Introduction to Taiwan
Taiwan, an island nation located off the eastern coast of China, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers. With its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, rich cultural heritage, and delectable cuisine, Taiwan offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you’re exploring bustling night markets, hiking through lush mountains, or immersing yourself in ancient temples, Taiwan has something to offer every type of adventurer.
Essentials to know
Taiwan is a vibrant and fascinating island nation with a rich history. Once a colony of various empires, including the Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese, Taiwan became a part of China in the 17th century. However, it developed its own unique cultural identity over time. Today, Taiwan is known for its democratic society, thriving economy, and vibrant arts and culture scene.
Located in East Asia, Taiwan is an island off the southeastern coast of China. It is separated from mainland China by the Taiwan Strait. The island is known for its stunning landscapes, with rugged mountains, picturesque coastlines, and lush forests. Taiwan’s diverse geography provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventures, from hiking and cycling to surfing and hot springs.
Taiwan has a subtropical climate, which means it experiences warm and humid weather throughout the year. Summers from june to september can be hot and rainy, while winters from december to february are cooler with occasional rainfall. Spring from march to may and autumn from october to november are considered the best seasons to visit, with pleasant temperatures and relatively low rainfall.
Essential travel informations for Taiwan
For most travelers, Taiwan offers visa free entry for a duration of 90 days. Citizens from certain countries may need to obtain a visa in advance, so it’s important to check the visa requirements before planning your trip. The official website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan is a helpful resource for up-to-date visa information.
The currency used in Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar TWD. Credit cards are widely accepted in major establishments, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for small businesses and local markets. ATMs are widely available, and currency exchange can be done at banks or authorized exchange counters. Don’t forget to notify your bank about your travel plans to ensure smooth card transactions.
Taiwan is a safe destination for travelers. It has a well developed healthcare system, and tap water is safe to drink even if it is better to buy bottle at convenience stores. However, it’s important to have travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical expenses. As with any trip, it’s important to take basic safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and keeping an eye on your belongings even if the country is really safe.
Best destinations in Taiwan
As the capital city of Taiwan, Taipei is a bustling metropolis that seamlessly blends modernity with tradition. From iconic landmarks like Taipei 101 and bustling night markets to serene temples and world-class museums, Taipei offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors. Don’t miss a visit to the famous National Palace Museum, which houses an extensive collection of invaluable Chinese artifacts.
Located in central Taiwan, Taichung is known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene. It is home to numerous art galleries, creative parks, and lively night markets. One of the must-visit attractions is the Rainbow Village, where colorful murals adorn the walls of a small village. Taichung is also a gateway to exploring the beautiful landscapes of the nearby Sun Moon Lake and Gaomei Wetlands.
Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan, is a treasure trove of historical and cultural sites. From ancient temples and well preserved forts to traditional markets and narrow alleyways, Tainan offers a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich past. Be sure to sample the local delicacies, such as Danzai noodles and savory oyster omelets, at the city’s famous street food stalls.
Located in southern Taiwan, Kaohsiung is a vibrant port city with a laid-back atmosphere. It is known for its stunning waterfront, bustling night markets, and unique attractions such as the Lotus Pond and Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center. Don’t forget to indulge in a seafood feast at the famous Liuhe Night Market, where you can savor a variety of fresh and delicious seafood dishes.
Situated on Taiwan’s scenic east coast, Hualien is a paradise for nature lovers. It is home to the spectacular Taroko Gorge, a marble walled canyon that offers breathtaking hiking trails and inspiring views. Hualien also boasts beautiful beaches, hot springs, and lush forests, making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility amidst nature.
Cuisine in Taiwan
Traditional taiwanese cuisine
Taiwanese cuisine is renowned for its diverse flavors and inventive dishes. From mouth-watering street food like stinky tofu and bubble tea to delectable seafood and beef noodle soup, Taiwan has something to satisfy every palate. Don’t be afraid to explore the local night markets or small eateries to discover the authentic flavors of Taiwanese cuisine.
Night markets and street food
Night markets are an essential part of Taiwanese culture and offer a lively and bustling atmosphere. Indulge in a gastronomic adventure as you stroll through the colorful stalls, sampling various street delicacies. From grilled squid and oyster vermicelli to pineapple cakes and fried chicken cutlets, the street food culture in Taiwan is a true delight for food enthusiasts.
Practical tips to navigate in Taiwan
Getting around Taiwan
Navigating a new country can be a daunting task, but fear not, my fellow traveler! Getting around Taiwan is a breeze. One of the best ways to explore the island is by train. The railway system is efficient, comfortable, and will take you to almost every corner of this beautiful country. Plus, you can enjoy the scenic views along the way, making your journey even more memorable. Just make sure to check the train schedules beforehand to avoid any surprises.
When it comes to navigating the bustling cities in Taiwan, public transportation is your best friend. The MRT system in Taipei, for example, is a godsend for travelers. It’s clean, efficient, and will whisk you away to all the must visit attractions. And don’t worry about getting lost beacause the signage is clear, and there are English announcements to guide you.
Worried about the language barrier? Fret not! English is widely spoken in popular tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants in Taiwan. However, it never hurts to learn a few basic phrases in Mandarin or Taiwanese to impress the locals. Plus, it might come in handy when you venture off the beaten path and explore the more remote areas.
When it comes to etiquette, Taiwan is a place where politeness and respect are highly valued. Remember to always be courteous and avoid causing any offense. It’s customary to bow slightly when greeting someone, and it’s considered impolite to point with your index finger. Instead, use an open hand gesture to indicate directions.
Outdoor activities and nature experiences in Taiwan
Hiking and trekking
Calling all adventure junkies and nature enthusiasts! Taiwan is a haven for hiking and trekking. From the awe-inspiring peaks of Taroko Gorge to the stunning landscapes of Alishan, there’s a trail for every level of hiker. Just pack your hiking boots, a sense of adventure, and get ready to be blown away by the breathtaking scenery that awaits you.
Hot springs and natural spas
After a long day of exploring, what better way to relax than soaking in a hot spring? Taiwan is blessed with an abundance of natural hot springs and spas. Whether you prefer a luxurious spa experience or an off the beaten path hot spring tucked away in the mountains, there’s something to suit every taste. So, take a dip, let the warm waters rejuvenate your body and soul, and indulge in a little “me time.”
With its stunning coastline, Taiwan is a hidden gem for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. From the pristine shores of Kenting to the secluded beaches of Green Island, you’ll find plenty of options to bask in the sun, swim in crystal-clear waters, or try your hand at thrilling water activities like surfing, snorkeling, and even paddleboarding. So, grab your swimsuit, slather on some sunscreen, and get ready for some fun in the sun;