The beauty of Taiwan enamored the Portuguese when they arrived on the island in 1544. They referred to it as Ilha Formosa or Beautiful Island. Though small (about the size of Holland), there is much to be enjoyed on a vacation to Taiwan. Following are a couple of the most popular destinations.
Taipei is the capital of Taiwan; this is where most visitors choose to begin their adventure. The “Taipei Basin” was originally inhabited by the Ketagelan tribe, one of the Aboriginal tribes noted above.
In the late 19th century, the Han Chinese occupied Taipei and used it predominately for trade purposes. The main trade item passing through the port was tea. Taipei’s status at this time was as a provincial capital. However, in 1894 it became the capital of the entire island.
No Taipei vacation is complete without seeing Taipei 101, the world’s tallest building. Competition for this status has always been fierce because of the way “tallest” is defined, but most people concede this mantle to Taipei
The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is also located in Taipei. You might hear it called the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s most definitely worth spending some time at.
Beyond Taipei, you might want to consider a trip to Sun Moon Lake. Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan’s largest lake and home of the Thao Aboriginal tribe. Because of this, the Aboriginal Cultural Village has been built near here. In it, you can see how the ancient tribes lived as well as perusing a museum which showcases aboriginal artifacts.
Always take local holidays into consideration when traveling. The Taiwanese distinguish between holidays and festivals. Holidays are followed based on the western calendar while festivals are celebrated based on the lunar calendar.
Festivals commemorate China’s past, both cultural and Chinese-based wisdom.. The one most visitors are familiar with is the Chinese New Year Festival. The Lantern Festival is included at this time and symbolizes shedding the old and ushering in all things new. The Mid-Autumn Festival links the symbolism of the full with the unity of mankind.
Holidays are more official in nature. For example, Founding Day of the Republic of China is one of the most important. Some others are Women’s Day, Teachers’ Day, Youth Day, Tomb Sweeping Day, Children’s Day, and Armed Forces Day.
Wherever you go, you are sure to enjoy it. Be sure to learn as much about the history and culture as possible before you take your vacation as well as verify all entry requirements such as a visa to Taiwan.