20 Amazing Taiwan Facts That Will Change Your Perspective

Over the years, Taiwan, a popular island nation, has become more popular among travelers around the world due to its location, history, cuisine, monuments, and many more.

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is an East Asian country. The territories of this country consist of 168 islands and are controlled by the Republic of China. 

This unique Asian country has a lot of interesting facts and historical moments that may amaze you. So, in this article, we will now discuss some really interesting facts about Taiwan.

  1. Taiwan is the world’s most mountainous island

Taiwan is believed to have the highest concentration of high mountains of any island on the planet. In reality, 2/3rd of the island is covered in the mountains.

Even though This country, Taiwan, is subtropical, the peaks of these mountains have snow in winter.

Another common fact about Taiwan is that it has almost 268 mountains with a height of above 3000 meters. In comparison, Hawaii only has 3, and even Japan’s main island, Honshu, has 19, while the entire Colorado state has 119.

  1. The Ring of Fire
The Ring of Fire in Taiwan

Taiwan is a country that is located in the Ring of Fire. This makes this little island one of the most earthquake-prone areas globally.

This country experiences more than 1000 perceivable earthquakes annually and more than 17,000 non-perceivable earthquakes.

  1. The official name of Taiwan

The constitution of Taiwan labels the nation as the ROC or the ‘Republic of China.’ However, a major part of the world knows this country as “Taiwan,” regardless of the side of the Taiwan Strait issue.

  1. The Taipei 101
The Taipei 101 in Taiwan

Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world from October 2004 until 2007, when the Burj Khalifa replaced it. 

In 2023, the 101-story bamboo-shaped tower of Taipei 101 will sit in 10th place on the list of the tallest buildings in the world.

The bottom floors of this building serve as a shopping mall, and the floor from the 13th to the 84th are office spaces. Above everything are mainly tourist attractions. 

  1. It is the homeland of the Austronesian people

All the indigenous people of Easter Island, Fiji, New Zealand, Hawaii, Malaysia, the Philippines, and even Madagascar can be traced back to Taiwan.

According to several ethnographic and language studies, the Austronesian people preferred to sail out in canoes from Taiwan starting about 3500 years ago. Recently, they constituted the largest and most widely distributed language family on the planet.

  1. Only 2.4 % of Taiwanese people are native

only 2.3 to 2.4% of Taiwan’s people are indigenous peoples. Whereas the new immigrants makes up 2.6% and the Han ethnic group make up almost 95% of this country’s population.

Now, 16 aboriginal tribes in Taiwan are officially recognized. China, which considers Taiwan one of its own provinces, classifies aboriginals of Taiwan collectively as Gaoshan or ‘high mountains’ and thinks of them as one of its 56 ethnic minorities.

  1. A bridge between China and Taiwan

Although Taiwan is an island today, during the last ice age, the lower sea levels resulted in a land bridge across today’s 180-km Taiwan Strait.

The first person who came here crossed this land bridge about 20 to 30,000 years ago. The ancestors of today’s aboriginal people of Taiwan came later by boat, about 6500 years ago. 

This country is at the edge of the continental shelf, which usually drops steeply off its east coast. This Taiwan Strait has an average depth of just 60 m and has several islands, including the Penghu archipelago.

  1. The active volcano in Taipei City
Taiwan's active volcano in Taipei City

Taiwan is a geologically active island because of its location on the Ring of Fire. This island has four active volcanic regions. 

One of them is the Datun volcanic group, which includes Yangmingshan National Park. It is famous for its hikes in New Taipei City and Taipei. Previously, it was thought to be dormant, as a magma chamber was found below it in 2017, just 15 km from downtown Taipei.

Meaning, Yangmingshan is an active volcano standing next to the city center. The others are on Guishan Island, and two are underwater off the northeast coast.

  1. In Taiwan, the longest rainbow ever was recorded
The longest rainbow in Taiwan

On November 30, 2018, scientists at Chinese Cultural University recorded the longest rainbow ever. This unique rainbow lasted for 8 hours and 58 minutes. This university is located on the slopes of Yangmingshan in Taipei City. 

In total, it has 4 different rainbows that appeared at the same time. The park is popular to have ideal conditions for rainbow formation.

  1. The living descendant of Confucius lives here

Born in Taipei in 2006, Kung Yu-jen is the 80th-generation descendant of Confucius. Kung Tsui-chang, his father, the 79th descendent, is a vital figure in the country. He even served as senior advisor to the president of the nation.

In this perspective, Confucius was born about 550 years before Jesus Christ and more than 1000 years before Mohammad. Confucius was from China’s Qufu, and many of his descendants were among those many Chinese who fled China and moved to Taiwan after the Civil War.

  1. For 50 years, Taiwan was a Japanese colony

From the time period 1895 to 1945, Taiwan was occupied by the Japanese. The Japanese remained busy during their time there.

They developed the country’s hot springs, built a railway line around the country, and even built universities and hospitals, including Taihoku Imperial University, today’s top school, known as NTU or National Taiwan University. 

Some other influences of Japanese are the Shinto shrines and major buildings that are still in use.

  1. It is the freest country in Asia

The Human Freedom Index rated Taiwan as Asia’s freest country in 2022; hence, Taiwan trails just behind Canada.

Some other ratings include the most democratic country in Asia, as per the Economist Intelligence Unit, the largest Pride Parade in Asia, the freest press in Asia, and the only country in Asia to legalize equal marriage rights.

Also, TIME magazine named Taiwan’s current president Tsai Ing-wen one of the most influential people in the world, while Forbes called her one of the most powerful women.

  1. Kids in Taiwan must go to school for the longest time

Like the people of South Korea and Japan, the people of Taiwan are known to work a lot. Thus, they have ranked as the world’s fourth hardest workers in terms of total working hours.

However, the kids in Taiwan need to work for a long time period. It has also been reported that the students of this country spend more hours at school than any other on the planet.

Also, this count does not include the additional hours they spend at tutorial sessions, cram school, and other classes.

  1. The most crowded places on Earth
Taiwan is most crowded place

Yonghe district of New Taipei City ranks as the world’s one of the most crowded urban centers. This district has a population density of almost 38000 people per kilometer square.

In contrast, Manhattan has 28000 people per kilometer square, which is 10,000 less than this district of Taiwan.

  1. Taiwan has 4 official languages

Taiwan has four official languages: Mandarin, Hakka, Taiwanese or Taiyu, and the Formosan aboriginal languages.

Notably, English is not one among them. Taiwan talks about becoming a “Chinese-English bilingual country” by the year 2030. However, many people have doubts about this.

In Taipei MRT, you will hear announcements in five languages: Hakka, Taiwanese, Mandarin, Japanese, and English.

  1. This country produces the best oolong tea
Taiwan produces the oolong tea

Oolong tea is a specific kind of tea that has been partially oxidized. This tea can be regarded as something between green tea and black tea.

This tea originated in China, which is also the other largest producer, though this tea was found to grow specifically well in Taiwan also. Most teas in Taiwan are oolong tea.

This tea can be more delicious the higher they grow. Hence, Taiwanese High Mountain Tea was born. It is believed that the thin air can make the flavors in the tea leaves to be more concentrated.

  1. Here, garbage trucks play Beethoven’s, Fur Elise
Garbage Trucks in Taiwan

In Taiwan, garbage trucks are really vocal. Every day, the garbage trucks ply every neighborhood 2-3 times.

Local people hear Fur Elise playing from blocks away, and they need to use their cue to run downstairs and take out the trash. This is a regular incident in Taiwan; most locals follow this routine. 

Also, Taiwan has one of the highest recycling rates on the planet, at almost 55%. In contrast, the top spot is Germany at 66%, while the US is under 30 and Japan is under 20.

  1. This country has the second-highest concentration of convenience stores

Taiwan can be called the “land of convenience.” This country has many well-known convenience stores, notably FamilyMart, 7-Eleven, and High Life. In terms of having convenience stores per capita, this country is only second to South Korea.

In Taiwan, seeing more than one significant convenience store at the same intersection is common.

You can even see Family Marts and 7-Elevens on offshore islands, in the high mountains, train stations, airports, hospitals, and even beside temples.

  1. 10% of Taiwan’s population is addicted to betel nut

Betel nut is the fruit of the areca palm tree. Many people in Asia chew this as a mild stimulant. The whole betel nut is wrapped in betel leaf with slaked lime from seashells in Taiwan. This helps the active ingredient to be absorbed. In total, almost 2 million or 10% of all people in this country chew betel nuts.

  1. World’s top producer of digital devices
Taiwan leads in producing digital devices

This country is the world’s top producer of advanced computer chips (95%), and semiconductors (65%). These are vital parts of our computers, smartphones, cars, and many other digital devices. 

So, despite being a tiny island and a young country, Taiwan can attract numerous visitors with its amazing culture, heritage, history, interesting practices, and many more.

At the end of this article, we have learned 20 really interesting facts about Taiwan. These facts offer us a clear picture of this interesting and unique country. To get some additional amazing facts, you can see our website.

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