Taiwan Travel Guide
Introduction to Taiwan
Taiwan is a stunning island nestled between Japan and Philippines in the western Pacific Ocean. Initially governed by the Republic of China, today its political standing remains disputed largely due to the territorial tug-of-war between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China. We’ll spare you the history lesson but these disputes go back hundreds of years. In short, Taiwan was originally home to Taiwanese aborigines of Malay-Polynesian descent and the island was known as Formosa by the West. The Spanish and then Dutch settled here during the 17th century, when ethnic Chinese began dominating the island.
Taiwan ranks as one of the ‘Four Asian Tigers’, along with Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, and is one of the biggest Asian manufacturers – it’s true – just look at the tag of your clothing or on the back of your TV. While this means there are some great shopping opportunities in Taiwan, let’s not forget how rich the country is in natural treasures too.
Taiwan lies on the western edge of the Pacific ‘Rim of Fire’ - ongoing tectonic movements that have resulted in majestic peaks and rolling hills, famous surfing breaks and the nation’s beloved hot springs. Taiwan's tropical and subtropical climate lends itself to pleasant weather almost all year round. Home to over 18,400 species of wildlife including the rare landlocked salmon, Formosan rock monkey and Formosan black bear, there is much to see, do and explore in Taiwan.
If you’re after a holiday for the mind, body and spirit, in Taiwan, yoga, meditation and various medicinal practices are on offer on this bountiful island – helping you to reach physical and mental balance the Oriental way. Taiwan is also known for its healing hot springs. With more than 100 hot spring areas all over the island, there are ample places to recharge and rejuvenate in uplifting mineral waters.