Here are some interesting Taiwan Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.
Taiwan is an island located in East Asia about 160 km/ 100 miles off the coast of the mainland of China.
By China, Taiwan is regarded as one of China's 23 provinces but has its own currency and government and is officially also called "Republic of China". Taiwan is seen as a rebel province by China.
The government of Taiwan, however, understands the country as an independent country.
Taiwan is an oval shaped island in the East China Sea and the Western Pacific Ocean. The island was formerly referred to as Formosa.
Taiwan is about the same size in land area as the Netherlands or half as big as the US-state of Texas/ USA.
Most people in live in the wester and northern parts of the country, the South and East are only sparsely populated. Taiwan is a mountainous country with the Central Mountain Range running from North to the island's South.
Taipei is not only the capital city of Taiwan and seat of the government of the Republic of China but also the largest city. The Taipei 101 skyscraper is the main landmark of the country. This tower is one of the tallest towers in the world and dominates the skyline of the city. From 2004 till 2009 this was the tallest building in the world.
Another one of the landmarks of Taipei is the Crescent Bridge that has a transparent bottom skywalk over the Tamsui river. Neon lights illuminate the bridge at night.
Shifen Waterfall is easily reached from the capital city and the cascading waterfall is a popular tourist attraction.
Taiwan has lovely golden sandy beaches especially in the northern part of the island such as Fulong Beach or Dawulun Beach near Keelung City.
There are many ancient temples and fascinating pagodas to visit in Taiwan such as the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas at the Lotus Pond in Khaosiung.
Khaosiung is one of the three largest cities in Taiwan. The city is famous for its lovely promenade along the Love River and the popular Taiwan lantern festival. Khaosiung is located in the island's South and spots the largest harbour and main sea port of the country.
The majority of Taiwanese people today have Han Chinese origins but today most regard themselves as Hoklo people, or ordinary Taiwanese people. Then there are also about 10% Hakka people who mainly settle in the cities and about 10% consider themselves as 'Mainland Chinese'.
There are still small ethnic groups of Indigenous Taiwanese people. The biggest indigenous group are the Amis people who live in eastern Taiwan around Hualien. Some of them still don the unique facial tattoos and hand tattoos.
Taiwan is known for its high mountain tea and many famous tea plantations are located in the central and south western regions. The area around Alishan is a popular tourist destination.
The Taiwanese practise a variety of religions and the Freedom of Religion is part of the constitution of the Republic of China. Most Taiwanese are Buddhists or Taoists and share Confucian beliefs and philosophy.
One of the most famous Confucius quotes is: "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."
Baseball is considered Taiwan's national sport. Basketball and Tennis are very popular in the country too.
Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, is the biggest celebration on the Chinese lunar calendar. This lunar calendar starts at the end of January/early February each year.
The Taiwan Lantern Festival takes place every year with fireworks and lantern spectacle in Kaohsiung and Love River Bay.
Every year another animal sign symbolises the strength and the weaknesses of the one's born in this zodiac.
There are 12 zodiac/animal signs and thus every 12 years the animals signs start over again.
Mandarin Chinese is the official language in the Republic of China. Taiwanese is similar to Hokkien spoken in mainland China. However, other languages are spoken such as Hakka or Formosan languages.
The Taiwanese writing uses the same characters as the Standard Chinese Writing which is done from top to bottom in little symbols or signs, called 'characters'.
Some Chinese words that are always good to know:
Ni hao! means Hello!
Ni hao ma means How are you
Xie Xie means Thank You
Gong Xi Fa Cai means Happy Lunar New Year
The traditional diet in China contains low amounts of protein such as meats or dairy products. Many Chinese dishes are vegetable and soya based. Chinese often eat/drink soup for breakfast and rice based dishes are eaten throughout the day.
Soy, vegetable and rice products are the most common ingrediences in Chinese dishes. Chinese mainly eat with chopsticks and drink their soups instead of eating them with a spoon as we do. Here is some typical Chinese food:
The island is home to many mammals, however, most are quite small in size such as monkeys and squirrels. The local sika deer and some antelopes are among the bigger mammals.
The Formosan black bears are the biggest mammals but these are very rare and a threatened species, they only can be found in remote mountainous areas above 1,000 m/ 3,300 ft.
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