Taiwan is a country of islands, including the main island: Taiwan, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor islands.
- Area: 36,000 square kilometers
- Population：23 millions
- Official Language：Mandarin Chinese (we write in Traditional Chinese)
- Dialects：Minnan (which is also known as Taiwanese), Hakka, indigenous languages
- Religion：Taiwan is highly diversified in terms of religious belief, with the practices of Buddhism, Taoism, Christian, Mormonism, the Unification Church, Islam, and Hinduism, as well as native sects such as Yiguandao and others. The country not only respects traditional faiths but also opens its arms to other types of religious thought from the outside.
- Location：Taiwan is located on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. To the north is Japan, to the south is the Philippines, to the west is mainland China.
- Electricity: The standard power supply in Taiwan is at 110 volts and 60 Hz. Travelers from Europe, Australia or South-East Asia will need a plug adapter or transformer. The power sockets that are used are of type A and B, as shown below. Type A is more common in Taiwan and plugs for type A also works for type B sockets. Therefore, please make sure you have the adapter or transformer to at least type A sockets. Furthermore, many buildings have sockets with 220 volts especially for the use of air conditioners.
- Taiwan with its subtropical climate enjoys warm weather all year around. Weather conditions fluctuate during spring and winter, while in summer and autumn the weather is relatively stable.
- During our congress period (July to August with the highest monthly average temperature in a year, ranging from 28 to 29 degrees Celsius), the temperature outdoor can reach as high as 35 degrees Celsius at noon. Therefore, sun protection precautions and shirts are suggested. Furthermore, during that season, please always remember to bring an umbrella with you due to frequent afternoon thunderstorms.
From Airport to Taipei City
- Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT System: It is planned to connect Taipei City and Taoyuan International Airport, and the system is currently scheduled to begin service at the end of 2016. After it begins service, it will take only 50 minutes from the airport to Taipei Main Station by commute train or a 35-minute-journey by the express train.
- Taipei Metro (MRT): The MRT system currently has 5 lines, covering Taipei, and New Taipei City. The price range is from 0.5 to 2 Euros. To keep the transit system clean, smoking, eating, and drinking are strictly prohibited. The well-maintained transit system is beloved by citizens and even tourists.
- Public Buses: Buses in Taipei are numerous and bus routes are well-planned. The bus system accepts the EasyCard and cash. Prices are calculated using a fare zone system. Most buses have three distinct fare zones.
- If the bus is showing a 上 (pronounced shàng, “on”) character, pay NT$15 by cash or EasyCard upon boarding the bus. If the bus is showing a 下 (pronounced xìa, “off”) character, pay NT$15 by cash or EasyCard upon leaving the bus. If you are on the bus when the 上 (first zone) switches into a 下 and enters the second zone, pay a second time when leaving the first zone because you have crossed into another fare zone.
- Cash: Be sure to have the exact ticket amount if you pay by cash because buses will not give change.
- EasyCard: Gently sweep card over the sensor area marked by the EasyCard logo. The beep you hear indicates that credit corresponding to the ticket amount has been deducted from your card.
- Taxis: Taxis are affordable and everywhere: A taxi in Taipei starts at only 80 NT$ (about 2 Euros)! Whether you’re out clubbing or bar hopping, it’s usually easy to catch a cab, especially if you’re in the downtown area.
- YouBike: To meet the varying needs of the public, YouBike offers single rental as well as membership services. You may rent a bike by using EasyCard, after completing the membership registration process at any rental station kiosk or on YouBike’s website (www.youbike.com.tw). For one-time users, select “one-time rental” on the kiosk and follow the instructions to pay by your credit card. YouBike is priced at NT$ 10 per 30 minutes.
- Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR): It is a high-speed rail line that runs approximately 340 Km along the west coast of Taiwan, from the national capital, Taipei, to the southern city of Kaohsiung. The top speed is 300 km/hr, which takes only 1.5 hours to travel from the north to the south of Taiwan.
- Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA): If you want to get a close look at the island’s beauties without having to suffer the troubles of unfamiliar roads and the frustrations of traffic congestion, then you could do no better than choose a railroad tour and immerse yourself in the delights of enchanting coastlines, awesome mountains, placid farmlands, and engrossing countryside.
- Taiwan was ranked the second safest country in the world in 2015, according to a survey released earlier this month by U.S. lifestyle magazine Press Cave. Low exposure to crime, robbery, and violence were the main reasons for the result, as well as robust performances in such areas as economic freedom, education, health care and human development. The top spot went to Iceland, with Denmark, Austria, New Zealand rounding out the top five in that order.
- According to “The safe cities index 2015” by the Economist, Taipei ranks 13th.
- “Personal safety” Taipei ranks 5th. (This category measures a city’s health security based on factors such as the ratio of hospital beds to population size (input) and life expectancy (output))
- “Health security” Taipei ranks 9th (This category measures the more traditional aspects of a city’s safety in terms of its levels of crime and illegal activity, relying on factors such as the level of police engagement (input) and the prevalence of violent crime (output))
- “Where is the best place to live” Taipei ranks 21st.