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Taiwan Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Taiwan in 2023

Taiwan Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Taiwan in 2023

Welcome to Taiwan

Taiwan can be a destination to live adventures in nature or enjoy the city life. This island nation in Southeast Asia has a lot to offer: beautiful beaches, historical temples, vibrant cities, and a rich culture.

In this ultimate Taiwan travel guide, we will share some Taiwan travel tips and tricks and everything you need to know before traveling to this country.

Document checklist to travel to Taiwan

Essential Taiwan travel information

  • Official currency - New Taiwan dollar (NWD). $1 is equivalent to approx. NWD 30,94.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - A daily budget of around NWD 2,920 ($91).

  • Official language - Chinese.

  • Socket type - Types A and B, 110V supply voltage and 60Hz.

  • Time zone - Taipei Standard Time (GMT +08:00).

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Chiayi.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - National Palace Museum, Kenting National Park, and Sun Moon Lake.

Visa information to visit Taiwan

You will need an entry permit to travel to this beautiful island. You can visit a Taiwanese embassy to apply for the document, but many international visitors are eligible to apply for a Taiwan visa online; if you are one of them, you can get a Taiwan eVisa or Travel Authorization by submitting your information in a few clicks, after which you will receive the document via email. You can use the iVisa Visa Checker to see if these options are available for you.

Taiwan Travel Authorization Certificate

The Travel Authorization Certificate intends to make it easier for some foreign citizens to travel to Taiwan. Also known as the ROC Travel Authorization Certificate, the document works as a multiple-entry visa, valid for 90 days after arrival.

The applicant must be from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, or Cambodia. One of the requirements is having a visa or entry permit for Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

Taiwan eVisa

A Taiwan e-Visa is an electronic visa issued by the ROC (Republic of China) for travelers going to Taiwan for tourism or business purposes. It is valid for 90 days after issued and it allows a maximum stay of 30 days in total.

The e-Visa is available for nationals from Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Dominica, Ecuador, Kiribati, Kuwait, Mauritius, Montenegro, Oman, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Typical costs and budget for Taiwan

A basic guide to what you'll spend daily traveling through Taiwan on a decent budget.

Daily spending - Around NWD 2,920 ($91) per person/per day on a budget vacation. This includes:

  • Meals - NWD 433 ($33).

  • Transport - NWD 292 ($9.12).

  • Hotel - NWD 3,620 ($113) for two people.

On average, a trip for two for one week will cost NWD 40,875 ($1,277).

Transport and best ways to travel around Taiwan

Getting around in Taiwan won’t be a problem in terms of transport. The country has efficient public transportation, with a local train, metro station, and city buses. However, it can be challenging if you don't speak Chinese since most of the signs are in this national language, but it’s nothing that Google Maps and Translate can’t help with.

The trains are a great option. All major cities and towns have train stations connected by the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) network, and you can also opt for a high-speed rail on the west coast. Taking flights in Taiwan isn't a good option, given the competition with the high-speed rail: the prices are higher, and the time to cover distances is almost the same.

Buses are a good way to save money, and they can be much faster than TRA trains. The bus companies have extremely comfortable air-conditioned coaches with big cozy armchair-style seats. The disadvantage is that there are few options to travel to rural areas.

Car rental can be an option if you have an international driving permit. It’s comfortable to explore the country at your own pace; just remember it would be a problem to read the signs. In the cities, you also can use the metro and the services of taxi drivers.

Safety in Taiwan

Taiwan is among the 30 safest countries in the world, according to Global Peace Index 2022. The crime rates are low, including petty crime, so you are safe in Taiwan streets, but a little precaution in crowded tourist areas is always a way to prevent crimes like pickpocketing.

Weather in Taiwan

Taiwan has a subtropical monsoon climate. The summers are wet and humid, while the winter is short and relatively mild (average lows are between 13ºC/55ºF and 15ºC/58ºF). Taiwan has two rainy seasons that happen at different times: the first one, between May and September, and the second one, typically running between May and June.

Spring is the best time to explore the country. You will find warmer temperatures between March and May, but it will still be too cold to go for a swim. During this season, there are fantastic tourist activities for entertainment, such as festivals, hikes, and tea-picking tours.

Summer is great for enjoying the outdoors and beautiful beaches. The average high temperatures are between 27ºC/80ºF and 31ºC/87ºF. The only advice is to avoid the typhoon season, often lasting from July until September.

Popular tourist destination: Cities and towns in Taiwan

Taiwan is a place where you can enjoy a free walking tour in night markets or breathe fresh air in the national parks. Among the fantastic spots you can visit, here are some cities to include in your Taiwan itinerary:

  • Taipei City - The capital is the island’s political, economic, and cultural hub. Visit Taipei to enjoy night markets and convenience stores. You can see street art and try Taiwanese food in local restaurants in downtown Taipei.

  • Kaohsiung - This modern city has the largest port in the country. It’s known for its trendy cafes, beautiful beaches, and great parks.

  • Chiayi - A great place to explore Taiwan beyond the big cities. This small town is a nature escape, with mountain landscapes, waterfalls, traditional villages, and high-altitude tea plantations.

  • Tainan - It’s the old capital city of Taiwan. A great place to learn about the culture and visit temples and art sites.

  • Taichung - The city has amazing cultural attractions, including museums, the National Taichung Theatre, and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.

Visiting Taiwan: Must-do and see

You must check the following must-do and see in your great trip to Taiwan:

  1. Visit the National Palace Museum. It’s the major art museum of China in Taipei, and it preserves many of the art holdings of the Chinese imperial collection.

  2. Relax in the Kenting National Park. The park is a unique spot to enjoy hiking trails, white-sand beaches, caves, and coral reefs.

  3. Explore the Alishan National Scenic Area. The park is almost 2,200 meters above sea level and it covers more than 1,400 hectares with beautiful landscapes.

  4. Make a day trip to Sun Moon Lake, in Central Taiwan. It’s the largest body of water in the country, excellent for sailing, hiking, or bike riding in the hills surrounding it.

  5. Taste the local food in the Raohe Night Market, in Taipei. It’s one of the best night markets and it has great street restaurants to try traditional food.

Taiwan travel tips: Typical food to try

  • Soup Dumplings - This snack is from the south of Changjiang. The dumplings have diverse fillings and are a bit thicker, almost resembling bread more than a dumpling wrap. Soup is the soul of traditional soup dumplings.

  • Beef noodles - This delicious recipe is a traditional Taiwanese dish. It requires three essential elements: noodles, broth, and beef. The broth is crucial because it is the soul of the plate.

  • Stinky Tofu - It’s a famous street food that consists of deep-fried tofu, also known as stinky tofu. Small pieces of fermented tofu are deep-fried in oil and are eaten with a sweet and spicy sauce.

Vaccine information for Taiwan

Most travelers have questions about routine vaccines and COVID-19 measures to travel to Taiwan. You can check the CDC website to learn about all vaccine requirements and health advice to visiti the country.

Travel insurance is not mandatory. But we never know when we will need medical services, so it’s a good idea to get one before the trip.

The origin of bubble tea

Did you know that the bubble tea is Taiwanese? Invented in the 1980s, bubble tea (also called "black pearl tea" or "boba tea") is a classic in the country. Though there are dozens of variations, the most popular combination is tea, milk, and the “bubbles”, which are little balls made from tapioca or fruit jelly.

In 1986, the Taiwanese artist and entrepreneur Tu Tsong He started a new business venture by riding on the tea shop trend. The fenyuan (tapioca balls) was a traditional snack he loved from childhood, and he decided to add it to the green tea. The combination worked and made the business famous.

Taiwanese migrants brought bubble tea to the United States in the 1990s, initially in California through regions like Los Angeles county. Soon, the tea became popular in America and spread to other countries.

Fun facts about Taiwan

Taiwan has a unique culture and some interesting facts about it. Here are 10 curious things to know about the country before your trip!

  1. Portuguese sailors discovered Taiwan in 1542. The Europeans got fascinated by nature and called the land “Ilha Formosa”, which means “beautiful land”.

  2. The population is 97.7% ethnically Chinese. During the Qing Dynasty, from 1683 to 1895, the native people were almost decimated. Besides China’s colonization, the country also lived for 50 years under Japanese occupation.

  3. Taiwan is the size of Belgium but has 23 million residents, which is more than twice the population of that nation. This makes the country densely populated, especially considering that 50% of the island is covered in forest.

  4. The country is part of the Republic of China (ROC), which should not be confused with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Both parties fought during the Chinese Civil War and ignore each other’s sovereignty.

  5. In Taiwan, white symbolizes death, and it’s the color worn at funerals. But what about weddings? Well, red is the color of passion and the one used by the bride.

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