If you are planning a travel to Taiwan, you can find on this page a summary of all the practical informations for your journey and further links to in-depth pages.
I have made the travel to Taiwan dozens of times so far, from my home country (Italy) and from different locations, as a visitor with no visa and as a Taiwan resident. So I believe I can help you with useful informations that are, as much as I can (I don't run a travel agency), fresh and updated.
'Nuff said and welcome to my web page about travel to Taiwan.
Citizens from several countries, including most european countries, can now enter Taiwan and stay up to 90 days without visa. These are the countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K. , and Vatican City State.
Passport holders of the following countries can stay in Taiwan only 30 days without a Taiwan Visa: Australia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, U.S.A.
Citizens from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines could be eligible to enter Taiwan without a visa, under certain conditions: have a look here.
All the others have to apply for a Taiwan visa at the Taiwan offices abroad.
If you are eligible to enter Taiwan without visa, you have to enter Taiwan with a passport al least valid 6 more months and a return ticket (this can be just the printed copy of an e-ticket).
During the travel to Taiwan you must have your return ticket at hand because you will surely be asked to show it at the check in or at the last airport before Taiwan (it is the airline's responsibility to check that you have your travel documents in order).
So, upon your arrival in Taiwan you will normally have to show only your passport and an immigration card (that you have likely received on board the aircraft - if not you can pick it up at the arrival). The immigration officer will put an entry stamp and clip a copy of the immigration card on your passport. The immigration card will be withdrawn when you will exit Taiwan so don't lose it.
For further informations, please visit my page about Taiwan Visa.
Climate of Taiwan island is influenced by 4 factors:
So for most of the year the temperature is often above 90F (30C) degrees but in winter not seldom falls to 40-50F (5-10C), at least in Taipei, in the North. If you think that it is not too cold, you have to keep in mind that houses are not heated and strong winds are frequent.
Average rainfall is high - about 100 inches (2500 mm) per year - but with many differences from place to place. Maximum rainfall occurs in the north at about 230 inches (6000 mm) around Jeelung! It decreases down to 40 inches (1000 mm) in the offshore islands and in Taichung area.
Humidity is stifling for most of the year. Taiwan is more humid than any place I have ever been, including the equatorial rainforest.
In terms of climate, the best time to come to Taiwan is autumn, when days are sunny and warm but dry. In summer, as I said, it is very hot.
The problem that you might have to face in the summer, however, more than the heat, are the typhoons.
Taiwan is affected by several typhoons each summer. You should not be scared of typhoons, the destruction normally impacts a small area. For most of Taiwanese the coming of a typhoon just means a welcome day holiday.
Typhoons are a normal part of life in Taiwan.
But mountains and valleys have to be avoided during a typhoon (of course) and for 1 or 2 weeks after the storm (because of the flash flooding and the landslides caused by the heavy rains).
In addition, flights could be canceled, usually for no more than 1-2 days.
In summer the beach resorts (Kenting and some offshore islands) are jammed with local tourists.
Winter is ok, but you have to take in account that the smaller islands, as Penghu and Kinmen, are often cold and windy and not easy to reach. In this part of the year you can find snow on the highest mountains. Most of all, the pale and often gray light of the winter sky is not the best for appreciating natural marvels such as Taroko.
The first part of spring is a good time to visit Taiwan while the last part (May and June) can be affected by continuous monsoon rains (called "plum rains").
Weather considerations aside, the worst time of all and the one really to be avoided is the Chinese New Year, between January and February, when everybody travel and flights and hotels are fully booked.
In summer, light (and fast-drying) cotton and linen clothes help to mitigate the heat and humidity. Short pants and sandals are totally acceptable for tourists, both men and women.
In the rest of the year (and for the mountains) the secret is: dress in layers, so you can cope easily with the sudden changes of temperature.
Taiwanese love the air conditioning at full power, so even in summer bring a sweater and a hat, if you are sensitive to temperature changes.
If you forget something, however, do not worry. In Taiwan, you can easily find all sorts of clothes. Besides the international brand names and the extremely cheap chinese stuff, you can buy excellent clothes from local brands at very convenient prices. Good outdoor stores that provide a wide choice of good jackets and anoraks are everywhere, not only in Taipei (a lot of Taiwanese like to wear winter clothes more suitable for an Arctic expedition).
So, if you like, then it is not a bad idea to travel to Taiwan light and buy clothes there.
The electricity is 110V. Sockets are american type, normally not-grounded. Modern appliances such as mobile phones rechargers and laptops normally are 220/110 V so probably you just need a simple adapter that can be bought anywhere.
Taiwan Country Code is +886.
To phone from Taiwan to your country you have to add 002 or 019 to your country code - in the latter case charging is slightly more convenient.
Of course you can find prepaid calling cards.
I always use Skype and my advice is to do the same.
Everybody, also tourists, are allowed to buy a prepaid SIM card. You need to provide 2 IDs documents with photo (so for example your passport and your own country driving license).
You can buy prepaid SIMs arriving in Taiwan at the airport (best choice, because they speak English there) and also in 7/11 convenience stores.
Taiwan is an advanced country. There are no special requirements for vaccinations or strange health hazards.
However, it is a tropical country and the sanitary conditions are not always similar to Switzerland (to put it mildly). So there are some simple precautions to take.
The official currency of Taiwan is called the New Taiwan Dollar (New Taiwan Dollar). You can find on the right column of all the pages of Taiwan Travel Experience a handy widget that you can use to check the daily exchange rate of the Taiwan Dollar with your currency.
The main currencies are exchanged in the banks and you can use your credit card at ATM for cash advances - all ATMs support the English language. For further information and tips please see the page about Taiwan Currency.
I have flown to and from Taiwan several times so far, so, based on my experience, I have written two pages that deal in detail how to get to Taiwan by plane. They are:
Please check them out.
You are also welcome to use the form below to review availability and cost of flights from your home to Taiwan:
Plane is not the only way to reach Taiwan. Regular ferry lines connect Xiamen on the Chinese coast to the taiwanese island of Jinmen (Kinmen).
Taiwan international airports are just 3. They are:
The last two offer only regional flights in the Far East. Taoyuan, that until recently was named Chang Kai Shek Airport, is therefore the international airport for Taipei and by far the main airport in Taiwan. Taipei has also a "city airport", called Songshan, that is used for domestic flights and, increasingly, for direct flights to China.
Taoyuan Airport has two terminals (Terminal 1 and 2). The airport is connected to Taipei by frequent buses and taxis. In 2013 it should be finally opened the link to the efficient and convenient Taipei Metro (Taipei MRT).
Long range buses also connect Taoyuan International Airport to the rest of Taiwan. The nearest station of the High Speed Rail is located in Taoyuan city, about 15 minutes away. It can be reached by frequent shuttle buses that cost 20 NTD or by taxi (about 300-350 NTD for the ride).
From this point of view, Taiwan is an efficient and modern country that offers convenient, fast and easy ways to get around. These are the main ones:
I hope that this page may be useful for organizing your travel to Taiwan. I invite you to visit also these pages where you can find more informations:
Essential Facts about Taiwan - Frequently Asked Questions about Taiwan and the Taiwanese People.
Taiwan Food: chinese cuisine and beyond ... - an eating day in Taiwan.
Hotels in Taiwan - A guide about hotels, inns, hot springs hotels, homestays, temples and love hotels in Taiwan.