The International airports in Taipei and Kaohsiung are served by a wide number of International and Asian airlines, with excellent global connections.
Taiwan’s major carriers are China Airlines (China Airlines online) and EVA Airlines (EVA-Air website). There are two international airports in Taiwan: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport) in Taoyuan (about 40 KM from Taipei City), and KIA Airport (Kaohsiung International Airport) in Kaohsiung. Except for some flights to and from between Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as South East Asia land in KIA Airport, most international flights all land in CKS Airport.
There are weekly passenger services on ferries between Taiwan and Okinawa (Japan).
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
Taiwan offers excellent activities at all times of the year. Typhoon season occurs in the summer months, primarily August through October. Yet, overall Taiwan's weather is hot and humid in the summer months. They strongly suggest travelers pack in a layered manner, especially when traveling outside of Taiwan to the mountainous areas which can get cooler due to the changes in elevation.
Taiwan’s official currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (NT$). Coins come in denominations of NT$1, 5, 10 and 50 while notes are issued in values of NT$50,100, 500 and 1000. Please use our currency converter: XE.com Currency Converter to check current exchange rates.
Banks and Hotels will exchange most major currencies. Major credit cards are accepted in most Taiwanese cities and large towns.
Taiwan's official language is Mandarin Chinese. Other languages spoken include the traditional Taiwanese language (also known as Hokkien or Minnan), English and some aboriginal languages and dialects.
Mandarin is the most widespread and commonly used language. The Taiwanese language has no written form, which has prevented it from becoming as sustained and easily used as Mandarin.
Mandarin Chinese is a complex language, with a great deal of tonal variation in its pronunciation. The language uses over 5000 characters, rather than a set alphabet.
Travelers should also keep the name of their hotel and/or destinations in written form with them at all times for use with taxi drivers and asking passers-by for directions.
While a simplified form of Chinese (Pinyin) has gained popularity in mainland China, in Taiwan the traditional Mandarin form remains the language of choice. This makes Taiwan an excellent place for learning Chinese. In addition to the range of courses available, the extremely common use of Mandarin makes this an excellent immersion atmosphere for the students.
Taiwan is also the most ideal place to learn Chinese. There are numerous language schools that offer Chinese classes, ranging from hourly-based classes to recognized university programs. Many foreigners from Europe and the United States, as well as other areas, come to Taiwan to spend their holidays, or one or two years, studying Chinese.
Taiwan has advanced healthcare standards, with prices that are competitive on the world market, and enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in fields such as hepatology, dentistry, and craniofacial plastic surgery. And what's more, traditional Chinese medical treatments are also available. For years, overseas Chinese and foreign visitors have come to Taiwan for checkups and other healthcare services. But now that other Asian countries like India, Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea are actively promoting medical tourism, Taiwan government has also begun developing comprehensive health-tourism programs, giving visitors a wide range of healthcare options.
Tips are not usually expected in Taiwan, especially in restaurants and taxis. However, a small tip for bellboys or airport porters is appreciated (about $1 US per piece of luggage). Hotels normally include a 10-percent service charge with room rates and meals.
Taiwan has a widespread and reliable network of bus services. Government run buses have two separate classes- Kuokuang (luxury) and Chunghsing (economy).
There are numerous private bus and coach services with a wide range of services and comfort levels. Tickets can be booked in advance from travel agencies.
There are two coastal train services in Taiwan- on the East Coast (Diesel services) and the West Coast (Electrified services).
There are four classes of train travel in Taiwan, with the best, Ziqiang, offering luxury air conditioned carriages and dining cars.
Efficient, metered taxi services are available in Taiwanese cities and large towns. Drivers rarely speak English, so always have your destination (and return address) written down in full Chinese characters before you set out.
Car hire is possible in Taiwan, through rental agencies based in most cities and large towns. An average rental is around NT$2500 daily- limited mileage, insurance and fuel costs apply.
Driving in Taiwan is on the right hand side of the road, and while road conditions are good, traffic can be heavy and congested.
Citizens of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America holding passports valid for at least six months and onward or return tickets are allowed visa free entry to Taiwan at any of its major international airports and harbors for a period of 30 days. (This visa is non-extendable.)
For other nationalities, Visa requirements include one completed application form, inbound and outbound travel tickets (or a letter of confirmation from a travel agency), three photos, documents verifying the purpose of the visit (except for transit or sightseeing) and a letter of guarantee (in some cases).
Taiwan’s subtropical climate, with generally warm temperatures and Northern Hemisphere Summers (June-September) and winters (November-March) Summers can be hot and wet, although rainfall is often limited to afternoon and evening storms. Winter temperatures are mild and the only snowfall is on Mountain peaks.