Taiwan (Republic of China)
Taiwan has a chequered history, becoming a protectorate of the Chinese Empire in 1206, and later enduring Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish and French invaders before being born as the Republic of China in 1912.
History blends with modernity in the island capital Taipei - a crowded, fast-moving city where bargain shopping and good eating can be alternated with visits to fine museums and monuments.
Beyond Taipei are theme parks, Chines Gardens, fishing villages, folk villages and National Parks. Further afield there are scenic drives, mountain lodges, lakes and temples, offshore islands with sporting activities galore - all connected by efficient air and ground transport systems.
Where to stay: Hotels in Taiwan