Fireworks and firecrackers are part of the Taiwan soundtrack, but the citizens of Yanshui takes things to an extreme.Read more...
Taiwan - At a glance
Taiwan at a glance
Location Taiwan is an island in northeast Asia, separated from China by the Taiwan Strait and located on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Neighbouring countries Taiwan has maritime borders with China, Japan and the Philippines.
Climate Semi-tropical in the north, tropical in the south with wet summers and mild winters.
Population 23.3 million (2013). More than 96% of the population is of Han Chinese descent; around 2% is Austronesian.
Life expectancy 76.58 years (males), 83.06 (females)
Capital Taipei (population: 2.6 million)
Other main cities Kaohsiung (population: 2.8 million), Taichung (population: 2.6 million) and Tainan (population: 1.9 million)
Economy Free market with strong manufacturing and high-technology sectors.
GDP US$466 billion (2012)
Languages/official language Mandarin (official), Taiwanese, Hakka, aboriginal languages.
Religion Taoism and Buddhism with Christian and Muslim minorities.
Currency New Taiwan dollar. Banknotes with a value of 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 NTD; coins with a value of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 NTD (for up-to-date rates, go to www.xe.com)
National airline/airport China Airlines/Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (IATA: TPE)
International telephone code +886
Time Taiwan is eight hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), 11 hours behind New York (Eastern Standard Time) and eight hours behind Los Angeles (Pacific Standard Time). It’s in the same time zone as the PRC and one hour ahead of Singapore. Sunrise and sunset times are listed on English-language pages of the Central Weather Bureau’s website (www.cwb.gov.tw).
Electrical voltage 110v/60Hz; two-pin plugs
Weights and measures Metric
Flag Red; the top left quarter is blue with a white star
National anthem San Min Chu I (Three Principles of the People)
National flower Plum blossom (Prunus mei)
National bird Formosan blue magpie (Urocissa caerulea)
National sports Baseball and basketball
Public holidays On the Gregorian calendar: 1 January (Founding Day of the Republic), 28 February (2-28 Peace Memorial Day), 5 April (Tomb-Sweeping Day), 1 May (Labour Day), 10 October (National Day). On the lunar calendar: January/February (Lunar New Year), June (Dragon Boat Festival), September (Mid-Autumn Festival).