culture, breathtaking scenery, artistic masterpieces, delicious
cuisines, and friendly people make Taiwan and ideal destination for
tourists. In addition, the island's convenient transportation,
excellent hotels, and outstanding restaurants allow travelers to
explore these many attractions in comfort.
over 2,726,411 people visited Taiwan. Japan provided the largest
number of visitors, with 986,053 or 36.17 percent of the total.
Hong Kong and the United States were the second and third largest
sources of visitors that year, numbering 435,080 (15.96 percent) and
354,087 (12.99 percent) respectively.
Taiwan Many temples and traditional-style houses are scattered throughout
Taipei. Longshan Temple is the city's oldest and most famous
temple, and the Lin Family Garden is the island's finest example of
classical Chinese landscaping and architecture.
leading attraction is the majestic National Palace Museum, which
houses the world's largest and finest collection of oriental art
treasures. The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the island's most
impressive monument to the late president, has a beautiful Ming-style
arch at its main entrance that is flanked by the National Theater and
the National Concert Hall. In addition to numerous other
attractions, Taipei is well known for its excellent restuarants,
though many visitors also enjoy eating local delicacies at the city's
lively night markets.
Taiwan is rich in natural beauty. Towering over Taipei to the
north is Yangmingshan National Park, where well-maintained walkways
and trails lead visitors to scenic spots such as waterfalls, volcanic
craters, lakes, and hot springs.
northeast coast, just west of Keelung, are the amazing natural rock
formations of Yeliou, while to the east of Keelung is the Northeast
Coast National Scenic Area, whose rugged beauty makes it a popular
destination for both local and international tourists. Two of
the more notable features ofthe latter are the magnificent sandstone
promontory that rises from the sea at Longdong and the wooden
pavilions and walkways at Yanliao Seaside Park. Boats are now
available to take visitors on "blue highway" tours between
Yilan and Taipei County.
just south of Taipei City, there is an indigenous village where
visitors can enjoy the traditional dances and ceremonies of Taiwan's
Atayal people, as well as the beauty of magnificent waterfall
cascading through lush vegetation.
Taiwan Central Taiwan displays the full range of Taiwan's natural
beauty. Although the massive earthquake of September 21, 1999,
seriously damaged many resorts surrounding Sun Moon Lake, other resort
areas, such as the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village and Sitou
Forest Recreation Area, were less affected. All of these
resorts, however, have already recovered and re-opened. Other
scenic spots along the Central Cross-island Highway include Hehuanshan,
Lishan, and Cingjing Farm.
the largest city in central Taiwan, is one of Taiwan's main business
centers and offers many high quality hotels, museums, and parks.
Located near Taichung is Lugang, which still has many old temples,
traditional shops, and colorful festivals.
resort at Mount Ali is famous for its view of the sunrise over a sea
of clouds. Some 15 kilometers away from Mount Ali is Mount Jade
(Yushan), East Asia's highest peak; which, at 3,952 meters, is covered
with snow for most of the year. Yushan National Park, the
island's largest park, was established in 1985.
Taiwan Southern Taiwan is a land of contrasts, where bustling
Taiwan has a rather
homogeneous society. Early Han Chinese immigrants, or
"Taiwanese" are of two groups: the Hakka, who came mostly
from Guangdong Province, and the Fujianese, who came from China's
southeastern coastal province of Fujian. These two groups
comprise about 85 percent ofthe population with the Fujianese
outnumbering the Hakka by about three to one. There are
currently, nine major aboriginal peoples in Taiwan Province: the
Atayal, Saisiyat, Bunun, Tsou, Paiwan, Rukai, Puyuma, Ami and Yami.
The Atayal, which are known for their custom of tattoing their faces,
are distributed primarily over a large area in the northern part
of Taiwan's central mountain range. There are more than 7,000
Tsou people in Taiwan. The Tsou are partrilineal and every Tsou
man in required to learn the skill of hunting. The battle
ceremony, Mayasvi, is still observed by the Tsou.
tribes or the Pingpu people, have ceased to exist as distinct groups
due to assimilation with Han Chinese over the last three
centuries. In 1997, the number of indigenous people in the
Taiwan area was just over 389,900. The Hakka comprise an
estimated 20% of the population.
Art in the ROC is
tremendously diverse: from gilded temple carvings to conceptual
abstract sculptures; traditional folk operas to avant-garde
performance art; conservative Chinese ink paintings to contemporary
award-winning films; ancient aboriginal chants to experimental blends
of Chinese and Western classical music; Peking opera to postmodern
dance; and every in-between.
Until the television
era coming in the 1960s, puppet shows were one of the primary forms of
entertainment in Taiwan. Almost any festive occasion, whether a
wedding, holiday, or temple festival, called for a puppet performance.
are important events in the life of every Chinese, beginning right
from childhood. Festivals such as the Chinese New Year, the
Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Winter Solstice
are more of less evenly distributed across the four seasons. In
China's traditional agricultural society, festivals served to mark the
passing of time. Lifestyles of the people of the Republic of
China today have undeniably changed a great deal since those time, and
people now function according to a different concept of time, but the
importance of traditional festivals in their lives has not faded.
Households set off
firecrackers and paste Spring Festival couplets on the Chinese New
Year and for the Lantern Festival, the have colorful lanterns.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated with moon-cakes, while the
Dragon Boat Festival , on the fifth day of the lunar month,
commemorates the death of Chu Yuan, who drowned himself in a river to
protest again tyranny and corruption. Another custom is the
eating of tzung-tsu, a rice dumpling stuffed with pork or beans
which are wrapped in broad bamboo leaves.
cuisine is world famous, and Taiwan is unquestionably the capital of
Chinese cuisine. Wheat-based foods, which are the staples of the
more arid northern part of China, and rice-based foods, which are the
staples of southern China, can all be found here in Taiwan. A
wide variety of Taiwanese-style snacks can also be savored in
boisterous night markets around the island. Thanks to Taiwan's
natural environment of high mountains and surrounding seas, people can
enjoy delicacies from both land and sea anywhere on the island.
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