Located off the southeastern coast of China, Taiwan is not only high-tech, but features top-rated scenic spots and views. This independent nation off the coast of China is about 18 hours away from the U.S. west coast by air. To visit Taiwan, you will need a valid passport and possibly a visa depending on how long you plan to stay in the country.
1. Visa and passport requirements
To enter Taiwan, a valid passport for at least six months is required by all nationals prior to traveling, except for Japan (three months). U.S. passport holders may enter Taiwan for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.
The public transit system in Taiwan is first-rate. Most Taiwanese people utilize a combination of buses, trains, and the MRT (underground subway) when getting around in the cities. It’s important to note that the Taiwanese are very polite and will always give up their seat to the elderly, disabled, pregnant, and women with children.
3. Major Airport
Taiwan’s main international airport is Taiwan Taoyuan International airport, 40 minutes from Taipei. Nearly all flights from the U.S. fly into this airport. You will have to arrange for public or private transportation at the airport if you are going to Taipei or Hsinchu, or another major city nearby. If you are headed to Kaohsiung, you can fly into Kaohsiung International, although you may have to transfer at the Taiwan Taoyuan airport.
4. Free Wi-Fi For All
Taiwan was one of the first countries to offer free internet usage, even to tourists. You can find free Wi-Fi at all train stations and most major tourist attractions.
5. Staying in Taipei
You’ll find a varied of accommodation options in Taiwan, with standard mid-price hotels, big-name international chains, and chic design properties at the top end. Prices can fluctuate according to peak seasons, with the period around Chinese New Year being the most expensive time to travel.
Taiwan uses the New Taiwan Dollar. For more information on currency conversions visit XE. Before you leave, notify your bank, credit card company, or other financial institutions that you are going overseas. Avoid carrying cash and consider using traveler’s checks or major credit cards instead (but make sure they are accepted at your destination before departing on your trip).
Except for bellhops and service personnel in international hotels, tipping in Taiwan is generally not expected. For restaurants (especially in large hotels), if there is a tip to be taken, they will just add 10-15% to your check. But in general, don’t worry about tipping when you are eating out! It is not necessary to tip cabbies — in fact it will confuse them.
Check with your physician to see which shots are required and/or recommended for your trip to Taiwan. You can check online resources like the U.S. Department of State Taiwan country page or contact the Taiwan Embassy or Consulate for current entry requirements. The World Health Organization (WHO) can provide their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.
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