Electrical current is 110 volts AC, 60Hz. Two-pin flat
blade plugs and one with a third grounding pin is
Mandarin is the official language of Taiwan, but
Taiwanese is often spoken and English is generally
Tipping is not customary, although if offered it will be
accepted. Baggage handlers at hotels and the airport will be
pleased with some loose change. Hotels and restaurants will usually
add a 10% service charge to the bill.
Most visits to Taiwan are trouble-free. The country has only a
low incidence of petty crime, and is considered safe. The only
threats are natural ones, because the island is prone to typhoons
and tropical storms, usually between May and November, as well as
earthquakes and tremors. These are seldom severe.
The concept of 'saving face' is very important in Taiwanese
culture, and tourists should try to avoid embarrassing locals.
Self-control is another key aspect to Taiwanese culture, and losing
your temper or creating a public spectacle is highly frowned upon.
Relationships in Taiwan are built around mutual benefit, and the
exchange of small gifts is common. Taiwanese customs include a
number of superstitions, including prohibitions of writing a
person's name in red, pointing at cemeteries or graves, whistling
at night, or giving a gift of shoes, umbrellas, clocks or knives.
Remove your shoes before entering a person's home. Physical contact
with strangers is considered impolite.
Taiwan's international access dialling code is +886 and the
outgoing code is 002 followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
00244 for the UK). City/area codes are in use, e.g. 2 for Taipei.
Six network operators provide mobile telephone services in various
regions using either GSM 900 or 1800 networks. Internet cafes can
be found in Taiwan's cities and towns, and most hotels in Taipei
have Internet access in their guestrooms.
Travellers aged over 20 may enter Taiwan without paying customs
duty on 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 454g tobacco, 1 bottle of
alcohol (maximum 1 litre), and a reasonable amount of perfume.
Travellers are also permitted to bring personal goods valued up to
NT$20,000 duty free (or NT$10,000 for those under 20 years). Guns,
narcotics, fresh meat and fruit are prohibited.