Often hearing names of distance countries, you begin to ask yourself how the people are like, their culture, foods etc but as you travel, you begin to clear those doubts. Traveling is indeed an educative venture which is worthwhile taking and it helps to bridge the gap of ignorance. Therefore introducing Taiwan to a colleague back home after only spending only eight months is a difficult task but nonetheless, I will try to vividly describe Taiwan based on some of the places I’ve visited and my experience staying in Taiwan.

Taiwan is a small Island located in Eastern Asia and off the Southern coast of China. Taiwan has an area of 36,000km² and is inhibited by 23 million people. The capital city of Taiwan is Taipei (some call it Taipei meaning the North of Taiwan). Other cities names help to locate your bearing such as Taizhong central, Tainan which is south of Taiwan, Taidong on the east and Taisea on the western part of Taiwan. One may ask what’s so special about this small strip of Island the shape of a leaf in the midst of an ocean. Taiwan is unique in the sense that there is much to be discovered by the visitor and more to be learnt from these peace loving, remarkable and friendly people. Though this is my eight month in Taiwan, I’ve really enjoyed the openness, calm and safety offered by the people of this Island.

The scenery of Taiwan has a lot to offer to visitors. This beautiful island has scenery of high mountains peaks which seems to pierce the sky as they rose off the ground and the valleys which lay underneath the mountains. For those whose hubbies are cycling, hiking and mountain climbing, Taiwan is surely a place to visit. On the mountain tops as one view below, one cannot stop but to admire the beauty that lies below the green valleys. Taiwan is also famous of its various tea brands which are grown on its fertile soil each with a distinct aroma. Pinglin Tea Museum offers a great in-depth of the types such as the oolong tea, black tea, green tea etc. During one of our visits to this museum, we were told that the best quality tea leaves comes from high altitude fields. Farmer along these areas could be seen toiling day in day out with the production of these brands on these high altitudes.

The people of this Island, the Hakka, mainlander, aborigines to name but a few are known to live and coexist with each other sharing their unique cultures. The island is also known for its religious tolerance, the Buddhist monks, Christians, Muslims and other religions alike could be seen exercising their religious rites in their various place of worship. During most of the festival activities, one gets the chance to see various performances such as the aboriginal dances, the dragon dance, lion dance and one of the commonest sports, the dragon boat festival championship race which is organized yearly on the river canals. This year being the year of the rat in the Chinese lunar calendar, a grand lantern festival was organized in Tainan County which drew a lot of people all over the world. There were a lot of cultural performances and a display of various lanterns types, all of these help to reveal the richness of Taiwanese culture on this island.

Taiwan as a nation is really worthy of emulation as they strive to reach across the world in various fields of education. With the numerous Universities spread across this tiny Island, it takes only dedication and zeal for one to realize his/her dreams and thus contribute his/her quota for a better world. For a heart that seeks a place where it will find peace and joy, look no further than Taiwan. WELCOME TO TAIWAN.