12 Photos
The island of Taiwan is mostly mountainous in the east, but gradually transitions to gently sloping plains in the west. At the northern tip of the island is Taiwan's capital city, Taipei, which appears as a large grayish patch surrounded by dark green. In this image, most of Taiwan's eastern coast is dotted with low clouds, with low and high clouds over the Pacific Ocean. The imaging satellite also detected three fires, which are marked in red. Photo courtesy of NASA.
Sun Moon Lake is situated in Nantou County, Taiwan.  The lake's name is derived from its shape, with the eastern side said to resemble the sun and the western side the moon. Although a natural hydrologic feature, the lake was expanded in size during the period of Japanese occupation when water from a nearby river was channeled into it for the purpose of hydropower generation.  The area surrounding the lake has historically been occupied by the Thao people, one of Taiwan's aboriginal tribes. Sun Moon Lake was a favorite recreation spot of former Republic of China leader CHIANG Kai-shek and it is a popular tourist destination today.
Approaching the National Palace Museum in Taipei.
Memorial Hall in Taipei.
View from Memorial Hall in Taipei.
Tamsui Art and Cultural Park is located northwest of Taipei. The Park was once a British warehouse that stored tea products; later it was bought by the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company and expanded into four large warehouses and oil tanks. Partially destroyed during World War II,  the warehouses were carefully repaired and remodeled after the war and the Tamsui Cultural Park was established. Today the warehouses house craft shops, art display areas, and a small museum.
Yehliu Geopark is a 1,700-m cliff located off the northern coast of Taiwan. The park is home to natural sculptures in the shape of candles, mushrooms, all types of animals, large bee nests, and more created by erosion over the centuries.
Fort Provintia (aka Chakan Tower) or  is the oldest building in Tainan city. Built as an outpost in 1653 during the Dutch colonization of Taiwan, it was surrendered during a siege by Ming loyalists in 1662 and later destroyed by an earthquake in the 19th century.  The fort was later rebuilt as Chihkan Tower, surrounded by a high brick walls, and eventually became the capital of the entire island. The tower, which is undergoing redevelopment into a museum, is home to a library of dictionaries and business transaction documents in the Siraya language - spoken by the native inhabitants of the region during Dutch rule.
Sicao Dazhong Temple, located in Taijiang National Park, honors a Taiwanese general of Koxinga, known as Chen Tze. A fearless warrior, he defeated over 300 Dutch soldiers in one encounter and won numerous other battles during his life. However, after being betrayed by his own people, he drowned himself in the sea. The shrine was established to honor the general, and the title Marshal of the Sea was bestowed posthumously upon him to praise him for his exceptional military service. Sicao Dazhong Temple is three or four centuries old and has been rebuilt several times with the most recent version completed in 1987. The temple roof is a fine example of southern Chinese temple construction style, displaying colorful and animated figures of dragons, lions, and phoenixes boldly lining the elaborate three-tiered roof's corners and edges.
The Confucius Temple is located in the Datong District of Taipei. The original temple, built in 1879, was destroyed during the Japanese era (1895-1945). The temple was rebuilt in 1930, but during WW II traditional Chinese ceremonies were suspended by the Japanese until Taiwan was handed back to the Republic of China in 1945. The temple is modeled after the original Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong.  Among the Confucius temples in Taiwan, Taipei's is the only one adorned with southern Fujian-style ceramic applique.  The main hall of the temple contains a black plaque with a quote by Chiang Kai-shek in gold lettering that reads: "Educate without Discrimination."
The auditorium of the Taipei Confucius Temple houses a  4D theater showcasing the journey of Confucius and the history of the temple.
The pagoda at the Taipei Confucius Temple.