• Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Bahrain!

    Bahrain: Desert. Go Now!

    This tiny country has overcome the desert and has found a way to thrive, like this tree on al Jazair Beach. Explore Bahrain!

  • Laos!

    Laos: Karst peak. Go Now!

    The simplicity and natural beauty of the countryside make Laos a hidden gem in Southeast Asia overlooked by most travelers. Begin Your Journey!

  • Tajikistan!

    Tajikistan: A yurt in the mountains. Go Now!

    The high mountains have mysteries around every turn, including yurts (pictured), a home for the nomadic people. Go Now!

Architecture of Taiwan

Taiwanese architecture is very similar to Chinese architecture since most of the Taiwanese are ethnic Chinese; however there are some distinct styles and variations that have arisen over time, including the more prominent use of painted or ceramic murals.

Among the earliest architectural styles was the local domestic (home) style of the island's original inhabitants. These homes were generally made from wood, bamboo, and other materials that could be found on the island. Few have lasted, but the heavy use of wood in their architecture has continued to this day.

The greatest influence came with the arrival of the Han Chinese from the 1600s, who brought with them their architecture, incorporating it with the local styles and materials. From this point the immigration patter rose and the Chinese styles became more prominent. This began to change with attempts by the Europeans to control of island in the 1800s. Although they ultimately failed, they introduced new building styles and techniques while also building a few forts.

By 1900 the Japanese were spreading their influence on the new structures, including the building of what is now the Office of the President. They also altered the urban planning of the cities by creating the street layout of Taipei and other large cities.

After the Japanese faced defeat in World War II Taiwan found itself to be the recipient of numerous Chinese again when the fleeing Nationalist Party arrived and made Taipei their capital. This led to a large number of modern buildings, including the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

In recently years this building has continued, but now truly in the post-modern style as the Taipei 101 was built, one of the tallest buildings in the world. However, a stronger and more influential movement that has also arisen in recent years is a push to build structures that better suit the local culture and function of the people. This has been translated to mean few large buildings have been built, but more traditional looking structures have instead taken over, as have parks and other public spaces.

This page was last updated: July, 2012