Things to know before visiting Taiwan (eng)

by - 8/07/2018

I spent 14 days in a beautiful country called the heart of Asia - Taiwan. It was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. I can easily say it kinda changed me as a person. It was the first time that far from home experiencing the culture that is so different of what i am used to at home. Things I am describing here are meant mostly for European (Slovenian) travelers to be prepared for differences and have easier time to adjust.

1. The best thing of Taiwan are the people. If you ask any native person you will get the same answer. I meet so many amazing people while visiting that I can easily say I agree. Everyone is trying to help you and start a conversation even if their English isn't the best.

2. Be patient. A lot of people still don't speak English. I personally don't consider it as a problem, because a lot of people use translating apps that work great. Everyone is trying to help you in the best way they can.

3. Be prepared to learn. In most of the restaurants you can't get fork and knife, so eating with chopsticks is a must. It is a big change, but that is part of their culture and you have to embrace it for the full experience.
In 14 days of me staying there I can say that I mastered the practice :)

4. Don't ever mention China to people of Taiwan. There is an ongoing dispute between two countries that I don't want to get to much into. Keep that in mind and respect everyone.

5. Don't drink tap water. In many European countries it is normal to drink water from the pipe and we can be grateful for it, because not every country has the same privilege. You can get bottled wherever you go.

6. Mosquitoes! Taiwan has a lot of them. In the cities it isn't that big of a problem, but when you visit national parks be prepared. Bring a mosquito repellent and dress thoughtfully (longer pants recommended).
Before I went to Taiwan I got a shot for Hepatitis A. It is not necessary, but I recommend it if you are usually the target of mosquitoes. You can also look into shots for Hepatitis B and Tetanus (Hepatitis A & B can be transmitted by mosquito bites)

7. The currency of Taiwan is Taiwanese dollar. 1 Euro = 35 Taiwanese dollars.
You can't exchange their currency in Slovenia and I think the same goes to other European countries, so you have to exchange upon arrival on the airport by currency exchange or ATM.

8. Check if you need a Visa. Slovenian citizens don't need one and they can stay in Taiwan without it for up to 90 days.

Taiwan is such a unique country, completely worth visiting. I would go back in a rush if I would get another chance. Expect unexpected and be open to learning about new culture.

( Thank you for all the memories and I hope to see all of you soon! :) )

More posts and pictures about Taiwan coming soon :) 

Thank you for reading, hope you found it useful!

- Helena

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