Taiwan is an island or island group in the western Pacific Ocean located off the southeast coast of mainland China. To the north lies Japan; to the south is the Philippines.
Taiwan enjoys warm weather all year round. The strongest fluctuations in weather conditions are during springs and winters, while during summers and autumns the weather is relatively stable. Taiwan is extremely suitable for traveling, as the annual average temperature is a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius with the lowest temperatures ranging from 12 to 17 degrees Celsius (54-63 Fahrenheit).
Taiwan has been abundantly endowed with mountains; 258 of its peaks are more than 3,000 meters high, making Taiwan geographically unique. As mountains can be found anywhere, mountain climbing is a popular leisure activity in Taiwan. One can choose to hike the mountains on the outskirts of the city or accept the challenge of climbing one of the numerous high mountains, following the course of streams and valleys, tracing back to the source of rivers, or crossing entire mountains. In any case, lush scenery will unfold your eyes and it will not take too long for you to be convinced of the beauty of Taiwan's mountains.
In addition, there are eight national parks which offer a variety of distinct topographic landscapes: the Taroko National Park, focused on a narrow ravine created by a river which has cut through the mountains; Yushan National Park, containing the highest landmark of Taiwan and also the highest peak in Northeast Asia; Shei-pa National Park, featuring dangerously steep slopes; Yangmingshan National Park, with its volcanic craters and lakes; Kenting National Park, encompassing the only tropical area in Taiwan which breathes a truly Southeast Asian atmosphere; Kinmen National Park, which greets visitors with white coral and shell beaches and other geological wonders. Finally, both culture and natural attrations await your discovery at Taijiang National Park.
Taiwan has a population of 23 million. The larger part of the country's inhabitants are the descendants of immigrants from the various provinces of mainland China, but in particular from the southeastern coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. Because the different ethnic groups have fairly well integrated, differences that originally existed between people from different provinces have gradually disappeared.
Because of its unique historical and geographical background, Taiwan has a rich and versatile culture composed of elements taken from many different ethnic groups, including the indigenous people, 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, customs and traditions that make up Taiwan's culture as we know it today are extremely vivid and cross different cultures.