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Originally named Formosa by the Portuguese, the island of Taiwan is a very popular travel destination for both business travelers and tourists. Taiwan is notable for everything from its booming industry to its ancient culture. Although Taiwan is less than 14,000 square miles in area, it is home to over 22 million people. Modern Taiwan is defined by the exodus of mainland Chinese citizens to the island following the Communist revolution of China over 50 years ago. Although the government of Taiwan claims to be the legitimate government of mainland China, the world still recognizes the mainland government as the legitimate authority. Political struggles aside, the island and people of Taiwan are worth visiting.
Travelers who seek a contrast between traditional Asian culture and modern Asian development need look no farther than Taiwan to satisfy their traveling needs. Those visitors who travel Taiwan should make sure not to miss the following: Taipei: Taiwan's largest city, known as Taipei, is a sprawling metropolis located on the northern end of the island that offers travelers with a first hand view of modern Asia and its economic boom. Only one hundred years ago Taipei was a valley full of rice and vegetable farmers, but today, travelers to Taiwan will witness a bustling city full of commerce and culture. While the pace may be frenetic, Taipei still offers some of Taiwan's finest food and friendliest people. Top sites in Taipei include The Peace Park, a memorial to Chinese exiles from the mainland; the Longshan Temple, dedicated to the goddess of mercy; the National Palace Museum, which houses thousands of artistic treasures; and the Postal Museum, housing six floors of exhibits about mail and stamps.
Alishan: This mountain resort, located in the center of Taiwan is a wonderful contrast to fast-paced Taipei. The high elevation mountain air is cool and clean and will reinvigorate travelers. Once your blood starts moving, you will be energized and motivated to explore the beautiful mountains and countryside. Eco-Tours: In an effort to preserve much of the islands natural habitat, the government of Taiwan has created numerous National Scenic Areas and National Parks. One of the best ways for travelers to Taiwan to experience these nature preserves is to arrange for an eco-tour. Tours are either single-day or multi-day and can include several scenic area or parks. Travelers can explore various eco-systems, including mountains, forests, wetlands and coastal areas. Hot Springs: Due to its geology, Taiwan has a high concentration of natural hot springs. Since ancient times, the residents of Taiwan have believed that the island's hot springs have rejuvenating characteristics. There is little doubt that hot springs offer a therapeutic remedy for many aches and ailments, so travelers to Taiwan should take advantage of the numerous hot springs located throughout the island.
Activities: Travelers who visit Taiwan can also take advantage of a wide variety of other activities as well. Water sports like snorkeling, surfing, sailing and canoeing are available; and land activities like hiking and mountain climbing are very popular also.
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