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Taiwan


Full name Republic of China
Capital Taipei
Language Mandarin and English
Currency New Taiwan Dollar
Religion Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christian
National Anthem "San Min Chu I", which means meaning 'The Rights of the People'; and also 'Chung Hwa Min Kuo Kuo Ke' which is the 'Chinese National Anthem'
Places to Visit Chushan, Taipei, Chung Tai Chan Temple, National Palace Museum and Taroko Gorge.
Transport Airways : international airport at Taoyuan; Waterways : Ferry services are available between Okinawa in Japan and Keelung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan.
Shopping Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, painting and porcelain


About Taiwan
The original people of Taiwan are of the Malay-Polynesian origin, who called the island nation "Pakan". It was later renamed as "Ilha Formosa"or 'beautiful island' by the Dutch explorer Jan Huygen van Linschoten, who incidentally also happened to be the first European to land on the island.

Map
Taiwan today is a large urban industrialized complex comprising of 18 counties and 8 municipalities which reflects the remnants of a bygone era.

Physical Map of Taiwan
Taiwan is a big island off mainland China, with a few smaller islands dotting the area around it. Most of the landscape of the country is dominated with mountains and hills. In fact, the Chung-yang Shan range alone, which lies across the middle of Taiwan, has some 200 peaks, none of which measure below 3,000 meters. With the ranges descending, the west of Taiwan has some flat and plain regions. The mountains in Taiwan also give rise to numerous rivers which in turn metamorphoses into lakes in the plains. Two of the country's chief rivers are the Choshui River and the Kaoping River. The island is also earthquake prone due to the activity in its bedrocks. As a result of this, hot springs, steam vents and sulfur springs are a common sight in the island.

Taiwan Location Map
Location of Taiwan
Taiwan is positioned just a little way off the coast of the Chinese mainland, in the south east coast of the Asian continent. Located in the Pacific Ocean, the island country of Taiwan is split in two parts by the Tropic of Cancer running across its middle. So, it is present both in the northern hemisphere and also the eastern hemisphere.

Taiwan's nearest political neighbor is the country of China to the west, Korea to the north, Japan to the northeast and Philippines to the south. However, since the landmass of the country is bordered by water bodies, it is immediately surrounded by the Taiwan Strait in the west, East China Sea to the north, Pacific Ocean to the north and south and the South China Sea to the southwest.

Climate of Taiwan
Taiwan is a relatively warm and wet country having mainly a sub-tropical type of climate, with very intense summers and monsoons. The winters in Taiwan are, however, mild and pleasant. The summers are hot and wet. The summer months last between May to September with barometer recording easily reaching 80°F.

The monsoons begin in the summer phase and last from June to September. Precipitation is torrential sometimes accompanied by typhoons. The winter months, though pleasant, are slightly damp with fog, mist and light rain occurring on a daily basis.

Flora And Fauna of Taiwan
Taiwan has a varied and rich flora across its landscape. Though much of it has been sacrificed on the altar of progress, there still remains several types of habitats, ranging from mangrove, to tropical, to sub-tropical, to coniferous, to deciduous. Some of the widespread species are palm, ficua, camphor, pandanus, teak, cypress, pine, bamboos, juniper, spruce, fir, hemlock and rhododendron. The fauna found in Taiwan is limited in comparison. Though there are species that are dominant in Taiwan, loss of habitat has resulted in the depletion in numbers. The names of the animal fauna to be found in the country are Formosan black bear, deer, foxes, squirrels, flying foxes, macaques, wild boar, bats and pangolins. Aside of these, there is quite a thriving avian life in Taiwan with there being some 330 or more species of birds. Reptiles include various species of snakes, lizards and chameleons.

People of Taiwan
The majority of the aboriginal people of Taiwan, almost 97%, fall under the ethnic race called the Han Chinese. The Han Chinese is, however, divided into two broad categories, the "Hakka"and the "Hoklo"- who are also known by several other names like "Min-nan", "Holo"and "Hokkien". The other aborigines are the Thao, Ami, Tsou, Bunun, Atayal, Rukai, Paiwan, Saisiyat, Puyuma, Tao, Kavalan and Taroko.

Arts, Culture and Music of Taiwan : 
  • Art : Though Taiwan has its own distinct art, all the art that you will find in the present Taiwan is a reflection of Chinese styles. This is due to the Nationalists who after the push back into Taiwan, determined to preserve the Chinese art and traditions. So works of art that are most common in Taiwan are traditional Chinese painting, folk art, Chinese bronze works, jade works, calligraphy, painting and porcelain. In the scope of performing arts features a traditional type of Chinese Opera.

  • Culture : Taiwan's culture is heavily touched with Chinese practices and tradition with some Japanese and American influences thrown in for good measure. These aspects are noticeably reflected in the architecture of the country. Moreover, urbanization has had a substantial impact as well. So, modern Taiwan embodies a medley of traditional and contemporary, eastern and western.

  • Music : The people of Taiwan fall under two broad categories, the Hoklo/Holo and the Hakka. The former who came from Fujian in China, introduced folk music and the ritualized opera sort called the "Quguan".The Hakka music is originally called the "Shan'ge"or 'mountain music'. There are other types of types of music called the "Beiguan", "Bayin"and "Nangua"which are solely instrument based.

Though the Hoklo/Holo and the Hakka - also called the Taiwanese aborigines - have imbibed the Han Chinese traits, there are several other categories of Taiwanese like the Bunun, Rukai, Amis, Tsou, and Paiwan who have distinct polyphonic vocal music traits.

Flag of Taiwan : 
The flag of Taiwan is a rectangular flag with a very simple and uncomplicated design. It has a bold red backdrop against which is superimposed another flag that once belonged to the Kuomingtang party. The Kuomingtang party had a blue flag with a twelve-point sun in the color white. While the color red is representative of the Han Chinese race, each of the twelve points of the white sun stand for two hours of the day and is symbolic of the Chinese tradition of progress that holds that the day comprises of twelve two hours. Moreover, the color scheme of the flag - red, white and blue - stand for the three principles of 'liberty', 'fraternity' and 'equality' which was encoded by Sun Yat-sen, the father of Taiwan or the Republic of China.

Economy of Taiwan : 
Being an extremely developed megapolis, Taiwan's economy is dependent mostly on its industries. However, natural resources and agriculture too play a major role as most of these commodities are either exported as raw materials or they are processed and exported. Of the agricultural produce the main ones that contribute a significant amount to the economy of Taiwan are rice and sugar. Natural and mineral resources available in the country are marble, coal and gold. The major industries in the country are those manufacturing steel, machinery, household appliances, machine tools, electronics, computer parts, motor parts and also vehicles, and chemicals.


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