Taiwan is, most of the time, overlooked when visitors draw up their epic Asia journey. However, more people understand that this little island is an outstanding travel destination.
Taiwan has a bit of whatever, together with its efficient transportation system, affordable travel, safety, and the kindness of residents are just a few reasons it’s becoming a famous destination.
You find a high number of sources online for traveling in Taiwan, but there are full Taiwan travel tips to understand before you go that will aid make your trip go a lot smoother.
Climate and Seasonal Tips For Travel in Taiwan
Winter season: Mid-December to Very Early March
Weather: Wintertime is short and relatively moderate in Taiwan for travel, with low-temperature levels generally hovering around 8 ° C (46 ° F) in the evening punctuated by the occasional cold snap and even more regular bouts of spring-like weather. Though rarely icy by non-subtropical island requirements, the chill is made even more biting by humidity and additionally the necessary absence of central heating (other than in better resorts). Layers, a winter coat, and a rainfall coat isn’t a bad idea. Down in Kenting, it’ll still be beach weather on some days (and as well hiking weather conditions when it’s not, other than on the rainiest of days).
Weather highlights: Winter is an entire event period in Taiwan for travel, with Lunar New Year festivities beginning in late January or early February and continuing for near to a month with various festivals around the island. Besides a couple of days around Lunar New Year itself, all museums around Taiwan are open throughout the winter, making it a fun time to obtain your culture fix. Moreover, naturally, no winter months browse through to Taiwan would be complete without a few visits to fantastic geothermal thermal springs.
Springtime Early March – Late May
Weather: Spring is usually an excellent time to travel to Taiwan, as temperature levels tend to vary between cold and cozy without being too severe in either instruction. You’ll intend to wear layers up north, and in the hills, you’ll require to put on the cold-weather gear. Down southern in Kenting, it’s continuously it’s always beach weather.
Weather highlights: Springtime is a great time to go trekking in Taiwan’s high hills. We have got 240+ of them that go beyond 3000 meters). Cherry bloom period occurs this moment of year too. Taiwan’s fabulous multi-day Springtime Scream songs event takes place the initial weekend break of April on Taiwan’s southerly tip. Numerous bicyclists feel that Springtime and additionally Fall are both the most exceptional periods to ride around Taiwan.
Summertime: Early June to Mid September
Weather: Summertime is hot, and hurricanes (particularly in August and September) can occasionally disturb your plans, especially if you intend to boat or fly to among the islands. Shorts, as well as tees, are fine other than in the most considerable elevations, yet pack a couple of lengthy-sleeved shirts and as well a set or 2 of lengthy trousers for evening activities and besides for excessively air-conditioned trains, malls, and cinema! (Additionally, pack sunblock.).
Seasonal Highlights: Summer season is coastline season around the island, as well as Taiwan’s East Coast beaches, which are especially charming this moment of the year. If your more right into technology stuff (with remaining inside your home), June is when Computex Taipei occurs, it’s Asia’s largest IT convention, attracting industry specialists as well as travelers alike.
Autumn: Mid September to Mid-December
Weather: Fall is an excellent time for those aiming to have a complete Taiwan experience, as the climate’s cool without being too cold and the total dampness of winter (especially in the north) has yet to sink in. Dress in layers, with bringing rain gear. Down in Kenting, it’s still beach weather condition.
Weather Highlights: The Mid-Autumn Event is the second-largest standard Taiwanese celebration. It generally falls in September, yet occasionally in early October. You take advantage of Taiwan’s subtropical climate to enjoy the festival comfortably if you want to travel there. Hill climbing is prominent among locals this time around of year, as well as tons of bicyclists come to tour Taiwan in the Fall. Autumn is likewise peak windsurfing period in Penghu.
Crucial Things to Know Before You Go
- Taiwan doesn’t take USD, Canadian bucks, euros, or any international money, so make sure you exchange it. Financial institutions open at 9 AM, and you need your passport to transfer cash. Some hotels offer additionally exchange some money. The currency exchange rate is currently 1 USD to 33 New Taiwan dollars or NT.
- Taiwan makes use of the very same voltage as the USA, 110V. If you’re originating from Europe or somewhere not 110V, obtain an adapter.
- Tipping is not part of the culture in Taiwan. When I tried to tip my hairstylist when I got a hair cut, she got upset.
- It is unbelievably secure in Taiwan. It is additionally risk-free for a lady to walk the streets at midnight due to the many evening markets and dining establishments.
- Taipei. As a capital, there is so much to do in Taipei (do not forget New Taipei). Shop, eat, check out the zoo, hike, check out memorial halls and galleries, go to the evening markets, and so much more. It’s my Taipei travel guide, and I hope you will read the full article.
- Taipei 101. The previous leader of the highest structure on the planet where visitors eat, shop, and go up to the top for incredible sights. Or view the many objections that take place together to learn more regarding the present political problems bordering Taiwan.
- Hualien. Hualien county holds a few of the most stunning natural landscapes. Taroko National Forest and Quingshui Cliff are simply a pair of preferred spots.
- Sun Moon Lake. This well-known lake in the Nantou region is the largest body in Taiwan and is just one of the most popular tourist locations because of the shape. The eastern side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side looks like a moon. For this reason, the name and has spectacular sunups.
- Kenting National Forest. This national park sits in the southerly part of the island, where visitors go to the southernmost point. The roadway with the park provides attractive breathtaking viewpoints, surfing, coastlines and also is a favorite vacation destination for city locals.
- Alishan. A hilly area of Taiwan, Alishan is recognized for trekking, spectacular mountain sights, falls, and tea ranches.
- Jiufen. The city with the old street that influenced the motion picture Spirited Away, Jiufen is the portal to several of the very best hikes on the island.
- Yushan. For trekking fans, this is a must. Yushan is not only the acme in Taiwan, yet in all of East Asia at 12,966 feet.
Things to do in Taiwan
- Night markets. One of the most important things to do in Taiwan. Try the local food, play some video games, eat, purchase affordable stuff. Do not hesitate to swap which prevails, but if you look like an immigrant or “外國人,” expect to pay more.
- Walk. Mountains mainly cover Taiwan with extraordinary walking. Much of them lead to scenic views and into the bargain excellent places for the sunrise/sunset. Some of the popular locations are Teapot Mountain, Yushan including Beidawushan.
- Eat. I cannot emphasize sufficient how much impressive food there is to try in Taiwan.
- Warm springs. Taiwan has more than 100 thermal springs and has among the most considerable focus on the planet. The most beautiful areas to go are Beitou and Yangmingshan.
- Consume. Taiwan’s Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique was named the best single malt scotch in the world in 2015 (I have tried it, it is excellent). Taiwan tea (green, oolong, and black) is just one of the best in the world, and their oolong tea makes up 20% of the world’s manufacturing. Taiwan made the checklist for leading ten best coffee destinations on the planet in 2015.
- Store. Neglect the malls, hit the old roads in Taiwan where you discover special mementos including arts and crafts.
- Rent scooters. When you reach Taiwan, you’ll recognize why. The scooter society in Taiwan is inside, and it is an excellent means to see the country!
- If you are shed, do not understand which bus to take, or need a flight, call 0800-024-111. It is a toll-cost-free vacationer hotline in Chinese, Japanese, and English, and they assist you with whatever you need aid with. In case of emergency, phone call 119.
- Remember a few of the essential traveling words in Mandarin (conventional) like how much. I’m lost, etc. Several city citizens speak a level of English and assist you to the very best of their capacity, however. It’s great to have the words written down or bring a Mandarin Chinese phrasebook.
- To rent an auto, you need to have an international driving license for the first one month you remain in the country. You get one at the American Auto Organization or the Electric Motor Autos Workplaces in Taipei (check needs). Longer than thirty days, you should request an expansion.
- If you take the public bus in Taiwan, you must have exact change if you do not have a card. Inform the motorist where you are going, and he informs you how much it is. Write your travel destination down because many chauffeurs do not speak a lick of English.
- To rent a YouBike, you must have a happy card together with register it at the booth. A fantastic way to get around Taipei!
- Taxis are low-cost in Taiwan but bus vehicle drivers, see to it you write where you are going (or learn to state it in Mandarin). See to it they use the meter and buckle your safety belt– they drive a bit crazy!
- The MRT is super easy to use in addition to their train system. If you do not have a happy card, you should make use of the devices to buy a token each time you make use of the MRT.
Food and Drink
Food is very cheap in Taiwan if you eat local. If you do not see, such as Taiwanese food, be prepared to pay for it because it sets you back even more to eat Western food like pizza, sandwiches, or pasta. Eat local food, and also you spend less than 300 TWD ($9.50) a day each for all three meals, including dessert. Consume something various, as well as you’re considering paying a minimum of 200 TWD ($6.50) per person per meal.
Taiwan has several of the best food worldwide, so I highly recommend trying some local dishes. If you intend to consume something Western for a more affordable price, try to find a breakfast or morning meal place in Taiwan. They usually have omelets, hamburgers, sandwiches, hash browns, and toast for local rates (50– 100 TWD).
Are you just consuming on a budget? Avoid the shopping mall and search for areas that sell genuinely cheap lunch boxes, typically less than 60 TWD (~$2). You get rice, meat, vegetables, and soup.
If you dislike shellfish/shrimp/seafood, write it down and reveal your waitress. Yeison is deathly adverse shrimp, which is typically utilized in well, mostly all their meals, so I ensured to ask every single time we headed out to consume if it had shrimp.
Rooms are a lot more costly on Saturdays. They can be approximately twice as much or more. I utilized Hotels.com and Agoda when reserving resorts in Taiwan.
If you find yourself in need of affordable hotel space, search for a motel. Even though most of them are technically love motels, they are a bargain if you lack a place to stay. The majority are 1000 TWD ($ 31) a day, and into the agreement, some also have a health spa and massage chairs.
Airbnb is getting popular in Taiwan, so take a look permanently offers.
Staying in Touch
If you want a prepaid sim card for your phone, you can most likely to any phone company workplace and also buy one. All you require is an unlocked phone, your ticket, and pay in cash. We obtained a 30-day sim card filled with 100 TWD for phone calls, including unrestricted internet for 900 TWD (~$30) from Chunghwa Telecom.
Wi-Fi in Taiwan is very easy to find the island is like one giant spot. There are 4,400 cost-free iTaiwan hot spots for immigrants, and all they require is a local number to register.
Language in Taiwan
The primary language in Taiwan is Chinese. The written word is traditional Chinese. Unofficially, the regional language of Taiwanese is also typically utilized in conversation, particularly in southern Taiwan.
English is not generally talked in Taiwan. Nevertheless, the young generation speaks some English. (They understand better than they talk.) Taiwanese are among the friendliest folks in the world, so do not be afraid to ask for aid.
Pro Tip: When you request help, don’t start with, “Do you talk English?” Not many Taiwanese will confidently say, yes. Instead, approach them by talking Chinese such as “Ni Hao” (Hi) or “Qing Wen” (May I ask). You carry the remainder discussion in English. Thank you is “Xie Xie.”.
Exactly How Expensive is Taipei
Taiwan, generally, is surprisingly inexpensive for a developed nation. Also, in Taipei, you can handle your budget to take pleasure in deluxe at a portion of what you would certainly spend in various other metropolitans. Your travel budget will be even less outside of Taipei.
FYI, if you are thinking about relocating to Taiwan, keep in mind that I’m creating my travel tips for tourists in Taiwan. Living expenditures will be different from traveling expenses, thanks to high rents, power expenses, and import taxes.
To give you a suggestion, here are a couple of instances:
- A bottle of water: NT$ 20-30 (USD 1).
- Americano Coffee: NT$ 90 (USD 3).
- Milk tea: NT$ 50 (USD 2).
- Beef Noodle Soup: NT$ 100-200 (USD 3-6).
- Hot pot for two individuals: NT$ 700-1,500 (USD 22-50).
- Taxi: Meter begins at NT$ 70 (USD 2.20).
- Taipei MRT Ticket: It starts from NT$ 20 (USD 0.60). IC Cards: NT$ 16 (USD 0.50).
A bottle of water is extremely inexpensive in Taiwan, which is excellent because you are not advised to drink tap water. If you eat like locals, one dish set you back as low as NT$ 100 (USD 3). Dining at a high-end restaurant costs dramatically much more.
- A lot of cafes serve either filtering system or boiled faucet water, which is typically secure. Drinks made at Taiwan’s typical shops are made with filtered water, as will certainly the ice.
- Water top quality in Kaohsiung tends to be even worse than in various other cities.
- Water fountains in Taiwan regularly incorporate filters, and they can be located in virtually every lodge or hotel in addition to (for instance) more extensive galleries and Taipei MRT terminals. I really recommend you to visit Taipei. You can re-fill, including reuse your bottles at these fountains too.
- Taiwan’s currency is called The New Taiwan Dollar, or NT for short.
- Costs come in denominations of NT$ 100, $200, $500, $1000, and NT$ 2000 (though the last one is pretty unusual).
- Coins can be found in units of NT$ 1, $5, $10, and $50. (You might additionally see NT$ 20 coins, yet these are furthermore uncommon).
- The US$- NT$ exchange rate has hovered pretty near US$ 1 = NT$ 33
- The majority of ATM on the island has an English language alternative, yet only about fifty percent accept international cards. Your best choice to get cash from a foreign account with your debit card is to visit any Bank of Taiwan Branch, or any branch of a non-Taiwanese bank (HSBC, etc.).
- Foreign money can be traded at government-designated financial institutions and hotels. Make sure you save your receipt. You’ll require it to exchange extra NT bucks before departure.
- Typically speaking, Taiwan credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express also Diners Club) are accepted at hotels, better restaurants, and even most grocery stores.
All site visitors to Taiwan must have a passport valid for six months (except the citizens of Japan that hold a passport valid for three months, also people of the United States that are just needed to have a passport valid for the entire duration of stay). Site visitors from China have unique needs.
Top 10 Travel Tips For How To NOT Look Like a Tourist in Taiwan
Drink Like a Local
You have got to know more about how to buy iced tea. You can not go to the homeland of bubble tea without trying it! Cold tea shops get on every corner, and understanding is comfortable with their convenient English menus and into the bargain images that you point at. However be gotten ready for two crucial concerns: Just how much bing kuai (ice), and flavor (sugar), do you want?
For ice, ‘normal’ is most likely ideal for the majority of Western tastes, while lots of residents choose xiao bing (little ice) Wei bing (very little ice) or Qu bing (no ice). For sugar, be cautioned that ‘normal’ is sweet. Xiao tang or Wei flavor is a more secure bet, while I continuously choose with wu-tang (no sugar). Some stores procedure sugar in % together with has handy little charts for that moreover.
You might observe that beer is sold everywhere in Taiwan, and it’s legal to drink nearly anywhere (except the MRT!) Still, few locals would certainly ever before a walk around with a beer on their hand. They prefer to consume alcohol at a dining establishment table, or maybe while being in the park. Lots of long-lasting expats still walk around with ‘road beers,’ though, and so long as your behavior is regular and polite, nobody seems to mind. However, once again, if you are aiming not to attract attention, after that, you must prevent this.
Eat Like a Local
Taiwan is a country of foodies, also eating in the remarkable restaurants and evening markets in Taipei is among the fantastic joys of traveling here. Generally talking, the food is clean together with risk-free to consume all over in Taiwan.
In local restaurants, it can sometimes be challenging to understand what to do first. In some cases, your order, sit, eat, then pay. Occasionally your order, pay, relax, after that lunch. Sometimes you leave your meals on the table when you are done, and in some cases, you place them on a rack as you move.
Considering that even locals recognize this vary, the most effective point to do is view what various other customers are doing. If you can’t locate napkins, there are commonly tissue dispensers on the restaurant establishment walls instead of on the tables. Finally, if a restaurant worker leaves a bill on your desk, that means you require to take it up to the front to pay when you’re completed. Don’t ever call for the waiter/waitress. My friend, together with me, did that on our initial day in Taiwan because it was typical to do that in China, where we had been before. We got some quite severe stares.
When eating street food or strolling via night markets, it is entirely appropriate to eat also stroll. It’s commonly the only choice! You might wonder where every person puts their rubbish. The majority of night markets have a huge bin at the entrance, while MRT stations are everyone’s best area to eliminate trash or use the toilet.
Walk on the Left, Stand on the Right
There is a rule of thumb on escalators in Taipei. The right side of the elevator is always for standing, while the left side is for people to go up. Don’t be that individual who causes human traffic congestion.
Extra MRT Etiquette
The Taipei MRT is the pride of Taiwan. This very quick, risk-free, clean, and efficient city system is taken into consideration among the very best in the world. One thing that makes it fantastic is that (practically) everybody complies with the correctness of the MRT.
The evident rules are secure since they are announced and published everywhere: no consuming, alcohol consumption, smoking or chewing gum, or betel nut (OK, visitors possibly won’t do the last one).
But below are the much less obvious ones: focus on the yellow lines where you need to queue up for the train, wait for individuals to leave before boarding, then relocate promptly to an area with fewer people when it’s crowded. Don’t obstruct doorways, and don’t lean against them because they open up on either side.
However, the one thing that would promptly give you away as a discourteous traveler would be to being in a dark blue chair, designated for the needy, when you don’t need it, and correctly if you did so and failed to give it up when somebody who required it. If you do need to sit because of a physical problem that’s not noticeable or visible, you obtain a sticker label to put on your t-shirt from the information counter at any terminal.
If I choose just something that makes a vacationer attract attention in Taipei or Taiwan, it’s too loud in particular places.
To be reasonable, Taiwan can be rather loud. In a country this crowded, noise pollution is a very actual thing, however, mostly it originates from traffic, construction, together with local celebrations. Yet still, not knowing when and where to keep your voice down is a Taiwan rookie telltale sign.
Again, this is returning to the MRT (Are you starting to see a theme right here? Be kind on the MRT!). You might discover that the MRT in Taiwan is uncommonly, virtually eerily quiet. What lots of non-Taiwanese would consider a respectful volume of conversation is still a few decibels too high for the MRT.
The same point uses on all transportation across Taiwan, including buses, trains, together with the high-speed rail. A lot of Taiwanese individuals catnap on these forms of transport and do dislike loud talkers. The same chooses to talk on your phone, seeing videos or listening to songs loudly with earphones, although some locals (specifically the elderly) can be bad for these things as well.
Keeping it silent, virtually anywhere public in Taiwan, is the norm. Besides, citizens do have their loud moments, but if you wish to avoid being the apparent tourist, after that note, these Taiwan travel tips.
Know the Cultural Taboos
Courteous Always, yet Never Touchy
Politeness is a lifestyle in Taiwan and is instructed in schools. Being polite, even if angry, will continuously serve you much better in Taiwan. This is a ‘please’ and ‘excuse me’ caring country.
Nonetheless, most Taiwanese are not comfy with touching new friends or acquaintances. Little responds or hand waves are chosen for greetings or bye-byes, and even numerous company people still aren’t instead made use of to the handshake. And if you intend to creep someone out, embracing a hug or European design, kiss must work.
Taiwanese people are incredibly open-minded, though, and a lot of people have taken a trip abroad, so you may likewise come across exemptions to this.
Likewise note, Taiwanese don’t tend to chat with strangers as much as lots of Westerners do. Attempting to strike up a discussion with the waitress of a clerk at 7-Eleven won’t do anything more than scare the shit out of that person since they feel their English is being tested (my Dad does it when he visits, much to the embarrassment of myself and my various other family members). While people are typically literally close together in Taiwan, the majority of people still try to appreciate each other’s space along with personal privacy.
Omit National politics
Unless you are guaranteed a person wants to discuss politics, it’s better to avoid it. Most people (especially the more youthful generation) don’t care to speak about it. The partnership in between China along with Taiwan is an incredibly sensitive and challenging issue, and making the wrong assumption concerning Taiwanese individuals’ political rate of interests, nationwide identification, or sensations in the direction of China could be a simple method to cause offense do not go there unless that individual asks first.
Dress As You Wish, Reasonably
What to wear in Taiwan
The bright side is that Taipei is a liberal city when it concerns style, among other things. You possibly will not need to alter or fret about what to wear in Taiwan considerably.
You get away with casual clothing in all yet the fanciest restaurants. For females, short shorts, mini-skirts, along with container tops, are all utterly tremendous and frequent, additionally for walking at night. Shoes are additionally typical for much of the year, as are shorts for guys. All of this even relates to going to temples.
Shoes in Taiwan
Still, Taipei is not the beach. Coastline kind clothes that you could see backpackers across SE Asia putting on is not typical in Taipei, so clothing similar to this would certainly be a great way to radiate vacationer limelight on yourself. While Taiwanese are accepting of various styles, the hippie look, piercings, or tattoos, and huge beards on men are much from common amongst locals, so they make you stand apart.
Never go barefoot in Taipei. Residents would find that straight-out disgusting and disrespectful. Besides inside people’s homes, you will always be provided sandals (that are constantly 1 or 3 sizes too small) to use inside.
Never go barefoot in Taipei. Locals would find that outright disgusting and disrespectful. Even inside people’s homes, you will always be offered slippers (that are still 1 or 3 sizes too small) to wear inside.
Ultimately, if you are a lot more utilized to cold weather than the Taiwanese are, after that, you could obtain a lot of surprised reactions from residents if you do not wrap in winter months. The lowest temperature levels in Taipei in wintertime are around 10 degrees Celsius (although it feels quite a bit chillier with the moisture). If you are taking a trip with kids, citizens will assume you are nuts if you do not put multiple layers on them in winter, also on warmer winter days.
Everyone I know that has gone to Taiwan always leaves with excellent emotions and likes their time there. Something that every single one of them has stated to me is that Taiwan is enjoyable. With lots of destinations, cultural sites, outside tasks along with delicious food and drink, Taiwan makes any site visitor love the stunning island. After these useful Taiwan travel tips in my blog, I hope you will have a great trip!