Taiwan is home to amazing national parks known for beaches, mountains, and even volcanic eruptions. The famous movie “Life of Pi '' was shot in Taiwan because it serves the beautiful natural scenery. The country is also famous for its rich culture, finger-licking good food, lantern festivals, and shilin night market.
Many people prefer to throw themselves into an adventure or experience without paying much heed or attention to the details and the information they should collect before going to a new place. This lack of knowledge can lead people to suffer in various ways, from hiking in flip flops, and forgetting travel and other vital documents, to even packing a suitcase of summer clothes and having to arrive at a place with chilling weather.
If you’re traveling to Taiwan for the first time and want to be prepared for everything beforehand, follow these 6 tips and enjoy your trip.
1. Make a List of the Things You Wish to Do There
There are many things that you can enjoy in Taiwan. You can check out their night markets because that’s where the real gastronomes go. These markets are famous for promising to keep your belly happy while keeping your wallet unscathed. It is highly recommended to visit the Taiwanese Teahouse on your trip. This cultural gem is known for its unique tea experience.
2. Taiwan Visa Policy
The countries with relaxed entry requirements are a fan favorite for obvious reasons. Luckily, many nationalities can enter Taiwan visa-free and stay between 30 days to 90 days. If your age is between 18-35, you can qualify for a working holiday visa scheme offered by Taiwan to 15 countries. Before you book your flight, travel guides at BitLux Travel stress the importance of making sure the travel company you have chosen is aware of all the rules and regulations. Visa on arrival and e-visa services are also suspended in Taiwan at the moment. A US passport holder is allowed to enter and stay in Taiwan for 90 days, but if your passport has a validity of less than 90 days, you will only be allowed to stay there for as long as your passport is valid.
3. Paper Money
It’s all about the cash in Taiwan, mainly because debit cards aren’t very popular yet. The Taiwan dollar is used everywhere; some places may accept cards, but it’s best to carry cash on you. Taiwan has a large number of ATMs, so you can keep your debit card with you. Visa and MasterCard are also fairly accepted in Taiwan. In the major cities of Taiwan like Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan, credit cards are accepted by almost all hotels and grocery shops.
4. Book Accommodation
You can book accommodation for the first two nights to save yourself from the hassle of getting lost in a city you’ve never been to before without having somewhere to stay. Many websites online offer accommodations for an affordable price. You can book your accommodation through those websites and guarantee a place to stay during your trip. You can also enjoy the services that these websites offer during your stay.
5. Language Barrier
This is perhaps one of the most challenging things to adjust to in Taiwan. Mandarin is the official language there, while Taiwanese is also spoken by many. Therefore, it is advisable to start learning Mandarin as soon as possible.
Although there is a possibility that you can comfortably navigate the country using only the English language, you may run into certain difficulties since not everyone can communicate with you. Only a few people in Taiwan speak English and aren’t fluent in it. They likely know just the basics to engage with tourists.
6. Getting Around in Taiwan
There are different modes of transportation in Taiwan. You can get around through rail; the efficient railway system connects all major cities. It is the most preferred way of traveling in Taiwan, as its high-speed rail is equivalent to Japan's bullet train.
Uber drivers are available in Taiwan in Keelung, Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Changhua, and Kaohsiung. Buses, cars, and even scooters are other means of moving around.
Taiwan is a highly safe travel destination, even if you are a solo female traveler. Crime is literally non-existent and it’s safe for you to roam around the streets at night. It’s a beautiful representation of Chinese culture and a fairly easy place to explore. 8-12 days is an ideal amount of time to discover Taiwan and all its glory. Make sure you follow the tips mentioned above and enjoy your trip to this exquisite country!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.