Taiwan: The Heart of Asia

May 4 • Going Places, Great Escapes, Highlights, News & Features, Travel • 1719 Views • Comments Off on Taiwan: The Heart of Asia

Taiwan remains largely undiscovered and seriously underrated by global travellers, but those that make it here are in for a real treat. With its rich heritage, majestic mountains, fantastic hiking trails, diverse folk traditions and feted night market scene, Taiwan is one of the most endearing destinations.

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.

The Taiwan government has established 9 national parks and 13 national scenic areas to preserve Taiwan’s best natural ecological environment and cultural sites. There are various ways to discover the beauty of Taiwan. For example, trekking in the magnificence of the cliffs at Taroko Gorge; taking a ride on the Alishan Forest Railway and experiencing the breathtaking sunrise and sea of clouds; hiking up to the summit of Northeast Asia’s highest peak, Yu Mountain (Yushan). You can also soak up the sun in Kending (Kenting), Asia’s version of Hawaii; stand at the edge of Sun Moon Lake; wander through the East Rift Valley; or visit the offshore islands of Kinmen and Penghu. It’s fun in capital letters as well as an awesome journey of natural discovery!

Culture & Heritage
During Taiwan’s long history, prehistoric people, indigenous tribes, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Han Chinese have successively populated Taiwan, creating a varied culture and developing different local customs and traditions along the way. When visiting Taiwan, you will be able to come in touch with all aspects of this beautiful country’s multifaceted cultures.

Because of its unique historical and geographical background, Taiwan has a rich and varied culture composed of elements taken from many different ethnic groups, including the indigenous peoples, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Japanese, the Han Chinese (bringing traditions from China and creating their own in Taiwan), as well as more recently the Americans. Consequently, the customs and traditions that make up Taiwan’s culture as we know it today are extremely vivid and mix different cultures. And not only that; the people who previously inhabited Taiwan also left many cultural remnants that can still be found around the island today, including traditional architecture, relics of prehistoric civilizations, folk art, and traditions.
Taiwan’s history goes as far back as two, three, even tens of thousands of years. According to archeologists, prehistoric people were the first to have lived in Taiwan, proof of which can be found in archaeological dig and sites in Taitung and elsewhere.

The indigenous people who first came to Taiwan so long ago form the northernmost branch of the Austronesia culture group. The indigenous people who remain today are divided into 16 tribes; the Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Saisiyat, Yami (or Tao), Thao, Kavalan, Truku, Sakizaya, and the Sediq, the Kanakanavu and the Hla’alua. Over the years, other tribes, especially flatland groups, increasingly came in contact with the Han Chinese, their daily lives becoming more and more integrated, and by now most have assimilated with the Chinese. The other tribes, however, have also managed to preserve some of their traditional customs, tribal structures and architecture, and continue to keep the tribal spirit alive through the practice of traditional worship.

Traces left by the Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese include Fort San Domingo in Tamsui and the remains of Anping Old Fort (Fort Zeelandia) in Tainan along with many other buildings such as the Presidential Office Building, the Legislative Yuan and Control Yuan buildings, various schools, and other large structures that now house governmental institutions, assembly halls etc., all testifying to the importation of foreign cultures into Taiwan.

Nevertheless, the most important part in Taiwan’s cultural history was played by the Han Chinese who brought with them traditional customs from China and created new ones in Taiwan. Whether they were southern Fujianese who immigrated over the centuries, the Chinese who came in the late 1940s, or Hakkas, they created their own cultures, traces of which can still be found all over Taiwan. In Taipei, Tainan, and Lugang, for example, old cities, streets, and temples still breathe the atmosphere of times long gone, while traces of wars, settlements and different cultures can even be found on the off-shore islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu.

Next to these cultural remnants, Taiwan also offers a unique collection of art expression, such as Sanyi’s wooden carvings, Yingge’s pottery, and Kinmen’s ceramics. Another important aspect of culture are the many holidays and festivals that the Taiwanese celebrate so passionately and devotedly, such as the Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, Tomb Sweeping Festival, Ghost Festival, and temple festivals. By watching or even participating in these celebrations, one can get a better understanding of the cultural and historical background of the Taiwanese people.

We would like to invite you to come to Taiwan, travel through time and go on a journey of past civilizations, relive the past, and experience these cultural treasures.

Gourmet
Chinese cuisine goes back to ancient times and achieves its present level of excellence through the accumulation of thousands of years of practical knowledge and experience in cookery. Emphasis is placed on the perfect combination of color, aroma, flavor, and appearance, through which the most common ingredients are transformed into culinary tours de force. In Taiwan, cooking techniques from all areas of China have fused; the Taiwanese have not only mastered the traditional local Chinese specialties, but have also used traditional techniques to develop new culinary treats. These features attract many tourists to Taiwan every year to savor these Chinese specialties, ranging from small steamed buns to boiled dumplings.

Traditional Chinese food to be found all over Taiwan, next to Taiwanese and Hakka-style dishes, mainly including dishes from Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangzhe, Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan, and Beijing.
Following are descriptions of the characteristics and different cooking styles of dishes from different regions:

Taiwan:
Natural original flavors are preserved and the main focus is on light-seasoned, fresh, and simply flavored dishes. Thanks to Dutch and Japanese influences, raw and slightly water-scalded food is widely accepted.

Fujian:
Dominated by seafood, preferably steamed, mainly light-seasoned, with sweet and sour flavorings.

Guangdong:
Great variety of ingredients, focus on light-seasoned, fresh, smooth, sweet, tasty, and tender dishes. The main methods of food preparation consist of frying, baking, stir-frying, steaming, and boiling.

Jiangzhe:
Focus on original flavors, with methods of preparation consisting mainly of stewing, braising, steaming, and stir-frying, for all of which temperature control is the most important aspect. Flavors are light but do not lack taste, and bones are removed while keeping shapes intact.

Shanghai:
Dishes breathing international fame originate here. Local flavors are adhered to and dishes are mostly oily, drowning in sauce and brightly colored.

Hunan:
Sour, hot, and rich flavors are the secrets behind the popular dishes from this area, with a well-known specialty being smoked bacon. Dishes from Hunan and Sichuan show some similarities, with many dishes being spicy because of the use of large amounts of red pepper.

Sichuan:
Famous for its spicy-flavored dishes as dried and fresh red pepper is used during preparation; fish and other seafood is favored. Sichuan cuisine is extremely popular among those who favor strongly-flavored food.

Beijing:
A combination of flavors from all corners, magnificently and delicately prepared; dishes combine color, shape, flavor, and nutrition, and are mostly light and tender.

Hakka:
Dried and preserved materials form important ingredients in the Hakka kitchen; dishes are mostly strongly flavored (burnt, flavored, well-done, salty, fat).

Hot Springs:
Hot springs, the hot tears of the earth, are one of the most precious gifts that the earth has given to us. Ever since the ancient times, people have recognized the rejuvenating and therapeutic properties of these natural resources. Taiwan is ranked among the world’s top 15 hot spring sites, harboring a great variety of springs, including hot springs, cold springs, mud springs, and seabed hot springs. The island can proudly regard itself as one of the regions with the highest concentration and greatest variety of hot springs in the world.

Hot springs are formed by natural waters that emerge from the bowels of the earth and that possess therapeutic properties said to have a positive effect on disorders of the nervous and digestive systems, the circulation, and the organs. People have used hot springs to keep in good health for ages. In Taiwan, with its peculiar crustal structure and location on the fault line where the Euro-Asian and Philippine continental plates meet in the Circum-Pacific seismic zone, subterranean heat is spread across the island producing hot springs island-wide. With the exception of Changhua, Yunlin and Penghu counties, almost every city and county in Taiwan can find hot springs, and so it is well to see that by some tourists name Taiwan “the Hot Spring Kingdom”.

More than one hundred hot springs have been discovered in Taiwan, located in different geological areas including plains, mountains, valleys, and oceans. The highest concentration of hot springs can be found in the northern Taiwan, where the Datun (Tatun) Volcano is located, while along both sides of the central mountain range, covering an area that to the north is bordered by Yilan and to the south by Pingtung, the largest number of hot springs can be found. Hot springs found here make up more than 80% of all hot springs in Taiwan.

As hot springs generally come from deep below the surface of the earth, when they emerge they bring along a high concentration and great variety of minerals that are mostly foreign to the human body and benefit our general health. Specific properties of hot springs vary depending on chemical composition, mineral concentration and water temperature. Taiwan has a great variety of springs, both cold and hot.

LOHAS
At a time when the “LOHAS” trend (LOHAS means “Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability”) has become popular throughout the world, Taiwan offers you an endless number of ways, with an Oriental flair and a uniquely Taiwanese character, to stay healthy. Come to Taiwan and feel “LOHAS” the Taiwanese way, in the island’s cuisines, sports, leisure activities, and traditional health care therapies.

In Taiwan, you can give your taste buds a treat and stay healthy at the same time by enjoying your fill of medicinal foods and healthful organic cuisine. If you are anxious to achieve a physical and mental balance, then you might try yoga, Zen meditation, martial arts, or Tai Chi to bring you tranquility the Oriental way. If you just want to relax a bit during your trip, then a visit to one of Taiwan’s popular spas, a soak in a hot spring bath, or a soothing cup of traditional tea might be just the thing for you. If you want to experience the Chinese medical treatment that is receiving ever more attention around the world, then Taiwan will provide you with a health-travel environment of the highest quality. This brochure introduces Taiwan’s rich variety of health-giving resources so that you can experience, in the most relaxed and natural way possible, the island’s health culture and leisure travel at the same time.

Offshore Islands
Are you looking for a place where the waters are clear, the skies are blue, and countless stars stud the sky at night? Or, would you like to wander through remote and picturesque fishing villages? Then pack your bags and visit the offshore islands of Taiwan!
Taiwan is located along the southeast coast of the Asian continent, on the fault line where the Euro-Asian and Philippine continental plates meet. This unique geographic location and frequent seismic activity not only created an extremely diversified topography and natural environment on Taiwan, but also resulted in the diverse characters of its off-shore islands. Main offshore islands include Penghu, Ludao (Green Island), Lanyu (Orchid Island), Kinmen, Matzu, Turtle Island, and Little Liuqiu. As their locations, topographical characteristics, and human activities differ; each has its own unique scenery and culture. Therefore, each island offers something different to satisfy the various needs of visitors, such as sightseeing, snorkeling, or sport fishing.

Penghu
The Penghu archipelago is Taiwan’s offshore island group, situated in the straits that separate Taiwan from China. Penghu is made up of 90 small islands with a combined coastline that stretches more than 320 kilometers. Each season brings its own particular scenery, and rich natural and cultural resources can be found here. The landscape here is characterized by basaltic rocks, coral reefs, sea-eroded formations, and beaches, while the fishing culture and migratory birds add extra dimensions to the picture.

Ludao
Ludao, also known as Green Island, is located some 33 kilometers off the coast of Taitung in eastern Taiwan. It is a volcanic island where winds blow and waters eat away at the rocks all year round, creating a beautiful and diverse coast.

Lanyu
Lanyu, or Orchid Island, is situated off the southeastern coast of Taiwan; like Ludao, its neighbor to the north, it was raised from the sea by the accumulation of volcanic lava. It has a moist and rainy climate, and its mountain areas (which occupy most of the island) are covered with dense rain forests that are filled with a great variety of plant and animal life. Coral reefs decorate the surrounding seas, and the Japan Current which flows past brings in large numbers of fish. This makes Lanyu a paradise for fishermen and skin divers. The island is inhabited mainly by people of the Yami tribe, the most primitive of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, who still keep much of their traditional culture and lifestyle. Their traditional stone houses were built mostly underground to avoid extremes of temperature as well as the ravages of typhoons. The Flying Fish and Boat Launching festivals are seen nowhere else on earth. In addition to savoring the beautiful island scenery, you can also enjoy a glimpse into the fascinating Yami culture during your trip to Lanyu.

Kinmen
Lying just 2,100 meters off the coast of China at the nearest point, this hilly island is composed mostly of granite and has a history that derives largely from war. It can, therefore, be termed a “battlefield island,” and it possesses unique battlefield scenery. Kinmen also contains numerous traces of history, and the government has designated 21 historic sites within its small area. It also has large numbers of houses built in the traditional southern Fujianese three-sided courtyard style, giving it a rich ancient atmosphere.

Matsu
Situated in the northeast corner of the Taiwan Straits and separated from China by only a narrow strip of water, Matsu, like Kinmen to the south, is also made up largely of granite. Its scenery consists of sea-eroded terrain, natural sand and pebble beaches, sand dunes, precipitous cliffs, and other scenic features. In addition to its beautiful jagged coastline and the migratory birds that pass through Matsu also offers traditional eastern Fujian villages built on mountainsides as well as defensive fortifications built by the military.

Guishan Island (Turtle Island)
This small, solitary island located about 10 kilometers off the coast of Toucheng in Yilan County has a volcanic terrain that, from certain angles, looks like a turtle floating in the sea. Among the features of the island are high cliffs, steaming fumaroles, welling underwater hot springs, mountain peaks, sea-eroded caves, a lake, and unique cliff vegetation, as well as rich marine ecological resources. It is a perfect place to study volcanic terrain and the natural ecology.

Little Liuqiu
Lying in the sea about 14 kilometers to the southwest of Donggang in Pingtung County, Little Liuqiu is the only one of Taiwan’s numerous offshore islands that is composed of coral. Three special features make this island unique: the finest location for viewing the sunset, the most species of coral, and a terrain made up of coral. Strange coral rock formations stand throughout the island, and its ocean scenery is entrancing. This is a fishing island whose inhabitants are intensely religious; there are many temples here, each with its own unique features and special attractions.

If you are longing for a peaceful holiday on an island, Little Liuqiu should be at the top of your list of choices. Let the clear transparent sea water, blue skies, and interesting local folk customs and cultures entertain your eyes and enrich your mind!

Ecotourism
If you want to know how beautiful Taiwan really is, you have to come and see for yourself. You will be amazed at the diversity of ancient species this beautiful and relatively young island has to offer. Come and explore its numerous mountains, forests, wetlands and oceans, and find an incredible collection of natural ecosystems.

Taiwan lies off the southeast coast of the Asian Continent, where the tropical and subtropical zones come together. Surrounded by the sea and dominated by high mountains created by tectonic action over the eons, the country features a full range of climates and terrains from the tropical to the frigid. The variations in weather, geology, and elevation give Taiwan an unparalleled richness of flora and fauna, including many endemic species that are found nowhere else in the world. Taiwan is, in fact, a northern-hemisphere microcosm and natural treasure house that, truly, must be seen to be believed.

Rail Tour
Taiwan’s railways offer an endless variety of experience, and the scenery lining their routes provides an infinite range of fascinating scenery. If you want to get a close look at the island’s beauties without having to suffer the troubles of unfamiliar roads and the frustrations of traffic congestion, then you could do no better than choose a railroad tour and immerse yourself in the delights of enchanting coastlines, awesome mountains, placid farmlands, and engrossing countryside.

The history of railroads in Taiwan dates back to 1887, in the declining years of the Qing Dynasty, when court official Liu Ming-chuan started to work on a section of track in the northern part of the island. The Japanese expanded on that beginning when they occupied Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, and the round-the-island network was completed after the island was restored to Chinese rule. Today, more than a century after its small beginning, Taiwan’s convenient railway network consists of the West Coast Trunk Railway, East Coast Trunk Railway, North-Link Railway, and South-Link Railway. Passenger service is divided into four classes, offering travelers a choice depending on their destination, the urgency of their trip, and the size of their pocketbooks.

The scenery along the railroad glides by in a never-ending sequence of change, and each line has its own unique characteristics. The long, narrow, mountainous nature of the island’s terrain lines the length of the railways with exquisite scenes of mountains and rivers, and the rail passenger gains access to scenes that are out of reach of the highway. Taiwan’s railroads are far more than just a tool of transportation; they embody a deep affinity with the development of local culture and society, and have left behind large numbers of historical relics, including old stations and track sections that hark back to the past and reveal unique facets of local history.

Night Markets
Next to these Chinese delicacies, the enormous variety of typical Taiwanese snacks is unique in the world and most perfectly illustrates the important place that the food culture takes into the lives of the Taiwanese people. Famous and unique Taiwanese snacks range from oyster omelets to fried rice noodles, tempura, Tainan Danzai noodles, Taiwanese spring rolls, rice tube pudding, and braised pork rice. Food is cheap and delicious, and by no means inferior, while each specialty gives you an insight in the people of the area it originates from.
Typical Taiwanese snacks are found everywhere, but Taiwan’s night markets in particular, each night market having its own traditions and characteristics, are the places where these snacks can be found in abundance. Trying out these snacks, tourists will be able to learn about different specialties, cultures and people from different areas, adding a whole new perspective to traveling.

Interview
What are the strategies and plans to grow market in UAE and Middle East ?
After a dazzling debut at the ATM last year, Taiwan Tourism is all set to step up its marketing initiatives in Middle East to attract more and more tourists. We are keen on developing a long term strategy for this market.

Beginning of May, a 4-city roadshow is slated to take place in Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Dammam. We will also be conducting a host of other trade consumer activities in the coming months with prime focus on UAE market. Through these activities, both trade and consumer are targeted to keep abreast with the destination offerings, USP’s and latest developments.

Why do you feel Middle East is a significant market for TAIWAN ?
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is an independent city-state and is the most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE, and has rapidly developed in the tourism and trade sectors.

UAE– it’s gitzy, glamorous and has burst into the International arena with a flourish that has left many gasping for breath! It is a premium inbound destination par excellence; but the outbound market from Dubai in particular, and the UAE and the Middle East in general has also been spurred on by a booming airline industry, world-class airports and infrastructure and tax free income that eggs on travelers to splurge on new and exciting holiday spots.

Helped by stronger economic conditions, rising disposable incomes and population growth; outbound departures from the UAE recorded a strong rise of 9% in volume in 2012; a trend that experts say will continue to rise over the next several decades.

What would be your plans for ‘Repeat’ tourist footfalls on the soil of TAIWAN ?
Taiwan has been ranked as one of the safest countries for tourists in Asia several times over. Taiwan as a country has a mélange of cultural influences, which makes it respectful, tolerant and sensitive towards various cultures and religions. Taiwanese respect all religions and culture; in fact there is a museum dedicated to religion in Taiwan! An ideal location for Muslim travellers to vacation in, Taiwan has many areas to enjoy and a multitude of activities to choose from. You can explore the Lee Foo Village theme park; the Kenting Main Street Night Market and beach, where you can Scuba dive, water jet ski and enjoy the banana boat ride; at Da Peng Bay you can try go-karting or sailing; sit back and enjoy the fabulous Kaohsiung Ten Drum performance; then there is the glamorous E-Da Hotel, Shopping Mall and E-Da theme park; Tamsui, Shimen Wedding Plaza, Juming Museum are also great venues to watch out for. Then there are the hot springs, the unique Yehliu Geological Park and the beautiful Wufengqi Waterfall , Orchid Garden, and the Shangrila Leisure Farming where you can make tofu (bean curd) and soya milk; walk and shop in the Xinyi Shopping District; and thrive in the electric vibe of the city of Taipei.

Please describe TAIWAN as a perfect destination for adventure sports lovers?
One look at a relief map of Taiwan shows you its huge adventure sports potential; bisected by northeast Asia’s highest mountains and with the rushing rivers and sheer cliffs of the east coast, this hidden paradise of outdoor pursuits is starting to attract more adventurous travellers from Asia and the rest of the world. As well as a haven for trekkers and mountaineers, the island also offers excellent conditions for a range of activities, from mountain biking and kayaking to paragliding and surfing, with many grassroots operators springing up to meet the needs of the adventure traveller.

Taiwan offers hiking and trekking possibilities thanks to an extensive network of national parks, scenic areas and forest reserves. Given its hilly terrain and extensive trail network, Taiwan has some of the world’s top mountain biking, rivalling the best of North America and southern Europe. Heart-stopping downhill courses, technical rock gardens, jumps and super-fast single track: the island has it all, and much is easily accessible from cities such as Taipei and Taichung.

Taiwan is well known for its windsurfing, and the Penghu Islands are widely considered one of the world’s top windsurfing spots. Given the islands’ unique flatness, the northeast monsoon winds that whip across the strait are especially powerful here with wind speeds of up to 50 and sometimes even 60 knots possible in winter. And the horseshoe-like shape of the Penghu Archipelago generates an effect that squeezes every bit of the wind pressure, making it a spectacular place for sailing and boating.

Is it  by and large considered a destination for Shoppers of electronic goods/white goods ?
From north to south, Taiwan is dotted with large shopping centers and department chain stores. Combining diverse leisure and entertainment facilities, these venues offer designer clothing, lifestyle products, food outlets, bookstores, movie house, wholesale warehouses, amusement centers, and others, providing the ultimate shopping environment. Moreover, several theme streets have sprung up, exhibiting an exciting blend of history and style, including Taipei’s Ximenting and Kaohsiung’s New Juejiang commercial area, attracting different consumer groups. Other venues, including the weekend jade markets and computer lane in Taipei’s Guanghua commercial plaza, are very good places to find unexpected bargains. The area around the intersection of Zhongxiao and Dunhua South roads has become a major shopping area in Taipei’s east district thanks to its convenient location.

High-end boutiques are packed along Dunhua South Road between Xinyi and Zhongxiao East roads, presenting a tempting array of brand clothes, jewelry, shoes and leather items. The section between SOGO department store and Taipei Metro The Mall is an especially good bet for the fashionably acquisitive, with Cartier, Louis Vuitton, DKNY and other top brand boutiques to choose from.

The Xinyi Planning District is Taipei’s newest trend-setting commercial district, embracing dozens of fashionable malls, restaurants and hotels between Xinyi Road sections 4 and 5. Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store’s New Life Square and A4 branches, Novel Hall for Performing Arts, New York New York mall, View Show Cinemas, Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel, and Taipei 101 are just a few of the many places where you can satisfy your consumer cravings.

By day, the Xinyi Planning District bustles with the fast-paced energy of business as Taipei’s commercial and financial center. But at night, the skyscrapers come alight with eye-catching displays of LED lights, setting the mood for evening fun.

How do you see the market growing in next 5 years on the tourism map ?
The Middle East region is one of the world’s smallest, yet fast growing, tourist generating regions. With a population of more than 250 million, expected to swell to over 400 million by 2050, the region promises to be an attractive and lucrative market for travel destinations around the world.

Travel agents in UAE and Middle East benefit from a resilient outbound travel market due to presence of large expatriate population, high disposable income, and large proportion of leisure & VFR trips. 70% of the total outbound trips are made by expats residents and rest 30% by local Emiratis.

The outbound trips from UAE are expected to increase by 2 million between 2012 to 2015. By 2030, Middle East is predicted to have a total of 81 million outbound travelers Emirates Airlines increasing network into new cities/ countries offer opportunities to capture tourists from the new source markets.

Middle Eastern travelers spend a lot of money when they travel. They travel in large groups and also stay longer when they go abroad.

Please throw some light on food and entertainment attractions of TAIWAN ?
As a multicultural, cosmopolitan country, Taiwan is a gourmet’s paradise. From vegetarian food to all varieties of Chinese food – you will find it all here. The ethnic diversity of Taiwan reflects in its cuisine as well. Meat, fish and seafood; Rice and noodles dishes; tofu and vegetarian fare and sweet savory pastries are most commonly eaten. Taiwan’s cuisine has also been influenced by its geographical location, and as it is an island, seafood figures prominently in their cooking style.  Thanks to its sub tropical climate, Taiwan also has an abundant supply of various tropical fruits such as papayas, starfruit, melons, bananas and other citrus fruits. Taiwanese cuisine also uses a wide variety of spices and seasonings for flavour; soya sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, fermented black beans, pickled Daikon, mustard greens, peanuts, cilantro and basil.
When in Taiwan, we highly recommend you try the famous roasted duck, smoked chicken, lamb hotpot, fish in wine sauce, scallop and turnip balls of the north to the camphor-tea duck, salty fried chicken with spices, honey ham, stir fried shrimp, dry fried eggplant, spicy bean curd of the south.

The beautiful island has moved far beyond the traditional Chinese food it was always known for to Chinese style fast food chains, hamburger joints, pizzerias, Italian, Japanese, Thai restaurants and many others that serve Swiss fondues and German sausages.

What are the best seasons to visit TAIWAN as per GCC travel requirements ?
The Tropic of Cancer runs straight through the middle of Taiwan bringing with it tropical and subtropical weather. It typically presents an average temperature of 22 C (71.6 F) all year round. There is no severe cold in winter and no brutal summer heat. Taiwan always welcomes you with its pleasant seasons.

Please describe about sectors like education and healthcare in TAIWAN ? How is the Medical Tourism sector doing there ?
Taiwan has the most advanced medical technologies and highly educated and professional health professionals.
Every year, Taiwan’s medical tourism attracts a number of tourists from all over the world. The state-of-the-art medical facilities and impressive health care services have led to the booming field of health care in Taiwan.

In 2007, IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Taiwan in 13th place in terms of health infrastructure; while in 2012, Cable News Network (CNN) praised the health insurance system in Taiwan. As of 2014, a total of 13 hospitals in Taiwan have been accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI); the most credible international accreditation programe for healthcare programs. Taiwan also offers health examinations and medical cosmetic services.

While on a Taiwan holiday, you can also enjoy the amazing culture and enjoy the night-markets in the capital city of Taipei. Taiwan is a great choice for those who are looking to combine their medical treatment with a memorable and enjoyable vacation. Taiwan is a beautiful island with tall mountains, lush forests, sandy beaches, sparkling and clean sea and great food! It has convenient and efficient transportation system and offers great shopping and bargains in electronics.

So come to Taiwan for its healthcare services, abundant natural beauty and the divine local delicacies – and experience complete physical, mental and spiritual fulfillment in Taiwan!

From UAE to TAIWAN and back – what are the air travel options and how economical are they ?
Emirates’ offers daily direct connections from Dubai to Taipei. A number of other Middle Eastern Airlines fly with a stopover into Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport.
Fares: Approx AED 3500 (Economy)

A word for the visitors of Arabian Travel Market In Dubai.
Being the world’s largest orchid exporter, Taiwan is fondly known as the Kingdom of Orchids. To promote the rich and beautiful Orchid culture in Middle East, we are specially importing Orchids from Taiwan to design our booth at ATM.

At this year’s ATM, we will be showcasing Taiwan’s tea culture at a LIVE tea making booth.

Visit Taiwan Tourism at ATM 2015
Booth No. AS9135.

About Taiwan

The Republic of China (Taiwan) was founded in 1912, making it the first democratic republic in Asia. In 1949, the government moved to Taiwan and maintained jurisdiction over an area encompassing the islands of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, Dongsha, Zhongsha, and Nansha.

Area: 36,000 square kilometers
Population: 23 million
Language: Mandarin / Taiwanese / Hakka / Indigenous Languages
Religion: Buddhism / Taoism / Christianity / Islam
President: Mr. Ma Ying-jeou

Economy
Taiwan is a major producer of computer technology; the main export market for Taiwanese goods is China

Getting Around
Taiwan has three international airports: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Kaohsiung International Airport, and Taipei International (Songshan) Airport. Each offers convenient direct links to all major countries. In addition, the opening of international charter flight service at Taiwan’s domestic airports, including airports in Hualien, Magong, Kinmen, Taitung and Taichung has been approved. For more information please visit the airport website

Visa
Taiwan grants visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel for citizens of 45 countries and an online travel authority is valid for citizens of 7 counties/territories. Taiwan has reciprocal and unilateral visa exemption arrangements with a relatively large number of countries. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months (except the citizens of Japan that can hold a passport valid for 3 months).

Health
Taiwan, offers one of the best healthcare systems in the world, is quickly becoming a top medical tourism destination. Medical care is available through both public and private hospitals and the quality of medical care in Taiwan is excellent. Visitors receiving special medical treatment should bring a medical prescription or a letter of introduction from their family doctor, in case they need to purchase particular medicines. It is advisable that all visitors, irrespective of their nationality, take out a personal medical insurance policy.

Emergency
In case of emergency call 119

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