60 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Taiwan | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- Taiwan is nestled between Japan and Philippines in the Western Pacific Ocean. This sweet-potato-shaped country is near the southwest coast of China.
- Taiwan is 245 miles long and 89 miles wide and has a total area of 13,900 square miles.
- There are about 23 million people who live in Taiwan. This is a small island country that is quite densely populated.
- Amazingly Taipei (2.7 million) is only number four in population compared to other cities in Taiwan.
- The largest city is New Taipei (3.9 million) followed by Kaohsiung and then Taichung.
- The country is commonly known by the name “Taiwan” but officially it is actually called the Republic of China. This should not be confused with the People’s Republic of China.
- The majority of countries in the world, including the People’s Republic of China, still do not recognize Taiwan as an independent country. Only the Vatican City and other 21 countries of the United Nations have officially recognized it.
- Taiwan is almost 60% mountainous. Taiwan has the highest mountain in all of southeast Asia. The Jade mountain is nearly 13000 ft tall.
Flora & Fauna
- The Alishan Sacred Tree in Taiwan was one of the oldest trees in the world believed to be 3,000 years old when it collapsed in July 1, 1997. It was 60 meters in height.
- Taiwan has a history that goes back many thousands of years to the earliest evidence of humans existing on the planet. Taiwan was the Beginning of many Southeast Asian Cultures.
- When the Portuguese saw the island of Taiwan back in the 16th century, they called it Ilha Formosa (Beautiful Island). The name was the official name for the island until WWII. Formosa is still informally used as a name for Taiwan.
- By around the 1700s, the Dutch colonized the island. The Han Chinese and Hakka immigrants from Guangdong and Fujian provinces also entered here.
- By the late 17th century, a Ming Dynasty loyalist called Koxinga lost mainland China. Instead, he defeated the Dutch to establish a base on the island. The Qing dynasty then conquered him and his efforts, and Qing dynasty started influencing Taiwanese culture.
- The Spanish tried to inhabit the country in the 18th century but were not successful.
- In the First Sino war of 1895, the Empire of Japan conquered the island. During World War Two, Japanese imperial education systems were started in Taiwan. Taiwanese had to join Japanese soldiers during the Second World War.
- After the Second World War, KMT or Kuomintang (National People Party) took Taiwan in 1949 as 2 million nationalists went to Taiwan. Chiang Kai Shek introduced martial law in Taiwan and ruled Taiwan.
- After the Second World War, Taiwan had great economic growth and industrialization due to democratic period and reforms.
- The first presidential election was held in 1996. This was also the time of the Taiwan Missile Crisis. In the year 2000, the election ended Kuomintang’s status as a ruling group.
Places / Architecture
- Taiwan has some of the most elaborate and authentic historical museums in all of Asia which consist of over 35,000 artifacts from countries around the world.
- The most famous museum in Taiwan is The National Museum of World Prehistory comprising of more than 650,000 items. Chinese history is told through bronze statues, jade carvings, calligraphy, lacquerware and other historical pieces many of which belonged to Chinese imperial families. Only a fraction of the collection is on display (no more than 10,000 items at any one time), making the museum worth returning to several times a year.
- Taiwan has Taipei 101 in Taipei which used to be the tallest building in the world. The elevators go almost 60 Km per hour.
- For an island smaller in area than Switzerland, Taiwan has a lot of night markets an estimated 300 island wide.
People Customs & Culture
- Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are the three prevalent religions in Taiwan.
- 84% of the people are Taiwanese, with only 14% being mainland Chinese.
- Most of the people of Taiwan can trace their ancestry to China
- 96 % of Taiwanese adults can read.
- Taiwanese girls like to have fair skin and therefore stay away from the sunshine at all costs.
- As women are very conscious to maintain fair skin, on a sunny day, sidewalks are filled with people carrying their umbrellas, keeping the sun off of their faces and keep their bodies cool. You may also see people hiking with an umbrella in their hand. In very hot weather women will have zero percent of their skin exposed, wearing a hat, sunglasses, face wrap, long pants and long sleeved shirts, as well as gloves. The same trend is found in Vietnam.
- It is considered bad manners in Taiwan to waste food, so wherever you eat in Taiwan, be sure to finish the plate.
- Everybody works hard all the time. Kids study so much that they have the world’s best math scores. Most people love to work, and they are at their jobs up to 70 hours per week without any grievance. People have high IQ here.
- Kids are normally asked to learn math and a musical instrument at an early age.
- Some of the kids have funny English names like King, Circle or Lion.
- Taiwanese teenage boys cry like little girls and aren’t ashamed to show their emotions unlike western world.
- Taiwanese people love to cycle and it is getting more and more popular every day. The government invests a lot in creating and maintaining cycle paths. The country’s capital city, Taipei, in particular has an extensive infrastructure for cyclists.
- There are no garbage cans outdoors. Garbage cans are usually kept inside of a house or place of business. The garbage is tossed into a garbage truck when it arrives playing loud music to indicate their arrival in the streets.
- In Taiwan you will find bats in the parks that fly around all over the place.
- Politeness, honor and respect for elders is of major element in Taiwan culture.
- People are very happy to welcome their guests giving them great respect.
- Taiwan has the highest density of Convenience Stores. They are everywhere open all night with various amenities mostly owned by a Japanese company. Here you can print a document, call a taxi, send a parcel, pay your bills and do much more.
- Amazingly fertility rate in Taiwan is just 0.9. This makes Taiwan the country with the lowest fertility rate in the world possibly due to women taking up jobs and high child care expenses.
- Taiwan is one of the few countries that still use traditional Chinese characters in the written form. These days, in almost every country where people speak Chinese, simplified Chinese characters are used. However, Taiwan and two autonomous parts of China (Hong Kong and Macau) still continue to use traditional characters.
- Taiwanese have vertical apartments. You could have one or two rooms per floor. Lot of walking is part of the life style.
- In Taiwan there are 14 recognized aboriginal tribes making up 1.8% of the country’s population living in the country for 8,000 years before mass immigration by the Han Chinese commenced in the 17th century. Each tribe has its own language.
- The color white symbolizes death and is used at funerals instead of the black common in the West. The color red represents good luck and is often used at weddings and other celebrations.
- Taiwan has the highest recycling rates in the world.
- Taiwan has the lowest poverty rate in the world.
- At the National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium in Pingtung, visitors can choose to camp overnight in the museum/aquarium. Thus you can sleep with the fishes in the Museum.
- Taiwan offers gay-friendly atmosphere. The island supports some of the most progressive protections for LGBT people in Asia. Today, Taiwan Pride is the biggest LGBT event in Asia. Taipei also has a number of gay bars, clubs, and shops, especially around the Ximen area.
- Taiwan is the first democratic country in Asia.
- Taiwan is not a member of UN due to resisting China.
- The New Taiwan dollar is the currency used in Taiwan.
- The Taiwanese flag was used in mainland China, as well as by the KMT in the 1900s.This flag became the official flag of Taiwan in 1928.
- The KMT party flag has now become the Taiwan flag, which represents a blue sky with a white sun. The twelve rays of sun represents 12 Chinese hours of the time clock, and the 12 months of the year. The red on the Taiwanese flag symbolizes the revolutionaries and the blood they shed to create Taiwan.
- As China does not recognize Taiwan’s independence, the Taiwan flag is not allowed to be used during sporting events. Instead Taiwan uses Chinese Taipei Olympic flag.
- The city government of Taipei decided that everyone should have access to the Internet in any public space such as shopping areas, hospitals and libraries etc.
- Taiwan has possibly the best universal healthcare system in the world. Legal residents can visit any specialist in the country. Docs anywhere will pull up their entire medical record via smart card. Fees are billed directly to and reimbursed by the National Health Insurance Administration, whose 2% administrative costs are the lowest in the world.
Economy & Corporates
- It is one of the world’s leading producers of computers and computer related products. HTC, Acer and ASUS are some of the renowned Taiwanese companies.
- Taiwanese film industry dates back to 1901, when it released the first Taiwanese film!
- Amazing fact is that with an army of about 400 animators, Next Media Animation (NMA), a Taiwan-based animation studio, can turn any news story into a cartoon in as fast as 90 minutes.
- National sport of Taiwan is Baseball. Taiwan won the 1995 little league world championship in the US.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team