Also known as Formosa, is an island situated in East Asia in the Western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, and comprises most of the territory of the Republic of China (ROC) since the 1950s. The term "Taiwan" has also become a commonly used alternative name both domestically and internationally to refer to the entire country of Republic of China after ROC lost international diplomatic recognition as "China" in the 1970's.
Taiwan’s subtropical climate, with generally warm temperatures and Northern Hemisphere Summers (June-September) and Winters (November-March) Summers can be hot and wet, although rainfall is often limited to afternoon and evening storms. Winter temperatures are mild and the only snowfall is on Mountain peaks.
Taiwan has a current population of just over 22 million. The most heavily populated city is Taipei with more than 2.7 million people. Other large cities are Kaohsiung with 1,435,000 residents, Taichung with 860,000 and Tainan with 708,000.
Electricity is 110 Volts, 60 cycles AC. Visitors should carry a multi-plug adaptor for local sockets. Ensure that your appliances and chargers can be switched to 110 Volts before using them.
Currency & Credit Card
The currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD, but also referred to as TWD), known locally as NT, yuan or kuai.Taiwanese currency is fully convertible and there are no restrictions on taking currency into or out of the island. Most hotels and department stores accept credit cards, generally Visa and Master Card. Diners Club or American Express cards are often rejected.
Taiwan is GMT+8 and does not have seasonal time variation.
Westerners should be cautious of relatively undercooked food. Many Taiwanese restaurants offer plates of raw, sliced red meat and uncooked seafood that are brought to the table and either barbecued or simmered in a pot of stock. As this constitutes a staple of the Taiwanese diet, any bacteria that may remain doesn't affect the locals, but can wreak havoc with foreigners.
Taiwan offers the perfect solution for anyone wanting to relax and recharge their mind and body- naturally. There are many geothermal hot springs throughout Taiwan. The warm waters of these springs, heated and charged by the earth's own energy, are believed to soothe, revitalize and reinvigorate the body.
Taiwan is located in Southeast Asia, to the southwest of to the west is the Taiwan Strait beyond which is China. Luzon Strait is to the south and the Philippines is further south, a natural conduit to the rest of Asia from the Pacific.
Generally speaking, the foods of Taiwan are derived from mainland Chinese cuisines. It is possible to find Szechuan food, Hunan food, Beifang food, Cantonese food and almost every other Chinese cuisine on the island. Taiwan also has many of its own local specialties. Perhaps because of its long isolation from mainland China and distance from other parts of the world, most cities and towns in Taiwan are famous for special foods.
As Taiwan is a subtropical island with the south part in the tropics, it cannot hurt to drink a lot, especially during summertime. Drink vending machines can be found virtually everywhere and are filled with all kinds of juices, tea and coffee drinks, soy milk and mineral water.
Emergency Phone Numbers Police:
110 Fire/Ambulance: 119
Holidays and Festivals
The main holidays and festivals in Taiwan may be divided into two major categories: Festivals are associated with the traditional lunar calendar whereas official holidays are celebrated according to the western calendar. The lunar festivals developed from the customs of China's past, and to the celebrants, these occasions are a time for recalling one's cultural origins and remembering the wisdom of early ages. Such festivals include the Chinese New Year Festival, and Lantern Festival, all symbolic of discarding the old and ushering in the new; the Dragon Boat Festival, a time for warding off evil and strengthening the body; the Ghost Festival, when the outcasts from the underworld are given salvation; the Mid-Autumn Festival a celebration of the full moon and unity of mankind; and Double Ninth Festival is to remember the elders.