Taiwan is an island in East Asia . It is close to mainland Chia and lies between the Philippines and Japan . It is separated by the Taiwan Strait . The strait is 220 km at its widest point .

Taiwan and some smaller islands make up the Rapublic of China . However,when people say "Taiwan" they usually mean all the islands together . The main island, Taiwan is also known as Formosa . When sailors from Portugal first saw it (about four hundred years ago) they called it "Ilha Formosa" which means "beautiful island." Taiwan is almost the same size as the Netherlands.


Today Taiwan has many factories , trucks and motor cars . But many people say it is still a beautiful island . It is very mountainous and the mounatins still have many forests. In the forests are many interesting plants and animals. Yushan (Jade Mountain) is the biggest mountain in Taiwan and 3,529 maters high . In the middle part of the island is the Central Mountain range . It is 170 km in length. When you travel across Taiwan over the mountain roads, the scenery is very beautiful . However , the driver has to be very careful on some of these roads. If he or she makes a small mistake , the car may fall down the side of the mountain.

Because there are so many mountains , most of the people live on the flat plains . These are found mostly on the western side of  Taiwan . Most of the factories and industrial areas are in the northwest around the Taipei area . There are also many oin the central area around Taichung and in the southern port of Kaohsiung.


Taiwan has a hot and rainy climate . Because of this and the good soil , plants grow quickly and easily . Every year , about 2,500 mm of rianfall drops on Taiwan . 




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