Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, offers the most modern architecture, infrastructure and technology alongside the historic and traditional aspects that make it an extraordinary city to experience.
• Area: 36,000 square kilometers
• Population: 23 million
• Language: Mandarin/Taiwanese/Hakka
• Religion: Buddhism/Taoism/Christian/Islam/Catholicism
Where is Taiwan?
Formosa - beautiful island
Formosa is what the Portuguese called Taiwan when they came here in the 16th century and saw the island's verdant beauty. Taiwan is an island about 36,000 square km located off the coast of southeastern China, southwest of Japan and north of the Philippines. It lies off the southeastern coast of mainland Asia, across the Taiwan Strait from Mainland China. Taiwan is one of the most unsung tourist destinations in all of Asia, its modern emergence as an economic and industrial powerhouse still overshadowing the staggering breadth of natural, historic and culinary attractions this captivating island has to offer. A fascinating mix of technological innovation and traditional Chinese and aboriginal cultures and cuisines, Taiwan is one of the only places on earth where ancient religious and cultural practices still thrive in an overwhelmingly modernist landscape.
The most popular foreign language in Taiwan is English, which is part of the regular school curriculum; however, to be on the safe side, when take a taxi in Taiwan, it is strongly advisable to prepare a note with your place of destination written in Chinese to show the taxi driver
Taiwan is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Tipping is not customary in most of places in Taiwan since a 10% service charge is automatically added to meals.
Taiwan uses electric current of 110 volts at 60 cycles, appliances from Europe, Australia or South-East Asia will need an adaptor or transformer. Many buildings have sockets with 220 volts especially for the use of air conditioners.
Currency and Banks
The Country’s currency is the New Taiwan dollar (NT$). The exchange rate in recent months is around NT$ 29.57 for US$1. (2011/09/16) Foreign currencies can be exchanged at hotels, airports and government-designated banks. Major credit cards are widely accepted, and traveler’s checks may be accepted by tourist-oriented shops and at most international tourist hotels and banks. Banks open whole day from 09:00 to 15:30, Mon-Fri and closed at weekend and public holidays.
Taiwan enjoys a subtropical climate with warm weather all year round. The annual average temperature is 22 degrees Celsius with lowest temperatures ranging from 12 to 17 degrees Celsius (54-63 Fahrenheit). During the autumn (October), you can wholeheartedly enjoy the cool and comforting weather in Taiwan.
Current temperature in Taipei: