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Taiwan's Attractions

Taiwan is a modern industrialized megalopolis clinging to the fringes of an ancient culture; a string of teeming cities at the feet of a glorious mountain range. It's traditional noodles from a 7-Eleven, aboriginal tribes in mini-skirts and a day of temple rituals followed by waterslide rides. The human tide of Taipei will sweep you off your feet, but if you step outside the city limits you'll discover why Taiwan is known as Ilha Formosa, 'the beautiful island'. Mountain peaks puncture a sea of clouds, slick black volcanic rock wraps the coastlines and waterfalls shroud themselves in mist: Taiwan is a computer-generated Chinese watercolor.

But it is precisely Taiwan's history with China that has caused the most friction and heartache for the Taiwanese. The continuing tug-of-war between the People's Republic of China and the Taiwanese of Taiwan is often prone to take on the pasty complexion of a civil war albeit one that has not, as yet, developed into an all-out brawl. China insists on the 'one China' belief while Taiwan has managed the impossible tightrope act of agreeing, in principle, to one China one Taiwan also, in practice, like an independent republic.

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