Formosa – Taiwan

Formosa – The Beautiful Island Now Known As Taiwan

Originally named Formosa, or beautiful island, by the Portuguese, the island of Taiwan is a popular travel destination for business travelers, tourists and students of Mandarin Chinese.  Taiwan is remarkable for everything from its booming industry to its ancient culture. Although Taiwan is less than 14,000 square miles in area, it is home to over 22 million people. Modern Taiwan is defined by the exodus of mainland Chinese citizens to the island following the Communist revolution of China over 50 years ago. Although the government of Taiwan claims to be the legitimate government of mainland China, the world still recognizes the mainland government as the legitimate authority.

Political struggles aside, the island and people of Taiwan are definitely worth experiencing. Travelers to Formosa or Taiwan who seek a contrast between traditional Asian culture and modern Asian development need look no farther than Taiwan to satisfy their traveling needs.  Formosa was an apt name for the beautiful island that is Taiwan.  Although the modern city and attractions of Taipei capture a lot of attention, Taiwan has natural wonders such as Sun Moon Lake, the bamboo forests of Alishan, natural hot springs, beaches, surfing and more.  Learn more about Taiwan, places to visit and things to see during your stay on our Introduction To Taiwan page.

Chinese New Year 2011 – The Year Of The Rabbit

Year Of The Rabbit – 2011

Chinese New Year celebrations for 2011 will soon be coming to end is over, culminating in the Lantern Festival festivities.  People here in Taiwan have already returned to work after having an average of 5 or 6 days off for the holiday but a festive mood still prevails.  People have cleaned their homes and placed bright red colored couplets above and on the sides of their doors with traditional Chinese calligraphy welcoming in the Lunar New Year.  You can learn more here about Chinese New Year, The Year of The Rabbit and Chinese New Year customs and traditions.

The Year of the Rabbit is over and done with for this cycle of the Chinese Lunar Calendar – and you’ve missed the festivities welcoming in our current Dragon Year as well – but don’t worry – there’s still time left to plan your 2013 Chinese New Year celebration if you hurry and celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Snake.

What’s up with all these animals?  Chinese years are named after an animal in cycles of 12 corresponding to the animals of the Chinese zodiac.  People born in each year are thought to have personality traits associated with their particular birth year.  Find out more about the Chinese zodiac system.