Taiwan this Month

Published Issue: 2011 April

Useful Facts

MRT and Buses
You can get just about anywhere in Taipei by train or bus. If you intend to spend a few days here, buy an EasyCard at the Mass Rapid Transit station, MRT and most convenience stores. This is a rechargeable IC ticketing system for the metro, buses, car parks, some taxis and more.

Taiwan's national currency is the New Taiwan Dollar. Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, but not at the wet markets and night markets.

is not common in Taiwan.

Weight and measures
Taiwan uses the metric system, with some exceptions. Land area is measured in "ping" one "ping" equals 3,306 meters. Mass, especially for grocery shopping, "catty" is used. One "catty" equals 600 grams.

Tax Free Shopping
If you are a foreign traveler you can claim 5% of the value-added sales tax you have paid on your purchases in Taiwan. The purchases must be of at least NT$3,000 on the same day from the same Tax Refund Shopping (TRS)-posted store. To claim the refund, you must apply at the port of your departure within 30 days following the date of purchase, and you must bring the goods out of the country.

For more bulky items many stores are happy to arrange shipping of the goods to your home destination for a reasonable cost.

Essential Souvenirs
Taiwan is renowned for its Tea and Pineapple cake.

For the children
There are many things for young travelers to do in Taipei and Taiwan. The amusement parks in and around Taipei is a favorite destination for the young and the young-at-heart. Many Parks have playgrounds for small children and the night markets will keep the interest of a young person. For more suggestions, please go to our web page: www.taiwanthismonth.com April issue 2010.

It's never difficult to find a scenic spot in Taiwan with its high mountains and beautiful cost line. When you have decided on the destination, contact the county's tourism department to find the best way of getting there.

A quicker route to and from Taipei
A taxi from Taoyuan International Airport to downtown Taipei coasts about NT$ 1200, the opposite way about NT$2100. Direct Buses to the airport: Kuokuang Line 1840 and Free Go Bus 5502 from Minquan E. Rd. Sec. 2, #109 and Kuokuang Line 1819 from Taipei Railway Station leaving every 20 min. and takes about 50 min. Kuokuang Line 1840 : Fare NT$125, Service Hours everyday 05:20am - 22:45pm, Free Go Bus 5502: Fare NT$140, Service Hours everyday 04:00am-23:00pm and Kuokuang Line 1819: Fare NT$125, Service Hours everyday 04:30am - 23:20pm.

Smoking Ban
Smoking is prohibited in most indoor areas, including restaurants, bars, karaoke, offices, MRT and airports.

Opening Hours
Office hours: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
Bank hours: 9.00 am - 3.30 pm Monday - Friday
Post Office hours: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm Monday - Friday
Shopping: 11.00 am -10.00 pm private business,
Department store: 11.00 am - 9.00 pm
Night market: 5.00 pm - 12.00 midnight
These time schedule might vary for different establishments. Shops are open every day of the week.

Popular restaurants are often busy during lunchtime, 12.00 am - 1.00 pm, at dinner time after 6.00 pm and weekends, so it is a good idea to make a reservation. Casual wear is acceptable in most restaurants. As most premises are air-conditioned, you might need a light jacket. Night markets are very popular for casual dining.

Credit Cards and ATM
Most credit cards are accepted in Taiwan. To be on the safe side, check with the restaurant before ordering or when making the reservation. Many ATM accepts international bank cards, look for the arrow sign.

Mandarin Chinese is the official language in Taiwan. Taiwanese and Hakka are also spoken and the most popular foreign language is English. However, when taking a taxi in Taiwan, it is advisable to prepare a note with your destination written in Chinese to show the taxi driver.

Taiwan straddles the Tropic of Cancer in the Pacific Ocean and enjoys a sub-tropical climate with four seasons - spring, summer, autumn and winter. Average temperature and rainfall: March - May 21 - 25 C, 193 mm, June - August 24 - 33 C, 275 mm, September - November 20 - 27 C, 144 mm and December - February 12 - 29 C, 97 mm. There is high possibility of typhoons between June - October. There are only three levels of storm warnings in Taiwan.

Emergency Services
Police 110 Fire 119 English Assistance 106 Int'l Community Service Hotline 0800-024-111 Visa information for foreigners 0800-024-111 Travel Service Center 0800-011-765 Taiwan High Speed Railway 02-6626-8000 Taoyuan International Airport 03-398-2143 Kaohsiung International Airport 07-805-7630 Taipei Song Shan Airport 02-8770-3460