Taiwan is composed of the main island of Taiwan and the Phengu Archipelago. Near to Tropic of Cancer, it is located off the coast of Mainland China in the South China Sea separated by the Taiwan Strait which is about 220km at its widest point and 130 km at its narrowest. Taiwan is amidst a chain of islands from Japan in the north to the Philippines in the southwest. It is located on the major air and sea transportation routes in the western Pacific Ocean. The tip of Taiwan points towards Japan, stretching to about 390 km in length and 140 km wide at its broadest part with total area comprising of 36000 sq.km. Taiwan is approximately of the size of Holland.

Famous for its mountainous regions Taiwan has the highest peak of 3000 meters or more in altitude. The weather is distinct both in north and south. South enjoys the tropical, oceanic climate and north is semi tropical at mountain altitudes with snow. Summer (May to September) and winters (December to February) has moderate climate and never extremes. The average rainfall is about 2515 mm per year. The best time to visit Taiwan is during the months of April, May, October and November.

Population

Taiwan's population makes the country the fourteenth most densely populated country in the world that counts up to 22,858,872 according to the July 2007 estimation. Across a total land area of 35,980 Taiwan comprises mainly of two ethnic groups. 98% of Taiwan's population is made up of Han Chinese while the rest 2% is Taiwanese aborigines. Half of the population follows one or a mixture of 25 recognized religions. The main religions practiced are Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity.

There is huge decrease in birth rate with a population growth of just 0.3% and a fertility rate of 1.12 children (below the 2.1 births average needed to replace the existing population.) for the year 2007. The official language is Mandarin although the majority speaks Taiwanese.

The population is regarded ethnic Han descent from the adjacent Fijian Province in mainland China. Almost 53% of the population lives in the mountains while rest of the population lives in the Eastern Plains. Foreign residents in Taiwan are 422,738. The male to female ratio in Taiwan is: 104:100.

Most populous city of on the island is Taipei followed by Kaohsiung. There are some tribes existing among the Taiwan population, they are Ami, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou and many more. With an average density of 623 persons per square kilometers, Taiwan is the second most densely populated in the world. The Taiwan population is unique for its varsity and ethnicity.

Climate

The north part of Taiwan belongs to sub-tropical climate zone, while the south part belongs to the tropical climate zone. Winters are warm and summers are hot and wet, with typhoons and thunderstorms. Because Taiwan is a relatively small island, the ocean breezes have a cooling effect so it never feels too hot.