We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.
— Anais Nin, 1903 - 1977




In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan. Taiwan reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1947 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the local population within the governing structure. In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Taiwan and China - specifically the question of Taiwan's eventual status - as well as domestic political and economic reform.


Taiwan (Traditional Chinese: 台灣 or 臺灣, Simplified Chinese: 台湾 tái wān) is an island nation of about 36,000 km² located off the coast of southeastern China, southwest of Okinawa and north of the Philippines. The island is governed by the Republic of China (中華民國 Zhōnghuá Mínguó) or ROC. Shaped roughly like a sweet potato, the nation is home to more than 23 million people and is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Besides its crowded cities, Taiwan is also known for steep mountains and lush forests. In addition to the island of Taiwan, the Republic of China also governs the Pescadores (Penghu), Quemoy (Kinmen/Jinmen), and Matsu.

While the political status of Taiwan is a somewhat controversial and sensitive issue, from a traveller's point of view, Taiwan is under the de facto control of a different government from mainland China, and in practice operates as a separate country. This is not a political endorsement of the claims of either side of the dispute.

Read more about Taiwan in our Taiwan travel guide »

Featured journals from


Ali's Asian Adventure

by alikat64

Beijing Revisited

Jan 2014 - Feb 2014  »  Taiwan | China (People's Republic)

Featured hotels in


TaiwanMiramar Garden Taipei 

No. 83, Civic Boulevard
Section 3, Zhongshan District
Taipei 10491

Price (US$): $164 - $188 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Miramar Garden Taipei is located in Taipei's Zhongshan neighborhood and close to Miniatures Museum of Taiwan, Presidential Office Building, and Taipei World Trade Center. Nearby points of interest also include Chiang Kai shek Memorial Hall and Taipei 101. Hotel Features. Miramar Garden Taipei features a coffee shop/café and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the café (surcharges apply)… more »

TaiwanMillennium Vee Hotel Taichung 

No. 77, Shizheng Road
Xitun District
Taichung 40756

Price (US$): $129 - $220 / night

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Location. Millennium Vee Hotel Taichung is located in Taichung's Situn District neighborhood, close to Taichung Metropolitan Opera House, National Museum of Natural Science, and Feng Le Sculpture Park. Nearby points of interest also include Taichung Park and Paochueh Temple. Hotel Features. Dining options at Millennium Vee Hotel Taichung include 2 restaurants. 3 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, and a sauna. This 4.5… more »

TaiwanWindsor Hotel Taichung 

78-3, Sec. 3, Taichung Kang Rd.
Taichung 407

Price (US$): $263 - $343 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Windsor Hotel Taichung is located in Taichung's Situn District neighborhood and close to Fong Jia Night Market, National Museum of Natural Science, and Feng Chia University. Additional points of interest include Taichung Metropolitan Opera House and Shinkong Mitsukoshi Department Store. Hotel Features. In addition to 4 restaurants, Windsor Hotel Taichung offers a snack bar/deli and a coffee shop/café. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational… more »

TaiwanMonarch Plaza Hotel 

300 Chuang Ching Road Sec 1
Taoyuan 330

Price (US$): $134 - $135 / night

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Location. Monarch Plaza Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in central Taoyuan, close to Taoyuan Arena and Taoyuan County Stadium. Other area points of interest include Orient Golf and Country Club and Miramar Golf and Country Club. Hotel Features. Dining options at Monarch Plaza Hotel include 3 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning (surcharges apply). Recreational… more »

TaiwanLees Hotel 

105 WuFu 1st Road
Lin-ya District
Kaohsiung 802

Price (US$): $143 - $199 / night

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Location. Lees Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in central Kaohsiung, close to Dome of Light, Heart of Love River, and Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. Additional points of interest include Former British Consulate at Takao and Shinkuchan. Hotel Features. Lees Hotel features a restaurant. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool. There is a full service health spa on site. This 4.5 star property has a business center and offers small meeting rooms and… more »

Browse more hotels in Taiwan »



Eastern Asia, islands bordering the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeastern coast of China

Geographic coordinates

23 30 N, 121 00 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined


1,566.3 km


tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year


eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west

Lowest point

South China Sea 0 m

Highest point

Yu Shan 3,952 m

Natural resources

small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos


23,024,956 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, indigenous 2%


mixture of Buddhist and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%


Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects

Government type

multiparty democracy

National holiday

Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)

Chief of state

President MA Ying-jeou (since 20 May 2008); Vice President Vincent SIEW (since 20 May 2008)

Head of government

Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) WU Den-yih (since 10 September 2009); Vice Premier (Vice President of Executive Yuan) Sean CHEN (since 17 May 2010)

Internet country code


Internet users

16.147 million (2009)


41 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Chilung (Keelung), Kaohsiung, Hualian, Taichung

Other countries in the region