Capital City: Taipei
Taiwan(Traditional Chinese: 台灣 or 臺灣, Simplified Chinese: 台湾 tái wān)is an island nation of about 36,000 km² located off the coast of southeastern China, southwest of Okinawa and north of the Philippines. The island is governed by the Republic of China (中華民國 Zhōnghuá Mínguó) or 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. In addition to the island of Taiwan, the Republic of China also governs the Pescadores (Penghu), Quemoy (Kinmen/Jinmen), and Matsu.
Taiwan was originally populated by indigenous tribes that spoke various Austronesian languages, which are related to Malay, Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesia. Today these people form only about 2% of the population, with the other 98% being from China mainland. The Chinese are further split into Taiwanese forming about 84% of the population, whose families migrated during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, as well as mainlanders, forming about 14% of the population, whose families fled to Taiwan from mainland China after the communist takeover in 1949. Among the Taiwanese group, Hoklo (Minnan) speakers form the majority, which is about 70% of the population while the remaining 14% are largely Hakka speakers. There is also a sizeable Japanese community, many of whom work in the entertainment industry. The previous Japanese population that was largely centered on the East Coast while Taiwan was under Japanese rule left after WWII.
Taiwan has a marine tropical climate, meaning cool winters (8°C at night) and sweltering, humid summers (above 30°C, 86°F) from Jun-Sep. The best time of year to visit is thus from Oct-Dec, although occasional typhoons can spoil the fun. Spring is also nice, although it rains more than during autumn. During the typhoon season, the east coast bears the brunt of the damage as it is facing the Pacific Ocean.
However, you might encounter temperate conditions when you head into mountainous regions. In fact, it snows every year on Taiwan's highest mountains and occasionally on mountains like Alishan so be prepared if visiting Taiwan's mountainous regions.