Question

What is the land in Taiwan like?

Location

Country: Taiwan

Answers

Taiwan is the most underrated tourist destination in Asia. It's hard to understand why – it has some of the most captivating scenery anywhere on the planet, sensational cuisine and a fascinating cultural mix. In the 1990s Taiwan became the first true Chinese democracy, developing a sense of civil society bewildering to its giant neighbour across the Taiwan Strait. Since then popular culture has blossomed on the island, an eclectic mix of Chinese, Western, Japanese and indigenous influences.
But Taiwan is also an intensely traditional place, with Chinese and aboriginal festivals, performing arts and religious belief preserving a legacy that goes back millennia. Taiwan's hinterland offers more surprises: towering mountains, including Northeast Asia's tallest, six national parks, a selection of alluring offshore islands and, thanks to its volcanic past, numerous hot-spring resorts.
Taiwan's perception problem stems in part from its astonishing economic success. The Taiwan Miracle, the island's transformation into one of the world's richest countries in less than fifty years, created images of endless manufacturing plants, a pile of overcrowded cities and factories somewhere off China's southeast coast. The country's long struggle to establish a distinct political and cultural identity in the shadow of its big brother on the mainland hasn't helped – for years its rulers insisted that Taiwan was the "real China". Not any more: Taiwan has preserved much of the civilization and many of the traditions lost on the mainland, but while its political future remains uncertain, Taiwan is fast developing a dynamic culture all of its own.
One of the most endearing things about the island is the overwhelming friendliness of its people – Taiwan is one of the most welcoming countries in the world, and you are bound to encounter numerous acts of generosity or kindness throughout your travels, whether it's a taxi driver rounding down a fare, a stranger offering to buy a ticket or help with directions, or a family providing a lift or even a bed for the night. Eating in Taiwan comes a close second, a vast array of Chinese food and local delicacies on offer in every town and locale. Travelling around the island is relatively straightforward, though the lack of English can make things a challenge at times, particularly as most timetables tend to be displayed solely in Chinese. Taiwan is a relatively rich country compared to China or southeast Asia, but prices are generally lower than in most other developed nations, and the willingness of almost every one you meet to help means it's almost impossible to get stuck.
People in Taiwan enjoy a free, democratic, and safe society, and international students usually find that it is easy to live and study in Taiwan. Taiwanese pride themselves on their hospitality, and are committed to creating a friendly and convenient living environment for you to study Mandarin Chinese and experience Chinese and indigenous cultures.
Most people in Taiwan speak basic English, are very willing to help new friends from afar. Even if you have just begun to learn Mandarin Chinese, you will have no problem obtaining the information and assistance you require.
As a French living in Taiwan, I have to say: All of what she says is true!
It is really a wonderful country.

I'm gonna make myself the devil's advocate:
-Food is essentially Chinese and Taiwanese, which means that the taste and shape will be very different. Prepared to be very surprised, and to be honest, sometime put-off.
-While cities are interesting to go through (night markets are fun to stroll), they really are not worth up to the rest of the country. They are not specially well built, and apart from a few flaghsip projects such as the xinyi district in TPE or some old area such as Anping in Tainan, they are far from pretty. This is especially true of Taipei. The nightlife there is quite fun, but it is essential that you get out of it ASAP.
-The east coast is Taiwan's true jewel. It looks incredible.
The Taiwanese landscape is mountainous and dramatic. The hills and mountains of the country are jagged and green, and quite stunning. Taroko Gorge in Hualian has some of the most stunning vistas of anywhere I've ever seen. But even inside Taipei City, you can find some mangificient mountains, trails and scenery.

In the valleys between mountains or hills you'll find many of the towns and cities of Taiwan, any other space being occupied by farms of all kinds. As soon as you leave the city and go in any direction, you'll quickly see the charming, rural side of the island.

The land here is ideal for hiking, and you're never far from some mountain trails with stunning views. It's good for mountain biking, and the cities and road are generally very level for street cycling. With flat space being a pretty high commodity, you won't find as many sports fields and pitches as you might in other countries, but large parks in major cities will almost universally have a multi-purpose field and a few basketball courts.
Taiwan is famous for its various cuisine, hospitality and culture background, you can find a military dependent village where reserves the life style and furniture just as old days next to the world's highest tower Taipei 101, isn't it fun?
You can eat Taiwan
Hahaha...loved that one!!!
The West coast of the island is flat, and is where most of the cities and industrialisation is - not that there is not still plenty of countryside, interspersed with small villages and small manufacturing plants. The central mountains are very high, and stunningly beautiful - the East coast is basically a sheer cliff dropping into the Pacific. Stunning, again.
taiwan is small but good, countryside & modern city, department stores & night markets, we speaking chinese, taiwanese & some english, people r nice & friendly, the weather is hot & humid.....anyway foreigners r very welcome here!!
The shape of Taiwan looks like a sweet potato. It's an island country.
The adjective I sometimes use to describe Taiwan is "full". Full of greenery, cosy corners that will always surprise you, lush green hills... Full of street food stands and industrious people scattered around the countryside. An unbelievable number of "lands" can be seen here. Cities with many streets looking alike, sleepy villages, factories, rocky coasts, high mountains, meadows...
The subject of Taiwan is not an easy one to grip. Huge dichotomies exist all over this Island society. For example, a democracy where the rule of law is not neccessarily followed; peacefully stunning and natural places is contrasted against downright dirty and crowded places; and some outward ecenomic generosity is offset by an all out parsimonious attitude. The good and the bad things in life are certainly here, and whether you come here to live or just to visit, you will find these great opposites I talk about.
In terms of scenery, weather and outdoor activities there are plenty to see and do - making the geography, climate, people and culture an unforgetable experience no doubt. However, you need to make the effort to get out there, hire a guide or join a guided tour - in your language (or closest to it). Working your way within the island may be difficult if you don't speak Chinese, as workable English language skills or even signage can be hard to come by at some of the most famous scenic spots. Taiwan is one of the most crowded places on Earth and yet there are some beautiful quiet corners which echo total escape from the bustling world not too far away.
In crowded urban centers such as Taipei or Kaohsiung in the south you will find such opposites again. The ups and downs as you experience the food, culture, festivals, and museums (all of which Taiwan are well known for) may or may not let you down depending on your mood. Just being a pedestrian (or your own conduit in a vehicle) for a brief moment, will grant you a glimpse into the reality here. While locals are generally quite friendly and helpful, at any moment you may become flustered or feel offended as you navigate your way somewhere through the mess of civilization and industrialization here.
In all, I would say come and visit and prepare yourself for it. Alternatively, if you come here without any expectations you may be the one who walks away with the best experience and memories.

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