Introduction to Taiwan’s Regions (Northern Taiwan)

Taipei city

Taipei city occupies the northern portion of Taiwan, and it includes the Taipei basin in its north eastern half as well as the nearby mountains. It has a population of 2,622,125 people and covers an area of about 271.7997 square kilomaters. It is comprised of 12 city districts.‘Taipei’ originally referred to the Hsinchu area, which developed farther and farther north. After the opening of the Qing dynasty, it was first officially designated as ‘Taipei’. Later during the Japanese colonial era, the colonial government accorded it the title of ‘Taipei city’. After Taiwan’s liberation, Taiwan was designated an autonomous city and divided into 10 districts. Not long after, it was recognized as the seat of regional governance. It has since been the center of Taiwan’s politics, culture and economics for the past 56 years as the standing capital of the Republic of China.


New Taipei city

New Taipei city encircles the Taiwan basin and Taiwan city proper as well as Jilong city. Originally the area was administered by the Taipei county government, but it was designated as an autonomous city on December 25th, 2010. The environment of the region varies greatly, possessing mountains, hills, basins etc. Besides the Xueshan, Datun, and Guanyin mountain ranges, the region spans the Danshui river area to New Taipei city, stretching west to the shore, encompassing the Jilong River, and going as far south as the Xindian tributary.Besides the natural scenery of region, New Taipei city culture and industry are quite prosperous. For example, the ceramic of Yingge, the glassware industry of Tamsui and sky lantern. Moreover, New Taipei City’s possesses an abundance of popular tourist sites, like Jiufen, and Jinguashi, etc, which graciously welcome foreign visitors.

Reference: 新北市政府維基百科

Jilong City

Jilong City occupies Taiwan’s northernmost coastal area. The entire city spans 132.7589 square kilometers, with terrain comprised of hills, encircled from east to west by the Jilong volcano mountain cluster and the Wuzhi mountain range. Concentrated around the primary plain and along the coast is Jilong harbor. Connecting to the seaside is the Jilong river which trails through the valley. With mountains surrounding the city on three sides, commuting in and out of Jilong and facilitating economic exchanges with other counties and regions is problematic. However, as the location of Taiwan’s 2nd largest harbor, Jilong has successfully developed a distinct maritime culture. Besides its international harbor, Jilong also has a number of historical forts, a renowned Ghost festival, famous temple snacks, and an impressive fish market. All of these things make Jilong a remarkable place to visit.

Reference: 基隆市政府

Yilan County

Yilan County is situated in Taiwan’s northeast, and is bordered by New Taipei city, Taoyuan, Hsinchu county, Taizhong city and Hualian County. Yilan is primarily comprised of the Lanyang plain, and bordered by mountains on three sides facing the Pacific Ocean to the east. To its west are mountain ranges that include Xueshan Mountain and Dabajian Mountain. The climate in Yilan has always been particularly rainy, and there is a famous saying in Chinese竹風蘭雨which means “ Wind in Hsinchu, and Rain in Yilan” which refers to unpredictable weather patterns that historically accompany monsoon season in the northeast of Taiwan. Besides the beautiful mountains like Loulan and Taiping mountains and recreational forest areas, the county also possesses famous hot and cold onsen springs in Jiaoxi and Suao. You can also visit the famous turtle island off the coast and possibly go whale watching in Yilan. Or there is also the option to experience some national culture exhibits provided by the National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan.

Reference: 維基百科

Hsinchu County

Hsinchu is situated in Taiwan’s northwest, neighbored by Taoyuan County to its north and Miaoli County to its south. To the west is the Taiwan Strait and to its east is the Xueshan and Dabajian mountain ranges. The entire county is outlined by the Touqian river and the Fengshan river, which create an alluvial plain where most of the population resides. The rest of the county is comprised of hills and mountains.Hsinchu city is known for its traditional agricultural products such as diospyros, peach and Dongfang Meiren. Besides these Hsinchu is renowned for its Industrial Technology Research Center and its Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park district, which are an integral part of Taiwan’s development of new technologies. As for travel and sightseeing, there are a number of parks with beautiful natural environment, like the Shei-Pa National Park, the Magao National Park, the Shitou Mountain Scenic Area, and the Guanwu National Forest Recreation Area. There is also the Liufucun Theme Park that can offer visitors rest and entertainment.

Reference: 新竹市政府維基百科

Taoyuan County

Taoyuan County is located Taiwan’s northwest, and it is bordered by New Taipei city, Hsinchu County, and Yilan County. The entire county is comprised of continuous hills and mountains that encircle Taoyuan, with the highest hills to the east and south and lower hills to the north and west.Taoyuan’s natural scenery is particularly beautiful. The county also has the Dongyanshan Forest National Amusement Park, the Daguanshan Nature Preserve, and the special Lalashan Scenic Area, the Cihu Scenic Area, as well as the Shimen Reservoir Scenic Area.

Reference: 維基百科

Miaoli County

Miaoli is located in north central Taiwan, bordered to the east by the Xueshan Mountain range, and on the west by the Taiwan Strait. To the north of Miaoli county is Hsinchu city and to the south is Taichung. The name of Miaoli comes from the local aboriginal group of the region, the Taokas, and a word in their language that means flat plain. …… From the Xueshan mountain range, the river flowing west has caused continuous erosion along the alluvial flood plain. Slowly over time this has resulted in the landscape which goes from mountains to the flat land to the numerous plains, from which Miaoli takes its name.Because a large number of miaoli’s residents are Hakka people, Miaoli is famous for its culture festival celebrating Hakka culture. The festival showcases things like the Hakka Tung Blossom Festival and Miaoli’s Hakka music event. Also, tourists are encouraged to try some of Miaoli county’s famous agricultural products and some associated events like the Dahu Strawberry Cultural Festival, and the Hakka Rice Food Festival. What’s more, Miaoli also offers a variety of different museums and architectural sites that make for great tourism destinations.

Reference: 苗栗縣政府維基百科

Introduction to Taiwan’s Regions(Central region of Taiwan)

Taichung City

Taichung city is one of the self-governing cities of the Republic of China. It is located in the center of the island covering an area of 2,215 square kilometers and has a population of over2,700,000 exceeded in size by only New Taipei city and Kaosiung. Taichung is the center for development in Taiwan’s central region and is bordered by Chaunghua County on the south, which together with Taichung constitutes Taiwan’s central districts.Taichung’s natural environment is exceptional, with places like Shei-Pa National Park, Taroko National Park, Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area. Besides the natural environment, there are lots of great museums and department stores, as well as famous night markets that visitors will love. Taichung also offers many historical temples, along with centers for art and culture.

Reference: 台中市政府維基百科

Chunghua County

Changhua country is located on the island of Taiwan’s west central region, bordered on the north by the Dadu River, and facing Taichung as its neighbor. To the east Changhua borders Bagua Mountain and Nantou County, and to the south by the Zhuoshui River and Yunlin County. To the west lies the Taiwan Strait.Changhua County was established during the Qing dynasty under the reign of the Yongzheng Emporer, with a name that has been in use for over 280 years. The country itself possesses abundant cultural relics along with beautiful natural surroundings like the Bagua Mountain scenic district, Luganglong Mountain shrine, pr the Lugang Palace of the Heavenly Empress.

Reference: 彰化縣政府維基百科

Nantou County

Nantou lies in Taiwan’s central region, and is Taiwan’s only landlocked county. The environment is home to many different indigenous peoples of Taiwan, including the Atayal, the Bunun, the Seediq, the Tsou, and the Shao who live around Sun Moon Lake. Located between Nantou County’s Hsinyi district, Kaosiung’s Tiaoyuan district, and Jiayi Coutiy’s Alishan district lies the famous Yushan, which is Taiwan’s highest mountain peak.Nantou Country has a large number of national parks, national scenic districts and forest parks. Besides the natural environment, due to the many groups of Indigenous people, there are many opportunities to experience the culture of indigenous people at various theme parks and tourist attractions.

Reference: 維基百科

Introduction to Taiwan’s Regions(Southern Taiwan)

Yunlin County

Yunlin County is located in the western portion of the island’s south central region, on the northernmost border of the Chianan plains. To its west is the Taiwan Strait, and to its south the Beigang River forms a boundary between Jiayi and Yunlin. To the north Yunlin faces the Yanzhuo River and Changhua County. The majority of the country is comprised of plains, with only a few mountainous areas. For Yunlin County, the agricultural industry forms the primary and secondary levels of its economy. As for tourist sites, the county offers quite a few historical sites and theme parks to attract visitors.


Jiayi County

Jiayi county, formerly called “Zhuluo” is located in Taiwan’s southwest, with its eastern region bordering Yushan. To the west, the county faces the Taiwan Strait. To its south is Tainan city and to the north, Yunlin County. The country covers a total area of 1903 square kilometers, comprising only 5% of Taiwan’s total land area. Thanks to the Chianan plains, Jiayi County forms an integral part of Taiwan’s agricultural industry, and its coasts also provide a substantial portion of the country’s oyster and milkfish. Outside of agriculture the county also has several industrial sectors. The natural beauty of Alishan’s sunrise is a famous sight that visitors should not miss. In recent years, because of rapid deforestation, areas with various species of economically valuable trees have been designated and developed as special scenic zones, forming some of Taiwan’s most noted tourist destinations.

Reference: 嘉義縣政府維基百科

Tainan city

Tainan is one of the Republic of China’s self-governing cities. It is located in Taiwan’s southeast on the Chianan plains. The cities beginning as a fortress town began around 1620, which makes it Taiwan’s earliest developed city. Before the mid 19th century, Tainan was the economic center of the island, and up to modern times, it remains an integral city for Taiwan’s southern region. Taiwan has numerous historic sites, centers of arts and culture, beautiful natural scenery, famous dishes, night markets and old streets. All of these things offer abundant attractions for visitors to experience.

Reference: 維基百科

Kaosiung City

Kaosiung City is located in Taiwan’s southwest, and is a combination of self- governing city of Kaosiung and Kaosiung County. The port of Kaosiung first opened in the late 19th century, and developed greatly during the colonial period, as a city and a military base. In modern times, the city has a central role in the governance and economy of southern Taiwan. Kaosiung’s economy is an important location for technological development and heavy industry, as well as a strong service sector. Kaosiung is also well known for its ruins and historical sites. The Sanfeng Central Avenue area in Kaosiung, well known for its commercial area and night marke, is am important center for trade and exchange between the north and south. Besides these attractions, visitors can also visit Zishan Mountain, the Love River, Lianchi Lake, Youzi Bay, Qilu, and lots of other scenic areas.


Pingdong County

Pingdong County is the southernmost county in Taiwan, and is also Taiwan’s most narrow city running from north to south. The western portion of Pingdong country consists of the flat Pingdong plains, which is where the population is concentrated. The plain region is bordered to the east by progressively hilly and mountainous terrain.The southern portion of Pingdong County is Kending National park, which is Taiwan’s first National Park, and an exceptional spot for tourism. Pingdong’s economy is constituted by agriculture and fisheries, and in recent years also from tourism to the region. The lotus apples and black tuna of the area have become recognized as regional specialties.


Introduction to Taiwan’s Regions(Eastern Taiwan)

Taidong City

Taidong is located in Taiwan’s southeast, on a narrow strip of land that is 176 kilometers from north to south. Taidong is also the county with the longest stretch of coastline in Taiwan. In total the county covers an area of 3515 square kilometers, which makes it about one tenth of Taiwan’s total land area, and the 3rd largest county in Taiwan. Because of the tropical climate and the mountains near the shore, Taidong’s natural resources are quite abundant.The environment of Taidong includes coastline, entertainment areas and a number of tourist areas that have been designated national scenic districts. Offshore, the island of Lanyu is remarkable for its rich cultural atmosphere, the scenic area of Dawu Mountain and the Zhiben hot springs. The hot springs and scenery of Green Island are also attractions for tourists. There are several protected natural areas and cultural districts within the county. There are also local specialties like Annona squamosa, and Pineapple, which are well known throughout Taiwan. Also, because of its relatively late development, Taidong has preserved many flourishing cultures of the indigenous peoples living there .The indigenous groups in Taidong county include the Amis, the Puyuma, the Rukai, the Bunun, the Paiwan, and the Tao. These groups constitute nearly one third of the county’s total population.

Reference: 台東縣政府維基百科

Hualian County

Hualian is located in Taiwan's east. To its west lie the central mountain ranges and it faces the Pacific Ocean to the east. Hualian is Taiwan's largest administrative region by land area, with its population concentrated between the coastline and mountains along its eastern edge. Hualian is a thriving destination for tourism. The great coastlines, entertainment areas and the Taroko Gorge National Park all make great spots for visitors.


Introduction to Taiwan’s Regions(Outlying Islands)

Penghu County

Penghu County is located just between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland in the center of the Taiwan Strait. It is Taiwan’s only county that is an archipelago, and it is comprised of over 90 islands. The entire county is bordered on all sides by ocean, which makes the fishing industry very important for Penghu County. In recent years, Penghu has been greatly developing its tourism industry.Penghu County offers a unique natural environment and cultural landscape. In 2011, it was chosen by Lonely Plant as one of the best island destinations in the world. It was also noted to have one of the most beautiful bays in the world. The cultural landscape of the islands displays how the early immigrants adapted to the island’s climate and constructed settlements with unique architectural styles using the island’s stones. There are also various defensive military fortifications that can be seen all over the islands.

Reference: 澎湖縣政府維基百科

Jinmen County

Jinmen County covers an area of 150 square kilometers. The island’s shape is narrow at the center and the edges are relatively wider. Besides the main island, the county also includes the islands of Little Jinmen, Dadan, Erdan, Dong Ding, Bei Ding, and about 20 smaller islets. With the island’s oldest geological stratum is a main layer of granite, which gives the soil and sand of the island its red appearance. The natural environment of the island is not the best, because of this the agriculture is limited. However the cultural and historical sites of the islands are very diverse. The architecture and atmosphere of the islands reflects many different eras of Jinmen’s history. Although the island suffered lots of damage during the Chinese Civil War, which destroyed many historic and traditional buildings, in recent times many treasured homes, temples, shrines, churches, and western style buildings have been successfully preserved. Due to the island’s location during the civil war, many wartime tunnels, mines and military sites can be seen along with wartime-related memorials and exhibits. As for specialty products, besides the island’s famous liquor and sugar, the island knives and utensils made from spent shell casings during the wartime are also well known.

Reference: 金門縣政府維基百科

Lianjiang County

Lianjiang County is located in the northern reaches of the Taiwan Strait, facing the mouths of the Minjiang River, and the Aojiang River, just beyond the Luoyuan Bay, only a small stretch of water from mainland China. The islands are occupied mainly by the ROC navy and are comprised of the islands: Nangan, Beigan, Gaodeng, Liang, Dongyin and Siyin. There are also 36 other minor islets that comprise the total land of the county. Most people refer to Lianjiang simply by its nickname “Mazu.”


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