ABOUT Taiwan is located in the western Pacific Ocean 100 miles off the southeastern coast of the Chinese mainland. Positioned midway between Korea and Japan to the north and Hong Kong and the Philippines to the South, this 35, 563 sq. kms. There has been human habitation on the island for the past 10,000 years. The earliest aboriginal tribes most likely originated from other parts of Asia, such as the Philippines. Taiwan has always historically been on the periphery of the great Chinese Empire and in the 15th Century the first immigrants arrived from Fujian in China. Island is a convenient gateway to Asia. Taiwan is a mountainous island with a great range of terrain, from tropical beaches up to spectacular 3952 metre peaks- the highest non-Himalyan mountains in North East Asia. Taiwan has a widespread and reliable network of bus services. Government run buses have two separate classes- Kuokuang luxury and Chunghsing economy. There are numerous private bus and coach services with a wide range of services and comfort levels. Tickets can be booked in advance from travel agencies. Taiwan’s subtropical climate, with generally warm temperatures and Northern Hemisphere Summers June-September and Winters November-March Summers can be hot and wet, although rainfall is often limited to afternoon and evening storms. Winter temperatures are mild and the only snowfall is on Mountain peaks. Electricity is 110 Volts, 60 cycles AC. Visitors should carry a multi-plug adaptor for local sockets. Ensure that your appliances and chargers can be switched to 110 Volts before using them. Taiwan’s official currency is the New Taiwan Dollar NT$. Coins come in denominations of NT$1, 5,10 and 50 while notes are issued in values of NT$50,100, 500 and 1000.
CLIMATE Taiwan is a humid region. The northern part, middle mountain area and western plain are abundant with rainfalls in different periods. June to October is the typhoon season in Taiwan, with July to September offering the most activities to experience. The months with the most rainy days are in plum rain season in May and June while thundershower mostly came in the afternoons in summer. The annual average temperature of the northern part is around 21.7C. The coldest months are from January to March with the lowest temperature to about 10C. The hottest months are from June to August with the highest temperature up to around 38C. The average temperature of the rest months is around 25C
BEWARE There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. There is a risk of road blockages and landslides following typhoons, especially in central and southern Taiwan. You should check the Central Weather Bureau website before travelling to these areas. If you intend to drive in Taiwan, you will need an International Driving Permit (IDP). Once in Taiwan, you will need to take your passport, IDP and a passport photograph to the nearest Vehicle Registration Dept and apply for a driver's licence visa, which will then be secured in your IDP.