Taiwan, China

Officially, Taiwan is one of the provinces of China, but the small, proud island defends the status of an independent state. And receives support: the Republic of China with a separate government and capital in Taipei has already been recognized by 22 countries.

The northern and southern coasts of Taiwan are washed by the East China and South China Seas, and the eastern coast by the Pacific Ocean. The second name of the island, Formosa, in Portuguese means “beautiful”: in the 16th century, European sailors were so amazed by the beauty of these places that they simply could not call them otherwise.

According to liuxers.com, Taiwan still attracts travelers with its magnificent nature: almost 20% of its territory is national parks and reserves with endemic species of animals and plants. There are many architectural sights on the island – monuments of Chinese, Japanese and European culture. Gourmets come here to try tea: it is one of the best in the world. Businessmen come to Asia’s largest exhibitions and forums. In Taiwan, there is always something to see and something to be surprised at.

Districts of Taiwan

The main political, cultural and economic center of Taiwan is Taipei, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. There are few ancient sights here: the first Chinese settlers arrived here already in the 18th century. The symbol of the city is the Taipei 101 skyscraper, which got its name from the number of floors. At the National Palace Museum, you can get acquainted with traditional Chinese art. The main temples of Taipei are Longshan (“Dragon Mountain”), Xingtian and Baoan. The city has many hotels for travelers of all budgets. There are also a lot of restaurants, but for authentic dishes it is better to go to neighboring Shenkeng, the culinary capital of the island.

Taiwan’s second largest city and largest port is industrial Kaohsiung. It is here that the best shopping centers, famous restaurants, trendy bars and clubs are concentrated. In the vicinity of the city, there are a lot of natural attractions, the most famous are Longevity Mountain, built up with elegant temples, and Chengqing Lake, surrounded by a picturesque park. And in the center of the Buddhist monastery Foguangshan rises a 120-meter Buddha statue – the tallest in Taiwan.

The architectural gems of the island are located not only in Taipei and Kaohsiung, but also in Taichung. The most impressive shrines are the Temple of the Happy Buddha and the Temple of Confucius. According to traditional Chinese canons, the Sanctuary of the Fallen Heroes was also rebuilt. The city has many museums, restaurants, department stores and boutiques. Taichung is also famous for its night markets, where there is everything your heart desires.

The former port town of Danshui is a gourmet paradise. On the empty piers, there are countless stalls with fresh seafood and all kinds of Taiwanese gastro-exotics. The main attractions are the Fuyu Temple and the medieval Spanish Hongmao Fort.

Taiwan Hotels

In major cities and suburbs of Taiwan, there are many hotels of various price categories. All of them correspond to the standard European classification (from 1 to 5 *) with only one pleasant feature: often the actual level of hotels exceeds the declared number of “stars”. This is due to the high competition between hoteliers (especially in the business districts of Taipei) and the natural conscientiousness of the Taiwanese.

The island has both hotels of well-known Asian chains and representative offices of international hotel operators. The capital’s hotels are popular among the business elite; most cozy family hotels are located in seaside resorts. In Taichung, there is a dedicated hotel for cyclists, and in Hsinchu, the Leofoo Resort, designed in the style of an African safari.

The cost of accommodation in 2 and 3 * is almost the same: from 1000 TWD and from 1200 TWD per day, respectively. A room in a four-star hotel can be rented for 1400 TWD per day. Accommodation in a luxurious five-star hotel will cost from 2000 TWD per night.

Visa and customs

From August 1, 2019 to July 30, 2020, tourists from Russia do not need a visa for Taiwan if the stay does not exceed 21 days. For a longer visit, a visa is required. Documents are accepted at the consular department of the Representative Office of the Taipei-Moscow Coordinating Commission for Economic and Cultural Cooperation. The cost of a single entry visa is 50 USD, a multiple entry visa is 100 USD. Payment is made in cash in US dollars. The package of documents should include:

  • passport with a 6-month “reserve”;
  • completed onlineand printed in 1 copy. questionnaire;
  • 2 photos 3×4 cm;
  • hotel booking confirmation;
  • program of stay by day;
  • a certificate of employment on a letterhead with the seal of the enterprise indicating the position and salary and an extract from a bank account.

The import and export of foreign currency is unlimited, the export of national currency is prohibited. Tourists 20 years and older can import duty-free up to 200 cigarettes or up to 25 cigars, or up to 454 g of tobacco; up to 1 liter of alcohol; perfumes “in a reasonable amount” and other goods for personal use in the amount of not more than 20,000 TWD (for persons under 20 years old – up to 10,000 TWD).

Local laws punish the importation of drugs with the death penalty.

The importation of weapons (and even imitating toys), gambling, pornography, drugs, poisons, uncooked seafood and meat products, and fresh fruits and vegetables is strictly prohibited.

To export valuable objects or works of art, you must take a receipt confirming the purchase from an antique shop.

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Independent Taiwan has its own currency, the New Taiwan Dollar (TWD). Current exchange rate: 1 TWD = 1.95 RUB (1 USD = 31.13 TWD, 1 EUR = 32.2 TWD).

Currency can be exchanged at most banks and major hotels. Offices and ATMs of the most famous banks in Taiwan – SinoPac, MegaBank, Chang Hwa – are located on the central streets of Taipei, Kaohsiung and other major cities. Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00, on Saturday – only until lunch.

Credit cards (American Express, Carte Blanche, Master Card, Diners Club, Visa) are accepted in restaurants, large stores and other establishments. In small shops and shops, especially outside large cities, you can only pay in cash.

Communication and Wi-Fi

The main mobile operators in Taiwan are Taiwan Mobile, KG Telecom, VIBO Telecom and Far Eastone Telecommunications. Their networks cover the entire western part of the island, as well as sections along the main highways in mountainous areas. The most popular operator is Taiwan Mobile: its SIM cards worth 350 TWD are sold in almost all stores. Incoming calls are free, calls within Taiwan – from 0.20 TWD, calls to Russia – from 20 TWD per minute. Mobile Internet – about 100 TWD per day.

In cities everywhere there are pay phones that accept magnetic cards. You can buy them at postal kiosks, hotels and telegraph offices. The cost of intracity calls is 1 TWD, calls within the island are 5 TWD for 3 minutes.

Internet providers Chunghwa Telecom/Hinet and Asia Pacific Online provide high-quality communication in all major cities of the island. 4,000 free access points are scattered throughout Taiwan: cafes, restaurants, hotels, the surroundings of major attractions.

For guests of the island there is a special offer: by presenting a passport at any tourist office at the airport or train station, you can get a code for free Internet connection at a speed of 1 Mb / s.

How to avoid problems

If a traveler in Taiwan has already visited a country where yellow fever occurs, vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory and must be done before leaving for Taiwan. Tap water must be boiled before use, fruits and vegetables must also be thoroughly washed and, if possible, not eat in numerous street stalls.

Taiwan, China