For an island with just 23 million people, Taiwan has an exceptional number of fabulous-looking ladies, among them the six profiled here.
This dignified actress (pictured top) won fans in the English-speaking world thanks to her role in Double Vision, a 2002 made-in-Taiwan supernatural mystery which also starred Hong Kong superstar Tony Leung (as a police officer and Liu's estranged husband) and David Morse, the US actor seen in 12 Monkeys and other Hollywood productions. Known to Mandarin speakers as Liu Ruo-ying, she was born in Taipei on June 1, 1970, to parents who have ancestral ties to the mainland Chinese province of Hunan.
Having attended college in California, she speaks English well enough to take on roles in overseas productions, such as a 1996 episode of Cracker, the British TV series about a criminal psychologist starring Robbie Coltrane. She's also an accomplished singer with several albums released between 1995 and 2013.
By some degree Taiwan's most successful model in recent years, Lin was born in Taipei on November 29, 1974 and educated there and in Canada. For several years now she has been a Longines ambassador, a status she shares with Andre Agassi, Kate Winslet and a handful of other global A-listers. However, a long list of top-level modeling assignments haven't stopped her from pursuing a parallel career in acting. In addition to several TV credits, she's appeared in 14 movies since 2008.
According to media reports, the 175cm-tall Lin earned up to US$5.3 million in 2010, more than Chinese supermodel Liu Wen has managed in her career. If Lin has married, she's succeeded in keeping it secret.
Having chosen a most unusual surname (an means "peace" in Chinese) for her stage name, Amber An is a singer-actress-model originally from Taichung, the largest city in central Taiwan. Her original name is Liao Qing-ling, and she was born on September 18, 1985. In 2011 and again in 2012, readers of the Taiwan edition of FHM magazine voted her not merely Taiwan's but the world's sexiest woman. Her 2012 hit We Dancing proves she has the vocal power, as well as the looks, for success.
Regarded by many of her compatriots as the personification of elegance, Tien (her name is sometimes spelled Tian Xin) began modeling part-time back in the late 1980s, while still junior high school.
Born in a military family on November 11, 1975, she continues to work hard, appearing in at least one and sometimes four new movies each year since 1993. Among the most successful have been Catch and the Hong Kong action-thriller Lethal Angels (both released in 2006).
Like Lin Chi-ling she has yet to tie the knot, and her love life continues to excite the local media.
Cheng is better known to her fellow Taiwanese as "chicken cutlet girl" because she was discovered selling deep-fried chicken steaks at a roadside eatery. There, her breezy manner and skimpy clothing (standing over a deep-fat fryer during the island's humid summers is very hot work, after all) drew a male customer-base for whom tasty food wasn't the only attraction. Judging by Cheng's perfect complexion and nubile figure, she seldom eats greasy food herself.
Many Taiwanese find Cheng's outspokeness on political issuesas refreshing. She has used her blog to criticize Taiwan's president, sharply corrected a mainland Chinese TV interviewer who implied Taiwan is part of China, and said she sees nothing wrong with gay marriage (which isn't yet legal on the island). Taiwan's media, which prefers easy sensationalism to serious investigation, is always on the look for the next "chicken cutlet girl" - and may recently have found a candidate in the shape of a young lady making and selling crepes in a Taipei night market.
Yao Cai-chen, to use her Mandarin name, is a strikingly pretty model who's been working for HTC, Samsung and other major brands since 2011. According to online sources, she's 165cm tall, weighs 50kg and her vital statistics are 32F/26/37.
No list of a country's most alluring ladies is likely to satisfy everyone, and Taiwan-based readers are likely to argue for the inclusion of internationally successful model-actress Bianca Bai, singer turned soap-opera star Cyndi Wang, or former MTV presenter Mandy Wei.