On the grown in Taiwan

Everything you need to know before your trip to Taiwan

Language

Mandarin Chinese

The most commonly spoken and official language of Taiwan is Mandarin. Mandarin is not the only language spoken in Taiwan though, with Taiwanese, Hakka, and the Formosan languages (Taiwanese aboriginal languages) spoken throughout the island.

Although English is not an official language of Taiwan it is widely studied and spoken. Below, we’ve put together some useful Mandarin phrases to help you get around while you’re here, with the pinyin (the official romanization system for standard Chinese characters), phonetic pronunciation, and traditional characters next to each phrase. If you need any help with pronunciation or learning other phrases, your guide will be very happy to help!

English

  • Hello
  • Thank you
  • You’re welcome
  • How are you?
  • I’m good
  • I want
  • Another one
  • I don’t understand
  • Where are the restrooms?
  • Goodbye

Pronunciation

  • Nee howw
  • Shyeah shyeah
  • Boo kuh chee
  • Nee howw ma?
  • Wor hun howw
  • Wor yoww
  • Dzai lai ee-guh
  • Wor teeng boo dong
  • Sshee shoh jyen dzai nah-lee?
  • Dzai jyen

Pinyin

  • Nǐ hǎ o
  • Xiè xiè
  • Bù kè qì
  • Nǐ hǎ o ma?
  • Wǒ hěn hǎ o
  • Wǒ yào
  • Zài lái yī gè
  • Wǒ tīng bu dǒ ng
  • Xǐ shǒ u jiān zài nǎ lǐ ?
  • Zài jiàn

Chinese

  • 你好
  • 謝謝
  • 不客氣
  • 你好嗎?
  • 我很好
  • 我要
  • 再來一個
  • 我聽不懂
  • 洗手間在哪裡?
  • 再見

Some notes on culture

We’re here to show you the beauty and diversity of Taiwans’s culture, but we also want to prepare you for a few things that may come as a surprise.

Currency

The current currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar, abbreviated to TWD, NTD or NT$. The official

symbol of the NTD is 圓, but it is more commonly seen in its colloquial form as 元. Click here for a quick currency

converter. The basic unit of the NTD is called yuan (圓) and is subdivided into ten jiao (角), and then into 100 fen

(分) or cents, although jiao and fen are rarely used or needed.

Cash Rules

Although cards are accepted in most big cities, most people in Taiwan predominantly still use cash to pay for things. Digital payment using phones and QR codes is still just emerging in Taiwan.

Exchanging Money

Generally, on a WildChina en Español journey, you should need money only for personal expenses, meals on your own,
drinks and gratuities for your guide and driver. While everyone travels differently, in our experience we’ve found
that withdrawing the equivalent of USD $100 per person per day will be enough to cover most personal expenses
and gifts.

How much cash should I bring?

The easiest way to exchange your money for NTD is to do so before you depart, at a bank in your home country.
However, if you find yourself in need of more cash, there are lots of ATMs that accept foreign cards in Taiwan’s cities. Additionally, lots of large hotels offer money exchange, although usually at a more expensive rate. Banks and the Taipei Mall exchange counters are also commonly used and have good exchange rates.
In rural areas, it might be more difficult to find a place to change money. Wherever you are, your guide will always be able to help you find the nearest place to get local currency. We recommend double-checking with your credit card company to ensure that your card will work in ATMs in Taiwan and that there are no surprise charges or daily withdrawal limits. At the end of your trip, if you still have NTD left over, we recommend exchanging it before you leave, as it can be hard to convert back to other currencies outside of Taiwan.

Accommodation

Taiwan has a large range of hotel options available. While those in the major cities compete with the most luxurious hotels in the world, in smaller cities and rural areas the accommodation standards aren’t as high. Please be aware that any trip that visits both major cities and Taiwan’s remote counties may include varied accommodation options.
WildChina en Español goes the extra mile to find the best accommodation for our clients from the options available during your trip dates. We personally survey every hotel to ensure our standards of quality, safety and cleanliness are met.

Most hotels in Taiwan have standard room options. When traveling with children, we recommend requesting an extra bed or connecting rooms since hotel rooms with two beds often only have two twin-sized beds. Please also note that Taiwanese mattresses can sometimes be harder and shorter than those in Western countries.

In major cities and at large hotels, Western toilets are common. However, in some public restrooms only squat toilets may be available. Our guides will have tissues and hand sanitizer for you to use if you so require, but it’s always best to pack your own as well. If you feel uncomfortable using a squat toilet, ask your guide where the closest Western toilet can be found, and they will help you locate these facilities throughout your trip.

Air Travel

Delays and cancelations

As with flights anywhere in the world, trips in Taiwan can be delayed. If your flight gets delayed or canceled, you can contact your guide and travel designer who will do whatever is needed to keep your trip moving along. If it’s quicker to take a different flight or use the train, we’ll be working behind the scenes to book your transportation or set you up with accommodation where necessary.

Lugage Restrictions

Luggage restrictions are much the same in Taiwan as anywhere else: one checked bag (23kg 50lbs) and one piece of carry-on (up to 10kg, 22lbs). Please double-check with your airline beforehand, as weight restrictions and allowances can vary between carriers. Taiwanese airport security is thorough, and we recommend getting to the airport earlier than usual to ensure you have enough time to pass through security checks. There are several restrictions on items you can pack in either checked or carry-on luggage listed below, but please check the regulations of your particular airline as well.

  • Lighters & matches are prohibited on all flights, even in checked baggage
  • Power banks must be in your carry-on luggage and the power rating must be clearly displayed on the case (and cannot exceed 160WH)
  • Carry-on liquids cannot be more than 100ml in volume, and like most airports, must be placed in a separate bag for inspection
  • You cannot have alcohol in your carry-on luggage, even if less than 100ml. Any checked alcohol must belower than 70% proof and less than 5l in volume
  • Other dangerous items, such as flammable, corrosive, poisonous, or radioactive substances, and firearms or lethal weapons are prohibited

Health and safety

Drinking Water

As a general rule, do not drink the tap water in Taiwan. While most tap water in Taiwan is ok after filtration and boiling, it’s better to stick to bottled water for the duration of your trip. Bottled water will be provided in your hotel rooms and vehicle, and is available for purchase on almost every street corner in Taiwan.

Air Quality

As with many large cities around the world, air quality can be an issue at times in Taiwan, but Taipei generally ranks better than London and the air isn’t regarded as a cause of concern for travelers except in rare circumstances.

Crime

Taiwan is one of the safest places in the world when it comes to crime. The island is extremely welcoming to foreign visitors and a highly rated place for solo, female and LGBTQ+ travelers. However, as with anywhere in world, petty crime does exist, and while rare, it’s best to keep a close eye on your belongings in crowded areas.

Shopping

Taiwan is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Asia, with a wide selection of flashy malls offering anything you could possibly want. While large malls stock all the major global brands, Taiwan’s most intriguing shopping experiences lie in its markets.
If you’re interested in buying something specific, then notify your guide, who can introduce you to their favorite local spots. If you’d prefer to shop at high-end fashion and designer stores, just let us know and this can be arranged as well.

A Culinary Journey Through Taiwan

Dining in Taiwan

Meals are included as listed in your itinerary. We strive to arrange meals that highlight authentic, regional cuisine in clean, local establishments.

Like the island itself, Taiwanese cuisine is a patchwork of cultural flavor, with culinary influences from all over the region.

Food customs

Part of being a good host in Taiwan is making sure your guests are full, so when you’ve had enough you should politely decline any more food (you may have to persist) while leaving some food on your plate. A clean bowl means you are still hungry.
Remember to rest your chopsticks beside or atop your bowl, never vertically stuck into your food. This is considered rude, as is drinking directly from your bowl.

Water temperature

Water in Taiwan is usually served hot, warm or at room temperature. Cold water – especially ice water – is thought to be bad for the stomach and hinder digestion. If you prefer to drink cold water with your meal, you can specify this to your waiter or WildChina en Español guide. Restaurants in larger cities will be able to accommodate this request
easily, but please understand that this might not be possible in more remote areas.

Allergies and dietary restrictions

If you have any allergies or dietary restrictions , please inform your travel designer as early as possible. We recommend that anyone with severe allergies consult their doctor prior to traveling and bring all necessary medicine with them.

Guides

The true faces of WildChina en Español, our guides have been rigorously selected for their combination of service skills, local knowledge and ability to share Taiwan’s story. Our fully-licensed guides are native to the regions they cover, trained to appreciate our exceptional service standards and responsible approach to tourism.

Your guide

Your WildChina en Español guide will arrange the logistics of your trip, including meals, hotel reservations, sites and activities, as well as providing you with information about the local region. They are in the very best position to immerse you in the local culture of their homeland.
When transferring between destinations, your WildChina en Español guide will always accompany you to your transport (be it a plane, train, or boat) to see you safely off. Biographical and contact information for your guide can be found in your final bulletin.

Tipping your WildChina en Español guide

While tips are appreciated, we would like to stress that this is at your own personal discretion. We recommend to tip based on services rendered but here are some basic guidelines:

  • 1 person
    USD 20-30/day
  • Group of 2
    USD 15-25 per person/day
  • Group of 3-5
    USD 15 per person/day
  • Group of 6-10
    USD 10 per person/day