Introduction to Taiwan
source : http://travel.state.gov/
Area : 36,000 square kilometers
Population : 23 million
Language : Mandarin / Taiwanese / Hakka / Indigenous Languages
Religion : Buddhism / Taoism / Christianity / Islam
President : Mr. Ma Ying-jeou
Taiwan's total land area is about 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles). It is shaped like a leaf that is narrow at both ends. It lies off the southeastern coast of mainland Asia, across the Taiwan Strait from China-- an island on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. To the north is Japan; to the south is the Philippines. Many airlines fly to Taiwan, making it the perfect travel destination.
Taiwan lies on the western edge of the Pacific "rim of fire," and continuous tectonic movements have created majestic peaks, rolling hills and plains, basins, coastlines, and other natural landscapes. Taiwan's tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate climates provide clear differentiation between the different seasons. There are about 18,400 species of wildlife on the island, with more than 20% being rare or endangered species. Among these are the land-locked salmon, Taiwan serow, Formosan rock monkey, Formosan black bear, blue magpie, Mikado pheasant, and Xueshan grass lizard.
The Taiwan government has established 8 national parks and 13 national scenic areas to preserve Taiwan's best natural ecological environment and cultural sites. There are various ways to discover the beauty of Taiwan. For example, trekking in the magnificence of the cliffs at Taroko Gorge; taking a ride on the Alishan Forest Railway and experiencing the breathtaking sunrise and sea of clouds; hiking up to the summit of Northeast Asia's highest peak, Yu Mountain (Yushan). You can also soak up the sun in Kending (Kenting), Asia's version of Hawaii; stand at the edge of Sun Moon Lake; wander through the East Rift Valley; or visit the offshore islands of Kinmen and Penghu. It's fun in capital letters as well as an awesome journey of natural discovery!
source : http://www.walkerland.com.tw/subject/view/36869
Taiwan has a population of 23 million. The larger part of the country's inhabitants are the descendants of immigrants from the various provinces of mainland China, but in particular from the southeastern coastal provinces: Fujian and Guangdong. Because the different ethnic groups have fairly well integrated, differences that originally existed between people from different provinces have gradually disappeared. Nearly 500,000 indigenous people, the original inhabitants of Taiwan, still live here; they are into 14 different tribes, namely Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Saisiyat, Yami, Thao, Kavalan, Truku, Sakizaya, and Sediq.
The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese; but because many Taiwanese are of southern Fujianese descent, Minnan (the Southern Min dialect or Heluo) is also widely spoken. The smaller groups of Hakka people and indigenous tribes have also preserved their own languages. Many elderly people can also speak some Japanese, as they were subjected to Japanese education before Taiwan was returned to Chinese rule in 1945 after the Japanese occupation, which lasted for half a century.
The most popular foreign language in Taiwan is English, which is part of the regular school curriculum. However, for your own convenience, when taking a taxi in Taiwan, it is advisable to prepare a note with your destination written in Chinese to show the taxi driver.
Taiwan is also the ideal place to learn Chinese. There are numerous language schools that offer Chinese classes, ranging from hourly-based classes to recognized university programs. Many foreigners from Europe and the United States, as well as other areas, come to Taiwan to spend their holidays, or one or two years, studying Chinese.
Source : Tourism Bureau, Republic of China (Taiwan)
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