Living on Taiwan more than 8,000 years before the first arrival of the Han Chinese in the 17th century, the Taiwanese aborigines (原住民) are Austronesian people, with linguistic and genetic ties to the people of the Philippines and other Polynesian groups. They are estimated to constitute about 2% of the population of Taiwan. Visitors to Taiwan should experience aboriginal culture alongside Chinese culture to gain a more rounded insight into the culture and history of Taiwan.
Gettting Around Taiwan
Tourists visiting Taiwan are entitled to a partial tax refund when purchasing large-ticket items (such as laptops and mobile phones) that are generally far cheaper in Taiwan than places like Singapore.
When purchased from cooperating shops, purchases in excess of NT$3,000 (on the same day) are eligible for a 5% VAT tax refund when leaving Taiwan.
The New Taiwan dollar is the official currency of Taiwan (Republic of China). The currency code is TWD and is commonly abbreviated as NT$ or simply $ in front of the amount, or a Chinese character 元 (pronounced yuán) following the amount.
For example, prices could either be displayed as: "NT$30" or "30元".
Current exchange rates are listed below.
The official name of the New Taiwan dollar in Chinese is 新台幣 (新台币 in simplified Chinese), pronounced Xīntáibì.
In Taiwan, there are four primary commercial airports offering international flight service, along with several smaller airports offering domestic flight service. The large majority of visitors coming to Taiwan will arrive at and leave from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, located just outside of Taipei City.
Taiwan High Speed Rail (also known as THSR, HSR, or Gāotíe) is a high-speed rail line approximately 345KM in length running along the west coast of Taiwan from Taipei Main Station in the north to Kaohsiung in the south.
The line opened for service in 2007, using trains with a top speed of 300KM/H covering the journey in as short as 96 minutes.
What is the Easycard?
Officially named the Taichung BRT Blue Line, the Taichung BRT runs along Taiwan Boulevard from the Taichung Train Station to Providence University.
The BRT system has been dismantled, however the stations are still being utilised.
Taichung BRT Blue Line is now Route #300.
What is the Taipei MRT?
As the largest metro subway system in Taiwan, the Taipei MRT serves about 2 million riders daily. It is fast, convenient, and, most importantly, CLEAN! The subway system is very easy to navigate, and is both bilingual in Chinese and English (including the Chinese languages of Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien, and Hakka). Transfers between lines are relatively close to each other, and the stations serve most areas of Taipei.