Taiwan travel advice and trip tips
Travel tips Taiwan (travel advice):
- Come as close to summer as possible, because that way you can fully enjoy the best of Taiwan: rivers and waterfalls (but avoid the worst months of the typhoon season: July-August-September).
- Bring suitable footwear for trekking, because here it rains a lot and you can slip if you are not wearing suitable boots.
- Do not forget the raincoat, in Taiwan it rains a lot. Thin if it is summer, and thicker if it is winter. Also come with a fleece, because the difference in temperature between the coast and the mountains can reach 15 degrees.
- If you are thinking of river tracing, bathing in waterfalls and snorkeling, don't forget to bring some booties.
- Unless you come in July-August-September, if you want to bathe in the river and waterfalls, better bring a wetsuit to avoid getting cold. It can also help you not to get burned on sunny days!
- Many restaurants and hotels do not accept credit cards, so we recommend that you come with a card that allows you to withdraw at ATMs without commission, such as Revolut or N-26 (conventional bank cards charge between 4- 8% commission for withdrawing abroad, in addition to the charge that the ATM itself can make you).
- If you plan to use hostels and guest houses to minimize the cost of accommodation, you better go with a trolley backpack, since these places do not usually have an elevator and it will be good for you to be able to carry it on your back when necessary! This one from Osprey has accompanied us around the world and is still as good as new.
- There are a lot of mosquitoes in Taiwan. In the parks they can bite you at any time of the year. It is not that they can spread any serious disease, but it is better to avoid bites because they are very annoying. Repellent is easy to find in supermarkets and convenience stores.
Tipping in Taiwan:
Tipping is not given in Taiwan, so for the sake of future generations of travelers, don't be the first to do it!
Electrical plug/outlet Taiwan (voltage):
In Taiwan they use the typical American plug (type A, two flat pins). So if you are coming from the UK, Australia or New Zealand, you will need a power adapter. You can buy a simple one, or a universal power adapter that you can use for other trips. In any case, try to take at least one per person, because you will need them for phone, tablet, cameras...
Language in Taiwan:
In Taiwan they speak Mandarin Chinese. They have a different accent than mainland China, and they write it using the traditional characters (not the simplified ones used in China), but apart from this, it is basically the same language.
In Taipei, many people speak or chatter in English. So you will have no problem understanding each other. In the smaller towns it is more difficult and you will have to use mimicry and creativity: -).
Trying to speak to them in Chinese is an impossible mission, because the pronunciation is very complicated and they will not understand you, so it is best to download Google translate ( iOS - Android ) and if possible download the Chinese language offline. In restaurants it is best to show photos or point out dishes. In taxis it is best to show them the address in Chinese (it always appears on Google Maps).
Some words of courtesy that may be useful to you:
Ni hao (pronounced "Nee hao") = hello
Bai Bai (pronounce like Bye Bye) = goodbye
Xie Xie = thank you
Time zone in Taiwan:
Taiwan is in the GMT + 8 time zone in winter and GMT + 7 in summer (they do not change time during the year). This means that if you come from the UK in winter, you will have to advance the clock 8 hours, and if you come in summer, you will have to advance it only 7 hours.