Our Nature lies in movement; complete calm is death.
— Blaise Pascal, 1623 - 1662
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Taiwan

Background

Taiwan

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.

About

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

Taiwan

Ali's Asian Adventure

by alikat64

Beijing Revisited

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

Featured hotels in

Taiwan

TaiwanThe Westin Taipei 

133 Nanjing East Road Section 3
Taipei 104
Taiwan

Price (US$): $271 - $871 / night

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Location. The Westin Taipei is a business friendly hotel located in Taipei's Zhongshan neighborhood, close to Miniatures Museum of Taiwan, Taipei World Trade Center, and Chiang Kai shek Memorial Hall. Additional points of interest include Taipei 101 and Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Westin Taipei include 5 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet… more »

TaiwanThe Grand Hotel 

1 Zhongshan N Road Sec 4
Taipei 104
Taiwan

Price (US$): $113 - $218 / night

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Location. The Grand Hotel is located in Taipei's Zhongshan neighborhood, close to Taipei Story House, National Palace Museum, and Chiang Kai shek Memorial Hall. Nearby points of interest also include Confucius Temple and Shilin Night Market. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Grand Hotel include 3 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities… more »

TaiwanPalais de Chine Hotel 

No 3 Sec 1 Chengde Road
Taipei 103
Taiwan

Price (US$): $172 - $322 / night

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Location. Palais de Chine Hotel is located in Taipei's Datong neighborhood, close to Taiwan Storyland, National Taiwan Museum, and Chiang Kai shek Memorial Hall. Nearby points of interest also include Taipei Botanical Garden and Snake Alley. Hotel Features. Dining options at Palais de Chine Hotel include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a fitness facility. This 4.5 star property has a… more »

TaiwanWindsor Hotel Taichung 

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

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 »

TaiwanSheraton Taipei Hotel 

12 Zhong Xiao East Road Sec 1
Taipei 100
Taiwan

Price (US$): $267 - $373 / night

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Location. Sheraton Taipei Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in Taipei's Zhongzheng neighborhood, close to Station Front Metro Mall, Taipei World Trade Center, and Chiang Kai shek Memorial Hall. Additional points of interest include Taipei 101 and National Taiwan Museum. Hotel Features. In addition to 9 restaurants, Sheraton Taipei Hotel offers a snack bar/deli and a coffee shop/café. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day.… more »

Browse more hotels in Taiwan »

Taiwan

Capital
Taipei
Location

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

Coastline

1,566.3 km

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Population

23,024,956 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Religions

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

Languages

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

.tw

Internet users

16.147 million (2009)

Airports

41 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Chilung (Keelung), Kaohsiung, Hualian, Taichung

Other countries in the region