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Taiwan: the unexplored Asian gem

Even though Taiwan is a treasure trove of thrilling attractions, it has remained largely undiscovered by many travellers who choose Asia as their target for holidays. Its landscape is a dazzling mixture of picturesque panoramas, cultural richness, and geographical diversity.

Over the centuries, Taiwan has been able to retain its religious and cultural traditions that are still being cultivated by the residents. That’s precisely the reason why the country is a true paradise for those who enjoy discovering new cultures, exploring stunning temples, and indigenous communities. 

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Taiwan Road Trip

Asia - Taiwan
796 mi 28 mph 6 days roadtrip

Highlights of Taiwan

You can’t visit Taiwan without at least a short sightseeing tour around its heart, Taipei. It ranks among world’s most densely populated cities. Upon entering the capital, you’ll be struck by the clamour of its streets, the colourful food stalls, and the beautiful architecture in the forms of temples, skyscrapers, and markets. Among the most interesting places to visit, you’ll find the National Palace Museum, the Presidential Buildings, the National Taiwan Museum, and Dihua Street.

At a stone’s throw away from Taipei, you’ll find a treat for the lovers of outdoor activities. Lose yourself in the deepest recesses of the Yangmingshan National Park to learn more on the great diversity of animal and bird species dwelling the place. In Beitou, you’ll find best hiking routes and hot springs, whereas in Wulai and Maokong, you’ll be surprised by the brilliant ambiance of wild hinterlands.

In the northern part of the country, there’s plenty to explore. Start your journey from the port city of Keelung enjoying a stunning location against beautiful sandy coves. Move more inland and you’ll find the Shifen Falls. In Jiufen and Jinguashi, you can explore local cuisine and admire charming architecture in the form of fragrant and steaming teahouses and snack stalls. For more natural wonders, you can also travel to Yilan County, where you’ll find the crystal clear Wufengqi Waterfalls.

Taichung is one of the most vibrant and dynamic cities of Central Taiwan. It is also a top-notch starting point for many trips around the region. Here, you’ll be able to explore the intriguing Chinese culture. You can travel to Beigang and Daji, where Taiwan’s most important Mazu temples hide. 

In Lugang, Taiwan’s oldest town, you’ll learn more on local traditions while walking along its winding narrow streets. For the largest Buddha statue in the country, you should direct your steps to Changhua. Top-notch hiking experiences are available in the brilliant Yushan National Park.

Travel options in Taiwan

Taiwan offers a very affordable and comfortable network of buses. However, remember that you should make an advance reservation for weekends and holidays. Buses are also very heavily air-conditioned so a few warmer pieces of clothes will come in handy. 

There’s also an extensive railway system. Trains in Taiwan are very comfortable and safe. Surprisingly, they’ve got pretty fixed timetables and you won’t be negatively surprised by delays. On Taiwan trains, you’ll be served some snacks and beverages.

However, holidaymakers who enjoy staying totally independent of the public transportation and rigid schedules should definitely consider renting a vehicle. There is a wide choice of car rental companies in the capital and at the international airport. They offer an interesting selection of vehicles that will live up to your most demanding expectations.

Taiwan: traffic regulations and road state

Contrary to many Asian countries, Taiwan follows right-hand traffic which is good news for the less experienced drivers as well as for those who have never driven on the left side of the road. Unfortunately, you should be very patient and watch out for native motorists who are very chaotic when it comes to driving. The situation is only slightly better in the rural areas.

General restrictions in Taiwan

There a number of traffic rules that have to be followed; however, they are similar to the ones prevailing in Europe. All passengers have to drive with their seatbelts properly secured. When it comes to blood alcohol level the allowed amount is 0.05% in Taiwan. You mustn’t drive and talk on the phone so it’s better to equip yourself with a hands-free set.

Taiwan: age restrictions, required documents, and equipment

In order to drive a vehicle in Taiwan, the drivers have to be 18; however renting a car is possible when you are 25. It’s important to carry your driver’s licence, an International Driving Permit, registration documents, and insurance documents. What’s more, a warning triangle is a mandatory equipment piece.

Speed limits, speed cameras, and toll roads in Taiwan

Taiwan imposes the following speed limits: 100-110 km/h on highways (however pay attention to what’s indicated on road signs), 80-90 km/h outside built-up areas, and 40-50 km/h in built-up areas. Interestingly, you can use speed camera warning devices and you won’t be charged any additional fines if a police officer spots such a device in your vehicle.

In Taiwan, there are both mobile and fixed speed cameras. For speeding, you risk getting penalty points along with a speeding ticket.

A number of road sections in Taiwan require motorists to pay a fixed toll. Toll gates are appropriately marked. Paid sections are free from traffic jams and are rather inexpensive making your trip even more pleasant and convenient.