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Taiwan travel guide

Taiwan remains a bit of a mystery to those who are yet to wander off the beaten track, and in our opinion it's massively underrated. Take the time to visit and you'll find dramatic scenery, stunning hiking trails and traditional temples, as well as vibrant local markets and chilled beaches.

Taiwan Fast Facts

Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese, however you will also find people speaking Taiwanese Mandarin (Hokkien) which is influenced by standard Mandarin, indigenous and other languages.


Name: New Taiwan Dollar
Code: TWD
Symbol: $ or NT$
100NT$ is approx £2.50

Time Zone

Time zone: China Standard Time (UTC+08:00)

Taiwan costs

The cost of a pint of draught beer in Taiwan is between 39NT$ - 69NT$ (approx 97p-£1.70), with local markets being around the same price.

The cost of a meal for two in Taiwan can range from 500NT$ – 1,000NT$ (approx £12.50-£25). Or grab some traditional Taiawanese meatballs or beef noodle soup at a street food stall for as little as 60NT$ (approx £1.50).

Looking to catch a cab? A normal taxi tariff starts at 80NT$ (approx £2) depending on where you're going.

transport in taiwan


Taipei and Kaohsiung have great MRT metro systems, starting at 20NT$ (approx 50p) for a one-way ticket.

hostels in taiwan


Looking for somewhere to crash? Hostels in Taiwan are around 500NT$ (approx £12.50) per night, on average.

hotels in taiwan


If you're wanting something a little more 'upmarket', a double room in a midrange hotel ranges between 1,400-2,600NT$ (approx £35-£65) a night.

Flights to Taiwan

A non-stop flight from London to Taipei takes around 14 hours, however, usually you'll find an airline that has a stopover destination or two. It can take up to 40 hours sometimes (eeeek) so make sure you pick a route you know you can handle! Or see if you can get a longer stopover and visit two countries with one ticket... because who doesn't want to do that?!
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Top things to do in Taiwan

taiwan food
A foodie trail
Asian food is always a tasty adventure, and Taiwan doesn't disappoint. Head to any of the night markets to sample the street food: we recommend Keelung Night Market where you can get some great seafood, or Yongkang Street where you can find a range of dining options such as James's Kitchen, which is a highly popular place for traditional home-cooking.
Top tip: Try the xiaolongbao soup and the mango shaved ice (literally shaved ice drowned in condensed milk and topped with a garnish of your choice).
taipei 101
Taipei 101
This towering bamboo stalk - which is what it was genuinely designed to resemble - is visible across the whole city. Shoot up to the 89th floor in only 37 seconds, and be prepared for some magnificent views of Taipei from the observatory (once you've recovered from the elevator ride). If heights don't make you weak at the knees, then head on up to the outdoor observatory on the 91st floor.
Top tip: For an alternative view of Taipei 101 instead of in it, take a hike up Elephant Mountain early in the day before tourists bombard the trail.
taroko gorge
Taroko Gorge
Part of the Taroko National Park, this 18km marble-walled gorge is a place all travelers could go to get a winner of a photo for Instagram - we're pretty sure it could become your most liked photo. Not only great for photos, it's the perfect destination for the walker that enjoys twisty, turny trails through tunnels and across bridges - try saying that quickly.
Top tip: Don't just stop at Taroko Gorge, check out the other amazing sites in the park such as the Golden Canyon, which is home to waterfalls and deep turqouise swimming holes.
sun moon lake
Sun Moon Lake
This lake in Nantou is the largest body of water in Taiwan, and a great place to just sit down and take a break from the sometimes hectic pace of traveling. Hire a bike and cycle around the area, hop on a boat or just chill and enjoy the surroundings. Sun Moon Lake is also home one of the aboriginal tribes of Thaiwan, the Thao tribe.
Top tip: Take the ropeway gondola across to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village theme park, which not only offers rides, but also aboriginal culture performances.

Feeling psyched up? Head over to our blog for some more East Asian inspiration...

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What's the capital of Taiwan?

The capital of Taiwan is Taipei, with a population of over 2.7 million people and known for it's famous Taipei 101 tower (don't leave without visiting it!). 

Where is Taiwan?

Taiwan is a small island nation in the East China sea, it's situated north of the Philippines, east of China, and south west of Japan.