15+ Best Taiwan Travel Guide And Tips For A First Visit

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Hey fellow explorer! So, you’ve got Taiwan on your travel radar, and I’m here to sprinkle your trip with a dash of insider tips and a pinch of local know-how. Why? Because let’s face it, traveling is awesome, but it’s even better when you’ve got the lowdown on all the cool stuff!

I whipped up this Taiwan travel guide because I’m a firm believer that a well-prepared traveler is a happy traveler. Whether you’re a foodie, nature junkie, or just love soaking in new cultures, these tips are your secret sauce to turning your Taiwan adventure into a five-star experience.

Think of this guide as your travel buddy, the one who spills the tea on the best night markets, the hidden gems, and the “can’t miss it” spots. From the hustle and bustle of Taipei to the zen vibes of Taroko Gorge, I’ve got you covered with some travel tips.

So, buckle up, grab a bubble tea (a must-try, by the way), and let’s dive into the wonders of Taiwan. I promise it’s going to be a trip to remember, filled with laughter, discovery, and maybe a bit of that magical stardust only Taiwan can sprinkle on your travel dreams. 

Let’s start with the checklist before you embark your trip to Taiwan!

Check your Visa requirement

One of the most important thing to check way before your trip is definitely the Visa requirement. It is like a passport, without having it, you might not be able to enter the country. 

I’m Malaysian and only visit for two weeks so it does not requirement Visa for us to go to Taiwan.

So, how do you know whether to apply Visa to visit Taiwan? First, check the requirement through this list and if the country that you reside requires a Visa to Taiwan or you need to stay for a longer term, then simply apply here.

Check The Weather And Season

Taiwan has pretty distinct weather. I have been to Taiwan during their cold season and also super hot season. 

It depends on what kind of travel route you want to go. If you prefer a mother nature travel route in Taiwan, then I would suggest to go during July to August. The last time I went was in early July which is the hottest season in Taiwan. The weather was perfect for hiking and beach walking. 

The shoulder seasons (March to May) and (September to early November) are pretty good seasons to visit Taiwan too as it has lesser crowds and generally the accommodation price will be lower around this time of year.

Taiwan Itinerary & Taiwan travel guide
Taiwan Itinerary

Get A SIM Card or Portable WiFI

When it comes to staying connected in Taiwan, you’ve got two popular options: getting a local SIM card or renting a portable WiFi device.

First of all, understanding the WiFi coverage and connectivity in Taiwan before making decision is critical. Taiwan boasts excellent 4G coverage, even in remote areas. You can expect fast and reliable internet speeds.

Most hotels and restaurants offer free WiFi. However, to ensure smooth connectivity when you are in transit or looking at the map to the next destinations, having your own connection ensures you’re always online.

Grabbing a SIM card at airport is more budget-friendly and you could still contact your travel partner when you accidentally get lost. A portable WiFi device can be shared among a few devices with your travel partners but one of you will have to carry the device all day.

In my opinion, I would recommend grabbing a SIM card for convenience, and of course, it’s more budget-friendly, especially if you’re planning to stay for a longer duration. Ultimately, both options will keep you connected in Taiwan. Choose the one that aligns with your travel habits

Cash Is King in Taiwan

A lot of places in Taiwan are still “Cash only”. 

As a Malaysian accustomed to scanning QR codes for all my payments, I’ve become used to just bringing my phone along.

Nevertheless, in Taiwan, certain cafes and restaurants exclusively accept cash and may not facilitate card payments. Given Taiwan’s renowned night markets and street food scene, it’s worth noting that many vendors operate on a cash-only basis.

Therefore, I highly suggest to bring sufficient cash on hand for most of your transactions in Taiwan. Luckily that International ATMs are almost everywhere in Taipei so it’s easy to take out cash as you go. But if you are visiting remote area, make sure to bring enough cash on hand.

The Currency

The official currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). The currency as of this point of writing is about 31 NTD to 1 USD.

You can withdraw New Taiwan Dollars in Taiwan using international credit or debit cards. Ensure that your bank is notified about your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage abroad.

An EasyCard Is Not Necessary for Everyone

The EasyCard is a contactless smart card that can be used for various public transportation modes, including buses, metro, and even in some taxis. It can also be used for payments in convenience stores and certain shops.

While having an EasyCard can certainly enhance your convenience when traveling around Taiwan, it is not an absolute necessity for all travellers.

The public transport in Taiwan is accessible without an EasyCard. Passengers can still purchase single tickets for transportation whenever necessary. 

If you plan to use public transportation frequently, or if you prefer the convenience of a contactless payment method, getting an EasyCard is a good idea. If not, you can still navigate Taiwan easily by using other payment methods or purchasing individual tickets as needed.

Get an EasyCard in Taiwan is one of the things to know before going to Taiwan
EasyCard in Taiwan comes with different cover.

Best Way to Get Around Taiwan

There are different types of transportation method in Taiwan to get you around. 

The best way to get around Taiwan depends on your preferences, schedule, and the locations you plan to visit.

Mass Rapid Train (MRT)

If you are in major cities like  Taipei, getting around by their MRT ( Mass Rapid Train) is pretty convenient especially if you are visiting popular destinations within the city.

Public Bus

Public buses in Taiwan are mostly on time. Taking public buses is a cost-effective way to explore both urban and rural areas in Taiwan.

High-Speed Rail (HSR)

As the name implies, High-Speed Rail is the fastest way to travel between major cities. Itconnects major cities so if you are visiting from city to city, taking High-Speed rail is quite convenient and time-saving.

Rental Scooter or Car

I highly recommend travel around with rental scooter in Taiwan.

If you have an International License and know how to ride a scooter, try at least once to travel around Taiwan with scooter! My friend and I shared a scooter and we travel around Yilan with scooter. That’s a really cool trip. We were able to see the scenic view along our way and we get to stop by whenever we see something interesting. Read my experience of travelling around Taiwan with scooter here and you will know why.

Scooter road trip :Scooter we rented in Taiwan.
Scooter in Taiwan


Railway is a much slower transportation mode as compared to others, especially HSR. Although it is much slower, but it is more budget-friendly. Plus, you get to see the scenic view along the way too.

Hotel Or Airbnb?

While looking for places to stay in Taiwan is not a difficult thing to do. They have plenty of good options to choose from especially in Taipei. There are some best areas to stay at in Taipei from my past experience.

Airbnb is widely found in Taiwan. In fact, Taiwan is also famous for its unique minsu (homestay)

I would recommend to stay at hotel in big cities like Taipei and Kaohsiung. However, while visiting areas like JiuFen or Yilan, i also recommend to look for Airbnb homestay.


Digital Nomad Friendly Cafes

When I was travelling in Taiwan, I always look for cafes with power supply so I can use my laptop while taking a rest sipping coffee.

I was able to find a few laptop-friendly cafes in Taipei but beyond the big cities, it is quite difficult to find cafes that provide strong WiFi and power supply. They do have great co-working spaces in Taipei but also limited to big cities only. 

If you’re a digital nomad gearing up for a journey across Taiwan, make sure to charge your laptop fully before heading out.

Do Not Drink Tap Water

The tap water in Taiwan is not safe for consumption. You may get a bottled water from the convenience store or vending machines. It is easy to find bottled water and it is not expensive too.

If you do not want to spend too much on water, you can also refill the bottle at the water cooler in most hotels.

Language in Taiwan

The language widely used in Taiwan is Traditional Chinese. But do not worry much, most locals speak basic English especially young adults. Taiwanese are mostly friendly too so some gesturing or pointing to communicate would help too.

Most of the street signs and transportation signage also have English to guide your way. 

While the majority of food menus, especially for street food, are in Chinese, non-Chinese speakers can use the Google Translate Photo feature to translate the text on the menu.

Avoid eating in metro

Similar to Singapore, eating and drinking are generally not allowed inside the Taipei Metro system in Taiwan. This rule is in place to maintain cleanliness and ensure a comfortable environment for all passengers. 

If you need to eat or drink, it’s best to do so outside the metro stations or before you enter the system.

Earthquakes Are Natural Occurence

Taiwan is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for its tectonic activity.

I’ve experienced earthquakes a few times while in Taiwan. One of the most intense instances was when I was asleep and was awakened by the vibrations. Nevertheless, due to strict government regulations, numerous buildings in Taiwan are engineered to withstand seismic activity.

It’s a good idea to be aware of earthquake safety measures, such as knowing evacuation routes, locating safe zones, and staying informed about emergency procedures.

Taiwan Travel Tips In Conclusion

Thanks for reading my Taiwan travel guide and tips. Taiwan is a great place to explore with amazing city, wonderful hiking trails and scrumptious street food!

Whether it is your first time or have been to Taiwan before, I hope this travel guide helps you in planning your trip!

Checkout my other blogs about Taiwan: