich plethora of cultural and social colors. Whether it is religion, architecture, language, living habits, or Taiwan food culture, it is just one big exciting melting pot! Food is the best representative of this cultural mixing and matching. Aside from cuisines from different parts of the mainland such as Zhejiang, Hunan, Guandong, Yunnan, Shanghai, Beijing, Sichuan, and others, there is also the local Taiwanese cuisine as well as the local delicacies of each area.