About Taiwan

The friendly people of Taiwan

Taiwan has a population of 23 million. The larger part of the country's inhabitants are the descendants of immigrants from the various provinces of mainland China, but in particular from the southeastern coastal provinces: Fujian and Guangdong.
   

Because the different ethnic groups have fairly well integrated, differences that originally existed between people from different provinces have gradually disappeared. Nearly 500,000 indigenous people, the original inhabitants of Taiwan, still live here; they are into 16 different tribes, namely Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Saisiyat, Yami, Thao, Kavalan, Truku, Sakizaya, Sediq ,Kanakanavu ,and Hla'alua.

   

 Language

The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese; but because many Taiwanese are of southern Fujianese descent, Minnan (the Southern Min dialect or Heluo) is also widely spoken. The smaller groups of Hakka people and indigenous tribes have also preserved their own languages. Many elderly people can also speak some Japanese, as they were subjected to Japanese education before Taiwan was returned to Chinese rule in 1945 after the Japanese occupation, which lasted for half a century.
   

The most popular foreign language in Taiwan is English, which is part of the regular school curriculum. However, for your own convenience, when taking a taxi in Taiwan, it is advisable to prepare a note with your destination written in Chinese to show the taxi driver.

   
   

Diversified culture

The history of Taiwan can be traced back to at least 7,000 years ago. Between 7,000 and 400 years ago, Austronesians, the ancestor of the island's indigenous peoples, arrived in small groups and became the earliest known inhabitants of Taiwan.
  

During the age of discovery in the 16th century, Western sailors arrived in the Far East to set up colonies and conduct trade.
  

As Taiwan was located at the conjunction of the East Asia and the ocean, as well as being where the Northeast Asian waters meet the Southeast waters, it became the focus of the Western powers that were operating in East Asian waters at the time.
  

In the first half of the 17th Century, the Dutch established a presence at Anping (in modern-day Tainan city). They conducted missionary activities, trade and the production of various goods. They also recruited many Han Chinese immigrants from the China coast, leading to a multicultural history of Taiwan. The number of Han Chinese immigrants in Taiwan steadily increased during the short-lived Cheng (Koxinga) regime and Qing period over the next 200 years, creating a primarily Han society in Taiwan.

In the late 19th century, the wave of imperialism touched the shores of Taiwan. The island became a colony of Japan and remained under Japanese rule for 50 years, during which time it evolved from a traditional society into a modern society. At the end of World War II in 1945, Taiwan was liberated from colonial rule. Since then, the island has experienced an economic miracle and introduced political democracy achievements that have attracted the world's attention.
  

Today, Taiwan boasts an excellent infrastructure, convenient transportation system, and high-quality communication services. It also has accomplished, in the face of several international energy crises and economic downturns, a remarkable record of economic development and political democracy by virtue of the perseverance and unremitting efforts of its people.

   

1. Voltage and drinking water
The voltage used in Taiwan is 110 V., 60 Hz.
However, most of hotels are equipped with 110 / 220 V sockets.
It is recommended to drink bottled water instead of tap water. Bottled water could be found in most of 7-Eleven stores and supermarkets.

2. Currency
The local currency in Taiwan is "New Taiwan Dollars" (NT$).
There are NT$1,000, NT$500, NT$200, NT$100, and NT$50 notes.
And there are NT$50, NT$20, NT$10, NT$5 and NT$1 coins.
Currently the exchange rate is roughly US$1 = NT$32~NT$33.
Credit cards are very popular in Taiwan.

3. Customs
One has to declare if one carries more than US$5,000 cash or otherequivalent foreign currencies. It is prohibited to bring fresh fruits, plants, any kind of fresh, frozen, preserved or boiled seaproductions. Most personal belongings are duty free, but stereo sets, TVs, VCRs and computers must be declared. Check entry forms for duty-free allowances and restrictions.

4. Tips
It is suggested to tip hotel porter US$ 1 per suitcase for carrying luggage, US$ 1 per day for hotel room-maids, US$ 3 per day for tour guide, and US$2 per day for driver.

5. Telephone
Local calls cost NT$1 for 2 minutes. Prepaid phone cards and IC cards are available at most of the convenient stores and kiosks.
Most hotels have English and Japanese speaking switchboard operators.
For international calls, one should dial "002" to access an international call. Calling from foreign country to Taiwan, should dial + 886 + 2(Taipei) + number
Emergency call: 119 – for police, ambulance and fire

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