When Portuguese sailors first saw Taiwan off the starboard bow in 1544 they christened it Ilha Formosa, the 'Beautiful Island'.
And can you blame them? For 400 years communists, capitalists, imperialists and everyone in between have fought over its mist-shrouded forests, soaring peaks and plunging coastal cliffs. These days it’s definitely a case of ‘come for the adventure, stay for the stir-fries’, with some of the best fusion cuisine around, top road cycling, excellent mountain trekking and world-class coffee to boot. Technically it’s known as the Republic of China, but in the last 40 years this little green island has carved out its own destiny, one that’s definitely ‘made in Taiwan’.
Our Taiwan trips
Articles on Taiwan
Taiwan travel highlights
Sun Moon Lake
Cycle around the mysterious Sun Moon Lake
Sample delicious street food at the Luodong Night Markets
Gain some wisdom at the Confucius Temple in Taipei
Taiwan holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Taiwan
Geography and environment
Top 5 Attractions in Taiwan
Health and Safety
Taiwan travel FAQs
Nationals of most countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, which permits a duration of stay of 30-90 days. Please check with your nearest consulate for your specific eligibility.
Tipping is not a city in Taiwan, nor is it really common practice, except perhaps in the more high-class hotels. Most restaurants have a service charge built into the price, and taxi drivers will usually return your change to you.
As one of Asia’s more tech-savvy destinations, cyber cafes are common in the major cities. Free Wi-Fi can also usually be found at the local library.
Mobile phone coverage is excellent in Taiwan, apart from some of the more remote mountain areas. Ensure global roaming is activated before leaving home if you wish to use your mobile while travelling.
Modern flushing toilets are commonplace in Taiwan, although it can be hard to find a public toilet in the large cities.
Beer = 50 TWD
Simple lunch at a cafe = 60 TWD
Dinner in a restaurant = 150 TWD
Street meal = 40 TWD
Train ticket = 20 TWD
Bottle of water = 19 TWD
Water in Taiwan is usually filtered, and therefore safe, but use your common sense. Restaurants will generally filter their water, as will most of the drinking fountains. If you can’t find these in the more rural areas, bring some purification tablets to treat the water.
Most hotels and department stores accept VISA and Mastercard, but Diners and AMEX are not usually accepted. For restaurants and small stores, cash is the normal form of payment.
ATM access in Taiwan is exceptional, with most of their ATMs able to withdraw money from anywhere in the world using the Plus or Cirrus system. There is usually a TWD 20,000 limit for cash withdrawals.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 1 Jan Founding Day of the Republic of China
- 2 Jan New Year's / Republic Day Holiday
- 27 Jan Chinese New Year
- 28 Jan Chinese New Year
- 29 Jan Chinese New Year
- 30 Jan Chinese New Year
- 31 Jan Chinese New Year
- 1 Feb Chinese New Year
- 27 Feb 228 Peace Memorial Day (Additional Holiday)
- 28 Feb 228 Peace Memorial Day
- 3 Apr Qingming Festival /Tomb Sweeping Day (Additional Holiday)
- 4 Apr Qingming Festival /Tomb Sweeping Day
- 4 Apr Children's Day
- 29 May Dragon Boat Festival (Additional Public Holiday)
- 30 May Dragon Boat Festival
- 4 Oct Mid-Autumn / Moon Festival
- 9 Oct ROC National Celebration Day (Additional Holiday)
- 10 Oct ROC National Celebration Day
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Taiwan go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/taiwan/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Taiwan
- Be considerate of Taiwan’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
- For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
- When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
- Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
- Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
- Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, especially children.
- When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.