The only guide you’ll ever need for travel in Taiwan

What is the main airport in Taiwan?
* Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) is the biggest airport in Taiwan, and is an hour trip from Taipei.
* Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA) is in the middle of Taipei and is convineinet to get to and from.
* Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH) is an air transportation hub in southern Taiwan.

Do I need a visa for Taiwan?

If you are from one of the following countries, you are eligible for the visa exemption program.
* With a duration of stay of up to 90 days: Andorra, Australia (effective till December 31, 2020), Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Island, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia (effective till March 31, 2020), Norway, Palau, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Vatican City State.
* With a duration of stay of up to 30 days: Belize, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Nauru, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore.
* With a duration of stay of up to 14 days (effective till July 31, 2020): Thailand, Brunei, Philippine.
* With a duration of stay of up to 21 days: Russia (effective from Aug 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020)
Here are more VISA information about Taiwan.

What can I do on a layover in Taipei?

If your Taipei layover is less than 5 or 6 hours, it’s probably best to play it safe and stay in the airport. Here are some things you can do at the airport.
* Enjoy the food: Taipei is a haven for foodies, and the casual but delicious dining experience extends to the airport.
* Get a massage: Visit the Blind Friend Massage Center in Terminal 2 to get your bones professionally cracked and soothed. The airport works with the Taoyuan County professional trade union to provide jobs for blind residents in the Taoyuan area.
* Take a shower: You can enjoy a free shower any time at all in both terminals, but you’ll need to bring your own towels and toiletries.
* Go souvenir shopping: Stop by Formosan Aborigines to pick up some unique handmade crafts as souvenirs, and learn more about the country’s history in the process. Attractively-packaged local teas and pineapple cakes make great souvenirs as well.
* Explore the themed terminals: Several public waiting areas are themed, offering fun glimpses into Taiwanese culture. From Hello Kitty, to the history of Taiwanese music, to the Taiwanese film industry, it makes exploring the airport so fun.
* Watch a movie: A small theatre in Terminal 1 shows recent feature films.
If your layover is more than 7 hours, you can do a one-day Taipei sightseeing tour or join a free 4-hour tour offered by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.
The morning tour departs at 8:15 AM and is for tourists on connecting flights that depart no earlier than 3 PM. It visits Sanxia and Yingge, famous for antiquity and pottery.
The afternoon tour departs at 2:00 PM and is for tourists on connecting flights that depart no earlier than 8:30 PM. It visits the sites in Taipei city such as Taipei 101, and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall & Memorial Park.
Click the link to see more information.

How do I get to Taipei from the airport?

From Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) to Taipei, we list some options here.
* Taxi: 40 mins, 1150 TWD (charge by meter)
* THSR (Taiwan high speed rail): 45 min 195 TWD (transition included). Take Airport MRT and transfer at THSR Taoyuan Station.
* Airport MRT: 35 – 45 mins, 160 TWD
* Bus: 55 mins, 125 TWD
From Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA), you can simply take Taipei MRT Wenhu Line to Taipei or take a taxi.

How do I get to the airport from Taipei?

From Taipei to Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), we list some options here.
* Taxi: 40 mins, 1150 TWD (charge by meter)
* THSR (Taiwan high speed rail): 45 min 195 TWD (transition included). Take THSR and transfer Airport MRT at THSR Taoyuan Station.
* Airport MRT: 35 – 45 mins, 160 TWD
* Bus: 55 mins, 125 TWD
https://www.taoyuan-airport.com/english/public_transportation
From Taipei to Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA), you can simply take Taipei MRT Wenhu Line to the airport or take a taxi.

When is the best time/season to visit Taiwan?

Taiwan can be visited any month of the year for sure and this depends on what kind of weather you prefer.
* Spring (March to May)
The temperatures are usually a nice and comfortable 19-26°C. It’s a great time to visit and many people come to see the cherry and plum blossoms. With temperatures at such comfortable levels, it’s a good time for hiking and visiting the island’s parks.
* Summer (June to August)
If you do not mind hot and humid weather, then the summer might be best for you. There are still dozens of exciting and relaxing things to do in Taiwan during this time of the year, like enjoying the beach and experiencing its summer festivals.
* Autumn (September to November)
Autumn is very often deemed as the best time to visit Taiwan. Compared to the summer months, there’s little to no rainfall and lots of sunshine during autumn, making it a very comfortable season for sightseeing.
* Winter (December to Feburary)
Winters in Taiwan is a bit chilly and foggy during these months, the temperature is fairly mild and tolerable. Temperatures rarely drop below 10°C. There are also plenty of highlights during this season, including hot springs and New Year’s celebrations.

When is the typhoon season in Taiwan?

Typhoon season is roughly from July to October.

When do Cherry blossoms bloom in Taiwan?

The Cherry blossom season in Taiwan is from February to Early April. There may be a few weeks of variation based on current temperatures. Here are the best places to see cherry blossoms in Taiwan
* Wuji Tianyuan Temple: Early February to Mid March
* Yangmingshan National Park: Mid February to Mid March
* Wuling Farm: Early to Late February
* Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village: Early February to Mid March
* Alishan National Scenic Area: Mid March to Early April

Is there snow in Taiwan?

There is snow in Taiwan but only in some specific high mountains from late December to February. In major cities where most people live, the elevation is too low to snow, and the temperature almost never gets below freezing.

What kind of clothes should I wear when visiting Taiwan?

*Spring

The temperatures usually vary from 19-26 °C. A light jacket or light sweater should be enough to keep you comfortable. Wearing layers is a good idea and it allows you to strip off layers if the temperature climbs.

*Summer

The temperatures usually vary from 27-34 °C. The weather gets hot and humind. We suggest wearing shorts, t-shirts, and prepare a hat and sunscreen for sun protection. Wearing quick dry clothing is also handy.

*Autumn

The temperatures usually vary from 21-30°C. September and October may have some summer-like heat, so be sure to pack some short sleeved clothes just in case. Light clothing still works best in autumn. You may need a light sweater or coat.

*Winter

The temperatures usually vary from 14-20°C. The weather will be cooler in the North, and warmer in the south. The cooler temperatures mean you should pack some warmer clothing including a wind-proof clothing, as the humid wind might still go straight through a wool sweater. Also note that there is rarely central heating in Taiwan, so dressing in layers is recommended even while indoors.

When can I buy Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) tickets?

THSR provides on-line reservation system for the train which departure date is no more than 28 days later. Nevertheless, on the travel day the on-line reservation is only applicable to the train which departure time is no less than 1 hours before train departure. For more details, please visit the official website of Taiwan High Speed Rail.
http://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/Home/Index

Is traveling around Taiwan by public transportation easy?

In Taipei, it is super convenient to travel around by Taipei Metro. You can reach almost all the famous attractions via Taipei Metro.
The train and high speed rail system connecting cities to cities are also comprehensive. However, it is not quite easy to use public transportation to move around in both urban and rural areas outside Taipei. Usually you have to wait a long time for the next bus if you miss one. It will be better if you rent a car and hire a driver.

How do I use a Youbike in Taiwan?

You can rent a YouBike bike either as a Member or as a Single rental user. If you need to rent a bike for many times, you can choose to become a YouBike member. You can authorize as a YouBike member with your electronic card such as Easy card (悠游卡) or iPass card (一卡通) and your Taiwan mobile phone SIM card. Single Rental users can use Kiosks at each station to rent a bike and use credit cards to pay usage fees.
Easy card (悠游卡) or iPass card (一卡通) first. These cards can be purchased at all Taipei Metro information counters, convenience stores (i.e. 7-ELEVEN, FamilyMart, Hi-Life and OK mart) and EasyCard Service Centers.
After you have a card you should:
(1) Swipe the card next to an open bike.
(2) Wait for the bike to unlock.
(3) Ride to your next destination.
(4) Place you bike in the Youbike stand and swipe your card to see how much money was deducted.
Where can I buy an easy card?
Easy cards are available at all Taipei Metro information counters, convenience stores (i.e. 7-ELEVEN, FamilyMart, Hi-Life and OK mart) and EasyCard Service Centers.
The standard fare cards cost NT$100 each, exclusive of a deposit and balance. After buying the card, you can top up the value (at least NT$100 per time) at all Taipei Metro information counters, convenience stores and EasyCard Service. You can use the card to take the metro, buses, rent a youbike and even buy thing at designated stores. For more details, please visit the official website of the EasyCard Corporation. https://www.easycard.com.tw/en/

What is the best place/area to stay in Taipei? Where should I stay in Taipei?


Basically, stay at a hostel/hotel near metro station, night market or shopping district is always the best.
We suggest you pick a place located at
1. Ximending
Landmarks or Shopping areas: Ximending Walking District and The Red House
2. Xinyi District
Landmarks or Shopping areas: Taipei 101, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Xinyi Place, Breeze center, National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
3. Daan District
Landmarks or Shopping areas: Tonghua Night Market, Da’an Forest Park, Yongkang Street, Jian Guo Weekend Flower and Jade Market
4. Zhongshan District
Landmarks or Shopping areas: Nanxi shopping area, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei and Xingtian Temple
5. Near Taipei Main Station
Landmarks or Shopping areas: Q Square, Guanghua Electronic Plaza, Taipei City Mall, The North Gate, National Taiwan Museum and 228 Peace Park
6. Near Songshan Train Station
Landmarks or Shopping areas: Raohe Nught Market, Wufenpu Garment Wholesale Area, Taipei Arena
What is the average cost for the hotels in Taiwan?
Hostel: 20~30 USD per bed per night or 40~65 USD per room per night
3-Star Hotel: 90 USD to 115 USD per room per night
4-Star Hotel: 115 USD to 185 USD per room per night
5-Star Hotel: 200 USD to 335 USD per room per night
Some luxury hotel, for example, hot spring hotel or hotels with stunning view, may be over 350 USD per room per night
Please note these prices also vary by location. (The rate is around 1 USD = 30 TWD)

Where is the center of Taipei?


Taipei Main Station and Ximending is the center of old Taipei. Xinyi District (The area around Taipei 101) is the central business district. Besides these three places, both Daan district and Zhongshan district are shopping district center as well and are popular for travelers to stay.

How much time should I plan for my Taiwan trip?


The best way is that you arrange the appropriate itinerary according to the time you have.
One week – We recommend these 3 options: Taipei + outskirts (Jiufen, Shifen, Yehliu, Yangmingshan, Yilan) / Taipei + Sun Moon Lake / Taipei + Taroko Gorge.
Two weeks – This is the bare minimum if you want to get a good feel of exploring the whole island.
Three weeks – It allows you to know Taiwan deeper and you could visit more remote destinations in the Central Mountain Range or take trips to one of the outlying islands.
Four weeks – You could admire the beauty of whole Taiwan without having rush.

Is one week enough to visit Taiwan?


One week is not enough to see all of Taiwan. Although Taiwan looks small, if you would like to explore the whole island, you must spend at least 3 weeks!
We think travel slowly is best here in Taiwan. If one week is all you had, we recommend you visiting Taipei + Sun Moon Lake or Taipei + Taroko Gorge.
https://topologytravel.com/taiwan-package-tours/#2days

How many days should I plan to spend in Taipei?


In general, 3 to 4 full days is sufficient to visit the main attractions in the citys incliuding Taipei 101, CKS memorial Hall, National Palace Museum, famous temples, night markets, Ximending, Beitou hot spring, Tamsui and Maokong…etc.
If posiible, we suggest that you extend 2 to 3 days to explore the beautiful outskirts of Taipei such as Yangmingshan, Jiufen, Yehliu, Shifen, Northeast Coast and Yilan.
https://topologytravel.com/taiwan-package-tours/#1Day

Is it suitable to visit Taiwan during Chinese New Year?


During the Chinese New Year, most Taiwanese will return to their home town and gather with their family (it’s like Christmas in western countries, but a longer version). Some sites or shops will close during this period, which might influence your travel. The price for everything in this period will be also very expensive, so it is better tovisit Taiwan after Chinese New Year.

What are the main cities in Taiwan?


Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung are the 3 main cities in Taiwan.

Where are must-visit places in Taiwan?


The places that most tourist won’t miss are: Taipei 101, Jiufen, Sun Moon Lake, Alishan, Taroko(Hualien).

What is the most beautiful place in Taiwan?


It is hard to say which one is the best, there are different beauty in each place, you could see the volcanic terrain at Yangminshan, beautiful cloud sea at Alishan, peaceful lake view at Sun Moon Lake, marvellous groge at Taroko, special coastal terrain at East coast, or the warm people in Taiwan is also one of the best view in Taiwan.

Which is the best night market in Taipei/Taiwan?


There are over hundred different night markets in Taiwan, the most famous night market in Taipei is Shilin night market, and the most famous night market in central Taiwan is Fengcha night market which locate at Taichung, and the Liouhe night market in Kaohsiung.

What times do night markets open/close in Taiwan?


Usually starts at around 17:00 pm, close at around 0:00 am.

Is it safe to doing self-drive in Taiwan?


Do not recommend to self-drive in Taiwan, because most road sign are not friendly for foreigners, might get lost very easily. But if you like to have an adventure journey, please remember to bring your international driver’s permit, and watch out the speed camera .

Can I visit Sun Moon Lake from Taipei during 1 day?


Yes, you will meet our guide at Taipei Main station in the morning, take the High speed rail to Taichung, drive for about an hour to reach Sun Moon Lake, you will have about 4 hours to visit there, and return to Taipei in the evening.

What is there to do at Sun Moon Lake?


You could see the beauty of Sun Moon Lake from different angle, could take a boat ride, or to have a nice and easy bike ride around the lake, or have a better look of Sun Moon Lake from top by taking the ropeway. If you are interested in Aboriginal culture, you could visit the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. One more thing that you must try is the local aboriginal dishes.

Can I swim in Sun Moon Lake?


You have only one chance to swim in Sun Moon Lake, which is the Sun Moon Lake Swimming Carnival, this event is only held once a year, usually held in the summer.

How can I get from Sun Moon Lake to Taipei?


You can explore Sun Moon Lake by taking the public transportation and bus. And of course, it will take huge time to travel to Sun Moon Lake.
*From Taoyuan International Airport, I will suggest you take high speed train and then take the bus. It might take about 4-5 hours for transport.
The nearest HSR station to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TTIA) is Taoyuan HSR Station. From airport, you can take United bus (bus no.705). The bus will come every half hour.
Fare: NT$30 Traffic time: About 15-20 mins
United Bus: www.ubus.com.tw/onlineservice/LINEserach.asp
THSR: http://www.thsrc.com.tw
Transfer to Nantou bus 南投客運 at Taichung HSR Station (高鐵台中站1樓第5出入口第3月台) direct to Sun Moon Lake. You can ask for the bus stop, they are very willing to help.
Fare: NT$175 Trffic time: About 1 hr 30 mins ~ 2 hr
Nantou Bus plan and schedule: http://www.ntbus.com.tw/032.htm
Nantou bus rates: http://www.ntbus.com.tw/989tk.htm

*From Taipei, there is a direct bus you can take and you need go to the Taipei main station.
From Taipei Main Station Bus Terminal, take a Kuo-Kuang Bus (國光客運) to Sun moon lake 日月潭 . You can ask for the bus stop, they are very willing to help. This is an express bus have only one stop at Puli Bus Station (埔里客運站) for around 3.5-4 hours depending on traffic conditions.
Fare NT$385 each way or NT$690 roundtrip.
I’ll recommend buy a round trip ticket to avoid waiting.
*From Taichung: I will suggest you go to the Taichung HSR Station (高鐵台中站1樓第5出入口第3月台) direct to Sun Moon Lake. No transfer required at Puli. Fare: NT$175 Travel time: About 1 hr 20 mins ~ 1 hr 30 mins.

Can I visit Taroko Gorge from Taipei during 1 day?


It is doable, but I personally will not suggest my friends traveling Taroko Gorge from Taipei during 1 day, because this is too rushed and you spend most of the time sit on the train and bus.
From Taipei to Taroko Gorge, it looks very close on the map but in between are mountainous areas; it will take approximately 5-6 hours of driving. You can check out our article discussing driving distances by clicking on the website link below.
https://topologytravel.com/%E3%80%90useful-info%E3%80%91-tour-around-taiwan-in-24-hours/
If you want to do it in one day, I will suggest you take the morning train go to Taroko Gorge. It is about 2.5-3hours. And arrive there about 10-11 AM have a quick lunch then go to Taroko Gorge. You might spend 4-5 hours there and then back to the train station about 5-6 pm. You might back to Taipei train station about 9-10pm.

Can I visit Jiufen and Shifen in one day?


It is doable, if you did not visit other places. If you visit other places and want to visit these 2 places at one day and it is a little bit rushed.
As you might know, Jiufen and Shifen are both mining town in the past. And one is for gold and one is for coal. They both have the old street. And Jiufen old street have a lot of great local food and dessert. Shifen old street is well-known for the sky lantern.
Each place will worth you spend 3-4 hours to walk around.

Does Taiwan have nice beaches? Where are they?


Taiwan is a really amazing place, there is a lot of types of beach. If you are boring for the golden sand, you must come to Taiwan. As Taiwan is small enough to travel and easily visit them all.
Here are just a few of Topology favor Taiwan beaches.
Baishawan Beach
Baishawan is one of the most popular beaches in Taiwan, because this is very close to Taipei. Only 1 hour driving you can reach this place. And the fine white sand and crystal clear blue water are waiting for you.
How to get there: Take the Taiwan Metro (MRT) from Taipei to Danshui and catch a bus from there. You can ask for the bus stop, they are very willing to help. The journey should take no more than 45-65 minutes.
Fulong Beach
Fulong have beautiful golden sands, it also hold the annual Sand Sculpture Festival.
Every summer have large and wonderful sculptures that are built along the beach.
Part of beach is belonged to the hotel but the entrance fee is NT 100. If you want to avoid the crowd, we will recommend you can pay and use the park and beach facilities.
How to get there: From Taipei Main Station you can take a train straight to Fulong. We will recommend you try the local express train, it take time but you can have more time for the view while you take ride. Oh, we will also recommend you visit Fulong during the week day to avoid the crowd.
Laomei Green Reef
Unlike other beach, Laomei beach do not have the sand at all. This beach is overshadowed by the deep troughs and trenches carved into the volcanic rock and trailing down into the ocean.
During Spring, it is covered in thick green algae, a striking natural sight. There are a lot of photographers love to take pictures around sunset or sun rise.
How to get there: Take the Taiwan Metro (MRT) from Taipei to Danshui and catch a 863 bus from there. You can ask for the bus stop, they are very willing to help. The journey should take no more than 2.5 hours.
Chihsingtan Beach
This beach with the spectacular landscapes. Facing the Pacific Ocean, if you have good eyesight, you can see California in USA. This is a marble stony beach.
When you walk or cycle along the beach, you are surrounded by cloud-shrouded mountains
How to get there: Take train from Taipei and stop at the Xincheng Taroko Train Station (新城太魯閣火車站). The train will take 2.5-3hours. Then you can take taxi, it should only take about 5-7 mins.
Kenting
Kenting National Park coastline Taiwan
This beach is in the national park and it is famous for the tropical climate combined with a unstop sea breeze means its beaches are kept comfortable warm all year round. It have the tropical plant and wild life in the Kenting National Park.
With the rich coral reefs and meet the colourful marine life, so Kenting is a great spot for sunbathing and swimming.
So no matter you want to get wet or keep dry, you can find something to do in Kenting.
How to get there: The nearest city is Kaohsiung, and Kenting express buses will take you directly to Kenting.

Is Taiwan a good destination for outdoor activities?


Taiwan consists from two very different parts: a flat plains region and the gentry rolling hills of west coast where most of people live, and the eastern two-thirds dominated by a mountain range. The mountains extend 330 kilometers from north to the south. And it is an island facing the Pacific Ocean with the warm tide from the equator. So the temperature of sea close to Taiwan never rich the freezing point
So no matter you want to get wet or keep dry, you always can find some outdoor activity to do in Taiwan.
For more on hiking and trekking, visit the Forestry Bureau’s website: www.forest.gov.tw.
For more detail on the trekking trails that will make up the system, visit trail.forest.gov.tw.
Is Taiwan a good place for cycling/biking?
Giant is made in Taiwan. Over 70% population will have bike in there house. It make Taiwan became a great place for ridding the bike, no matter you want to have a cycle touring or mountain biking.
Taiwan has vigorously promoted bicycle tourism for many years. Its efforts include an extensive network of bicycle routes. Riding a bike with scenic beauty and tasty cuisine along the way, these routes are attracting growing ranks of cyclists from around the world.
For the cycle touring
Taiwan have round island road which is considered flat and it might take about 10-12 days to finish. If you like more adventure, you can try ride into the mountain area. There are 3 Cross-Island Highway and you will see much of the island’s best mountain and coastal scenery in one long ride.
For Mountain biking
TopologyTravel will recommend you can find the bike club in Taipei or Taichung. You can join their weekly activity. Because different route will change a lot depend on the weather.
Here is the bike guide map for whole Taiwan.
https://eng.taiwan.net.tw/att/files/Cycling%20Taiwan%20-%20Great%20Rides%20in%20the%20Bicycle%20Kingdom.pdf
Here is the map for the GIS bike map in Taiwan
https://www.trailforks.com/region/taiwan/

Is Taiwan a good destination for honeymoon?


A lot of Chinese choose Taiwan for their honeymoon destinations. Because the price is very reasonable and Taiwanese is very hospitality. This famous hospitality may spring from the strong Buddhism or Taoism faith of most Taiwanese. Taiwan is also the safest places to visit.
Here is the report about the Taiwan safety from Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2014/07/19/what-taiwans-world-class-safety-ranking-ignored/#79694ac65b22
Here are some stories why we design honey moon tour.
https://topologytravel.com/pre-wedding-photo-shoot-and-mini-honeymoon/

Is Taiwan a good destination for family? Is it easy to travel with kids in Taiwan?


A lot of Chinese choose Taiwan for their family trip destinations.
Here are the reasons:
When you take public transportation like subway, they always have priority seats. Taiwanese are very kind, they will give the seats to whom need.
Almost all restaurant have the baby seats.
Taiwan is also the safest places to visit.
The price is very reasonable.
Hotel can prepare the baby bed.
Taiwanese is very hospitality. This famous hospitality may spring from the strong Buddhism or Taoism faith of most Taiwanese.
Here is the report about the Taiwan safety from Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2014/07/19/what-taiwans-world-class-safety-ranking-ignored/#79694ac65b22
Here are some stories why we design the family tour in Taiwan.
https://topologytravel.com/family/

What is the currency in Taiwan?


It is New Taiwan Dollar with international currency code TWD and its abbreviation is NT$.
Taiwan have the money change control, so you only can change money with the bank. Many banks in Taiwan allow you to exchange into TWD, many hotels and department stores do as well, but in a bad rate. You’ll probably get a better exchange rate in banks than at airports. Private money changer is not allow rare in Taiwan.

But most of places take credit card, you can use VISA, Master, JCB, UnionPay. However, American express or Discovery are rarely in Taiwan.
https://topologytravel.com/taiwan-travel-guide-read-before-you-go/


But most of places take credit card, you can use VISA, Master, JCB, UnionPay. However, American express or Discovery are rarely in Taiwan.
https://topologytravel.com/taiwan-travel-guide-read-before-you-go/

Where is the best place to exchange money in Taiwan?
In Taiwan the banks are generally the best places to exchange currency, with reasonable exchange rates and the lowest fees.
You better change it in the Airport: Bank of Taiwan (government own) or Mega Bank, for the current exchange rate you can check this link:
http://rate.bot.com.tw/xrt?Lang=en-US

Currency exchange service in Taiwan is strictly regulated by the government. You can only exchange money at banks or authorised businesses. There is no independent money changer on the streets like in other Asian cities.
The New Taiwan Dollar banknotes are issued in NT$100, NT$ 200, NT$500, NT$1000, and NT$2000. Coins come in denominations of NT$50, NT$10, NT$5, and NT$1.

Are there ATMs in Taiwan?


Taiwan’s ATM density is the highest in the world, ATMs in Taiwan are ubiquitous. You’ll find 24-hour ATMs in most convenience stores and banks, and there are also plenty of ATMs scattered throughout department stores, MRT and train stations, airports, etc.

If you withdraw money at an ATM from a local bank, most of them will charge you 300 NTD. The ATM located in the MRT stations are Cathay United Bank and charge 100 NTD as convenience fee. You can also find ATM in most of the convenience stores. China trust’s ATM in 7 ELEVEN will charge you 100 NTD to use the machine while the Taishin’s ATM machines in FamilyMart are free.

Is credit card widely accepted?


Credit cards are widely accepted in shops, and most vendors will only accept cash. Payment types that can easily be used in Taiwan include Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Visa, Mastercard, JCB, American Express (less common), and Unionpay.
The credit card acceptance is good in large restaurants/shops but cash is still very important. ATM are easy to find in cities.
For instance, for night market visits and public transportation like Taipei MRT, cash is king. If you want to enjoy some bubble/pearl tea, you need cash. At supermarkets and dept stores, charge is fine.

What should be my daily budget? How much money should I bring?


Taiwan has a myriad of medium budget food places, with prices ranging from 100-300NTD/dish, Food prices in Taiwan are pretty reasonable in most places, and the quality is quite high on average. Some people like eating the local food and doing so on the streets.
Night Market Food the general prices for one item are between NT$30 – $120
Meals – Decent meals in restaurants will be between NT$200- $350
Bubble Tea / Coffee – The average price of a bubble tea or coffee from a tea or coffee shop is NT$60-$80

What do Taiwanese people eat for breakfast?


Breakfast foods in Taiwan can be roughly put into two categories: traditional, and western fusion. Traditional style breakfast includes Fried bread and Oven Baked Cake, Egg Pancakes, Steamed Bread with Eggs, Rice Balls, and porridge with different side dishes.
If you don’t like traditional breakfast, you can choose the western fusion. The most famous brand is possibly Mei&Mei, a small shop you could find on almost at every corner. With them, one can easily find burgers, sandwiches, and pancakes starting from 5 am.

What is the must-eat food in Taiwan?

We have food tour for you in Taipei, you can check this link.

Top 10 must-eat food Taiwanese
Beef Noodle Soup
Hot Pot
Taiwanese Fried Chicken
Xiao Long Bao
Stinky Tofu
Shaved Ice
Pineapple cakes
Oyster omelet
Gua bao
Minced Pork Rice

Is the water safe in Taiwan?


In Taiwan, you can drink bottled water, regarding drinking water is that it should only be drunk if it has been boiled (and preferably filtered).The main problem with Taiwan water really needs to be filtered.
Bottle of Water – Most hostels will offer re-fillable water but a bottle of water in a supermarket like 7/11 is around NT$25

Is Taiwan a safe place to travel?


Taiwan is relatively safe to visit. Though the rates of violent crime are super low by world standards, you are recommended to remain vigilant at all times. Petty crime rates are low as well, but pickpocketing and bag-snatching do occur, especially in locations frequented by tourists.
Here is the report about the Taiwan safety from Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2014/07/19/what-taiwans-world-class-safety-ranking-ignored/#79694ac65b22

What kind of electricity is used in Taiwan? Do I need an adapter?


Taiwan has the same electrical standard as the US and Canada: 110V, 60Hz AC. Electrical sockets have two vertical slots. If you bring appliances from Europe, Australia or Southeast Asia, you’ll need an adaptor or transformer.
https://topologytravel.com/taiwan-travel-guide-read-before-you-go/
Electricity in Taiwan

【Secret Taiwan】Besides Taroko, what are the highlights you should not miss in Hualien?

When it comes to Hualien, the first place people have in mind is usually Taroko National Park. In fact, there are still a lot of places that are worth visiting in Hualien. We will show you something different and interesting, so you can plan your another trip to Hualien right now!

「吉籟獵人學校」的圖片搜尋結果

1. First Stop: Learn how to become a Amis hunter

Go to Cidal Hunter School (吉籟獵人學校) to experience the lifestyle and traditional knowledge of Amis tribe.

After 30-minute drive south from Hualien City, you would get to this Amis community and start the hunter experience course. The hunter will teach you how to weave a headdress, symbolic of the unity of the Amis tribe, from coconut leaves. The next lesson is weaving rope and creating a container for holding water from natural plant materials. After this, you are taught how to start a fire without the use of matches or a lighter. It is quite hard but very interesting. All of these skills are needed for surviving and hunting in the mountains. These activities will brings to the fore the wonderful harmony relationship between the human race and mother earth.

2. Go Cycling at Danongdafu Forest Park (大農大富平地森林園區)

Danongdafu Forest Park is located in Guangfu Town of Hualien County, the southern area of Hualien. The mild bike trails are attractive to people who love cycling and people who’s not very good at cycling. It seem like you can temporarily throw all your worries away when cycling. What else you will ask for when cycling along the secretive trails and lush trees with wild sky above. Once you visit here, you will never want to leave (or never want to get back to work).

3. Kayak at Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭)

Liyu Lake is only 18 kilometers from Hualien City. To be frank, here is not a prosperous attraction, but it’s a nice place with peaceful atmosphere to relax you. Every year around March to May is the best time to spot fireflies and butterflies in the area. If you’d like to do some light outdoor activities, don’t miss Liyu Lake.

The bicycle path that circles the lake is around 5 kilometers long, and allows cyclists to experience the pleasant natural beauty of the lakes and mountains from their vehicles. Liyu Mountain has many forest footpaths which allow hikers to enjoy the birds, flowers, and scenery, making it one of the best exercise choices. Besides, here are also some water activities such as kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and paddle boat experiencing. If you are looking for a place which is suitable for the whole family, Liyu Lake would be a good choice.

【Flavor of Taiwan】What the locals eat in Taiwan? – Part 1

When looking for restaurant recommendations abroad, travelers always fantasize about a “local” who will guide them to the best and authentic meal. Today, as locals like us, would like to show you what we love to eat in our real lives.

台式熱炒

Stir-Fried Dishes Restaurant 台式熱炒

Stir-friend dishes restaurant is the right place for you if you don’t want to eat with the tourists and want to try something local. Having hands of beers and some stir-fried dishes with friends could be considered as the local night life for Taiwanese. The environment of the stir-fried dishes restaurant is noisy, but it also means you can be fully relaxed and laugh as loud as you want when having meals with your friends, colleagues or family.

Each dish in the restaurant costs only 100-300 TWD , which is a very reasonable price! Some stir-fried dishes restaurants provide fresh seafood and you can pick fish or shrimp which is still alive by yourselves before the chef cook the cuisine for you.

What’s more interesting, some dishes are dubbed with really fancy names such as Ants Climbing a Tree, Old Skin Soft Flesh or Flies’ Head.

Ants Climbing a Tree

Ground meat cooked with glass noodles with soy sauce. It looks like tiny little ants climbing up the branches.

Old Skin Soft Flesh

Fried egg tofu. It looks like old people’s wrinkled skin on the outside and new-born babies’s soft skin on the inside.

Flies’ Head

Cooked with minced meat, chopped chive and fermented black beans. The big black beans look like there are some visitors on your dish.

Hot Pot / Spicy Hot Pot / Twin-side Hot Pot 火鍋

I believe hot pot is definitely one of Taiwanese favorite cuisine since we have a variety of hot pot restaurants here in Taiwan from spicy hot pot, twin-side hot pot, all-you-can eat hot pot, sukiyaki, hot pot BBQ and shabu-shabu. Oh! We even have stinky tofu hot pot!

There will be a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table, containing a variety of ingredients such as thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, tofu, and seafood…etc. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce.

Taiwanese also pay attention to the matching the temperature of foods to the body’s needs, so in the winter, ginger duck with rice wine, mutton hotpot and Taiwanese sesame oil chicken stew are the popular hot pot as well. They are SO aromatic that will make you can’t wait to taste them.

Braised Dishes 滷味

Taiwanese people love eating braised food as it’s quick, convenient and delicious. There are two kinds of braised dishes mainly, cold and heated braised dishes.

The ingredients of braised dishes is various from vegetables, mushrooms, eggs, dried tofu to tempura. If you like to weird food (locals like us feel tasty), you can also order some animal’s entrails such us pork liver, chicken heart or duck’s gizzard.

For cold braised dishes, the ingredients are braised with soy sauce. You can eat them directly after picking what you want to eat from the vendor. For heated braised dishes, the only different is that the vendor will cook your food in hot water with soy sauce or some Chinese herbal so that the food will be tasty. You can also order the noodles and the vendor will cook them with the ingredients you pick together. Choose whether to add pickle and chopped spring onion to add some flavor.

One person, one weekend and an Ubike: An unforgettable journey in Taipei

bike tour in Taipei Taiwan

Brad is a senior executive at a multinational company. He frequented Asia a lot on business trips but this was his first time in Taiwan. Since he only planned a weekend in Taiwan, he hoped to use this limited time to travel to Taiwan’s landmarks as well as experience the life as a Taiwanese. Therefore Amy the tour consultant, helped him organize a basic one day trip in Taipei and a one day trip in Yangmingshan (Yang Ming Mountain). What Brad enjoyed the most was when we took him to experience Taipei’s very own UBike!

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The Difference between Taiwan and Germany – Insights from Our Intern from Germany

Introduction

My name is Lukas. I am 19 and from Germany. I worked at Topology for four and a half months. My tasks were about organizing and hosting tours as well as promoting and improving them together with my colleagues.

Photo: I am the one in the middle of the first row.

I chose Taiwan because I wanted to experience Asian culture. In my opinion Taiwan has the best mix of it. Furthermore Taiwan offers a lot of nice landscape and huge choice of activities.

Taiwan and Germany are very different starting with religion and cultural influences and ending with food and everyday working. Following I will give you a small insight into the Taiwanese everyday life and point out the main differences between Germany (or European countries) and Taiwan.

Food

Photo: Taiwan has variety of fruits and most of them are pretty nice!

Taiwanese have a special relationship to food. They love to eat many different kind of good and clean food. Eating together and inviting a lot of people to share food and stories are common.

I was invited by the boss of the hostel I stayed several times to have dinner together with his grandma and once we did a barbecue during a typhoon. There is not really much that can stop Taiwanese from a good barbecue.

The food itself is very delicious but very uncommon for Europeans. Furthermore the overall preparation of food is different. Germans don’t eat rice and noodles that much and particularly pork tastes different. I think the difference is caused by the feeding and preparation of the animals. All in all it tasted so well that I ate tons of it.

But the main difference between here and Germany is the dinner itself. Taiwanese will meet their friends, buy a lot of food and have kind of a buffet. Additional they have the Chinese tables which have a rotating plate in the middle.I like that very much. You simply don’t have to eat what you don’t like.

Another advantage of having dinner here as a guest, you will get offered tons of food. They don’t accept a simple “No thanks. I’m full”. You have to say it 4-6 times before they understand that you cannot eat anything more without exploding.

And don’t be afraid of dirty food, it nearly doesn’t exists here. Nevertheless would have a small first aid set in my backpack in case I don’t stomach some food.

Landscape

The environment in Taiwan is really stunning. Everything you want can be found. Hiking in the famous Taroko Gorge or even just in Taipei (e.g. Elephant Mountain), natural hot springs in the north and along the east coast (Beitou, Jiaoxi in Yilan or Chipen in Taitung…etc), surfing and swimming all over Taiwan, aboriginal culture, temples, huge cities and a lot of small fancy villages like Jiufen or Dulan. All this makes Taiwan one of the most worthy countries to travel. If I compare it with Germany, hiking in the Alps and visiting the north sea are amazing but Taiwan has more options, especially when it comes to activities and distance. The thing you should notice it that there may be typhoons during summer time.

People

The people in Taiwan are all very kind and helpful. It is amazing how they care about you even if you are a foreigner. Getting lost is very hard because everyone will try to help you. And don’t be afraid if you travel Taiwan as a European or American. It might be strange that a lot of people will eye you, because you are different. But no worries, the most smile back.

When it comes to language it is hard to communicate in English if you are not in Taipei. But there is always a solution. They will ask someone, who knows English, to come over and help or communicate with hand and feet. Taiwanese are great at that.

Culture

They also have a remarkable mix of culture and history. The Japanese ruled Taiwan for 50 years, so there is a lot of influence from there. Furthermore Chinese culture, of course. You also can visit aboriginal tribes in eastern Taiwan. Additionally Confucian values are very important. You can find huge plates with the characters for “honor your parents” and “loyalty” in elementary schools. You will find a lot of these values in the everyday life.

As a traveller, altruism is the most present. I experienced to be invited to family dinners, being driven to the next train station, showed around the city and doing activities together. I didn’t experienced something like this in Germany yet. Particularly asking people if they need help finding the way and taking them to their destination is what Taiwanese makes so special.

Additional you can talk and discuss almost everything. The people are very open minded. Also the way of dealing with conflicts is different from other Asian countries. Talking directly about the things you don’t like or criticize is more common here, still not that hash as in Germany, but it was very easy for me to adapt to it.

Travel Guide Book vs. Real Life Experience

Getting lost while travelling is not something very spectacular. During my trip around Taiwan I got lost many times but this was mostly caused by non-existent skills in Chinese.

I travelled with Lonely Planet, Bradt and several online Blogs as well as with the advice from Topology Travel. But the main difference between the travel book and the experience is that you will meet several inconveniences which don’t show up in the book. Sights are described very beautifully but they do not mention how to get there by public transport. For example at the east coast of Taiwan, public transport is very limited. Sometimes there is only one bus a day but the travel guide doesn’t mention it. Or the famous Walami trail in Hualien, which is described as one of the best hiking trail. The travel books never mentioned that getting there is very complicated if you don’t have a car or a scooter.

I wouldn’t recommend driving there if you are not used to Taiwanese roads and driving style. The roads are very narrow and can be very dangerous. In my opinion only experienced drivers should drive there.

Concluding travel guides are good to get an impression of your destination and the surroundings, but for actual travelling, I recommend to use more than two different travel guides, several blogs and get help from locals!

A local travel agency offers you the best advice and some of them, like Topology travel, offer customized tours. This may cost money, but you can be sure to get the most reliable information. Hiring a travel agency is also the easiest way to get good information.

If you are travelling low budget, the staff from your hostel and other travellers you meet are also really nice opportunities to get advice.

Furthermore I really recommend to get a SIM card and mobile internet. Google maps was one of my best friends while travelling!

With all these experiences I made, I would really recommend to get some help. If you can speak Chinese you might don’t have a lot of these problems, but a few spots are a bit tricky and you will need help. The choice is up to you!

A Wheelchair-Friendly Trip Created with You in Mind

Natalya from the Philippines reached out to us in March, 2017. She mentioned that her mother was not able to walk for a very long time and needed to rely on wheelchair to move. This made it difficult for the travel consultant to create a suitable trip for them. Of course, she hoped that this limitation would not affect the great opportunity for the family to travel and explore Taiwan together.

Natalya’s travel consultant was Shirley. Since Shirley’s mother relies on wheelchair to move as well, they had a lot to talk about. First of all, Shirley carefully checked Natalya’s requirement based on her own experience, including the need to book a wheelchair-friendly room, the daily necessities, and the things to pay extra attention to when going out. For example, Shirley’s mother always runs into an issue; that is, the car’s chassis is too high for her to get in and out of the vehicles easily.

After checking the details over and over again, Shirley recommended suitable destinations according to the condition of Natalya’s mother. For instance, the Erzihping Trail of Yangming Mountain, the Chung-Shan Building, and the Yehliu Geopark are all touristic spots full equipped with wheelchair-friendly facilities. In the beginning, Natalya wished that Sun Moon Lake could be included in the 4-day trip, but Shirley was worried that the family might be too tired due to their flight schedule. Therefore, she recommended them to stick with Taipei and the cities nearby. In the end, Natalya agreed on Shirley professional advice.

What’s more interesting was that not until after a few e-mails did Shirley know that Natalya’s parents had come to Taiwan for their honeymoon. Visiting here with new family members definitely will create new meaning for them.

On their first day setting foot on Taiwan, Shirley visited Natalya’s family personally in order to understand the real condition of Natalya’s mother. This way, she could make sure that the wheelchair, crutch-chair, and other equipment that we had prepared are suitable for them. In addition, Shirley also bought the famous dessert, taro balls, from the NingXia Night Market as a treat for the customers.

After the trip, Natalya also shared her experience on TripAdvisor. She mentioned that Taiwan was not their first choice; however, after visiting here in person, she was moved by the beauty of Yehliu and the cultural atmosphere of Jiufen. Even the National Palace Museum alone was enough for them to come back to Taiwan for a few more times. More importantly, because the tour guide took good care of them and introduced Taiwan in an interesting way, they were relaxed and able to enjoy every single spots at their own pace.

Seeing Natalya bringing her family to Taiwan regardless of the difficulties inspires Shirley to try to bring her mother abroad. This mutual inspiration is not what the travel consultant expected but is the most precious memory for the both.

[Useful Info]How We Select Unique B&Bs for You? – Must-Stay Excellent Accommodation

A real timeout from work, or a break from the norm, is probably what people call for while planning a trip, either short or extended, domestic or foreign. To the many, accommodation arrangement matters so much that it might decide whether a trip is a full success. Hotels with stars, luxuriously furnished rooms, full facilities, good location, guest-centered room services might sound attractive. However, when we are arranging accommodation for our guests, we’ve asked ourselves many times: What can be an excellent accommodation?
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