General information

1. Taiwan
Formosa is what the Portuguese called Taiwan when they came here in the 16th century and saw the verdant beauty of the island.
Located off the southeast coast of the Asian Continent at the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, between Japan and the Philippines and right in the center of the East-Asian island arc, Taiwan forms a vital line of communication in the Asia-Pacific region. It covers an area of approximately 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles) and is longer than it is wide. Two-thirds of the total area is covered by forested mountains and the remaining area consists of hilly country, platforms and highlands, coastal plains and basins. The Central Mountain Range stretches along the entire country from north to south, thus forming a natural line of demarcation for rivers on the eastern and western sides of the island. On the west side, lies the Yushan (Yu Mountain) Range with its main peak reaching 3,952 meters, the highest mountain peak in Northeast Asia.

2. Location
Taiwan's total land area is about 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles). It is shaped like a leaf that is narrow at both ends. It lies off the southeastern coast of mainland Asia, across the Taiwan Strait from China - an island on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. To the north is Japan; to the south is the Philippines. Many airlines fly to Taiwan, making it the perfect travel destination.
Taiwan lies on the western edge of the Pacific "rim of fire," and continuous tectonic movements have created majestic peaks, rolling hills and plains, basins, coastlines, and other natural landscapes. Taiwan's tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate climates provide clear differentiation between the different seasons. There are rare or endangered species of wildlife on the island. Among these are the land-locked salmon, Taiwan serow, Formosan rock monkey, Formosan black bear, blue magpie, Mikado pheasant, and Hsuehshan grass lizard.

3. Climate
If you are from a low-latitude country, you will certainly revel in the comfortable warmth of Taiwan's sun. The coolness that hangs in the air will be a welcome change from the simmering heat of your native country. You can do some hiking in the mountains, immersing yourself in the beautiful trees of the forest while inhaling the pure and fresh air that blows across the island of Taiwan.
Taiwan enjoys warm weather all year round. Weather conditions fluctuate during spring and winter, while in summer and autumn the weather is relatively stable. Taiwan is extremely suitable for traveling, as the annual average temperature is a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius with the lowest temperatures on the lowlands generally ranging from 12 to 17 degrees Celsius (54-63 Fahrenheit). Therefore, with the exception of a few mountain areas where some traces of snow can be found during winter, no snow can be seen in Taiwan. During raining season (March to May), continuously drizzling rain will sometimes fall on Taiwan. When visiting Taiwan during this period, remember to carry an umbrella at all time. Although it might seem romantic to have a stroll in the rain, it is no fun to travel when you're soaking wet. During the summer time (June to August), typhoons sometimes approach or hit the country.
We suggest you keep an eye on weather reports, because weather conditions are often severe and unpredictable when typhoons hit Taiwan. In addition, the roaring waves along the coast are not to be regarded as one of Taiwan's tourist scenes. During the autumn (September to October), you can wholeheartedly enjoy the cool and comforting weather, while Taiwan's relatively warm and short winters (November to February) are the time for you to appreciate the beautifully colored maple trees. The cold fronts that reach Taiwan sporadically are greatly favored by the island's hot-spring lovers. In short, Taiwan, where it always seems to be spring, is your perfect travel destination!

Taipei Sightseeing

1. Taipei 101
Take the world’s fastest passenger lift to the viewing platforms of Taipei 101, soaring 508 metres above the ground. Enjoy the 360 degrees panorama, see the giant pendulum counteracting earthquakes, browse the coral exhibition and designer boutiques

2. Marty’s Shrine
Watch the changing of the guard at the Martyrs’ Shrine, a colorful complex resembling a Ming palace with bell towers and pavilions, red colonnades and lofty carvings.

3. Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial Hall
See the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall with its lovely landscaped grounds popular with city folks and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial, the ‘Father of the Nation’, especially at dawn or dusk when locals practice taichi in the grounds

4. Longshan Temple
Visit Longshan Temple, where Taiwanese of all faiths worship the Goddess of Mercy. There are offerings and huge clouds of incense, precious carvings, calligraphy and a miraculous statue. It’s a living traditional temple and a must-see in Taipei.

5. National Palace Museum
Browse the National Palace Museum in the northern suburbs, with its 6000 works of art spanning over 5000 years of Chinese talent. Some 700 000 items are stored in the vaults and displayed in rotation. See the porcelain, ceramics, bronze, paintings and carved miniatures.

6. Shilin Night Market
Explore the Shilin night market, packed with Taiwan T-shirts and shoes, jewellery, gadgets and food stalls serving fresh fruit juice, noodle soup, oyster omelette and all kinds of delicacies. There are massage parlours and fortune tellers and a temple for luck.

Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City Government.