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.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Architecture & Design
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
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.
City of Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde
Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde

The Miracle of São Vicente

São Vicente has always been arid and inhospitable to match. The challenging colonization of the island subjected the settlers to successive hardships. Until, finally, its providential deep-water bay enabled Mindelo, the most cosmopolitan city and the cultural capital of Cape Verde.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
khinalik, Azerbaijan Caucasus village, Khinalig
Chinalig, Azerbaijan

The Village at the Top of Azerbaijan

Set in the rugged, icy 2300 meters of the Great Caucasus, the Khinalig people are just one of several minorities in the region. It has remained isolated for millennia. Until, in 2006, a road made it accessible to the old Soviet Ladas.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
on this side of the Atlantic

Island of Goreia, Senegal

A Slave Island of Slavery

Were several millions or just thousands of slaves passing through Goreia on their way to the Americas? Whatever the truth, this small Senegalese island will never be freed from the yoke of its symbolism.”

Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

tarsio, bohol, philippines, out of this world
Bohol, Philippines

Other-wordly Philippines

The Philippine archipelago spans 300.000 km² of the Pacific Ocean. Part of the Visayas sub-archipelago, Bohol is home to small alien-looking primates and the extraterrestrial hills of the Chocolate Hills.
Ocaso, Santo Antão, Cape Verde
Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Up and Down the Estrada da Corda

Santo Antão is the westernmost of the Cape Verde Islands. There lies an Atlantic and rugged threshold of Africa, a majestic insular domain that we begin by unraveling from one end to the other of its dazzling Estrada da Corda.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Entrance to Dunhuang Sand City, China
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Camiguin, Philippines, Katungan mangrove.
Natural Parks
Camiguin, Philippines

An Island of Fire Surrended to Water

With more than twenty cones above 100 meters, the abrupt and lush, Camiguin has the highest concentration of volcanoes of any other of the 7641 islands in the Philippines or on the planet. But, in recent times, not even the fact that one of these volcanoes is active has disturbed the peace of its rural, fishing and, to the delight of outsiders, heavily bathed life.
Christmas in the Caribbean, nativity scene in Bridgetown
UNESCO World Heritage
Bridgetown, Barbados e Grenada

A Caribbean Christmas

Traveling, from top to bottom, across the Lesser Antilles, the Christmas period catches us in Barbados and Grenada. With families across the ocean, we adjusted to the heat and beach festivities of the Caribbean.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Golden Rock of Kyaikhtiyo, Buddhism, Myanmar, Burma
Mount Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar

The Golden and Balancing Rock of Buddha

We are discovering Rangoon when we find out about the Golden Rock phenomenon. Dazzled by its golden and sacred balance, we join the now centuries-old Burmese pilgrimage to Mount Kyaiktyo.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
Merida cable car, Renovation, Venezuela, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel
Mérida, Venezuela

The Vertiginous Renovation of the World's Highest Cable Car

Underway from 2010, the rebuilding of the Mérida cable car was carried out in the Sierra Nevada by intrepid workers who suffered firsthand the magnitude of the work.
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.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.