Taiwan is a hot humid country pretty much all the year round. You will need to drink huge amounts of liquid and if you fail to do so then expect to fall ill. Bottled water is available everywhere and there is no problem getting lots of other drinks such as fruit juices teas etc etc...........most of the drinks come in 1 litre cartons...you never want to be with out one.
A good place to cool down and get a drink is Mc Donalds.....it will be air condition and will be one of the few oppertunities for you to find a toilet. Public toilets are difficult to find in Taiwan. Mc D`s is the safest bet....coke and toilet ; )
The biggest danger in Taiwan I felt was road safety.... you are target practice for the Taiwanese drivers.........if they scare you in the car they get a bronze medal..........if they make you want to cry with fear in the middle of the road whilst crossing....they get a silver medal..............if they run you over and you survive...they qualify for a gold medal.........only joking folks ; )
Crossing the road is very difficult.....there are large volumes of traffic that have no fear in just skimming you...............red lights are often ignored. The best option is to find a little old lady and cross with her.
To say there are large volumes of traffic I did not witness any road rage.......quite strange I found.........
be carefull crossing roads
After we left the national palace museum, we wanted to take a cab back. We had taken a cab to the museum. It had cost $130 or so. There was a taxi queue outside the main entrance, so we grabbed a cab. The cabbie demanded $1300 cab fare. This was rather a shock. (For comparison, we took a cab from Taipei to Chiang Kai-shek int'l airport, which is four or five towns away, and the fare was only about $800.) We decided he was waiting for a dumb tourist. We walked a block and hailed a cab. The fare back was about $130.
Living in Taiwan is a kind of adventure. This place is full of unexpected events especially earthquake and ....typhons. Unfortunately Taiwanese are used to this unexpectable tomorrow and know how to live happily despite all the dangers.
In September 2002, i was in Taipei when a typhon arrived. It was incredible a wind you cannot imagine, water falling like a giant waterfall and people rushing into the stores to buy and stock instant noddles....
What to do: if you can fllee to a safer town, just do it quickly before it arrives, otherwise put unstable things inside, stay home with bottle of water and instant noodles....then wait with all the zen you can find inside u!
Careful there are hidden cameras everywhere... On the highways, that is.... Too fast, and you'll get two presents in the mail: A picture of your left arm, and a 3000 TWD love letter from your friendly local law enforcement agency...
Safe Motoring everyone...
At first I was worried that my incoming flight would be delayed due the impending typhoon.
When the typhoon lashed downtown Taipei, I stayed indoor like the locals but right after the typhoon, we went driving around to check out the damage. Actually, it is not advisable as there could be broken power lines and better to keep roads clear for emergency operation.
There were many typhoon related scrolling advisories and advisories on all major tv networks, They are all in Chinese as the typhoon approached. So check with the locals and stay safe.
Usually the weather after the typhoon has passed is fantastic - clear skies. Unfortunately due to the damages on roads, it affected my planned trip to other parts of Taiwan.
The same sense of heeding warnings and following the local authorities when it comes to another natural disaster common in Taiwan - earthquake.
busy street, number of motorbikes far more than cars... pay attention when you are on the street! Should apply for travelling visa a bit earlier before you go there. for those who had been to there with travelling visa, next time you will only have to apply for visa by the time you are there.
Just a tip especially for female traveller:
Watch out for Vagrant Men who spend their life sleeping & hanging around the Train station or during train ride from one town to another, not for theft rather for physical offence. As they would target especially on lone female tourist & would queue up right behind you on purpose & push his body towards you.
Use your bagpack to block their "thing" from poking you or push them away should they want to touch you. Be fierce & stern should they wanna offence you physically for I had a few bad experience there & by fighting back makes me on the winning streak.
And they would stray away from you once they notice that you have a male companion.
Hope these would not even happens to you.
Taiwan has a great medical system and if your un insured is pretty cheap to patch you up...compared to most countries.
There is no malaria, sars seems in the past and avian flu is kept at bay and i never heard of it.
The biggest worry is stuff like ecoli. every year i get some form of ecoli and it wipes me out for a week. Its from the foods, so you need to be careful, especially at markets and food stands on the roads, which is likely where you will get it from.
My family that visited got pills from the doctor that were a vaccine i presume, and they never had any troubles for the 3 weeks they were here.
Dengue fever can be problematic. every year there are a couple people that die (old/sick). Mostly in southern Taiwan. It spreads by mosquitoes, so avoid them and your good. i get bit a lot, and never have a problem, but last year there were a couple hundred people who got it (most get better no problem).
Don't drink the tap water. it wont kill you, but may make you sick. bottled water, or boiled water. Rainwater is usually acidic from pollution (mainly in western/northern taiwan), so avoid that as well. better yet, buy tea/juice instead, almost the same price anyway.....
Typhoons..... Lots and lots and lots and lost of typhoon...
Probably safe to expect 3 to 4 a year... One good thing tho', the extra water in typhoon season certainly gets the many waterfalls flowing.... (landslides, too......)
Typhoons in the western Pacific are identical to the North Atlantic hurricanes; technically, they are both called tropical cyclones. Typhoon comes from the Chinese word tai-fung (high wind). Most western Pacific typhoons form near Guam, first as tropical storms and depressions. These low pressure systems rotate counterclockwise and eventually develop an eye; some will gain strength, with winds soon surpassing 118 km/hr, making them typhoons. Typhoons in the Pacific are just as deadly as their Atlantic cousins. The naming of typhoons differ from naming hurricanes; although typhoons also recieve names, they are names drawn from a number of names submitted by 14 different nations.
2006 (The last time I was in the Republic of China) was a very active typhoon season. By mid-August, Taiwan had already been hit by four typhoons (Bilis, Kaemi, Baopha, Saomai). Of the four, Bilis did the most damage to Taiwan, causing major landslides and some crop damage; the other three did minimal damage. However, after moving on and making landfall on mainland China, typhoons Bilis and Saomai each became deadly, causing flooding, mudslides, and killing hundreds. Watch out for these storms if you visit Taiwan during summer or early autumn; be sure not to visit seaside or mountainous areas.
Earthquakes take part of everyone life in Taiwan. People are used to it, as it happens very often. Most of the time (everyweek) the earthquakes are small and don't generate damages. The worst place to be in such a case is NANTOU, the very middle of the island.
What to do???!!!
jump and hide yourself in the bath-tup covered with cushions,
If you are at the 5th floor, don't try to go down, better stay high are buildings are breaking down vertically
as long as u've come to taiwan,u 'll be impressed on the strange and awful traffic here,full of cars,trucks,and especially,heapssssss of scooters!!!just be care of them,oh by the way,in taiwan,u'll see the most traffic sights u've ever seen!!
They happen. Many small ones. The building structure in Taiwan, although it may not look it, is pretty safe! there was a really devastating one a few years back, but they are rare. I would not be any more worried here than say Japan or California.
Probably good to have an emergency contact or 2, just in case. Even have your embassies phone #.
Typhoons come every year, like a hurricane in the states. July to November is the season, but most are in Aug/Sept. Taiwan is quite safe in typhoons, and devastation like you see in China, Philippines and even the USA form hurricanes is just not seen.
you should avoid going outside though, things blowing around can be dangerous.
The real bad thing about typhoons are you cant travel.....it rains, and i mean REALLY rains, and blows hard.....so any sight seeing is ruined. sometimes you can still go shopping and such indoors, but going to and from, use common sense and avoid walking/scooters etc.
We lived on the 33rd floor where has good view over busy streets in Taipei city. The room has the...more
We stayed in the Ambassador Hotel, Kaohsiung which is located on the Love River. This was a good...more
142 Jungshing Road, Yuchr Shiang Nantou, Nantou, 555, Taiwan
Good for: Solo
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