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Taiwan


Introduction to Taiwan

Taiwan is situated in the Pacific Ocean about 160km from the south eastern coast of the mainland China. It is located about midway between Korea and Japan to the north and Hong Kong and the Philippines to the south.

GENERAL
Area : 36,000 square kilometers
Population : 23 million
Language : Mandarin / Taiwanese / Hakka / Indigenous Languages
Religion : Buddhism / Taoism / Christianity / Islam

TIME

Taiwan is 2 hours behind Australian EST.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Australian passport holders are allowed to enter Taiwan without a visa for up to 30 days Passports must be valid for 6 months .

 

Location
Taiwan's total land area is only about 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles); it is shaped like a leaf that is narrow at both ends. It lies off the southeastern coast of mainland Asia, across the Taiwan Strait from Mainland China-- a solitary island on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. To the north lies Japan; to the south is the Philippines. Many airlines fly to Taiwan, helping make it the perfect travel destination.

 

Climate
If you are from a high-latitude country, you can leave your winter coat behind when coming to Taiwan and indulge in the pleasant warmth of the sun. If you'd rather experience the carefree sensation of healthy beads of sweat running down your forehead, then you should visit the beach at Kending in southern Taiwan where it is summer all year round. Don't worry too much about getting burnt by the dazzling sun; the island of Taiwan is located in the subtropical climate zone, and the sun is not as stinging hot as it seems bright. Furthermore, the island is surrounded by oceans; and the ocean breezes, which are the reason for Taiwan's humid weather, will surely make you completely forget the dry cold back home.

 

Nature
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.
Located along the southeast coast of the Asian Continent at the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, between Japan and the Philippines and right in the center of the East-Asian island arc, Taiwan forms a vital line of communication in the Asia-Pacific region. It covers an area of approximately 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles) and is longer than it is wide. Two-thirds of the total area is covered by forested mountains and the remaining area consists of hilly country, platforms and highlands, coastal plains and basins. The Central Mountain Range stretches along the entire island from north to south, thus forming a natural line of demarcation for rivers on the eastern and western sides of the island. On the west side lies the Yushan Mountain Range with its main peak reaching 3,952 meters, the highest mountain peak in Northeast Asia.

 

History
Taiwan's history can be traced back to at least 7000 years ago. Between 7000 and 400 years ago, Austronesia ancestors of the aboriginals arrived in Taiwan in small groups and became the earliest known inhabitants of Taiwan.
During the age of discovery of the 16th century, western sailors arrived in the Far East to set up colonies and conduct trade.

 

Literature and Art
If you want to observe the multifaceted manifestations of 5,000 years of culture, or feel for yourself the joy and harmony of life in a heterogeneous society, then a tour of Taiwan is just what you need. Perhaps the best thing about experiencing the endless variety of Taiwan's artistic wonders is that whatever you like, whether it be folk festivals, religious faith, traditional skills, or modern art, is that everything is right at hand. You can find expressions of the island's rich and varied art on every street and lane, and in the lives of the people. And every part of Taiwan—north, center, south, and east, and even the offshore islands—shows its own unique local characteristics, profoundly different yet centered on a common cultural core. This is the source of Taiwan's magnetic allure.

 

Religion
Taiwan is highly diversified in terms of religious faith, with the practice of Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Mormonism, the Unification Church, Islam, and Hinduism, as well as native sects such as Yiguandao and others. The island not only respects traditional faiths but also opens its arms to other types of religious thought from the outside.

 

People
Taiwan has a population of 23 million. The larger part of the island's inhabitants are the descendants of immigrants from the various provinces of mainland China, but in particular from the southeastern coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. Because the different ethnic groups have fairly well integrated, differences that originally existed between people from different provinces have gradually disappeared.
Some 360,000 indigenous people, the original inhabitants of Taiwan, still live here; they can be distinguished into 14 different tribes, namely the Amis, the Atayal, the Paiwan, the Bunun, the Puyuma, the Rukai, the Tsou, the Saisiyat, the Tao (or Yami), the Thao, the Kavalan, the Truku ,the Sakizaya and the Sediq

 

Language
The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese, but because many Taiwanese are of southern Fujianese descent, Minnan (the Southern Min dialect, or Heluo) is also widely spoken. The smaller groups of Hakka people and aborigines have also preserved their own languages. Many elderly people can also speak some Japanese, as they were subjected to Japanese education before Taiwan was returned to Chinese rule in 1945 after the Japanese occupation which lasted for half a century.
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 taking a taxi in Taiwan it is advisable to prepare a note with your place of destination written in Chinese to show the taxi driver.
Taiwan is also the most ideal place to learn Chinese. There are numerous language schools that offer Chinese classes, ranging from hourly-based classes to recognized university programs. Many foreigners from Europe and the United States, as well as other areas, come to Taiwan to spend their holidays, or one or two years, studying Chinese.

 

 

 

Traveler Information

 

1. Voltage and drinking water
The voltage used in Taiwan is 110 V., 60 Hz.
However, most of hotels are equipped with 110 / 220 V sockets.
It is recommended to drink bottled water instead of tap water. Bottled water could be found in most of 7-Eleven stores and supermarkets.

2. Currency
The local currency in Taiwan is "New Taiwan Dollars" (NT$).
There are NT$1,000, NT$500, NT$200, NT$100, and NT$50 notes.
And there are NT$50, NT$20, NT$10, NT$5 and NT$1 coins.
AU$1 = NTD$27 (approximately)
Credit cards are very popular in Taiwan.

3. Customs
One has to declare if one carries more than US$5,000 cash or otherequivalent foreign currencies. It is prohibited to bring fresh fruits, plants, any kind of fresh, frozen, preserved or boiled seaproductions. Most personal belongings are duty free, but stereo sets, TVs, VCRs and computers must be declared. Check entry forms for duty-free allowances and restrictions.

4. Tips
It is suggested to tip hotel porter US$ 1 per suitcase for carrying luggage, US$ 1 per day for hotel room-maids, US$ 3 per day for tour guide, and US$2 per day for driver.

5. Telephone
Local calls cost NT$1 for 2 minutes. Prepaid phone cards and IC cards are available at most of the convenient stores and kiosks.
Most hotels have English and Japanese speaking switchboard operators.
For international calls, one should dial "002" to access an international call. Calling from foreign country to Taiwan, should dial + 886 + 2(Taipei) + number
Emergency call: 119 – for police, ambulance and fire

6. Temperature ( Fahrenheit )

Location

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Taipei

61

61

65

71

77

81

85

84

81

76

70

64

Taichung

61

62

67

73

78

82

83

82

81

77

71

64

Sun Moon Lake

57

58

62

67

70

72

73

73

72

69

65

60

Hualien

64

64

68

73

77

81

83

82

80

76

71

67

Mt. Ali

42

44

48

52

55

57

58

57

56

54

50

45

Kaohsiung

66

67

72

77

81

83

84

83

82

80

74

68

7. Hotel Check Out
Please check one's own bill such as phone charge, mini-bar, laundry or any other personal expenses. Please make sure that the luggage is loaded into the coach or taken care of by local guide.

8. Others
It is safe to travel in Taiwan. However, it is still suggested not to be out alone, and carry our phone numbers ( 24 hours ) and the mobile phone number of the local guide's for emergency.
Please prepare one's own medicine, sun tan lotion and others.

Tailor Made Tours are available to meet any requirements.
Hotel reservations from 2 to 5 stars class hotels, domestic and international air-tickets, and airport transfer service by private cars.