Taiwan : Safety by City
Taiwan is an island country located in East Asia, off the coast of southwest of Okinawa, Japan and north of the Philippines. Taiwan is actually governed by the Republic of China since 1945 and with more than 23 million people, it is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations. But apart from the crowded cities that Taiwan is known for, it also offers rocky mountains and lush forests.
When you go to Taiwan, expect an urban adventure in the country’s impressive capital, Taipei that’s brimming with vibrant culture, entertainment, cuisine (with numerous restaurants offering delicious food that is so cheap that the Japanese often take short trips just to taste it), contemporary clubs and bars and a unique energetic feel to it. Many describe Taiwan as what China could’ve been like if it hadn’t been for centralized government and communism.
Warnings & Dangers in Taiwan
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Taiwan is generally safe to travel to, but it's not without its dangers. The only concern is petty crime on the streets, but if you apply the basic precaution measures, your trip should go smoothly.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Though public transport is mostly safe and reliable, it is filled with pickpockets and petty thieves. Always negotiate everything in advance and never pay upfront. Transportation stations are also risky, as they are known to attract criminals. Bear in mind that Taiwan is filled with unlicensed taxi vehicles that don't use meters and might try to rip you off.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
There is a heightened risk of pickpockets in Taiwan, since it has around 10 million visitors a year. Don‘t leave anything valuable in your back pockets and be especially vigilant in crowded places.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
As for natural disasters, Taiwan has a high risk of earthquakes. There are also risks of typhoons, especially between July to November and tourists are recommended to refrain from visiting the mountains during these periods.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Taiwan on the whole is extremely safe. Crime against foreigners is rare, and violent crime, and incidents such as mugging and rape, against foreigners is extremely rare.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Even though in Taiwan's recent history there haven't been any terrorist attacks, one can never be too cautious, and things such as terrorist attacks can never be ruled out, so be aware of your surroundings at all times.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
The most common scams are connected with the ATMs. There is the popular scam of someone calling you, impersonating a bank employee or a hotel staff and asking you to confirm your credit card information. There is also the risk of ATM fraud so try and use the machines that are inside.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Taiwan is safe for solo women travelers. Just use your common sense and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid wearing purses and do not walk alone or ride in taxis at night.
So... How Safe Is Taiwan Really?
Taiwan is relatively safe to visit. Though the rates of violent crime are low by world standards, you are recommended to remain vigilant at all times. Petty crime rates are low as well, but pickpocketing and bag-snatching do occur, especially in locations frequented by tourists. The shady, criminal side of Taiwan usually happens around barber shops and nightclubs which act as fronts for prostitution. However, it is easy to differentiate the dodgy ones from the real, legitimate businesses. Real barber shops openly advertise their business and you can see through their windows barbers cutting hair, and if you can’t – that’s the dodgy one.
Apart from this, you should keep in mind that there have been reports of people being assaulted by taxi drivers: this happened a couple of time, and though it received unreasonably more media coverage than it should’ve since it only happened a couple of times,it still pays to remain vigilant. Women, for example, should be cautious when taking taxis alone late at night and it is even recommended for them to only tell taxi drivers the street name and section, instead of their exact address.
- Visas - Many countries in Europe, U.S.A, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter Taiwan, for any stays shorter than 90 days. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - New Taiwan dollar is the official currency in Taiwan. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, except in rural areas, while credit cards are accepted at most establishments.
- Weather - There are two climates in Taiwan: the north part of Taiwan has a sub-tropical climate zone, while the south part has a tropical climate zone. Winters in Taiwan are warm and mild while summers are hot and wet, with typhoons and thunderstorms.
- Airports - Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is an international airport in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. It is located about 40 km west of Taipei in Dayuan District. The airport is Taiwan's largest and busiest.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Taiwan, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.