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"Keeweechic's Taiwan" Top 5 Page for this destination Taiwan by keeweechic

Taiwan Travel Guide: 4,389 reviews and 12,700 photos

Taiwan is a relatively small country but packs in a lot of diversity and unfortunately is usually overlooked by those planning Asian holidays. It is very easy to drive from Keelung in the north to the southernmost tip in a day but you would not want to do it that quickly because in between there is the lofty central mountain range, alpine forests, wonderful waterfalls and long stretches of coastline. The island is bisected by the Tropic of Cancer which makes the northern part of Taiwan subtropical with hot summers and cool winters and the southern areas close to the balmy tropics.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
Chinese Proverb

Early immigrants came across the Taiwan Straits from the Fujian province in China. Portuguese sailors landed in 1517, stopping long enough to name the island Ilha Formosa (Beautiful Island). But the Dutch were the first to lay claim, a fact that finally upset Chinese interest in this "uncivilized" outpost. The Dutch were overthrown by Ming Dynasty patriot and hero Prince Koxinga in 1661 and in 1684 Taiwan became a region of the Fujian province and in 1887( a distinct province of China). The French then occupied the Keelung port region and the Pescadores Islands for a short period in 1884 but as part of the spoils of the Sino-Japanese war, Taiwan and the Pescadores were surrendered to Japan in 1895. The Japanese ruled Taiwan until the end of WWII, leaving behind a shattered economy. The start of modernising Taiwan began with the fall of China's Ching Dynasty in 1911 and the subsequent founding of the Republic of China by Dr Sun Yat-sen in 1912. Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taipei long with his Kuomintang government in 1949 and defended political restrictions on the basis that they were necessary during this period of Communist rebellion. He died in 1975, his dream of recovering the mainland unfulfilled. His Three No's Policy was - no contact, no comproimise and no negotiation with Beijing.

Taiwan continues to be part of greater China, with elements from each laying claim to the other. Probably the only certain aspect of Taiwan's geopolitical status in the immediate future is that it will remain unresolved, each fiercely holding their stance.

Photos which are taken by myself and all headings are copyright and digitally marked. Please do not use them without permission. Thanks. (c) keeweechic 2001-2008 (copyright)

  • Last visit to Taiwan: Jan 1998
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (44)

Comments (95)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Oct 2, 2006 at 12:55 AM

    Wonderful page, Keewee :-)) You have seen so many of Taiwan's beautiful gems ! I only have been here for a short business trip, but want to go back one day for some travels. Thanks for your tips and writings :-)

  • PrinceApollo's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2006 at 5:50 PM

    Great albums!! However I couldn't see the much more than the Kuomintang's version of history in your article. The modernisation started when the Japanese ruled the island, they made Taiwan one of the most advanced place in Asia.

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2006 at 5:26 AM

    Great photos and tips. Now I know where to head next on my next visit to Taiwan :-)

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2006 at 5:36 PM

    Fantastic pictures and descriptions. Wu Lai, Taroko and Kenting National Park, Chunghsing Pagoda are on the top of my list now :-)

  • DaDrifter's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2005 at 11:03 PM

    Thanks for an amazing tour of Taiwan, KW. Fascinating pictures of the rock formations. Surely the most overlooked Asian destination, not everyone goes to Hualien to buy roller blades :)

  • Toyin's Profile Photo
    Jun 24, 2005 at 6:54 AM

    The queen's head formation is really amazing. Wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  • bugalugs's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2005 at 10:53 AM

    The Eternal Spring Shrine looks so lovely with the waterfall, a really comprehensive page on such a beautiful place

  • dr.firas's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2004 at 10:52 AM

    It is all wonderful, but I adore the Queen's head and the water falls :-))

  • Jul 29, 2004 at 7:26 AM

    very helpful and interesting. thanks very much

  • la_beba's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2004 at 8:44 PM

    What a vast and marvelous page Keewee!! (but.... it's not surprising coming from you)


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