Taiwan Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Taiwan in 2024
Welcome to Taiwan

Taiwan is a vibrant and modern island nation in East Asia, known for its thriving technology industry, rich culture, and stunning natural attractions. With a population of approximately 23.6 million, Taiwan has a well-developed economy and a democratic political system. Taiwan attracts millions of visitors annually and is a popular country for business and leisure travelers.

LOCATION

Taiwan is located in East Asia, off the southeastern coast of mainland China, across the Taiwan Strait. The East China Sea surrounds it to its north, the Philippine Sea to the east side, and the South China Sea to the south.

POPULATION AND AREA

Taiwan has a total area of 36,193 square Kilometers, making it relatively smaller than the state of Maryland in the United States, with a population of approximately 23.6 million people. Taiwan’s capital and largest city is Taipei, located in the island’s northern part. Other major cities in Taiwan include Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan, and Taoyuan.

LANGUAGE AND ETHNICITY

Mandarin Chinese is Taiwan’s official language, but other Chinese dialects, such as Hokkien, Hakka, and indigenous languages, are also spoken. English is widely understood and spoken in major cities, especially in the service industry. Taiwan’s population is large of Han Chinese descent, but there are also significant minority groups, including the indigenous people, who account for around 2% of the population.

POLITICAL SYSTEM

Taiwan is a democratic country with a president and a unicameral legislature, the Legislative Yuan. The president is the overall ruler who is elected for four years. Taiwan’s political system is based on multi-party democracy, with the two largest political parties being the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party.

ECONOMY

Taiwan’s highly developed economy is considered one of the “Four Asian Tigers” alongside Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Taiwan is known for its advanced technology industry and is home to major global tech companies such as Foxconn, TSMC, and Asus. Taiwan’s manufacturing sector is also highly developed and produces various products, including electronics, textiles, chemicals, and machinery. The country is also a significant exporter, with the United States, China, and Japan being its top trading partners.

CULTURE

Taiwan’s rich culture blends Chinese, Japanese, and indigenous influences. The island’s traditional festivals and customs, such as the Lunar New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival, are celebrated enthusiastically. Taiwan is also known for its night markets, which offer a range of street food, clothing, and other goods. Taiwan’s vibrant cultural scene has a thriving arts and music scene and a growing film industry.

TOURISM

Taiwan is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty and cultural practices attracting millions of visitors annually. Some of Taiwan’s most popular tourist destinations include the National Palace Museum, Taipei 101, Sun Moon Lake, Taroko Gorge, and Kenting National Park. Taiwan is also home to many hot springs popular with locals and tourists. Taiwan has a diverse landscape, ranging from majestic mountain ranges to sandy beaches and lush forests. The highest peak is Yushan, also known as Jade Mountain, which is 3,952 meters above sea level. Taiwan also has numerous rivers and lakes, including Sun Moon Lake, the most incredible lake in Taiwan and a popular tourist destination.

TRANSPORTATION

Taiwan has a well-developed network of highways, railways, and airports. The country’s high-speed rail system (186 mph) connects major cities and is a popular way to travel around the island. Taiwan’s main airport is Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, located near Taipei. Taiwan has an extensive network of local trains, buses, and metro systems in major cities. Taxis and ride-hailing services are also widely available and affordable. Travelers can quickly get around the cities and explore the country’s natural attractions, cultural sites, and food markets.

RECENT HISTORY

In recent years, Taiwan has faced increasing pressure from China, including diplomatic isolation, economic coercion, and military intimidation. In response, Taiwan has sought to strengthen its ties with other countries and has become a leading advocate for democracy, human rights, and global health. In 2020, Taiwan’s successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic drew international attention and praise, further highlighting the country’s resilience and innovation.

FUN FACTS ABOUT TAIWAN

The Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from mainland China, is only about 130 km wide at its narrowest point.

Taiwan is one of the few countries worldwide with 7-Eleven stores on almost every street corner.

Taiwan is home to some of the world’s most extensive Chinese art and artifact collections, including the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

Bubble tea, the famous drink with tapioca pearls, originated in Taiwan in the 1980s.

The tallest building in Taiwan is Taipei 101, which was once the tallest building in the world until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

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The processing time for a Taiwan visa can differ depending on the visa with other factors, but it usually takes around 7-10 working days.

It can range from 90 days to 1 year.

No, Indian citizens are not eligible for a visa on arrival in Taiwan. A visa must be obtained before travel.

The earliest you can apply for a Taiwan visa is usually three months before your intended travel date.

Indian citizens can apply for a Taiwan visa online through the Taiwan eVisa system, embassy, or consulate.

If your Taiwan visa application is refused, you may reapply for the same visa after addressing the issues that led to the rejection or appeal the decision within a specific timeframe with the Taiwan embassy or consulate.

Taiwan is known for its street food and night markets, where you can find a wide range of delicious snacks and dishes, such as beef noodle soup, bubble tea, stinky tofu, oyster omelets, fried chicken, and shaved ice desserts. The country also has a rich culinary culture with influences from Chinese, Japanese, and indigenous cuisines.

Taiwan has many popular tourist attractions, including the Taipei 101 skyscraper, the National Palace Museum, the Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake, the Jiufen Old Street, the Alishan Mountain, and the Kenting National Park. The country is also famous for its hot springs, night markets, and festivals like the Lantern Festival and Ghost Month.

Indian citizens can apply for a visa extension at the National Immigration Agency in Taiwan if they need to stay longer than their original visa permits. However, visa extensions are subject to approval, and applicants must meet specific requirements, such as having sufficient funds and a valid reason for staying in Taiwan.