Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, offers the most modern architecture, infrastructure and technology alongside the historic and traditional aspects that make it an extraordinary city to experience.
• Area: 36,000 square kilometers
• Population: 23 million
• Language: Mandarin/Taiwanese/Hakka
• Religion: Buddhism/Taoism/Christian/Islam/Catholicism

Where is Taiwan? 
Formosa - beautiful island

Formosa is what the Portuguese called Taiwan when they came here in the 16th century and saw the island's verdant beauty. Taiwan is an island about 36,000 square km located off the coast of southeastern China, southwest of Japan and north of the Philippines. It lies off the southeastern coast of mainland Asia, across the Taiwan Strait from Mainland China. Taiwan is one of the most unsung tourist destinations in all of Asia, its modern emergence as an economic and industrial powerhouse still overshadowing the staggering breadth of natural, historic and culinary attractions this captivating island has to offer. A fascinating mix of technological innovation and traditional Chinese and aboriginal cultures and cuisines, Taiwan is one of the only places on earth where ancient religious and cultural practices still thrive in an overwhelmingly modernist landscape.
The most popular foreign language in Taiwan is English, which is part of the regular school curriculum; however, to be on the safe side, when take a taxi in Taiwan, it is strongly advisable to prepare a note with your place of destination written in Chinese to show the taxi driver


Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
The Taipei TTY Airport is the main gateway of Taiwan. It can be accessed via over 190 non-stop and direct flights from 56 major cities throughout the world. The carriers are Air Macau, Air New Zealand, Air Nippon, Angkor Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Eva Airways, Continental, Dragon Air, Japan Asia Airways, Korean Air, Far Eastern Air, Northwest, KLM, Malaysia Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Palau Trans, Pacific Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Thai Airways, Transasia Airways, United Airlines and Vietnam Airlines.
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Taipei Songsang Airport

Situated in Metropolitan Taipei, the Taipei International Airport is the hub of domestic air transportation. It is easily accessible from the town centers.
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Time Zone

Taiwan is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


Tipping is not customary in most of places in Taiwan since a 10% service charge is automatically added to meals.


Taiwan uses electric current of 110 volts at 60 cycles, appliances from Europe, Australia or South-East Asia will need an adaptor or transformer. Many buildings have sockets with 220 volts especially for the use of air conditioners.

Currency and Banks

The Country’s currency is the New Taiwan dollar (NT$) which has five denominations in paper money and five in coins. Paper money comes in NT$2000, NT$1000, NT$500, NT$200, and NT$100 denominations. Coins come in NT$50, NT$20, NT$10, NT$5 and NT$1 denominations. 
The exchange rate in recent months is around NT$ 29.784 for US$1. (2013/03/20) Foreign currencies can be exchanged at hotels, airports and government-designated banks. For different currencies, please visit the Currency Converter at Currency Conversion.
Major credit cards are widely accepted, and traveler’s checks may be accepted by tourist-oriented shops and at most international tourist hotels and banks. Banks open whole day from 09:00 to 15:30, Mon-Fri and closed at weekend and public holidays.


Taiwan enjoys a subtropical climate with warm weather all year round. The annual average temperature is 22 degrees Celsius with lowest temperatures ranging from 12 to 17 degrees Celsius (54-63 Fahrenheit).   Summer starts from June. It begins to feel hot, with average low and high temperature respectively at 24 °C (75 °F) and 27 °C (80 °F). In the south it feels hotter with temperature hitting 30 °C (86 °F)
Current temperature in Taipei:


Both coin and card pay public phones are available in Taiwan:
  • Coin phones accept coins in denominations of NT$1, NT$5, and NT10.
  • Card phones accept both magnetic-strip and IC stored-value cards available in amounts of NT$100, NT$200, and NT$300. These cards are sold in railway stations, bus stations, and convenience stores.
  • Local calls from public phones are charged at NT$1 per minute.
  • International direct calls are charged at NT$5 per specified unit of time.
  • When making local calls it is not necessary to dial the area code; however, when making long-distance calls, first dial the area code of the receiving party (see explanation on the public telephone) and then the number itself.

Calling Overseas Direct from Taiwan:

  • Dial Taiwan's international access code (002 or 009).
  • Dial the country code of the country being called (Ex. "1" for the US, "86" for mainland China).
  • Dial in the area code of the called party (leaving out the long-distance digit, "0").

Dial the local number of the called party. For operator-assisted international calls, please dial "100."
For information on international calling, call this toll-free number: 0800-080-100.

VAT Refund Requirements

  • Foreign travelers holding non-ROC passports, ROC passports without registered household, or a re-entry permit.
  • Foreign travelers who make purchases of at least NT$3,000 on the same day from the same Tax Refund Shopping (TRS)-posted store and who take the purchased goods out of the country with them within 30 days of purchase.

Where to Claim Your Refund:
At the "Foreign Passenger VAT Refund Service Counter" at the airport or seaport of departure.
Refund Application Procedures:

  • Present Application Form for VAT Refund, passport or other designated travel document, purchased goods to be taken out of the country, and original copy of uniform invoice to the customs officer.
  • After verification, the customs officer will issue a "VAT Refund Assessment Certificate."
  • Present the "VAT Refund Assessment Certificate" to the designated bank at the airport or seaport for issuance of refund due.

Getting Around Taiwan High speed Railway
The THSR goes through 8 main cities along the western part of Taiwan at the moment.
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Trains on the round-the-island rail network provide extremely convenient services. Tickets may be purchased three days in advance.
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