• Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

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

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    Bahrain: Desert. Go Now!

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

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    Maldives: Beach in the Maldives. Go Now!

    Maldives
    This low-lying archipelago is a tourist destination due to its many impressive beaches and crystal-clear waters (pictured). Explore the Maldives!

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    Laos: Karst peak. Go Now!

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

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    Tajikistan: A yurt in the mountains. Go Now!

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

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Taiwan

Geography

Taiwanese Geography - Rice fields & Lake Waist
Rice fields & Lake Waist

Taiwan is an island nation just off the eastern coast of Asia's Far East. Although it has no land borders, it is a short distance from China, which is just to Taiwan's northwest and who claims jurisdiction over the island. Taiwan's other close neighbors are Japan to the north and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is surrounded by the South China Sea to the south, the East China Sea to the north, and the Philippine Sea to the east.

Taiwan is dominated by the Taiwan Shan Mountains which run north and south in the central to eastern half of the island. These mountains and the vegetation create a fairly difficult landscape, however they also provide rivers and fresh water on all sides of the island. The coasts are relatively flat and are the most densely populated regions of the island.

Weather

Taiwanese Geography - Waterfall
Waterfall

There are a few seasons in Taiwan, the short and cool winter, the wet and rainy typhoon, and the long, hot, and tropical summer. Winters run from about November to February, but winter in this context is not like much of the northern hemisphere as temperatures only drop to about the 70s°F (21-26°C) during the days, but nights can fall to the 50s°F (10-15°C) and if it rains can feel very cold. Taipei and the north is generally cloudy during the winter, as the south is generally sunny and clear. Beginning in about March, the country becomes hot and tropical as temperatures rise to the 90s°F (30°C) if not hotter. These temperatures continue to be hot until about November, but this season also brings in the rains, humidity, and beginning in about June and lasting until as late as November, typhoons are also possible. During this time a few typhoons are common and in the inland mountains, rain is common.

Wildlife

Taiwanese Geography - Eastern coast
Eastern coast

Taiwan is a fairly diverse country from a wildlife standpoint. There are a fair number of mammals on the island, including bears, foxes, deer, boars, bats, and smaller mammals like squirrels. The sea life is even more diverse as the waters around the island are teaming with thousands of fish and shellfish including tuna, mackerel, squid, shrimp, lobster, oysters, and crab.

The bird species are also quite diverse as many are migratory birds, including many water fowls. Among the more common birds are kingfishers, herons, pigeons, peacocks, pheasants, doves, eagles, and quails. The island is also home to a number of reptiles, including numerous snakes and there are various amphibians, including frogs.

This page was last updated: November, 2013