October through December is the best time to visit this island with marine tropical climate – though typhoons and earthquakes are possible. Taiwan outskirts is very scenic and some popular scenic destinations are Kaohsiung, Kenting, Elaunbi, and Longpan. Major attractions of Taiwan are Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Yangmingshan National Park, National Palace Museum,and Maokung Tea Garden. Shopping is an entertainment in itself and many chic malls cater to this activity. Taiwanese cuisine is influenced by Chinese and Japanese cooking. The food or xiao-chi can be categorized into poultry, meat, seafood, rice and noodles, bean curd and vegetables, sauces, beverages and pastries.
|Resource||ISBN or ASIN||Best Price||Description|
|Taiwan: The Bradt Travel Guide||978-1841623306||$18||The author Steven Crook presents a compelling travel book cashing in on his experience living in Taiwan for nineteen years.|
|Lonely Planet Taiwan||978-1741045482||$23||Introduction followed by a section of Taiwan and region-wise coverage for the rest of the country including the islands.|
|Taiwan Nelles Map||978-3865742605||$12||1:400,000 Scale. Insets include Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.|
|Taiwan Grounded Adapter Plug – GUA||B001FD5E3Y||$8|
The first stamps of the Republic of China were surcharge overprints on the May 1949 issue of China in the ‘Flying Geese over Globe’ theme. The set of five stamps (Scott #1007 to #1011) is very valuable and catalogs for around $6000 for MNH and $650 for used. The flying geese design is a variation on the Flying Geese Paradigm that postulated international division of labor – a shift of the production of commoditized goods to Asia headed by Japan followed by South Korea and Republic of China (Taiwan). The number starts at 1007 because Chinese stamps were used before 1949.
The first original designs of Taiwan were a long set of thirteen stamps (Scott #1012 to #1024) showing a portrait of Koxinga in different colors. This set is also pretty valuable and catalogs for around $275 MNH and $45 used. Koxinga is a seventeenth century military hero who has the unique distinction of being worshipped as god in some areas and considered a hero by three countries with politically opposing viewpoints - the People’s Republic of China (for driving the Dutch away from Taiwan and establishing ethnically Chinese rule in Taiwan), Taiwan (honored as a patriot), and Japan (honored as a bridge between Taiwan and Japan due to his maternal linkage to Japan).
Taiwan released a set of five stamps (Scott #1052 to #1056) on March 1, 1952 to mark the second anniversary of Chiang Kai-shek’s return to the presidency. The theme shows a portrait of President Chiang Kai-shek, flag and fowers in different colors. The set catalogs for around $140 MNH and $25 used. President Chiang Kai-shek, a close ally of Sun Yat-sen, led the Northern Expedition to unify China and became the chairman of the Nationalist Government of China between 1928 and 1948. Following the defeat to the communists, Chiang Kai-shek retreated to Taiwan and ruled the country as director-general till his death in 1975.
Below are other issues of Taiwan enjoying good collector’s interest:
- A set of two stamps released on March 12, 1954 to publicize forest conservation. The set (Scott #1096 and #1097) catalogs for around $90 MNH and $5 used. The designs show a forest of evergreens and a nursery. The $10 Nursery design catalogs at a premium – around $80 MNH.
- A set of four stamps and two souvenir sheets released on March 20, 1956 to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the modern Chinese postal system. The set (Scott #1131 to #1134) catalogs for around $15 MNH and $2 used. The souvenir sheets ($2 face value) sells for a premium - $40 each for MNH and about half that for used. The design shows a map in the middle with different modes of transportation, all in a circular theme.
- A set of four stamps released on September 20, 1958 showing the President’s Mansion in Taipei. It is a high-value set with $10, $20, $50, and $100 denominations. The set (Scott #1196 to #1199) catalogs for around $150 MNH and $7 used.
- A set of four stamps released on October 31, 1961 in the ‘Taiwanese Scenery’ theme. The set (Scott #1323 to #1326) catalogs for around $35 MNH and $2 used. The designs show lotus pond, Sun-Moon Lake, and Wulai waterfalls.
- A set of four stamps released on September 20, 1962 in the ‘Emperors’ theme. The set (Scott #1355 to #1358) catalogs for around $115 MNH and $30 used. The designs show T’ai Tsung - T’ang dynasty, T’ai Tsu – Sung dynasty, T’ai Tsu - Yuan dynasty, and T’ai Tsu - Ming dynasty.
- A set of six stamps released on November 25, 1967 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #1526 to #1531) catalogs for around $35 MNH and $4 used. The designs show maroon Oriole, Formosan barbet, Formosan green pigeon, Formosan blue magpie, crested serpent eagle, and Mikado pheasants.
- A set of four stamps released on May 15, 1974 showing Taiwanese Landmarks. The set (Scott #1879 to #1882) catalogs for around $3 MNH and $1 used. The designs show Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Reaching-moon Tower Cheng Ching Lake, Orchid Island boats, and Penghu Interisland Bridge.
- A set of four stamps released on June 25, 1982 showing Tang Dynasty Poetry Illustrations. The set (Scott #2322 to #2325) catalogs for around $20 MNH and $3 used. The designs show Spring Dawn by Meng Hao-Jan, On Looking for a Hermit and Not Finding Him by Chia Tao, Summer Dying by Liu Yu-His, and Looking at the Snow Drifts on South Mountain by Tsu Yung.
The first coin of Taiwan is a Bronze coin issued in 1949 showing the bust of Sun Yat-Sen in Obverse and a Map with symbols on sides. The coin has huge mintage (over 150M) and catalogs for less than $5 UNC. Taiwan has used several different types of metallic ratio in their coinage over the years. They have also issued commemorative gold and silver proofs.
Numismatic items of Taiwan include:
|Coins||$1 and up||Recent UNCs start around $1. Commemorative silver proofs from the 2000s start around $10. Older First Day of Issue Coins from the 50s onward start around $25. High value ($100 and up) silver proofs start around $100.|
|Paper Money||$2 and up||UNCs from the 70s and 80s start around $2. Polymer Commemoratives from the 90s start around $10. High value UNCs from the 50s and 60s, Yuans from the 20s and 30s in VF etc start around $30. Rare varieties and unusual numbers go into the 100s.|
Aboriginal arts and crafts, keychain fobs, cell phone covers, cookies and snacks, coral jewelry etc., are typical souvenirs from Taiwan.
|Antiques||$10 and up||19th century map prints start around $10. Porcelain figurines start around $15. Originals start around $50.|
|Porcelain & Ceramics||$15 and up||Vases start around $15. Exotic statues can go into the 100s.|
|Dolls||$10 and up||Handmade vintage dolls start around $10. Coleco Cabbage Patch dolls start around $30.|
Last Updated: 12/2015.