Taiwan

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About

Hehuan Mountains

  • Also known, especially in the past, as Formosa, which in Portuguese means “beautiful island”
  • Taiwan is an island situated in East Asia in the Western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China
  • 98% of the population being from China mainland
  • Taiwan is largely mountainous with a chain of mountains running from north to south at the centre of the island.
  • The west coast is largely plains and is where most of the population is concentrated
  • It can truly be described as an industrialized modern culture that still maintains many of the traditions and culture from ancient times.
  • While Taipei has much to offer, if you venture outside the capital city, you’ll discover why Taiwan is known as Ilha Formosa, ‘the beautiful Island’.
  • Stunning mountain peaks, slick black volcanic rocks that wrap around the coastline and waterfalls that are sure to cover you in mist and take your breath away!

HISTORY

  • Taiwan was settled by people of Malay-Polynesian descent, who initially inhabited the low-lying coastal plains.
  • Next to settle were the Dutch and the waves of settlers from China. The aborigines retreated to the hills and mountains, and became the “mountain people.”
  • The Dutch brought in Chinese laborers as migrant workers for the sugar plantations and rice fields. They usually came for a few years (without family) and then returned to China. Eventually, more settled, and married aborigine wives. Thus a new race was born: the Taiwanese.
  • On October 21, 1895, Japanese imperial troops entered Tainan, the southern capital of the Taiwan Republic, ending its short life.
  • In 1943 they decided to agree with Chiang Kai-shek’s request that Taiwan be “returned to (Nationalist) China.”
  • Tension became even higher during the February 28th Incident of 1947, when a small incident in Taipei led to large-scale demonstrations. The Kuomintang was initially taken aback, but secretly sent troops from China, which started to round up and execute a whole generation of leading figures, students, lawyers, and doctors. In all, scholars estimate that up to 28.000 people were killed, and during the “white terror” of the following years, thousands more were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered.
  • President Lee continued his push for reforms and in 1996, for the first time in history the Taiwanese were able to directly elect their President.
  • Lee also pushed for the abolishment of the “Taiwan Province” layer of government, as well as of the National Assembly, which eventually ceased to function in 2005.
  • The transition to democracy concluded in March 2000 in the election of Chen Shui-bian.


FACTS

    Towers and Dragon and Tiger

    • Never stand your chopsticks up in your rice bowl – it is seen as bad luck due to the similarity to incense sticks used at funerals.
    • When beckoning someone over, eg. a waiter, your hand should be palm down to be polite, not palm up as in the western world.
    • When Taipei’s 101 was completed in 2004 it became the world’s tallest building at that time.

Avg. Costs

Ba Gua Tea Garden

  • Budget Travelling – 1000 TWD will get you by for a day, but you’ll probably want to double that for comfort.
  • A meal at a street stall may cost 50 TWD or less
  • A meal at a Western fast food restaurant will run you about 150 TWD
  • A meal at the fanciest restaurants, you can expect a bill of 1000 TWD.
  • On the high end of the spectrum, hotel rooms at a swanky hotel might cost 5000 TWD or more.
  • Big Mac Meal – 115 TWD
  • Internet café – (One hour) 20 TWD
  • A full meal in a lunch box costs 50-70 TWD. A lunch box meal consists of rice, a main meat dish, and 2 to 3 vegetable side dishes. Convenience stores and supermarkets also sell pre-cooked meals for about the same price.
  • Cheaper meals can be found in noodle stalls where a bowl of noodle costs 30-40 TWD.
  • Fast foods like KFC and McDonalds can be found anywhere. Price for a meal costs between 100-150 TWD.
  • 500mL bottle of water – 15 TWD
  • A reasonable food budget is 150 TWD per day

 

Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Landscape

  • Taiwan is very safe for tourists, even for women at night.
  • This is not to say, however, that there is no crime, and you should always exercise caution.
  • In crowded areas such as night markets or festivals, for example, pickpockets are a known problem.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Taipei City Night Scene

  • Taiwan is a humid region.
  • The northern part, middle mountain area and western plain are abundant with rainfalls.
  • June to October is the typhoon season in Taiwan
  • The months with the most rainy days are in May and June, while thundershower mostly came in the afternoons in summer.
  • The best time to travel is during their fall weather, September till November.

 

Temperature ranges from

Jan – High 66 F, Low 54 F

April – High 77 F, Low 63 F

July- High 92 F, Low 76 F

Oct – High 81 F, Low 67 F

Places to See

Temple Courtyard

Kenting National Park

  • It is located in Kenting at the extreme southern tip of Taiwan.
  • It is famous for its beautiful beaches and lush vegetation.
  • It is the only one tropical botanical garden in Taiwan and also one of the top 10 tropical botanical gardens in the world.
  • Currently, there are thousands of tropical plants and adequate resources of butterflies, birds, insects and reptiles.

View Map

 

 

 

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

  • It is a famous monument built in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.
  • It is located in Taipei
  • The monument, surrounded by a park, stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square.

View Map

 

 

 

Taroko Gorge National Park

  • It is one of the seven national parks in Taiwan
  • It was named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park.
  • The name, Taroko, means “magnificent and beautiful”.
  • Taroko Gorge and its surrounding area are well known for their abundant supply of marble.
  • The gorge itself was carved into the marble by the erosive power of the Liwu River.

 

 

 

Taipei 101

  • A landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan
  • The building ranked officially as the world’s tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010
  • Taipei 101 comprises of 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground
  • The building was architecturally created as a symbol of the evolution of technology and Asian tradition

View Map

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Greeting is formal and the oldest in the group is greeted first
– Handshakes are the most common form of greeting
– Many people look towards the ground as a sign of respect
– You do not need to do the same
– Often their personal names may have other poetic meanings
– Some adopt more western names
– Wait to be advised to move to a first name basis
• Value a well crafted message
– They are a very indirect culture
– If they disagree with an idea they will remain silent

Business Etiquette:
– Handshake is a common greeting in business
– Not as firm as many other countries
– Men should wait for women to extend their hand
– Greet the most important person first
– Address people with their title and surname
– Business cards are exchanged after the initial greeting
– Have one side translated into Chinese
– Examine their card carefully before putting it away
– Treat them with respect
– Never write on someone else’s business card
– Be prepared for questions
– Since they are indirect they will use body language to communicate

Contributions (1)

  • [email protected] says...

    A place I recommend travellers to go is the National Palace Musuem located in Tai Pei. The museum encompasses many ancient Chinese artifacts with over 8000 years of history. It is one of the largest museums in the world that displays Chinese history. If you decide to go, one of the must see is a jade carving of a cabbage. It is a piece of Jadeite carved into the shape of a cabbage.

    If you want to visit more that one place in Taiwan, and you have limited time, I recommend you taking the bullet train. When I was in Tai Pei and wanted to go to Koah Siung, the bullet train took less than two hours to get there. Kaoh Siung is quite famous for their night markets, so be sure to go out and try the local foods and snacks when you are there!

    Posted on Thursday, November 29th 2012 at 1:07 pm

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