About 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.

  • Electricity Voltage: 110V ~ 220V
  • Time Zone: UTC +8
  • Area: 36,000 square kilometers
  • Population: 23 million
  • Language: Mandarin / Taiwanese / Hakka / Indigenous Languages
  • Religion: Buddhism / Taoism / Christianity / Islam
  • President: MS. Tsai Ing-wen

If this is your first visit to Taiwan, you will most certainly be amazed at the diversity of things this beautiful island has to offer, as a rich historical background has provided Taiwan with a multifaceted culture. People from many different places and backgrounds, such as Taiwan’s indigenous people, the southern Fujianese from early China, Hakka immigrants, the Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese, and the recent immigrants from mainland China have all played a role in Taiwan’s development. While gradually developing a new culture indigenous to Taiwan, they also held on to their respective customs and traditions; as a result, you will be able to sample indigenous, Taiwanese, and Chinese cultures and even find traces left by the Dutch and the Japanese when traveling in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s history can be traced back to at least 7000 years ago. Between 7000 and 400 years ago, Austronesian ancestors of the Aboriginals arrived in Taiwan in small groups and became the earliest known inhabitants of Taiwan. During the Age of Discovery of the 16th Century, Western sailors arrived in the Far East to set up colonies and conduct trade.

As Taiwan was located at the conjunction of East Asia and the oceans, as well as being where the Northeast Asian waters meet the Southeast waters, it became the focus of Asian and Western powers that were operating in East Asian waters at the time. In the first half of the 17th Century, the Dutch established a presence at Anping (modern day Tainan). There they conducted missionary activities, trade and the production of various goods. They also recruited many Han settlers from the coast of China, ushering in the multicultural history of Taiwan.

In the latter half of the 20th Century, Taiwan experienced its economic miracle and political democratisation, garnering worldwide attention. In terms of its own domestic development or when compared to the history in the rest of the world, there are definitely unique aspects to Taiwan’s historical developments. These have attracted the interest of many historians from around the world.

Taiwan today enjoys excellent public infrastructure,convenient transportation and comprehensive communications services, making it one of the most developed regions in the Asia-Pacific. With the election of Mr. Ma Ying-Jeou of the Kuo Min Tang as the President of Taiwan in year 2008, he is set to lead the people of Taiwan in creating and writing the next chapter in the history of this land from a different perspective.

Located off the southeast coast of the Asian Continent at the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, between Japan and the Philippines and right in the center of the East-Asian island arc, Taiwan forms a vital line of communication in the Asia-Pacific region. It covers an area of approximately 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles) and is longer than it is wide. Two-thirds of the total area is covered by forested mountains and the remaining area consists of hilly country, platforms and highlands, coastal plains and basins. The Central Mountain Range stretches along the entire country from north to south, thus forming a natural line of demarcation for rivers on the eastern and western sides of the island. On the west side, lies the Yushan (Yu Mountain) Range with its main peak reaching 3,952 meters, the highest mountain peak in Northeast Asia.

Taiwan is highly diversified in terms of religious belief, with the practices of Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Mormonism, the Unification Church, Islam, and Hinduism, as well as native sects such as Yiguandao and others. The country not only respects traditional faiths but also opens its arms to other types of religious thought from the outside.

Taiwan has a population of 23 million. The larger part of the island’s inhabitants are the descendants of immigrants from the various provinces of mainland China, but in particular from the southeastern coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangdong.

Because the different ethnic groups have fairly well integrated, differences that originally existed between people from different provinces have gradually disappeared. Some 430,000 indigenous people, the original inhabitants of Taiwan, still live here; they can be distinguished into 16 different tribes, namely the Amis, the Atayal, the Paiwan, the Bunun, the Puyuma, the Rukai, the Zou, the Saisiyat, the Tau, the Sao, the Kavalan, the Truku, the Sakizaya, the Seediq, the Hla’alua and the Kanakanavu.

If this is your first visit to Taiwan, you will most certainly be amazed at the diversity of things this beautiful island has to offer, as a rich historical background has provided Taiwan with a multifaceted culture. People from many different places and backgrounds, such as Taiwan’s indigenous people, the southern Fujianese from early China, Hakka immigrants, the Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese, and the recent immigrants from mainland China have all played a role in Taiwan’s development. While gradually developing a new culture indigenous to Taiwan, they also held on to their respective customs and traditions; as a result, you will be able to sample indigenous, Taiwanese, and Chinese cultures and even find traces left by the Dutch and the Japanese when traveling in Taiwan.

– Taiwan is the first democratic country in Asia.
(http://www.urbandictionary.com/de ne.php?term=Taiwan&de d=1586612)

– Taiwan scored 91/100 in ”2017 Freedom in the World” by Freedom House.
(https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2017/taiwan)

– Taiwan ranked 1st in “The Top 21 Countries with the Best Quality of Life in the world” by InterNational. (2017) (http://uk.businessinsider.com/internations-countries-with-the-best-quality-of-life-in-the-world-for-expats-2017-1)

– Taiwan ranked 4th in Asia Paci c region in “2016-17 Global Competitiveness Report” by World Economic Forum.
(http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-index/competitiveness-rankings)

– Taiwan ranked as the second safest country in the world. (2016)
(http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/2523078)

– Taipei 101, the tallest and largest green building in the world . (2016) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taipei_101)

– Taiwan holds the largest LGBT Pride Parade in Asia in 2016.
(http://outleadership.com/media_post/taiwan-holds-asias-largest-gay-pride-parade)

– National Palace Museum, Top 10 Most Popular Museums in the world. (2015)
(http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/most-visited-museums)

– ”Taiwan has the World’s Best Food.” by CNN News. (2015)
(http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/14/travel/world-best-food-culinary-journeys)