This Taiwan Travel Guide will help you plan your adventures the right way, read this 30 most FAQ about Formosa.
Do I need a visa for Taiwan?
If you are from one of the following countries, you are eligible for the 90-day visa-exemption program. This means you can stay up to 90 days in Taiwan without a visa. All you need to show is a passeport with 6 months of validity, and an onward ticket out of Taiwan.
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA, Vatican
When is the best time to visit Taiwan?
Difficult question… Taiwan can surely be visited any month of the year, but there is a general consensus that October to December is best weather-wise. My personal favorite month is November for blue skies and comfortable weather, not too hot or cold.
When is the typhoon season?
Typhoon season is roughly from July to September, but nowadays it’s not uncommon to have typhoons even in June and October.
What are the main International Taiwanese airlines?
China Airlines and Eva Airways are the two main national carriers that offer flights to and from destinations around the world.
Where should I land? What is the main airport?
The majority of travelers to Taiwan land at Taoyuan International Airport, just outside Taipei City, in the northern part of the island. Kaohsiung International Airport in the south also welcomes flights from South East Asia.
Is Taiwan a safe place to travel?
Taiwan is one of the safest places to travel in the world. It’s a very safe place to walk alone at night. And also one of the safest destinations for solo female travelers.
What are the main cities in Taiwan?
Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung are the three biggest cities along the West Coast of the island. On the East Coast, Yilan, Hualien, and Taitung are the three main urban areas.
How much time should I plan for my trip?
This is one of the most difficult questions to answer… But my usual answer goes like this:
- 1 week limits you to Taipei and the north.
- 2 weeks is the bare minimum for a full round-the-island trip.
- 3 weeks allows you to visit more remote destinations in the Central Mountain Range or take trips to outlying islands.
- 1 month is perfect for a complete tour of Taiwan, without having to rush.
Is one week enough to visit Taiwan?
It’s enough to visit one area only. Sure, you could travel by HSR and hop all over the island and tick locations on a big list, but to me that’s just not the best way to visit a place like Taiwan. Slow travel is best here on Formosa.
How many days should I plan to spend in Taipei?
3 days is enough to visit the main sights. 4 to 5 days lets you take trips around Taipei to the Northeast Coast or Yangming Mountain National Park.
Are hotels expensive?
It depends where. Big cities have many excellent, modern mid-range options. Touristic spots like Alishan and Kenting have outrageous prices but that is set to change as many Taiwanese tourists have decided to boycott those popular resorts due to unreasonably expensive accommodation.
On average, it’s cheaper than Singapore, more expensive than South-East Asia.
Is traveling around Taiwan by public transportation easy?
One of the main reasons tourists love their experience on Formosa is the ease of moving around by train, bus, high-speed rail. It’s safe, affordable, and fun!
Does Taiwan have nice beaches? Where are they?
There are tons of beaches in Taiwan.
What kind of electricity is used in Taiwan? Do I need an adaptor?
The electric current in Taiwan is 110V AC, just like in North America. The wall sockets look like this:
What is the currency in Taiwan?
The currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (NT$)
What is the main language in Taiwan?
Mandarin Chinese is the main language. Taiwanese is spoken widely in the south. These two languages are not the same. I can speck Mandarin Chinese. I cannot understand a single word of Taiwanese.
Will I be able to travel around without knowing any Mandarin?
Yes, easy, no problem! There are lots of English signs all over the place at bus / train / HSR stations, at most touristic spots, and nowadays many restaurants have good English menus. Deep in the mountains, or in small countryside villages could be a bit more challenging. You’ll be fine… there’s always someone around who can speak a bit of English. Taiwanese are always happy to help travelers!
I heard it’s very polluted, should I worry about that?
Pollution is a real issue on the west coast, especially in Taichung and Kaohsiung. The southern tip of the island and the east coast have the lowest levels of air pollution. Definitely wear a good mask if you will be cycling along the west coast.
What kind of food is available? Only Chinese?
Chinese food is king in Taiwan, but an infinite selection of cuisine and dishes (from ultra-cheap to shockingly expensive) are available throughout the island. Street food is cheap and widely available in both cities and countryside towns. Night markets are popular options with tourists, as they offer an affordable way to experience the “little snack” food culture of Taiwan.
What should be my daily budget? How much money should I bring?
- Super low budget: 300 to 1000NT$ – stealth camping / night market food / street food / hitchhiking / regular buses / slow trains
- Low budget: 1000 to 2000NT$ – camping in campgrounds and cheap hostels / food stalls / small local Taiwanese restaurants / VIP buses / fast trains but no HSR / maybe few beers…
- Mid-Range: 2000 to 5000NT$ – hotels and B&B / any mode of transportation you wish, including HSR and taxi / mid-range restaurants / more nightlife options like bars, pubs, clubs. The big differences at the mid-range level are nightlife / how much you drink, and if you rent a car. These two can increase your spending dramatically and bring you closer to the splurge level…
- Splurge: 5000$ to infinite NT$ – sleep in very nice hotels / take HSR business class and taxis / try some of the best dining experiences in Taiwan / buy local specialty gifts like jade, Alishan tea, calligraphy artwork
Are there ATMs in Taiwan?
Yes, all over the place! In remote areas, just find the nearest 7-11 and you’ll find your ATM.
Is credit card widely accepted?
Only few mid-range restaurants accept credit card, which seem to be very frustrating for some visitors. Most hotels accept it, but few B&B / hostels do. Bring cash to the mountains.
Is Taiwan a good destination for outdoor activities?
Taiwan is one of the best (and most underrated) outdoor destinations in the world. Day-hiking, rock-climbing, multi-day trekking, snorkeling, surfing, river-tracing, cycling, paragliding, are all activities you can do here – just to name a few.
How do I get mountain permits?
(Answer to come soon.)
Is it easy to travel with kids in Taiwan?
Yes, it is. As mentioned earlier, Taiwan is extremely safe in both cities and countryside. There are plenty of parks in cities, kids-friendly museums, and of course beaches in the south and along the east coast. Taiwan is also packed with theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, and science parks – which are mostly targeted for kids.
It’s also easy to travel with kids in Taiwan by public transport. Check my Taiwan travel guide to public transportation.
I fell in love with Taiwan… now I want to stay here, what should I do?
First, call your mom, and say sorry, you won’t be coming back home anytime soon.
Step 1, you’ll need an ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) and /or work permit in order to arrange basic things like renting an apartment, getting a cell-phone plan, getting driver’s license, health insurance, and that kind of stuff.
The three main ways how foreigners typically get an ARC in Taiwan are:
- teaching English
- studying Mandarin chinese
- getting married to a Taiwanese person
What are some of the best jobs for foreigners in Taiwan?
#1 is definitely teaching ESL (English as a second language). The other jobs are in the shoe business (much less these days), bicycle industry, tech industry, and are mostly arranged from abroad.
I hope you found this Taiwan travel guide helpful! I wish you a wonderful trip around Formosa!