Climate
Taiwan enjoys warm weather all year round. Weather conditions fluctuate during spring and winter, while in summer and autumn the weather is relatively stable. The annual average temperature is 22 degrees Celsius with the lowest temperatures on the lowlands generally ranging from 12 to 17 degrees Celsius. With the exception of a few mountain areas where some traces of snow can be found during winter, no snow can be seen in Taiwan. When visiting Taiwan during the raining season (March to May), remember to carry an umbrella at all times. Although it might seem romantic to have a stroll in the rain, it is no fun to travel when you’re soaking wet.

During summer (June to August), typhoons may approach or hit the island. We suggest you keep an eye on weather reports, because weather conditions are often severe and unpredictable when typhoons hit Taiwan. In addition, the roaring waves along the coast are not to be regarded as one of Taiwan’s tourist scenes. During the autumn (September to October), you can wholeheartedly enjoy the cool and comforting weather, while Taiwan’s relatively warm and short winters (November to February) are the time for you to appreciate the beautifully coloured maple trees. The cold fronts that reach Taiwan sporadically are greatly favoured by the island’s hot-spring lovers.

Time Difference
Taiwan is in the China Standard Time (CST) zone, 8 hours ahead of London (GMT), and 2 hours behind Sydney (AEST).

Language
Mandarin Chinese is the official language in Taiwan. Other widely spoken languages include Taiwanese Hokkien, commonly known as “Taiwanese” and Hakka.

Visa
Foreign travellers may obtain tourist visas if they hold foreign passports or travel documents valid for more than six months in Taiwan for purposes of sightseeing, business, family visits, study or training, medical treatments, or other legitimate activities. 30-day visa-free privileges are afforded to citizens of 31 countries, including Australia. For more details see Countries eligible for Visa-exempt entry.

Custom Clarence and Quarantine
The following are prohibited:

Narcotics and other restricted substances that are for other than medicinal purposes (please note-death penalty applies for drugs smuggling) ;
Pornography;
Any publication propagating Communism;
Counterfeit items or tools for producing such items;
Gambling articles, lottery tickets and others gabling tokens;
Copyright infringing items;
Soil, plants and animals (except pets) and products thereof from countries which Taiwan has temporarily or permanently considers a health hazard;
Fresh, frozen, salted and boiled marine products;
Fresh fruits;
Weapons and ammunition, explosives and chemical and biological weapon as well as imitation guns (PLEASE NOTE –death penalty applies for bringing weapons and ammunition);
Endangered species and products thereof unless accompanied by permission. For more information and contact details please contact Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine or contact CITES for permission;
Antiquities and other culturally important items.
Currency
Taiwan’s unit of currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (NT$), which has five denominations in paper money and five in coins. Paper money comes in NT$2000, NT$1000, NT$500, NT$200, and NT$100 denominations. Coins come in NT$50, NT$20, NT$10, NT$5 and NT$1 denominations.

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at government-designated banks and hotels. Receipts are given when currency is exchanged, and must be presented in order to exchange unused NT dollars before departure.

Major credit cards such as American Express, Master Card, Visa, and Diners Club are accepted and traveller’s checks may be cashed at foreign-exchange banks, some tourist-oriented businesses, and (by room guests) most international tourist hotels.

Electricity Supply
Taiwan uses 110-volt, 60 Hz power supply.

Telephone and Internet
To call Taiwan from overseas, country code is 886; to make overseas call when you are in Taiwan, the standard prefix is 002.

Public phones are either coin or card operated. For local calls, NT$1 buys one minute of call time. Phone cards are sold in train stations, bus stations, tourist sites and convenience stores.