Taiwan, also called the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, has remained a place not too well known to westerners. With a population of 25 million, Taiwan is the seventh largest economy in Asia and the 20th largest economy in the world. Yet there is much more to Taiwan than just the size of its economy, or that the Taiwanese are among the most affluent in Asia. Taiwan is an island of climate contrasts, a country with a rich culture going back centuries, and with vibrant major cities like Taipei, Tainan and Taichung City (as described in the book). It is a country with a mountainous inter-land, many rural farming villages, and tropical rain forests. Taiwan's people include the Austronesians (the first people to set foot in Taiwan), immigrants from Fujian province (the province opposite of Taiwan), many Chinese immigrants from northern China (who brought Mandarin), and the Hakka. The most important religions are Buddhism, Taoism and native Chinese ancestor worship. For the world traveler, or for an expatriate living there, Taiwan is worth exploring and knowing.