Sep 12th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Senior Visitors Meet the Heart of Asia

Why would seniors ever want to step foot on Taiwan?  We’ve seen for years “Made in Taiwan” on many of our products and now it is welcoming tourists. Taiwan also known, especially in the past, as Formosa (from Portuguese Formosa, “Beautiful Island”), is an island of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean, located off the southeastern coast of mainland China.

As it comprises over 99% of the territory of the Republic of China (ROC) since 1950, the term “Taiwan” is thus also commonly used to refer to the ROC. Shaped roughly like a sweet potato, the nation is home to more than 23 million people and is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Besides its crowded cities, Taiwan is also known for steep mountains and lush forests.

More than 18 million, the “native” Taiwanese, are descendants of Chinese who migrated from Fujian and Guangdong Provinces on the mainland, primarily in the 18th and 19th centuries. A large majority of people in Taiwan speak Mandarin Chinese, which has been the medium of instruction in the schools for more than 5 decades.

The culture here is a blend of its distinctive Chinese, Japanese, and Western influences. Fine arts, folk traditions, and popular culture embody traditional and modern, Asian, and Western motifs. It has developed steadily into a major international trading power with $496 billion in two-way trade (2008). Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2002 has expanded its trade opportunities and further strengthened its standing in the global economy.

National Parks in Taiwan Await Seniors

Here you can develop your “spirit of adventure” as the government has established 8 national parks  and 13 national scenic areas to preserve Taiwan’s best natural ecological environment and cultural sites. Take a hike in the splendor and sheer heights of the cliffs at Taroko Gorge; take a ride on the Ali Mountain (Alishan) Forest Railway and experience the breathtaking sunrise and sea of clouds; hike up to the summit of Northeast Asia’s highest peak, Yu Mountain. More help on visiting Taiwan is available here.

Taiwan’s diverse topography and culture, and its vibrant commercial environment, make it a choice destination for traveler and business visitor alike. Located roughly equidistant from Japan and Korea to the north, the Philippines to the south, and mainland China to the west, Taiwan makes a perfect launching point for further travels in East Asia, so if you are visiting China, Japan or Korea, look into a visit to Taiwan as well.  Major credit cards are valid in Taiwan, and a growing number of restaurants, stores and other establishments accept them.  Nevertheless, plenty of smaller shops and restaurants don’t, especially outside the big cities – so make sure you carry at least some cash as the official currency of the Republic of China on Taiwan is the New Taiwan dollar (NT$).  jeb

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