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Taiwan Travel Guides

The Basics:


Electricity

Electrical current is 110 volts AC, 60Hz. Two-pin flat blade plugs and one with a third grounding pin is used.

Language

Mandarin is the official language of Taiwan, but Taiwanese is often spoken and English is generally understood.

Tipping

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.

Safety Information

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.

Local Customs

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.

Business

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Communications

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.

Duty Free

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.


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