The island of Formosa is friendly, attractively, interesting, safe, and an ideal travel destination. It is also a tad politically contentious, in that mainland China claims it as part of China. Be that as it may, Taiwan is an independent democracy at the moment, with its own government and institutions. Relations between China and Taiwan seem to be benign for the past dozen years or so, and flights from Beijing and Shanghai arrive daily, as do international flights. Side on concentrates on the capital city of Taipei with an inset map of the extended urban area. The city is a typically crowded Chinese city, with the usual number of exceptionally high office towers (Taipei 101 was the tallest in the world a decade ago). Touristically, the city's main claim to fame is the museum housing the treasures of China brought to the island in 1949, as the Nationalist government led by Chiang Kai Shek moved the capital of China from Chungking (now Chongching), ending the civil war that had convulsed China for decades. The island itself is touristically very interesting. Side two of the map contains the entire country at a very good scale. One can see at a glance that the western portion is fairly flat and thus is heavily populated, with three motorways joining Taipei to the cities of Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. An inset map of Tainan is included. I prefer the east coast, which is relatively undeveloped, and the mountainous interior. The road from Hsincheng thorugh the Taroka Gorge is a masterpiece of road construction. The resorts and hot springs of the interior are wonderful relaxing places to enjoy. Sun Moon Lake has several exotic temples and pagodas, and there are nearby aboriginal villages to explore. Further South, for those of an adventuresome inclination, is the port city of Taitung, and ferries to the outlying islands of Lanyu and Green. As will become increasing the case, this map is printed on crushed stone 'paper'. It is waterproof, durable, and tear-resistant.
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