10 interesting facts about Taiwan

Taiwan is a beautiful and fascinating island nation that has been making waves in the global community in recent years. Despite being relatively small in size compared to its neighbors, Taiwan has a rich history and culture that has shaped its unique identity. From its beautiful natural landscapes to its bustling cities and vibrant cultural scene, Taiwan has a lot to offer.

Here are 10 surprising and interesting facts about Taiwan that you may not know:

1. Taiwanโ€™s official name is the Republic of China

Taiwan’s official name is the Republic of China (ROC), which can be confusing for many people who are not familiar with the island’s history. The ROC was founded in 1912, after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, and it was recognized as the legitimate government of China until 1949. At that time, the Communist Party of China won the Chinese Civil War, and the Nationalist government, led by Chiang Kai-shek, fled to Taiwan and continued to govern as the ROC.

Despite being commonly known as Taiwan, the island’s official name is still the ROC, which reflects its political and historical ties to China. However, the name Taiwan is widely used by many people to refer to the island, both domestically and internationally, in order to avoid confusion with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

2. Taiwan was once occupied by Spain, the Netherlands, China, and Japan

Taiwan has a long and complicated history, and it has been ruled and colonized by several different countries over the centuries. Spain and the Netherlands were the first europeans to colonize Taiwan in the 17th century, followed by China and Japan in the 19th and 20th centuries. While the country is today ruled by the government of the ROC (not to confuse with the PRC), the political system is entirely independent from China, and is solely in the hands of the Taiwanese people, making it a de-facto independent country.

3. Taiwanโ€™s official language is Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese was first introduced to Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty, when it was the official language of the imperial court. However, it was not until the Nationalist government of the ROC arrived in Taiwan in the late 1940s that Mandarin Chinese became the dominant language of the island. The government instituted a policy of Mandarinization, promoting the use of Mandarin Chinese in education, government, and media, while suppressing the use of other languages, such as Taiwanese and Hakka.

Today, Mandarin Chinese remains the primary language of communication in Taiwan, and it is an important part of the island’s cultural and linguistic identity. However, there are also ongoing efforts to promote the use of other languages, such as Taiwanese and Hakka, and to preserve the indigenous languages of Taiwan’s aboriginal communities.

4. Taiwan is one of the most densely populated countries on earth

Taiwan’s population density is a fascinating aspect of the island nation. Despite its relatively small size, Taiwan is home to over 23 million people, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The population density is even more striking when you consider that much of the island is composed of rugged mountain ranges and dense tropical forests, leaving only a narrow strip of habitable land along the west coast and a few plains on the east coast.

5. Taipei 101 used to be the worldโ€™s tallest building

Taipei 101, an iconic skyscraper located in the bustling city of Taipei, was once the world’s tallest building when it was completed in 2004. Standing at a height of 508 meters (1,667 feet), the tower held this title until 2010 when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Despite no longer holding the title of the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101 remains as the world’s tallest green building, meaning that it has been built with resource efficiency and environmental sustainability in mind.

6. Taiwan is the island with the highest concentration of mountains

Taiwan’s stunning landscape is a result of its unique geography, and it is widely recognized as the island with the highest concentration of mountains in the world. With more than 200 peaks over 3,000 meters high, Taiwan’s mountainous terrain dominates the island’s skyline. Among these majestic peaks, the spectacular Jade Mountain stands tall as the highest peak in the country, reaching a towering height of 3,952 meters above sea level.

7. Taipei sits just next to an active volcano

Taiwanโ€™s capital city is situated in close proximity to an active volcano known as Yangmingshan. Although the volcano last erupted approximately 7,000 years ago, it remains an active geological site today. Despite this, the area is not considered to be particularly dangerous, and visitors can still enjoy the natural hot springs that surround it. Nevertheless, Taiwan has put in place an emergency system to prepare for any possible volcanic eruption, and mock drills are carried out regularly to ensure the safety of the population.

8. The longest rainbow ever recorded was in Taiwan

In 2017, a stunning natural phenomenon occurred in Taiwan, where a rainbow graced the sky for nearly nine hours, making it the longest-lasting rainbow ever recorded in history. The rainbow, which was visible from 6:57 am to 3:55 pm, captivated residents and visitors alike with its vibrant colors.

9. Taiwan is the freest country in Asia

Taiwan is often regarded as one of the freest countries in Asia, particularly in terms of press freedom. According to the World Press Freedom Index, Taiwan ranks highest among all Asian countries, and the country is known for its strong record on human rights and political freedoms.

10. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese invention

Bubble tea is a Taiwanese invention, as you may already know from this blog’s name, “Bubble Tea Island”. This popular drink, made with tea, milk, and tapioca pearls, was invented in Taiwan in the 1980s. It has since become a global phenomenon, with bubble tea shops popping up all over the world.

Taiwan is a small yet captivating country that boasts a wealth of natural beauty, rich history, and diverse culture. The 10 fascinating and surprising facts shared here provide only a glimpse of what this amazing country has to offer. From its towering mountains and stunning coastline to its delectable cuisine and innovative inventions like bubble tea, Taiwan is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a unique and unforgettable travel experience.

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