Formosa but Unsafe

patriot march
Soldiers march in front of the Chiang Kai-shek mausoleum during a flag-raising ceremony in Taipei.
Full Time Colleagues
Store employees during their lunch break.
Sanctuary of the Martyrs
A moment of the complex ceremony of surrender of the guard that takes place daily in the Shrine of the Martyrs of Taipei.
On my way
Resident rides his bicycle, an increasingly rare sight in Taiwan's sophisticated capital.
Taipei-teen generation
Attractively designed advertising at the entrance to a Taipei subway tunnel.
military parade on a rainy day
Soldiers parade during a military procession in Taipei.
Passersby descend to cross an avenue in Taipei, through an underground passage.
pink style
Woman adds some style to a typical Taipei scene, the huge clumps of motorbikes formed at traffic lights.
Essential Retouch
A man adjusts a helmet to a soldier at the Martyrs Shrine in Taipei.
in the shadow of buddha
A group of Buddhist monks crosses a fair held in front of the Chiang Kai-Shek Mausoleum.
Loveteen storefront
Resident passes by a clothing store.
Sanctuary of Martyrs II
A moment of the complex ceremony of surrender of the guard that takes place daily in the Shrine of the Martyrs of Taipei.
Commercial Lighting
Colorful neons light up in an alley in Taipei
Through the Portal
Buddhist monks enter the square around the Chiang kai-shek memorial.
By taxi
Political and other billboards on a busy street in Taipei.
night sun young
Crossroads with intense neon lighting of a hairdresser and other businesses.
Patient Descent
Mother and daughter descend one of the stairs of the Chiang kai-shek Mausoleum.
from near top
From the Panoramic Observatory of Taipei (on top of the 2nd tallest building in Taipei) you have a 360 degree view of the city, including Skyscraper 101 (its current tallest building).
Portuguese navigators could not imagine the imbroglio reserved for the Formosa they baptized. Nearly 500 years later, even though it is uncertain of its future, Taiwan still prospers. Somewhere between independence and integration in greater China.

The sunset tints the sky above the mausoleum of Chiang Kai-shek.

And as it happens, day after day, a small formation of elegant soldiers, in black boots and white uniform, advances through the majestic square, skirting the white building. In absolute synchrony, he approaches a centered post that bears a red, blue and… white flag.

After a few more steps of the choreography, under the curious gaze of half a dozen passersby, the soldiers fold the most important cloth in the Republic of China.

Soldiers complete the flag ceremony of the Republic of China, better known as Taiwan.

This imposing setting is in Taipei, the Taiwanese capital. In spite of the solemnity, in no other territory will a ceremony for raising or raising the flag have such a dubious meaning as here.

Taiwan's Insular Prosperity and Sophistication, the Formosa Island

All around, the wealth and sophistication are undisguised. They turned this mountainous and overcrowded island (22.5 million inhabitants on 35,980 km²) into one of the four Asian Tigers, along with South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, with a GDP per capita, in 2010. Higher than that of Japan and France.

"wait wait i come back” assures the driver who drives us around Taiwan for a fortnight. We see him advance to a doghouse crowned with red neon Chinese characters. There he is served by a young woman in a mini-mini skirt and a low-cut top.

This was just the first of many occasions when he stopped driving to buy the betel nut that he would chew throughout the journey.

Taiwan has these things. They are curious remnants of a traditionalist past in which, blessed by the democratic environment, religion continues to play a role.

The modernization of the capital and other large cities did not cancel out the almost rural existence of the mountainous interior.

night sun young

Crossroads with intense neon lighting of a hairdresser and other businesses.

In Far Eastern fashion, Taipei is both chaotic and organized, gray but seductive. It was inspired by the solutions of Japanese neighbors.

Until she emancipated herself, under the lights of her own futuristic billboards, inspired by the shop windows of luxury multinationals and the ingenious creations of the engineers and programmers she trains.

Loveteen storefront

Resident passes by a clothing store.

Even so, not all natives are ready to put up with the whims of the frenzied metropolis forever. Hundreds of kilometers after we left it, we stopped at a shore of Sun Moon Lake.

The Great Sun Moon Lake Religious and Lake Retreat

In spite of the fog, we find three swimmers fully equipped. We asked to photograph them. Letting go of the conversation, they postpone the next strokes to explain to us the reason for their early-morning activity: “We are friends, all ex-teachers…”, clarifies, in English, Julia Wang, the most extrovert of the trio.

“We worked in Taipei for the years necessary for the reform. Then we took refuge here at Sun Moon. As you can see, we cross it almost every day to keep in shape… “ “When we were younger we even enjoyed Taipei life, but with age we started to think that this was the best place for the homeland to repay our services …"  

The word is often used by the island's inhabitants. In practical terms, Taiwanese do not live in a country.

Nor in a province or dependence on any other nation.

They are part of the Republic of China, a unique case of geopolitical uncertainty in the world which, despite its actuality, was sketched in the distant year of 1949.

The Genesis of the Republic of China, Still in Mainland China

During World War II, still in Greater China, the communist army of Mao Zedong and the nationalist Kuomintang of Chiang Kai-shek joined forces to drive out the Japanese enemy.

military parade on a rainy dayWith the objective guaranteed, they resumed the Civil War, as they had left it, to decide who would be at the head of the country.

Thanks to massive Soviet support, the Communists reversed the initial nationalist ascendancy.

In 1949, they forced General Chiang Kai-shek and his 600.000-man army, plus a million other supporters, to flee to Taiwan, a stronghold 60 km off China's east coast, ruled by the Kuomintang since the expulsion of the Japanese decreed by the Yalta Agreement.

Upon fleeing, Kuomintang troops took with them the constitution and flag of the original Republic of China, founded in 1911 by its first president, Dr. Sun Yatsen, one of the few admired figures in both China and Taiwan.

It was from this ideological transposition of the continent to the island territories that the present-day Republic of China emerged.

By taxi

Political and other billboards on a busy street in Taipei

Despite the abrupt withdrawal, Chiang Kai-shek, the new president of the ROC, was convinced that the KMT's stay in Taiwan would be brief, that once its army was reorganized, it would return to the charge.

At the same time, west of the strait, the communists were preparing to invade Taiwan. None of the plans would come to fruition. The Communist People's Republic of China, like the Republic of China, developed in its own territories. 

Top View Observatory: An Almost Aerial Perspective on the Capital Taipei

From the terrace of the Top View Taipei Observatory, we can admire the urban grandeur of Taipei. From there, the famous 101 (One o' One) stands out. At 509 meters, this was the tallest building in the world from 2004 until the recent construction of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

"Sugoi!” exclaim several enthusiastic Japanese. Despite the relegation, people from the four corners of the planet and even the ultra-sophisticated Japanese are surprised by the audacity architectural from Taipei's skyscraper and with the defying prosperity of little Formosa.

from near top

From the Panoramic Observatory of Taipei (on top of the 2nd tallest building in Taipei) you have a 360 degree view of the city, including Skyscraper 101 (its current tallest building).

Unlike the island's exemplary economy, Taiwan's political situation has long remained stagnant.

The return of the Kuomintang to power softened the relationship between the two parties and made both the declaration of independence and eventual conflict less likely.

The rapprochement did not imply that Taiwan accepted the One China long pursued by Beijing.

O Dragon however, it surpassed Japan as the world's second largest economy.

Accordingly, its military budget reaches record numbers that are beginning to worry the Republic of China like the United States, Taiwan's main military allies.

Protecting the United States That Discourages the People's Republic of China

Barak Obama followed up on the commitment made in the Taiwan Relations Act.

Thus, he renewed the double game of the Americans, who favor official diplomatic interaction with the People's Republic of China but inhibit any intention of annexing Taiwan and the remaining islands of the DRC, towards the desired Greater China.

Taipei-teen generation

Attractively designed advertising at the entrance to a Taipei subway tunnel.

Os USA they frequently renew their sales of military material to the Taiwanese. Each time, they irritate the Chinese government which, as it does almost automatically, releases a new series of controlled warnings and intimidations.

It's nothing that too much affects the busy day-to-day lives of Taiwanese. Since Chiang Kai-shek's arrival in Taiwan, Taiwan has been under threat.

pink style

Woman adds some style to a typical Taipei scene, the huge clumps of motorbikes formed at traffic lights.


Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.

Taroko George

Deep in Taiwan

In 1956, skeptical Taiwanese doubted that the initial 20km of Central Cross-Island Hwy was possible. The marble canyon that challenged it is today the most remarkable natural setting in Formosa.

Nantou, Taiwan

In the Heart of the Other China

Nantou is Taiwan's only province isolated from the Pacific Ocean. Those who discover the mountainous heart of this region today tend to agree with the Portuguese navigators who named Taiwan Formosa.

Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima: a City Yielded to Peace

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima succumbed to the explosion of the first atomic bomb used in war. 70 years later, the city fights for the memory of the tragedy and for nuclear weapons to be eradicated by 2020.
DMZ, Dora - South Korea

The Line of No Return

A nation and thousands of families were divided by the armistice in the Korean War. Today, as curious tourists visit the DMZ, many of the escapes of the oppressed North Koreans end in tragedy.
Perth, Australia

Australia Day: In Honor of the Foundation, Mourning for Invasion

26/1 is a controversial date in Australia. While British settlers celebrate it with barbecues and lots of beer, Aborigines celebrate the fact that they haven't been completely wiped out.
Beijing, China

The Heart of the Great Dragon

It is the incoherent historic center of Maoist-Communist ideology and almost all Chinese aspire to visit it, but Tianamen Square will always be remembered as a macabre epitaph of the nation's aspirations.
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Melbourne, Australia

An "Asienated" Australia

Cultural capital aussie, Melbourne is also frequently voted the best quality of life city in the world. Nearly a million eastern emigrants took advantage of this immaculate welcome.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
scarlet summer

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.

Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Inle Lake, Myanmar

A Pleasant Forced Stop

In the second of the holes that we have during a tour around Lake Inlé, we hope that they will bring us the bicycle with the patched tyre. At the roadside shop that welcomes and helps us, everyday life doesn't stop.
View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.
Madu River: owner of a Fish SPA, with feet inside the doctor fish pond
Madu River and Lagoon, Sri Lanka

Along the Course of the Sinhala Buddhism

For having hidden and protected a tooth of Buddha, a tiny island in the Madu lagoon received an evocative temple and is considered sacred. O Maduganga immense all around, in turn, it has become one of the most praised wetlands in Sri Lanka.
Kayaking on Lake Sinclair, Cradle Mountain - Lake Sinclair National Park, Tasmania, Australia
Discovering tassie, Part 4 - Devonport to Strahan, Australia

Through the Tasmanian Wild West

If the almost antipode tazzie is already a australian world apart, what about its inhospitable western region. Between Devonport and Strahan, dense forests, elusive rivers and a rugged coastline beaten by an almost Antarctic Indian ocean generate enigma and respect.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Mount Denali, McKinley, Sacred Ceiling Alaska, North America, Summit, Altitude Evil, Mountain Evil, Prevent, Treat
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Natural Parks
Moçamedes to PN Iona, Namibe, Angola

Grand entrance to the Angola of the Dunes

Still with Moçâmedes as a starting point, we traveled in search of the sands of Namibe and Iona National Park. The cacimbo meteorology prevents the continuation between the Atlantic and the dunes to the stunning south of Baía dos Tigres. It will only be a matter of time.
Forested Peaks, Huang Shan, China, Anhui, Yellow Mountain Floating Peaks
UNESCO World Heritage
Huang Shan, China

Huang Shan: The Yellow Mountains of the Floating Peaks

The granitic peaks of the floating yellow mountains of Huang Shan, from which acrobat pines sprout, appear in artistic illustrations from China without count. The real scenery, in addition to being remote, remains hidden above the clouds for over 200 days.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.