Mouthwatering street food, colorful festivals, bustling night markets, tranquil nature, and cultural structures are what many associates with Taiwan. These are undoubtedly some of the best things and facts about Taiwan, and are necessary experiences on your trip. However, there is much more to this beautiful country than what meets the eye.
Here are some amazing Taiwan facts that will offer an introduction to different facades of the country, before you take a deep dive into it on a trip yourself!
Historical Facts About Taiwan
Taiwan has a tumultuous history, as it used to be colonized. Even now, it has a rocky relationship with China. These are some interesting facts about Taiwan and its past that are good to know.
For Five Decades, Taiwan Was A Japanese Colony
Between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries, the Japanese had taken over Taiwan. During their time, they built a railway line, developed hot springs, created universities and hospitals, and much more.
As you make your way through the country, you will still see signs of Japanese influence from their shines to buildings.
During The 80s, Taiwan Was Known As Garbage Island
Development comes at a cost because it also creates a lot of waste, which is what happened in Taiwan back in the 80s. Things got so bad that it became famously known as Garbage Island. Since then, the country has come a long way, and you will not believe this beautiful island once carried that reputation.
In 2021, The Passport Of The Country Finally Got Its Name
Until two years ago, the passport of Taiwan said the Republic of China, which is why many people mistook it as a Chinese passport. However, new passports finally have the name of the country in big letters. The Republic of China is still written on the new passports, but the font is smaller than before.
Cultural Facts About Taiwan
There is nothing better than immersing yourself in the lively culture of Taiwan. Even at night, you will see bustling markets and people indulging in street food. Here are a few facts about Taiwanese culture to provide you with a glimpse.
Taiwanese Aboriginal People Are Austronesian
Research shows that Austronesians sailed from Taiwan using canoes more than three thousand years ago. Now, you will find the population in various countries, such as Madagascar, Hawaii, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Taiwan. These are the indigenous people of the country also known as Gaoshan people or Yuan Zhu Min.
The Night Markets Are Part Of The Local Culture And Food Scene
Anyone that wants to understand Taiwanese food culture needs to visit the night markets. Take a stab at the iconic highlights such as stinky tofu, green onion cakes, beef noodles, oyster omelets, and more. Even chefs from around the world come here to try these delicious treats.
These bustling night markets that Taiwan is famous for are great for a fun evening out – eating, shopping and some even offers fun fair style games.
Scooters Are Everywhere
There are around 14 million scooters in the country and is one of the most popular ways of commuting for locals. You can also rent one and roam through the island if you have the relevant licenses.
It is a convenient method to get around because you can easily beat traffic and get parking. The country has also various electric scooters you can try. There are even scooter-sharing apps where you can find and pick up scooters along the streets, then park them in designated spots at the end of your journey.
The People Are Addicted To Betel Nut
Throughout various parts of Asia, many people chew betel nut, and around 2 million people in Taiwan indulge in this fruit. You will notice roadside stalls selling baggies of this item. However, as the government takes steps to crack down on this addiction, they are not as easy to find.
Interesting Facts About Taiwan For Kids
Here are some fun facts about Taiwan to pique their interest or impart to them while traveling.
Over 60% Of Taiwan Is Covered In Mountains
There are plenty of mountains in the country that are great destinations for outdoor adventures. Taiwan is generally a subtropical country, but these mountain peaks receive some snow during the winter. As a general estimate, there are around 268 mountain peaks in the country that go over 9,000 ft.
Taiwan Has Four Active Volcano Regions
Many people don’t know this, but Taiwan is geologically active and sits on the Ring of Fire. Active volcano regions in the country include the Datun volcanic group and Guishan Island, and the remaining two are underwater. This is one of the reasons why the country has many hot springs.
Taipei Is The Most Crowded Urban Center
Out of all the cities and counties in the country, Taipei City has the highest population density. When tourism season is at its peak, the city becomes even more crowded. If you love the hustle and bustle within cities, you will love Taipei.
Fun Taiwan Facts For Travelers
It is good to know some useful facts about Taiwan to make your travels interesting. Here are some Taiwan facts we thought you should know.
There Are Many Unusual Themed Cafes
Although Taiwan is generally more of a tea country, globalization has made cafe culture increasingly popular.
There are many quirky cafes in Taipei that are super interesting to visit. These include themes of cats, Alice in Wonderland, toilets, vintage cars, zoo, snakes, and more. Some are even opened by celebrities such as Jay Chou and JJ Lin.
You can check out some of them while taking a break from visiting the famous landmarks in Taipei.
You Will Find Many Rare Species At Yushan
Yushan is also famously known as Jade Mountain, and it is the tallest peak in the country. Many locals also call it a national park because of the rare wildlife species you will find here. These include flying squirrels, black bears, and more.
Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival Is For The Adventurous
It is one of the largest folk celebrations in the world and an important day for the locals. If you decide to check out this festival, we recommend that you wear protective clothing and helmets. Rockets and fireworks shoot in various directions, and injuries are a common occurrence.
Taipei 101 Is An Environmentally Friendly Building
Taipei 101 is one of the top landmarks in Taiwan, and it used to be the tallest building between 2004 and 2009. Even though the building has lost this title, it still prides itself on being a green building. Its electricity usage is low and emits low levels of CO2.
Common Facts About Taiwan
There are some general Taiwan facts that are good to know before visiting, or if you want to learn more about the country.
The Human Freedom Index Has Rated It The Freest Country In Asia
In 2022, Taiwan was rated as the freest country because it has a relatively stable economy. In addition, there is space for freedom of beliefs and thoughts, as you will see a Pride Parade happening each year. It is the first and only country on the continent to legalize equal rights for marriage.
Bubble Tea Originated In Taiwan
It is widely believed that Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s when people started serving tea cold. However, there are many stories of how it actually came to be.
Nonetheless, it is almost a lifestyle in Taiwan. You will find plenty of bubble tea brands and stores in the city; sometimes even 5 stores on the same street just meters apart from each other.
Convenience Stores Are Located At Every Nook And Corner
There are more than 13,000 convenience stores scattered across the country. This means that there is one convenience store for every 1,500 people.
Taiwanese convenience stores are exactly what they claim to be, you can find all sorts of stuff in there. They also handle stuff like package collection, bill payments, and other services.
If you want to munch on late-night snacks, you can head to one of these stores to fulfill your cravings. Despite being packaged convenient food, they are relatively tasty.
Other Interesting Facts About Taiwan
Finally, Taiwan has many things that most people don’t know about. Here are some other incredible facts about Taiwan that you have probably never heard before.
A Rainbow In 2018 Lasted Eight Hours Here
Chinese Cultural University recorded this rainbow, and it lasted 8 hours and 58 minutes in total. There were four different rainbows that came together during this time, and it was a beautiful sight to witness. It was seen in Taipei City from the Yangmingshan slopes.
It Is A Top Producer Of Computer Chips And Semiconductors
Taiwan produces 65% of the world’s semiconductors and 95% of advanced computer chips. These things are crucial for the technological devices we have today, from smartphones to cars. The chips are in high demand and are highly profitable for Taiwan.
Year 0 In The Taiwanese Calendar Is 1912
In addition to the more internationally recognized Georgian calendar, Taiwan also uses the Minguo calendar that the Republic of China follows. 1912 is the first year according to this calendar, as it was the year that the Republic of China was established in Nanjing.
So the Year 2012 is actually Year 101 in the Minguo Calendar. Professionals and students use this calendar to write dates in Chinese.
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Discovering More Fun Facts About Taiwan
These are some fascinating facts about Taiwan that you might not have known before. From its complicated history to its bustling cities and tranquil nature, it offers many things for young people, children, or anyone else interested in a lively culture and heritage.
The delicious Taiwanese cuisine is one of the best things about this country, so make sure you don’t miss out on it. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an adventurer, or just looking to soak up the local culture, Taiwan has it all.
Be sure to take a trip and uncover more interesting Taiwan facts for yourself.