“The beautiful country”
Taiwan (R.O.C) was named Ilha formosa meaning “beautiful isle” by the Portuguese who sailed past in the 16th century.
Claimed by China (and technically China was claimed by Taiwan hence the name Taiwan Republic of China), the fleeing nationalists (the losing side in the civil war) fled to Taiwan and helped establish the modern economically successful state there is to day. Taiwan is isolated by political pressure but recognised in practice as a de-facto state, as many of its former allies switched the the growing economic and military powerhouse China.
China stills threatens on occasion to use force to ‘reclaim’ the the island. Having been to both China and Taiwan, although both are Chinese ethnically (aborigines aside) there is a difference in culture and also attitudes to others.
I can’t recommend highly enough to visit Taiwan. The food and architecture is interesting but what I found really wonderful are the people themselves. Taiwan is one of my favourite places in the world.
The people – among the very kindest I have met anywhere.
The food – I really liked the hofun. Also the bubble tea but there are so many nice foods in Taiwan.
The abysmal driving (and I am being kind). I saw about every rule broken and
witnessed the aftermath of several traffic accidents there.