Places / TRAVEL

Taiwan

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A street in the city of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital and largest city

I had the pleasure of visiting Taiwan with my family a few weeks ago. This was my first visit and it was an enjoyable one. We hired a minivan and a private tour guide to take our family of 9 around the small country. We went to quite a few of the historical places and tourists spots and I would love to share my experiences with you on a series of posts over the next few days.

In the meantime, here are some interesting facts about Taiwan and some pictures to accompany your reading.

#1 Taiwan is a small country. Its population is only 23 million people and is expected to stay stagnant or even decline in the near future as the continued rise of living costs cause the young generation to avoid having children.

#2 There’s a law in Taiwan commanding every grown children to look after their parents until their deaths. Failure to do so can lead to imprisonment with minimum jail time of seven years.

#3 A few places I visited in Taiwan, including the very busy and very packed night market, were incredibly clean. There’s an instant fine of $5,000 NT (New Taiwan) dollars if you litter.

#4 There are hardly any English translations for shops’ or streets’ names in Taiwan. If you ever want to visit, I strongly recommend hiring a tour guide.

#5 Taiwan is surrounded by mountains.

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Some of the buildings in the city’s main business district.

#6 Taiwan takes pride in its old buildings, conserving many that bears historical values. One of the famous old buildings is the Taiwan Grand Hotel (pictured below). In its heyday, many leaders of various nations stayed there.

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The famous Taiwan Grand Hotel

#7 There are probably thousands of 7-eleven convenience stores in Taiwan. These are one-stop shops, catering for everything, from your everyday needs, hot and delicious food, to paying all of your bills.

#8 It’s forbidden to beg for money or food in Taiwan. Everyone must work. That’s why you’ll find some people offering goods for sale on traffic lights and tourist destinations.

#9 The Taiwanese get free health care.

#10 The tallest building is the Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world.

#11 There are countless underground shopping destinations. It amazes me how the underground can encompass five floors.

#12 You won’t find any foreign exchange places in the streets of Taiwan. Exchange your money at your hotel or at the airport.

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Start of the highway at Taipei

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