Taipei City - Taiwan
Taipei City - Taiwan

Taipei City

Views over the city with the Taipei 101 skyscraper
Photo by Thomas Tucker

TAIWAN

Asia

Taiwan Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Taipei

Location:

Eastern Asia, islands bordering the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeastern coast of China

Currency:

New Taiwan dollars (TWD)

Area:

35,980 sq km

Population:

23,572,052 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min Nan), Hakka dialects, approximately 16 indigenous languages

Religion:

Buddhist 35.3%, Taoist 33.2%, Christian 3.9%, folk religion (includes Confucian) approximately 10%, none or unspecified 18.2% (2005 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+8

Tel Code:

+886

Weather

Climate

Taiwan has a subtropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The country experiences a monsoon season, which brings heavy rain and typhoons during the summer months.

Summer (June-September) temperatures can reach up to 35°C (95°F) and it is also the typhoon season with heavy rain.

Winter (December-February) temperatures can drop to around 10°C (50°F) in the north and around 15°C (59°F) in the south.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Taiwan depends on your interests.

  • For outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking, the best time to visit is from October to November and from March to May, when the weather is mild and there is little rain.
  • For hot springs, the best time to visit is all year round as Taiwan is known for it's hot springs and the temperature is always warm.
  • For cultural and historical sightseeing, any time of the year is suitable as the majority of the attractions are indoor.
  • For food lovers, Taiwan is a paradise all year round, with delicious street food and night markets throughout the country. It's worth noting that in the spring, Taiwan is covered in blooming flowers, which makes it a perfect time for nature enthusiasts. Also, the fall is known to be one of the best times to visit as the country is covered in colorful leaves, making it a beautiful and unique experience.

Transportation

Public transportation

Taiwan has an efficient and well-developed public transportation system, which includes buses, metro systems, and trains. The metro system, also known as the MRT, is available in major cities such as Taipei and Kaohsiung, and it is a convenient option for getting around the city. The High Speed Rail (HSR) connects major cities in Taiwan and it's a fast and comfortable way to travel around the island.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available in Taiwan and can be found at taxi stands or hailed on the street. Taxis in Taiwan are relatively affordable, but it's recommended to agree on a fare before starting the journey as some drivers may take advantage of tourists.

Car rental

Renting a car is also an option for visitors to Taiwan, which can be a good way to explore the country's remote areas and scenic routes. Visitors should be aware that the road conditions can vary and the driving itself can be challenging. It's also important to note that traffic laws are strictly enforced, so extra caution is needed when driving.

Bicycle

Bicycle is also a good way to explore the country's remote areas and scenic routes, particularly in the urban areas. Bicycle rental is available in some cities, but it's not as popular as other options.

Domestic flights

Domestic flights are also available in Taiwan, which can be a good option for traveling to remote areas of the island that are not easily accessible by other means of transportation. It's also a good option for travelers looking to save time and get around the island quickly.

Accommodation

Hotels

Taiwan has a wide variety of hotels, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly options. Visitors can find accommodation in major cities such as Taipei and Kaohsiung, as well as in smaller towns and villages. Many hotels offer amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and restaurants.

Guesthouses

Another option for visitors is staying in a guesthouse. These are often family-run and offer a more personal and authentic experience. Guesthouses are also available in major cities and smaller towns and villages, and they can provide a comfortable and affordable accommodation.

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to experience the local culture and customs of Taiwan. Visitors can stay with a local family and get a sense of the daily life in the country. Homestays can be arranged in most towns and villages and can offer a unique and immersive experience.

Hostels

Hostels are also an option for budget-conscious travelers, and are more common in major cities such as Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung and Tainan. Hostels offer dormitory-style rooms and shared facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals such as apartments, villas, and vacation homes are also an option for travelers visiting Taiwan. These rentals are available in many cities and towns across the island, offering more space and privacy than a hotel room.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Taiwan Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is an island nation located in East Asia. Known for its natural beauty, delicious street food, and rich culture, Taiwan is an exciting destination for travelers. Whether you're interested in exploring ancient temples, hiking in the mountains, or experiencing the vibrant night markets, Taiwan has something to offer for everyone. Here are the top 10 things to do in Taiwan:

      1. Explore Taipei 101

      Taipei 101, also known as the Taipei Financial Center, is one of Taiwan's most iconic landmarks. Visitors can take an elevator to the observation deck on the 89th floor for panoramic views of the city.

      2. Visit the National Palace Museum

      The National Palace Museum is home to an extensive collection of Chinese art and artifacts, including many from the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is one of the most important cultural institutions in Taiwan.

      3. Take a trip to Sun Moon Lake

      Sun Moon Lake is a beautiful lake located in central Taiwan, surrounded by lush mountains. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake, hike in the surrounding hills, and visit the nearby Wenwu Temple.

      4. Visit Taroko National Park

      Taroko National Park is a beautiful national park located in eastern Taiwan, known for its stunning marble canyons and hiking trails. Visitors can hike to the famous Taroko Gorge and see the famous Eternal Spring Shrine and the Swallow Grotto.

      5. Explore Alishan National Scenic Area

      Alishan National Scenic Area is a beautiful mountain area located in southern Taiwan, known for its scenic hiking trails, hot springs, and beautiful sunrises. Visitors can take the famous Alishan Forest Railway and see the famous Giant Trees.

      6. Visit Tainan City

      Tainan City is the oldest city in Taiwan and it's known for its well-preserved historic sites, including the Chikan Tower and the Tainan Confucius Temple. Visitors can also visit the Tainan City God Temple, one of the most famous temples in Taiwan.

      7. Visit Kaohsiung City

      Kaohsiung City is the second largest city in Taiwan and known for its night markets and street food, as well as its modern architecture. Visitors can take a walk along the Love River and see the famous Dragon and Tiger Pagodas.

      8. Visit Yehliu Geopark

      Yehliu Geopark is a beautiful coastal area located in northern Taiwan, known for its unusual rock formations. Visitors can see the famous Queen's Head rock formation and take a walk along the coast.

      9. Visit Kenting National Park

      Kenting National Park is a beautiful national park located in southern Taiwan, known for its beaches and coral reefs. Visitors can take a walk along the beach and see the famous Chuanfan Rock.

      10. Enjoy the street food

      Taiwan is famous for its delicious street food, and visitors can find a wide variety of street food options throughout the country, from traditional snacks like stinky tofu to more modern creations like bubble tea. It's a great way to experience the local culture and taste some of the best food Taiwan has to offer.

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