Meet Taiwan

Formosa! Beautiful Island- Taiwan

Formosa is what the Portuguese called Taiwan when they first saw the island’s verdant beauty in the 16th century. 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. A fascinating mix of technological innovation, 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.

Taiwan is known for its towering mountains. The island is spotted with numerous mountains over 3,000 meters. It is also home to the Northeast Asia's tallest mountain, Yu Mountain (Yushan), which is nearly 4,000 meter in height. Besides mountains, beautiful coastal scenes are also part of Taiwan's great natural asset.

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

Electricity : Taiwan uses electric current of 110 volts at 60 cycles, appliances from Europe, Australia or South-East Asia will need an adaptor or transformer.

Climate : Taiwan enjoys a subtropical climate with warm weather all year round. The strongest fluctuations in weather conditions are during spring and winter, while during summer and autumn the weather is relatively stable. Taiwan is extremely suitable for traveling; the average temperature in November and is around 12-18 °C (54-63 °F).

Currency and Banks : The official currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (code: TWD; abbr. NT$):
1 USD≒30 TWD
1 JPY≒0.36 TWD
1 KRW≒0.027 TWD
Major credit cards (Visa, Master, AMEX) 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.

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

Dialing Code : International Regional Code: +886 2 (Taipei)

Language : The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese and the native Taiwanese tongue, alternatively called taiyu or minnan hua, which is still widely spoken as a first language by the island's dominant ethnic group, originally hails from China's southern Fujian province. The most popular foreign language in Taiwan is English, which is part of the regular school curriculum.