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Taiwan has become the first place in the world to offer free wifi access to visitors from overseas. The state had already provided its own residents with free access through an extensive network of access zones.

The government in Taiwan is backing the scheme, called iTaiwan, which started two years ago. There are now around 4000 access points located around the island state including key sites of interest as well as key transport locations and governmental sites.

Local residents have been able to access the Wifi by providing their phone number and now the service has been expanded to enable tourists to benefit from the same access. Overseas visitors can gain access to the network by presenting their passport in a tourist office. These are located in airports, Metro or train stations. On presentation they will be provided with an account number which will unlock the Wifi network.

As well as being known as a hot bed of technology and manufacturing, Taiwan also plays home to stunning landscapes to be found once outside the highly populous cities. With 23 million residents the island is one of the most densely populated in the world but escape from the cities and there is plenty of unspoilt country to discover for travellers who take the time.

Alishan in the centre of the island showcases forestland packed with giant Cypress trees. The area is accessed by a narrow gauge railway. It may not be world renowned for it but the island also has plenty of sandy beaches. Among the most famous destinations for beach lovers is the Kenting National Park which combines sun-swept sands with a backdrop of dense greenery.

Taiwan has several 'protected nature sites' too including Mount Lala which is home to trees that are said to be as many as 2800 years old including a tree, known as the No 5 divine tree, considered by many to be older than Confucius himself. The area is also known for its ample supply of peaches which are ripe for the picking in July and August.

Taiwan's cultural and economic centre, Taipei, offers a dramatic contrast to the wild and natural face of the island. As well as playing host to numerous cultural diversions such as the National Palace Museum, which is considered by many to be home to the finest collection of Chinese Art in the world, it is also a shopper's paradise. The Shilin Night Market is among the many shopping opportunities. Positively teeming with food and shopping delights, the market is a must see attraction on this island of diverse pleasures from the natural to the manmade.

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