Taiwan is known for its tourist centers and also wonderful culture. There is a lot of general knowledge about Taiwan, but there are untold stories about Taiwan that will surprise you. Do you know that gifting someone a clock is offensive in Taiwan? Keep reading to find out why.
We will be uncovering some historic, cultural, food, and religious facts, and more in the article. If you want to visit Taiwan or just want to know more about that beautiful country, this article will surely be an eye-opener for you.
1. Taiwan was referred to as ‘The mud ball across the sea, not worthy of China’ by the Chinese before it was discovered in 1590, by the Portuguese.
2. The oldest city in Taiwan and the first capital of Taiwan is Tai-nan which was founded in 1624.
3. The number 4 is considered unlucky in Taiwan because it sounds a lot like the Taiwan word for death ‘mìngué’. Most buildings in Taiwan like hotels, hospitals, or elevators don’t have a fourth floor.
4. Gifting someone a clock is offensive in Taiwan as a clock signifies the end of death.
5. According to the World Happiness Report, Taiwan is the 26th happiest country in the world and the happiest country in East Asia.
6. Yu Shan (Jade Mountain) in Yu-Shan national park is the highest mountain in Taiwan measuring about 3,952 meters.
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7. Taiwan’s national flower is Prunus mei or plum blossom. It symbolizes Taiwanese perseverance and resilience because the flower strives even in the winter.
8. In Taiwan, white symbolizes death, while red symbolizes good luck, and is used generally for weddings.
9. In Taiwan, it is traditional for astrologers to determine whether a life matches for a couple is good for them, they also determine the most favorable date and time for the wedding.
10. Taiwan has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. It launched the National Health Insurance in 1995, both in Chinese and western-style medicine and it is accessible to its citizen.
11. Bubble tea and instant noodles were first made in Taiwan.
12. There is a market in Taipei formerly known as Huaxi Street Night Market that was known for prostitution, gambling, and other forms of immorality. It was Taiwan’s first international tourist zone.
13. It is home to over 400 species of butterflies which they were formally traditionally exporting.
14. There is a Modern Toilet Themed restaurant in Ximending, Taipei that serves its food with toilet equipment.
15. Yuan T Lee who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1986 is the only Nobel Prize winner in Taiwan.
16. The ‘Snake Alley’ market in Taiwan formerly known as Huaxi Street Night market originally sold snake blood and meat, turtle blood and meat, and also deer penis wine.
17. The twelve rays of the white sun in the country’s flag represent the twelve months of the year and the twelve Chinese hours.
18. Taiwan speaks with pride about one of the largest collections of Chinese art.
19. The Taiwanese garbage truck always plays Beethoven’s Fur Elsie to announce its presence.
20. Taiwan is densely populated, 90% of the population lives along a strip of land along the East Coast and 50% of the Island is inhabited and covered in forest.
21. Taiwan is the first Asian country to have legalized gay marriage which was in 2019.
22. After the fight between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China (China); they refused to acknowledge each other’s sovereignty. The Republic of China started controlling Taiwan while the People’s Republic of China controls mainland China.
23. The national language of Taiwan is Mandarin but lots of locals speak Taiwanese or Hakka.
24. The lives of Taiwanese are greatly influenced by Chinese culture. Their reliance on Chinese medicine and their religious life is evident.
25. Taipei 101 building used to be the tallest building in the world before the Burj Khalifa was built.
26. The country has been ruled by China, Japan, and then briefly by Holland. The Japanese rule led to the modernization of the country and its wealth.
27. Food is very important in Taiwan as they ask ‘have you eaten?’ instead of ‘how are you’? One of their delicacies is stinky tofu which is as pungent as it sounds.
28. Taiwan was ruled by the Qing Dynasty for 200 years and during this period the locals were pushed out of the country. As a result, 99.7% of their population is ethnically Chinese while, 2.3% are Taiwanese.
29. Taiwan is located in the Pacific Ring of fire and is prone to earthquakes.
30. Karaoke Television is one of the most popular activities in Taiwan. Its club offers private rooms and music videos; in fact, many families have their own karaoke system in their houses.
31. Taiwanese are known to always wear surgical face masks. They wear it to announce a sickness and also to protect their selves from sickness and the sun. The country has been named the ‘face mask capital of Asia’.
32. Taiwan celebrates a festival called the ‘Hungry ghost festival’ in August or on the seventh month of their lunar calendar. They believe that hungry ghosts are released from hell during this period to feed on money, food, etc., and it is considered unlucky to get married, travel, or start a business during this period.
33. Shoes are not allowed inside the house in Taiwan. One must take off their shoes before entering any house to avoid bacteria or any mysterious creature inside the house.
34. China thinks of Taiwan as a disloyal province and won’t communicate with any country that has ties with Taiwan. This is why Taiwan was kicked out of the UN.
35. Unlike Japan and South Korea, women make up 51.6% of the labor force and 42.5% of the legislature in Taiwan.
36. The largest city and the political, cultural, and economic center of Taiwan is Taipei, which means north Taiwan in Mandarin.
37. In Taiwan, it is customary that one knocks on a door before one enters their room. This is to give the spirits that may be there a moment to round up their business and vacate the place.
38. The Formosan black bear is the symbol of Taiwan. It is the largest land animal and the only bear in Taiwan.
39. Taiwanese emphasize a particular tradition called ‘ren qing wei’ which means ‘the flavor of human’. The tradition is celebrated by being generous, friendly to foreigners, and having good behavior.
40. Baseball, basketball, and table tennis are the most popular sport in Taiwan. They also have shuttlecock, jump rope, and diabolo spinning as their traditional game.
41. The Saisiyat people of Taiwan celebrate a festival of little people. Legends have it that a group of pygmies taught the Saisiyat how to farm and after they called all the pygmies into a fight, they held a festival to appease their spirits.
42. Oyster omelet and dried watermelon seed is a traditional snack of the Taiwanese.
43. In Taiwan those born from the year 1981 are referred to as the ‘strawberry generation’ because they are weak and bruise easily.
44. Puppetry is widely known in Taiwan because they play an important role in religious worship and folk festivals.
45. Taiwan ranks very low in the World birth rate record because many women are not interested in giving birth.
46. Oscar-winning director, Ang Lee, is the most internationally popular celebrity in Taiwan.
47. It is rude to say ‘no’ in Taiwan, it is preferable to say ‘eh or maybe’.
48. Toilets papers are not allowed to be thrown into the toilet in Taiwan. Although stronger septic tanks have been built in recent years; there is still a sign in some toilets that instruct people to throw the papers inside a trash can.
49. Chen is the most popular surname in Taiwan as 12% of the population bear it.
50. In Taiwan, older people are referred to as aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa even when there is no existing biological relationship. It is considered disrespectful to call elders by their names.
51. An empty table in Taiwan after a meal is bad because it means that the host did not prepare sufficient food hence, leaving the guests hungry.
Hope you enjoyed these Interesting Taiwan facts. Please leave a comment below and share if you like the content. Check out 61 Fascinating Facts about France and Paris
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