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More About Taiwan

Internet Data Plan and WiFi

Some of the hotel in Taiwan we use won’t have any WiFi such as the higher elevation of Dasyueshan. If the hotel has WiFi, it would be free. If you always need to reach Internet, it would be recommended to rent a portable WiFi Router or purchase a prepaid SIM card with data plan in the airport. For portable WiFi Router, you have to reserve before you arrive the airport. But for the prepaid SIM card, you can buy anytime in the airport without reservation in advance in the airport. We recommend you to use the internet service of Chunghwa Telecom or Taiwan Mobile, which would have better coverage in mountain regions.

Time Difference

The time zone of Taiwan is UTC+8 or . We don’t have any daylight saving time.

If you come from British, when it’s 20:00 in Taiwan (UTC+8), it will be 12:00 in UK (UTC+0). As the tour runs during British Summer Time the actual difference is only seven hours (BTC+1). If you come from North America, when it’s 20:00 in Taiwan (UTC+8), it will be 08:00 in New York (UTC-4) or 05:00 in Los Angeles (UTC-7).

Currency, Credit Card and Electronic payment

We use New Taiwan Dollar (NTD, TWD, NT$ or NT) in Taiwan. It.s is the official currency of the Republic of China (ROC) used in Taiwan. NTD is the official currency of the Republic of China (ROC) used in Taiwan. It’s recommended to change US dollars (USD), Sterling cash (GBP) or EURO(EUR) to NTD in the International airport on arrival. It’s better to get enough NTD before you leave the airport, usually, it’s very difficult to exchange any currency out of the airport on a birding trip.

Although the ATM machine is quite common among the convenient stores in Taiwan, there is a limitation of the money you can withdraw every day. It’s only 20000 NTD, about 600 USD, 500 GBP or 550 EUR. But sometimes the ATM won’t accept foreign credit cards. As the tour price includes all cost in Taiwan, you need only bring enough money to cover items of a personal snack and gift.

The convenient stores in Taiwan only accept electronic payment such as Apple Pay and Google Pay recently. Credit card is not accepted in convenient stores. In large cities such as Taipei city most of store also accept credit card and electronic payment. But most of the birding sites are far from the cities, we would like to use cash in these places.

Language and Romanization Systems

Mandarin or  ”Putonghua”, the primary language of mainland China is also the national language in Taiwan. Younger or people living in larger cities can speak English. Taiwanese Hokkien, Southern Min, or Minnan is the commonest dialect we use in Taiwan. Our bird guide would definitely speak English, Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkien, but not every driver we use they can speak English. If we stay in cities, the staff of the hotel would speak English,  but in remote birding sites is not the case.

Most the traffic signs are bilingual (Chinese and English), but we don’t have standardized romanization in Taiwan and it’s quite confusing to people who don’t understand Chinese. Please ask the guide if you have any problem. For example, the best birding site in Taiwan is DaSYUEshan could also be spelled as Daxueshan. Please visit Wikipedia for further information.

Weather and Climate

In summer, Taiwan’s climate is hot and damp. It can be Extremely hot. The temperature seldom drops below 30℃ / 86℉ and the humidity is high. It often thundershowers in the afternoon. If you take a trip here in summer, we would suggest you wear hats and sunglass and put on sunscreen if you can. Also, the raincoat, poncho, and umbrella are needed.

In autumn from July to October is the season of typhoon. 3.7 typhoons in average per year pass by of hit Taiwan. although typhoon can cause great damage, you would not get hurt if you take complete precautions against typhoon. Avoiding coastal areas and offshore islands and staying indoors is the best way during typhoon striking. But in this season, if there is not any typhoon, it would be the mild weather, less rain, and cozy temperature.

In spring, the weather tends to be mild and pleasant, too. When the time comes to in mid-May and last-May until June, it is the Plum Rain Season. During this time, it is drizzle in all the Plum Rain Season and turns into shower sometimes. You better have an umbrella or poncho with you.

In winter, the temperature and humidity start to drop. Normally, the temperature is 17℃ / 62℉ on average. When the cold current comes, the temperature often drops below 10℃ / 50℉ and with rain. The weather in the south part of Taiwan would be steadier than the north part of Taiwan.

In addition, the weather is unpredictable in the mountain area. It is colder and rainier. Most of birding hotspots are in mountain, so don’t forget your poncho or umbrella when you are birding.

Electricity

All of the Taiwanese currents of wall sockets is the 110 volts, 60 cycles. The wall socket type is 2 flat blades(type A) and it is the same as the USA and Canada. There is no third earth prong(type B) on most wall sockets. If you are from USA or Canada, the plugs can be used directly, but you better bring a 3 to 2 plug adapter. If you are from other areas, please mind the current and the type of wall socket and bring a useful plug adapter. And the following website may help you: http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com

Laundry

Getting Laundry done may be a problem on birding tour in Taiwan. The laundry services aren't often provided in the hostel and hotel around the birding site. But the laundromats are common in the town or city. Our guide can help you to found the laundromat when we accommodate in the town or city.

To be simple, travelling in Taiwan is generally safe. We would recommend you to pepare the insect-repellent spread. In birding trip we don’t have to worry about the malaria (extinct nearly 30 years), Rabis (still in the wildlife), leeches (very rare in birding routes we would use) and dengue fever (only in some cities we seldom visit in winter). For more information, please visit the website of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Taiwan.

Smoking

Smoking is illegal in any public indoor area. Also most rooms of hostel and hotel. If you need smoking, please smoking in the smoking area or the outdoor area with fewer people. The smoking areas aren’t hard to find in Taiwan. Moreover, if you need to bring any cigarette with you, the maximum is 200 cigarette to entry Taiwan. There are a lot of convenience stores in Taiwan, and every convenience sells cigarette.

Tipping

It is totally ok that you don’t pay the tips in Taiwan no matter after a meal or room service. We don’t have the custom of tips. But, if you really appreciate anyone who serves you, it is still good for paying some tips for the drivers.

 

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