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Driving Guide

Taiwan Driving Guide

Taiwan is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit.

2021-08-13 · 9min read

All countries in Asia are beautiful, but for many reasons, Taiwan is unique. The people are hospitable and pleasant. Taiwan was identified as the happiest place in East Asia in March 2019.

Although it may be a tiny island, the never-ending array of sights and fun stuff to do here would amaze you. Taiwan has everything that anyone can appreciate, with over a hundred mountain peaks above 3,000 meters, hot springs spread across the island, golden and black-sand beaches, nine national parks, world-class museums, glittering skyscrapers, beautiful temples, and a large number of night markets that are second to none. But one way of getting the best out of your stay is by driving in Taiwan.

There are a lot of adventures that await you in Taiwan that make it an excellent holiday destination for anyone to drive around. But just a reminder for you not to forget when planning to drive around in Taiwan, you must know that your driving license is valid in Taiwan. That’s the one of the essential requirements you can be allowed to rent a car for your trip and enjoy while driving in Taiwan.

How Can This Guide Help You?

A majority of tourists in the contemporary world prefer driving in Taiwan. One of the best opportunities is visiting tourist sites to see nature, including wildlife, plants or trees, valleys, rivers, and other bodies of water and hills and mountains. However, this experience cannot be complete without an introductory guide on the driving rules in Taiwan. This guide will help you find great things to do and a safe driving guide in destinations worldwide.

This guide gives you tips, ideas, background information, and local points of view to help you plan your perfect trip to Taiwan. This guide will help you make trips enjoyable and educational. It is because this guide tackles a wide history concerning the tourism site. You would then be able to learn a lot in the entire driving tour or traveling tour with the help of this guide and what adventures await during your driving trip in Taiwan.

General Information

The culture of Taiwan is beautiful and diverse. Any interesting stories and local culture can be found at each corner to enjoy. You will head to Taiwan and discover the lives of people in a cordial manner. The stunning island has numerous destinations to offer. Moreover, enjoy the wonderful Taiwanese citizens will provide you with pleasant, smart, and fun-filled wonderful experiences, Taiwan awaits you warmly!

So before you plan a trip to Taiwan, here is a little background about Taiwan to make your trip more knowledgeable and enjoyable. Read on these interesting facts about Taiwan that most driving in Taiwan tourists doesn’t know about, including taking a driving trip to Taiwan.

Taiwan is generally thought of more for its exports than as a destination to visit, despite having an enormously rich cultural and spiritual history, amazing cuisine, world-class hot springs, and breathtaking scenery. Start to pack your bags if you haven’t been to Taiwan because this guide is for you.

Geographic Location

Taiwan is an island situated off the southeastern coast of China in the Pacific Ocean. It sits right above the Philippines and is highly frequented by storms due to its location. Amidst that unavoidable issue, Taiwan still features the best experiences that a traveler could ever have.

Languages Spoken

Despite the fact that Mandarin Chinese is Taiwan’s national language, many Taiwanese of Fujianese descent speak their traditional dialect. The older generation, on the other hand, is gradually speaking Taiwanese, while the younger generation prefers Chinese. It’s remarkably similar to mainland Mandarin, which was introduced to the world by refugees fleeing political and military instability in their home country, mainly in the 1940s.

Land Area

Taiwan is made up of 21 small islands in the Taiwan group and 64 in the Penghu (Pescadores) group, with a total area of 35,980 square kilometers (13,892 sq mi). Taiwan is marginally greater than the combined states of Maryland and Delaware in terms of land size. Taiwan is a leaf-shaped island that stretches 394 kilometers (245 miles) from north to south and 144 kilometers (89 miles) from east to west, with a coastline of 1,566 kilometers (973 mi). The Penghu community, located 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Taiwan Island, covers an area of 127 square kilometers (49 sq mi).

History

The oldest evidence of human habitation in Taiwan dates back tens of thousands of years. Today’s Taiwanese indigenous peoples’ ancestors’ arrival is thought to have coincided with the sudden emergence of an agricultural culture around 3000 BC. In the 17th century, the Dutch inhabited the island, followed by an invasion of the Hoklo people, including Hakka immigrants, from mainland China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces. For a brief time, the Spanish founded a settlement in the north but were driven out by the Dutch in 1642.

Government

Before the Dutch colonized Taiwan in the 1620s, the island had no central ruling power. However, the Dutch era lasted just about 40 years, and Taiwan became the first country in the world to be free of Western colonial control. Taiwan became self-governing after that, but only for a few decades. Taiwan was then annexed by China for two decades before becoming a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945.

The Republic of China, also recognized as the Government of Nationalist China retroactively, is the unitary government in charge of Taiwan and the other islands in the free zone. The president is the country’s leader. The government is divided into five divisions, with the Presidency at the top.

Tourism

Taiwan is the Heaven of the Shutterbug. The Central Mountain Range runs along the country’s spine, a magnet for mountaineers aiming to climb the highest peak in East Asia, Yushan (Jade Mountain). Photographers are often attracted every day because the top of Yushan is the ideal location to take a picture of the “sea of clouds” that sweeps at dawn over the mountains. Taiwan’s beaches are stunning as well, providing some of East Asia’s best surfing and windsurfing spots.

Taiwan’s East Coast Highway, passing along a narrow strip of land between the Central Mountains and the Pacific, is easily one of the most scenic cycling spots in East Asia. There is information about rides, tours, and bike rentals on the Cycling in Taiwan website.

IDP FAQs

Driving in Taiwan without an international driver's permit is very difficult. You can apply for it before you leave home. You’ll need your original permit, two original passport-sized photos, and the IDP application form. You don't need to go to a driving school in Taiwan. You don't need to pass the driving test in Taiwan to be granted permission to rent a car. Moreover, if you're planning to drive your own vehicle in the country, you still need an IDP.

An international driver’s license is not possible; that’s why its official name is now an “International Driver’s Permit (IDP).” The IDP is a document that translates your home country driver’s license information into 12 languages. If you obtain an International driving license that’s valid in Taiwan, you can drive in Taiwan for up to 180 days. Get to know more about how it’s possible for foreigners driving in Taiwan to go road-tripping in the city nonstop.

Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Taiwan?

You would need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Taiwan. The country’s first language is Mandarin Chinese and your English or Non-Roman National Driver’s License might not be recognizable to them. Thus, an IDP can act as your translator for all the essential information found on your driver’s license that law officers or car rental companies in Taiwan may need.

If you’re driving in Taiwan with a UK license, it is a requirement to get an IDP. You may receive an IDP in the country or online at UK post offices. When you are outside the UK, you would not be allowed to get an IDP or if you’re in a hurry, just visit the International Driver’s Association for a more convenient alternative of getting an IDP. Malaysia driving license use in Taiwan is also valid.

Do I need an IDP in Cities and Districts in Taiwan?

An International Driving Permit is required to drive in Taiwan (IDP). The IDP is available from 2,500 UK Post Offices over the counter. You won’t be able to purchase an IDP outside of the United Kingdom, so get one before you go. If you arrive in Taiwan, bring your passport IDP and passport picture to the nearest Vehicle Registration Department to register for a driver’s license visa, which will be stored in your IDP.

If you intend to remain in Taiwan for an extended period of time and want to drive, you will need to obtain a local driver’s license in order to comply with local laws and regulations. At present, it’s not possible to exchange the UK driving license for a local driving license. Do not drive without a valid license. This is in respect of visitors or tourists driving in Taiwan who follow driving rules in Taiwan.

Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License?

If your country doesn’t have a reciprocal agreement with Taiwan for foreign driving licenses, you’ll have to upgrade your existing license to a Taiwanese one or apply for one in Taiwan.

Renting a Car in Taiwan

Taiwan lacks rental car companies, as a fast Google search of Rental Cars in Taiwan shows, ranging from foreign chains like AVIS to small mom-and-pop car rental shops. You can book your car online, but bear in mind that you’ll need to have all the paperwork before they place you behind the wheel. Many rental car companies have the branch offices at Taiwan’s international airports, and some charge extra for airport pick-up.

In Taiwan, renting a car is one of the most convenient ways to see as much of the country as possible. Although taxi services and train stations are available, it is still highly recommended to rent a car instead. Renting a car in Taiwan allowed us to see everything from Alishan and Taroko Gorge to the comfortable beach ambiance of Kenting to the unique and colorful Taichung!

Car Rental Companies

Hertz, for example, has provided everyone with some of the most inexpensive coupons online. Taking the extra five minutes to look through the homepage slider and featured promotions is all that is needed. Many of them don’t need any kind of membership.

A quick point: AAA members often receive lower rates than members of other organizations. If you’re a member of AAA or not, Hertz will offer you the AAA rate directly on the website. It’s necessary to know that you can use both an associated rate and a coupon code to get twice the fun on a reservation.

Even if you don’t think you’re related to anybody, most airline frequent flyer services give their non-affiliated members discounted rates. Also, United has one, and you can find it by going to the airline’s website. This can be applied to any situation. However, not every vehicle maker is so forthcoming. That means you’ll have to go on the lookout for them.

Documents Required

When it came to stuff like car rental, Taiwan took a more wild west approach. (This was particularly true for motorcycle rentals, when all a foreign visitor required was a photo ID, four working limbs, and some cash to rent a scooter.) Those days, though, are long gone. You’ll need to get the papers in order these days. Any non-Taiwanese citizen wishing to rent a car must present the following documents:

  1. Passport.
  2. An International driver’s permit issued in their home country.
  3. Driver’s license from their home country.
  4. A valid Visa / MasterCard Card (A Debit card won’t cut it.)

Prepare your rental documents before renting cars to reduce the stress. Renting cars is the best way to reach areas outside the capital, Taipei, and other Taiwanese cities.

Vehicle Types

The most common rental car type in Taiwan is economy (Volkswagen Polo or similar). Economy cars are the second smallest category of vehicle available for rental. They are ideal for city driving and can accommodate up to four passengers for shorter trips and two or three people for longer journeys. There will always be a car of your choosing, whether it is small, inexpensive, or exclusive.

Car Rental Cost

Renting a car in Taiwan is not affordable. For a small car, most rental companies charge 2000-2500NT per day, or around $65-$80USD. If you rent a car for more than 3-4 days from a local car rental company, you can get a discount. If you inquire, you can typically get 500NT off the quoted daily rate. With all discounts applied, you should be able to rent a car for about 1500NT per day from local companies.

Age Requirements

Most car rental companies demand that you be at least 20 years old, and if you are below 25, you will be charged a higher rate. Most car rental agencies will let you rent a car when you’re 21, but you’ll have to pay a young drivers fee until you’re 24 years old, and you’ll usually only be able to rent in the mini to compact categories if you’re under 21. The maximum age to rent a car is 75, although this varies by car rental company. We recommend that you read the fine print of each car rental company’s terms and conditions.

Car Insurance Cost

Rental car insurance is an extra coverage that you can buy if you get into an accident while driving a rented car. However, if you have your own auto insurance, it is possible that it also covers rental vehicles. In Taiwan, the minimum cost of automobile insurance is $23.82 a day. For each part of rental car insurance, here are some average ranges:

  • Supplemental liability insurance: $8 to $12 per day
  • Loss damage waiver: $20 to $30 per day

Rental charges include third-party liability and comprehensive protection, as well as a NT$10,000 loss deduction. Renters are fined 10% of the vehicle’s value in the event of theft or damage.

Car Insurance Policy

Third-party liability insurance is a legal obligation in Taiwan for all drivers. Any additional coverage is at the discretion of the individual. The mandatory insurance offers basic protection against injury, dismemberment, disability, and death in traffic accidents. Insurance may be purchased from firms that have been licensed by the Ministry of Finance, which is in charge of overseeing the scheme. All vehicles, including automobiles and scooters, must be sold with current third-party liability insurance.

Many drivers chose to buy extra coverage because the coverage offered by the mandatory insurance, known as Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance, is very basic compared to that available in many other countries. Additional insurance may be provided to cover property damage, such as damage to other cars in an accident, medical costs, burglary, and crash.

Taipei Taiwan photo by Kylle Pangan

Road Rules in Taiwan

To enjoy the memories of the winding drive in Taiwan, you need to strictly follow the rules. When visiting any country, you should take the time to know the basic driving laws and regulations to avoid fines and penalties while on a trip. You need to be familiar with the driving scene in Taiwan. Tourists like you visiting Taiwan need to know basic driving laws. To help you save some time, here are some things to remember:

Important Regulations

When visiting any country, you should take the time to know the basic driving laws and regulations to avoid fines and penalties while on a trip. You need to be familiar with the driving scene in Taiwan. Tourists like you visiting Taiwan need to know basic driving laws. To save you some of your time, here are some things to remember:

Drunk-driving

It is against the law in Taiwan to drive when inebriated, whether from alcohol or drugs. It is illegal to drive when under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, sleeping pills, hallucinogens, or other street drugsThe legal blood alcohol limit is currently 0.25 milligrams per litre. Intoxicated drivers face fines, car impoundment, and a one-year suspension of their driver’s license. Drivers who kill or seriously injure others have their licenses revoked. They will not be able to qualify for another.

Turning Signals at an Intersection

If a driver displays his lights at you, it means “ I’m coming, ” not “please proceed.” Honking a horn is more widely used as an alarm than as a form of provocation. Taiwanese drivers are known to pass on the left side of cars turning left and on the right side of vehicles turning right, so you should get into the habit of testing both mirrors when turning.

Parking

In Taiwan, parking must be done with caution. People don’t like it when others park outside their residences or establishments unless they’re paying them a visit, and breaking this rule will result in the car being keyed, tyres being cut, and panels being kicked in. Paid parking can be found in metered or ticketed spaces, as well as large parking garages. When possible, park in these because they are the safest choice.

Overdue parking and obstructing traffic would be enforced by the police. As previously said, inconsiderate parking would be retaliated against by residents, so park carefully. There are no official discounts for disabled parking, but if you need help, go to an attended parking area and ask the attendant for assistance; it’s usually offered freely.

Ensure that you and your vehicle are in good condition before driving

Having surprising discoveries is part of the excitement of international travel. These findings are often made as a result of being misplaced. Getting lost on international highways, on the other hand, can be dangerous. Renting a car with GPS is recommended, but drivers should also bring a map in case the GPS fails.

It is vital to know the rules of the road ahead of time. Knowing which side of the road drivers use, local speed restrictions, and right of way laws are all part of this. Perform a quick safety check before driving a vehicle. Switch on the lights and walk around the car to make sure everything is running. Check the operation of your blinkers as well. Make sure the license plate of the car is visible whether it's yours or rented.

Special Permit in Taiwan

You can drive in Taiwan for the first 30 days if you have a valid International Driving Permit (IDP). The IDP can be obtained from the American Automobile Association (AAA), and application details can be found on their website. You cannot drive in Taiwan without an IDP unless you have obtained a permanent Taiwan driver’s license. You should request for an extension of your IDP at the Motor Vehicles Office within 30 days of arriving in Taiwan.

General Standards of Driving

Driving in Taiwan is unpredictable and risky by the standards of many other countries. Always keep an eye out for incoming cars in your path (especially when going around blind corners). Driving in cities or medium-sized towns should be avoided unless you are familiar with the conditions.

The cities are very congested, and this is so at all hours of the day and night. Renting a motorcycle, on the other hand, allows you to see the country’s beautiful countryside. Many driving laws exist in Taiwan to ensure your safety while driving.

Speed Limits

The speed limit on each type of road is different, especially on major highways. The following are the standard speed limits:

  • Roads without lanes, or slow lanes separated by a solid white line: 40 Km/h
  • Freeways: 100 Km/h, although some sections of the freeway can be lower
  • Other roads and lanes: 50 Km/h
  • Approaching roadworks or a toll booth: 60 Km/h

Seatbelts Law

On June1,2001, a seat belt use law was enacted nationally in Taiwan, and drivers who were found by the police not wearing their seat belts could face fines. If back seat passengers refuse to use their seat belts, drivers of sedans have been subject to a fine of US$50 since 2012. Commuters who do not fasten their seat belts despite the driver’s insistence will be fined NT$1,500 (US$50) on a regular road and NT$3,000 to NT$6,000 on a highway.

Driving Direction

Taiwan’s road network is fairly dense, particularly in the Taipei area. Road conditions are usually fine, but drivers in the mountains should be aware that Taiwan’s mountain roads are particularly susceptible to harm from typhoons and earthquakes, and are therefore frequently repaired. The light is turned on when the weather is fine, gusty, dusty, rainy, icy, or foggy.

When it gets foggy, use the fog light or high beam. Turn on the signal before crossing a road or directions. For a left/right turn, turn the lever 30 meters ahead of the intersection.

Traffic Road Signs

Before you start driving, make sure you are familiar with the road signs in Taiwan. A warning sign is a form of sign that indicates the presence of a potential threat, obstacles, or condition that necessitates special attention. Some are traffic signals that signify dangers on the road that a driver might not be aware of. These are some of Taiwan’s warning signs:

  • Curve to left
  • Curve to right
  • Downhill
  • T-Junction
  • Intersection
  • Road narrows
  • Uphill
  • Railway crossing without barrier
  • Disable person
  • Domestic animals

Prohibiting signs indicates a safety sign that prohibits the risk to safety. Prohibition safety symbols commonly use a black safety symbol in a red circle with a diagonal cross.

  • No entry
  • No buses
  • No motorcycles
  • No indicated vehicles
  • No left turn
  • No right turn
  • No cycles
  • No pedestrians
  • Vertical clearance
  • Weight limit

The label on mandatory signs is usually printed on a white background. The monitoring agency has the authority to take action against the driver if he or she fails to follow them. The primary purpose of these signs is to ensure the safety of all road users.

  • Car only
  • Bus lane
  • Horns
  • Snow chains required
  • Roundabout
  • Straight only
  • Right or left only
  • Minimum speed limit
  • Motor vehicles

Right of Way

The definition of “right of way” is particularly relevant for young drivers with just a limited amount of road experience. Many traffic laws only say that it is appropriate to exercise the right of way but offer few guidelines beyond that. Right of way, in the most common sense, means who has the moral right to go on the road first.

You risk colliding with each other, bicycles, or pedestrians if you or another vehicle fails to have the right of way. Here are several guidelines for knowing who, under many different driving situations, has the right of way.

Drivers with no valid license and drunk driving in Taiwan or even driving a scooter in Taiwan are not allowed to drive. Even if you have a valid license but are not accompanied by an IDP, it’s best if you let someone take the wheel. Drivers under 18 years old are prohibited to drive as well.

Only those who took a driving test in Taiwan and those who have IDP can drive around. Driving in Taiwan with a Singapore license is also allowed.

Laws on Overtaking

Overtaking is prohibited at schools, hospitals, and other places and parts with “No Overtaking” signs, as well as when two or more cars are in front of each other. When being overtaken, never accelerate. If the driver right in front of you has indicated that he is turning right, then overtake on the right. When you can’t see the path ahead of you, such as at a corner, a crosswalk, or around a curve, don’t overtake.

Driving Side

You should be aware that cars on Taiwanese roads drive on the right side (Singaporeans drive on the left side), and that car steering wheels are on the left side, resulting in “left-hand” driving. In contrast to other nations, where it is legal to turn right at a red light, Taiwan does not allow this.

The Driving Etiquette in Taiwan

Driving in Taiwan is as pleasurable as driving in your home country, as long as you know the regulation and proper driving etiquette. You can become a better and more courteous driver by learning patience and practicing defensive driving. Most of these tips are standards of many countries.

Taiwan’s traffic can appear a little chaotic to drivers from the west, despite being relatively calm by Asian standards. Few visitors to Taipei feel compelled to push themselves around, which is probably a good thing for everyone concerned.

Car Breakdowns

Any vehicle that breaks down and remains parked on the roadside of a highway or superhighway for more than two hours should be towed, protected, and handled. Penalties should be imposed as well. If you’re towing a vehicle in Taiwan, make sure it’s safely attached and that you have decent visibility all over.

Police Stops

Being stopped by police is a normal part of life, and most encounters with officers end peacefully; however, a few individuals will have disagreements with officers or even be detained and accused of crimes, all of which are entirely avoidable. When stop by police officers, you are authorized to know why you are stopped, and police officers have to exemplify the reason to you, or you may just end up leaving.

To avoid infuriating police officers, it is recommended that people speak quietly when exercising their rights, as the intention of stops is to deter crimes from occurring, which benefits us all. When you’re pulled over by the cops, you should politely ask why you are being stopped and display your ID cards, and several police officers will let you go after seeing ID cards.

Asking Directions

Taiwan is without question a wonderful country. National parks, street markets, and historic sites can all be found throughout the region. However, there is one issue: the language. Their primary language is Mandarin, which tourists may find difficult to learn quickly.

By knowing where you’re going, you can still express where you want to go. It may be a specific attraction, a well-known location, or an address. If you do a little homework before you leave on your trip, it will help you in any case. You’ll be able to express a plea for directions far more quickly once you arrive at your first destination to get a sense of where you’re headed later.

Checkpoints

Please make sure you don’t bring something dangerous with you. If you are planning a trip in a rented car, make sure to check ahead of time if the car rental company has an official agreement for their vehicles to cross the border.

Other Tips

Driving is not an easy task. That’s why you need tips and a guide to help you improve your knowledge in driving for a more convenient trip. Read on to know more tips in driving:

  1. Call 110-police, 119-fire, and ambulance-119 if you have an emergency on the route. When you have a cell phone, calling 112 is another choice.
  2. Bear the driver’s license, IDP, registration, and insurance at all times from the auto rental firm. It does not need your passport.
  3. Children must be in the rear of the vehicle in a proper child protection seat below the age of 12. They can’t pose in front of them.
  4. You need protection from a third party, at least, but a lot of Taiwanese drivers do not carry it. Make sure you have yours with you from your leasing business in case the police are stopping you.
  5. If you are towing, you can ensure that any car you are towing is safely attached and that you have reasonable visibility around the vehicle.
  6. There are parts of several highways in Taiwan that are tollways. You can see a warning that you are entering a toll gate. There aren’t any exits after the sign, however, until you have to pay the toll, which is not very pricey. To help prevent traffic congestion, the tolls open up the road.
  7. When you are moving, use just a hands-free computer. Without one, mobile phone use is banned.
  8. You can call the number on the rental agreement or the car’s windshield if your rental car has a problem. Call the agent for your emergency assistance provider if you’re driving your car.
  9. Gasoline is marketed in liters.

What if I get involved in an accident?

When you are engaged in a car accident regardless of whether you are at fault or not, it is best to report the incident. Making a report by dialing 110 and informing the police is critical in Taiwan. Many people believe that reporting a traffic accident to the police aids officials in making an accurate assessment of the incident. When you call the cops, however, all they can do is report, investigate, and look for evidence at the place of the accident, as per Taiwanese regulations.

Driving Condition in Taiwan

Driving is the most widely despised practice by foreigners in Taiwan. The high vehicle density and potent combination of trucks, automobiles, and motorcycles necessitate unwavering attention. Furthermore, far too many residents lack formal driving experience, pay no heed to the law, even if they do know it, and, most importantly, disregard the comfort and safety of others.

The widespread presence of scooters in Taiwanese driving is the most serious problem. They always disregard traffic laws, protection, and the comfort of other drivers, and if you strike them, they will still blame you, regardless of the circumstances. Pay careful attention to them when you first begin driving here, as they will not pay attention to you.

Accident Statistics

In 2019, 1,849 people were killed in Taiwan as a result of traffic accidents, up from 1,493 the previous year. In Taiwan, driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. About 5% of accidents are caused by DUI, and almost 20% of fatalities are caused by alcohol-related crashes.

Common Vehicles

The MRT is the most comfortable mode of transportation while traveling between Taiwan’s two major cities, Taipei and Kaohsiung. Cleanliness, safety, and punctuality are all features of the MRT. All symbols and instructions are written in both Chinese and English, making it a tourist-friendly destination. The ticket machines are also pretty simple to use.

You'll also notice the frequent use of more electric buses in the country. An affordable bus is also comfortable to take. Since Taiwan is a small country people’s daily trips are short. You don’t need to drive a car for such short distances, but there are moments when walking is just too long. One of the most popular memories most Westerners have of traveling in Asia is seeing scooters speeding around the streets.

Toll Roads

Several roads charge a toll into a scheme called eTag, which is charged electronically. Check with the leasing provider if you pay for this before you return the car or if the rental fee covers it. The toll is dependent on the traveled distance.

The first 20 km is free. The next 200 km is NT$1.20 per kilometer; NT$0.90 per km is paid for anything more than 200 km on a single day. Petrol & Spare Parts For scooters and vehicles, gas stations and garages are readily available for parts and maintenance.

Road Situation

Taiwan’s main roads are usually well-kept, and traffic conditions are fine. Western and northern Taiwanese highways are generally in good condition; however, eastern Taiwanese highways occasionally need repair. During typhoon season, road closures due to flooding are normal. The majority of the road signs are bilingual.

Driving Culture

Due to the unpredictable nature of the local driving community, driving in Taiwan is difficult. Some drivers also break traffic laws and drive dangerously. Traffic laws are strictly followed in Taipei, making driving safe and convenient. Scooters also have a habit of weaving in and out of traffic, which can lead to collisions. Taxi drivers are also kind and safe drivers so you don't have to worry about meeting them on the road.

Other Tips

You may be interested in learning more about the country you’re going to as a traveler. You’re supposed to be aware of some facts, so you know what to do.

Is driving in Taiwan simple?

Driving in Taiwan can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work! Although driving is the perfect way to get to more remote areas like Nantou, Hualien, and Taitung, visitors to Taipei should take public transportation because driving and parking in the city can be difficult.

In Taiwan, what is considered impolite?

Rude gestures include putting your arm around another’s back, winking, and pointing with your index finger. With an open palm, make a point. “No” is shown by the palm facing outward in front of the face going back and forth.

Is it expensive to travel to Taiwan?

Taiwan is a very inexpensive destination. It’s comparable to some Southeast Asian destinations, in my opinion, because the food was inexpensive and there were so many free activities. This place gives you a lot of bang for your buck. So, if you’re looking for a place to visit that is both uncrowded and affordable, Taiwan is the place to go.

Are they using kph or mph? Is it safe to drive at night?

In Taiwan, linear measurement is mainly metric, but as a tradition of Japanese law, some units derived from conventional Japanese units of measurement are still in use. The nature of Taiwanese length units and the Metric system’s (SI) interpretation of length units is the same. Signs post speed limits on freeways, which are normally 100 km/h. Just a few segments are numbered at 90, 80, or 70 kilometers per hour.

Things I Can Do in Taiwan

Any country in Asia is beautiful, but for many reasons, Taiwan is unique. The people are hospitable and wet. Taiwan was identified as the happiest location in East Asia in March 2019. Although it may be a tiny island, the never-ending array of sights and fun stuff to do here would amaze you.

Taiwan has everything that anyone can appreciate, with over a hundred mountain peaks above 3,000 meters, over a hundred hot springs spread across the island, golden and black-sand beaches, nine national parks, world-class museums, glittering skyscrapers, beautiful temples, and a large number of night markets that are second to none.

Drive as a tourist

Foreign citizens who want to drive in Taiwan for an extended period of time must either swap their original driver’s license for a Taiwanese license or undergo the written and road tests to obtain one. Foreign citizens who wish to drive in Taiwan must conform to the country’s driving laws. Furthermore, you can drive in Taiwan if you are from a country that has formed a reciprocal agreement with Taiwan on the exchange of driver’s licenses without checks. Depending on the terms of the agreement between Taiwan and your country, you can use a foreign driver’s license with an international driver's licence or swap your original driver’s license for a Taiwanese license. If you're planning to drive a motorcycle, make sure you have a motorcycle license. You can visit the local Motor Vehicles office if you don't have one.

Work as a driver

A valid driver’s license is expected of any foreigner working as a driver in Taiwan. Only a Taiwan driver’s license issued domestically or a Foreign Driver’s License issued outside Taiwan with a Permit issued from are valid. There’s a lot of opportunities for those who want to work as a driver in Taiwan, but remember that driving in Taiwan isn’t easy because of the crowded and unruly drivers. Before you work as a driver, make sure you're familiar with Taiwan’s roads and regulations.

Work as a Travel Guide

To work legally in Taiwan, a job applicant must first sign a contract with the company, after which the employer must apply for a working visa from the Ministry of Labor. A work visa is required to lawfully remain in Taiwan during the time of employment. Working as a travel guide requires you to know more about Taiwan, especially the places most people want to explore.

Apply for Residency

An Alien Permanent Resident Certificate may be applied by individuals who are at least 20 years old, have resided in Taiwan for the requisite period of time, and meet all of the criteria for permanent residency (APRC). Anyone who is already a resident of the People’s Republic of China is ineligible to apply. You'll also be required to get an Alien Resident certificate.

To be eligible for an APRC, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Have spent at least 183 days a year in Taiwan for the past five years. Time spent as a student in the country is not counted.
  • A national's spouse or children must have a valid Taiwanese household registration and have resided lawfully in the ROC for ten years.

Other things to do

Taiwan is extremely secure for the vast majority of international tourists and residents. Many things in Taiwan surprise foreigners, so it’s important for Taiwanese and foreigners to understand each other’s cultures.

Is it possible for you to immigrate to Taiwan?

You may apply for a Resident visa for Investment if you want to invest and live in the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan). You must put $200,000 into an active company, an investment fund, or some other investment that contributes to Taiwan’s economy.

Is it expensive to live in Taiwan?

The low living cost is one of the most attractive aspects of living in Taiwan. Taiwan, despite being a massive Asian metropolis, is still much less expensive than Singapore and Hong Kong. However, it is also more costly than some of the countries in Southeast Asia in some ways.

Is it difficult to migrate to Taiwan?

Immigrant and expat rates and numbers are relatively low in the region, with foreign residents accounting for less than 3% of the population. However, expat communities are typically large, and you should have no trouble finding other expats, especially in urban areas.

Top Destinations in Taiwan

To fully drive around Taiwan, you should plan to stay at least two weeks on the island. Taiwan has so many things to offer! Ranging from tropical forests to beautiful coastlines, hidden waterfalls, and vibrant cities.

Taiwan has everything that makes it hard to choose the right spots, but the positive part? Often adventurous, a road trip gives you the opportunity to travel anywhere it takes you. However, there are some hot spots that you certainly shouldn't miss in Taiwan! Here are the best road trip you can take!

Taipei Photo by Timo Volz

Taipei

Taipei is Taiwan’s capital and should not be missed! It’s a location with so many things being offered without getting tired, you can comfortably spend weeks there and it is the cheapest place to rent your car.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Songshan District, keep right onto Civic Boulevard Section 6.
  2. Turn left onto Bade Road Section 4.
  3. Bear left onto Keelung Road Section 1.
  4. Turn left onto Songgao Road.
  5. Then turn right onto Songzhi Road.
  6. The destination is on your left: Taipei City.

Things to do

Taiwan’s lively, food-loving capital has plenty to give everyone. Whether you’re visiting Taipei for the city’s complex history, performing arts, ancient temples, or unrivaled nature, or simply to eat your heart out at world-renowned food markets, this city has it all.

1. Taste all the foods at Asia’s best night markets

Shilin Night Market is Taipei’s biggest and most well-known night market. Taipei’s street food is legendary, and you absolutely must spend an evening strolling through one or more of the city’s popular night markets.

2. Relax in Thermal Waters at Beitou Hot Spring

Beitou Hot Spring is Taipei City’s only hot spring resort and one of Taiwan’s finest hot springs, situated near Xinbeitou MRT in Beitou district. You might easily spend an entire day discovering Beitou’s historic sites. These hot springs are the ideal cure for Taipei’s cold winter days, but the region is worth visiting at any time of year.

3. Take a peek at the Changing of the Guards at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

SYS Memorial Hall, which predates CKS Memorial Hall and symbolizes the Republic of China’s founding father, was built in 1972. CKS is the more visibly striking of the two, so it should be higher on your checklist, but SYS is still worth a visit if you have time, particularly for the hourly guard changes in the main entrance hall.

4. Hitch a ride of the Glass-Floor Gondola to Maokong

Take a ride on the Maokong Gondola at the end of the Taipei Zoo MRT section. It takes about 30 minutes to travel 4 kilometers into the hills southeast of Taipei. Make sure you get in the right line for the glass-bottomed “Crystal Cabins” to get the most out of the spectacular journey.

Taichung Taiwan photo by Jiachen Lin

Taichung

In Taiwan, Taichung is one of everyone's favorite cities! It's more laid back, and here you can enjoy some fantastic seafood. For its vibrant street art installation, make sure to try out the instagrammable Rainbow Village and visit the race circuit on the outskirts of Taichung for adrenaline junkies.

Driving Direction:

  1. From Taipei City, turn right onto Xinyin Road Section 5.
  2. Turn left onto Keelung Road Section 1.
  3. Keep left for Keelung Road overpass.
  4. Merge onto Shueiyuan Expressway.
  5. Keep right onto Huanhe Road.
  6. Turn right onto Ankeng Interchange.
  7. Keep right towards Zhonghe.
  8. Take the exit towards Toufen.
  9. Keep left towards Toufen.
  10. Take the exit towards Taichung.
  11. Keep left towards Taichung.
  12. Turn left onto Chaofu Road.
  13. The turn right onto Taiwan Boulevard Section 3.
  14. Turn left onto Wuquan Road: the destination is right in front of you.

Things to do

It’s difficult to choose what to do in Taichung because there’s so much to see and do, from the insanely vibrant Rainbow Village to the lovely Zhongshe Flower Market and the delectable Feng Chia night market. These are some of the list of the things that you can do in Taichung.

1. Exploring through Taichung Park

Taichung Park, a wide park centered on an artificial lake, provides a pleasant opportunity for shade and relief from the sun. There are several little turtles swimming around in the lake and wetlands, as well as many sincere pagodas and shrines scattered across the lawns. In the park, you’ll also notice amazing banyan trees, which add to the atmosphere.

2. Be amazed at Wanchungong Temple

It’s not a surprise that Taiwan has a multitude of temples. This lovely temple, located on Chenggong Road near Pingdeng Street, is well worth visiting. Mazu worship is prevalent in Taiwan, and temples like this are among the island’s oldest. The vivid, multicolored glass used throughout the temple roofs has to be one of the most distinguishing features of Taiwanese temples.

3. Take a break at Liuchuan Riverside Walk

Taichung appears to be in the middle of a significant transformation. Most of the city retains its plain, worn look, but there are some areas that have been revitalized. The banks of the Liuchuan River, which runs through the heart of the city, are one such place. The newly built riverside walk has been thoughtfully planned to include enough green space as well as elegant walkways.

4. Be amazed at Zhongshe Flower Market

The colors at the Zhongshe Flower Garden are incredible, just as they are at Rainbow Village. It’s simple to spend a day here exploring all of the garden’s amenities, including stunning water features, vibrant flowers, and picture-perfect photo opportunities. Zhongshe is also a popular barbeque destination, with many locals congregating for an afternoon barbeque at the on-site restaurant.

Sun Moon Lake Photo by Jan Walter Luigi

Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan’s biggest and potentially bluest lake of them all. An oasis for relaxing or enjoying a bike trip around the lake. Prepare to circumnavigate the lake during the day as there are several steps to be made along the 30km road. There is also the opportunity to get on a ferry and visit the surroundings of the lake on foot if you are not so confident in riding a bike.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Taichung, turn left onto Wuquan Road.
  2. Continue onto Wuquan South Road.
  3. Take the exit towards Jiuzheng.
  4. Keep right onto Zhongtou West Road Section 1.
  5. Continue right onto Zhongtou West Road Section 1.
  6. Turn left onto Bei-an Road.
  7. Merge onto Shueishalian Expressway.
  8. Take the exit towards Yuchi.
  9. Turn left onto Zhongshan Road Section 4.
  10. Continue onto Tainan Road.
  11. Bear right onto Zhongshan Road.
  12. Turn left onto Mingsheng Street.
  13. Arrive at Sun Moon Lake.

Things to do

Below you can find some of the details you need to discover Sun Moon Lake and everything it has to give in one day, from the majestic Ci’en pagoda overlooking the lake to the breathtaking bike path that surrounds it. Here are some of the activities available in Sun Moon Lake.

1. Explore Along Shuishe Wharf And Meihe Park At Sunrise

If you don’t mind getting up early, it’s highly recommended that you go to Shuishe Pier to watch the sunrise. Sun Moon Lake’s sunrise is a beautiful sight to see. Another great view can be had from a platform at Meihe Park if you arrive just before sunrise. You’ll be able to takw a peek of the bay, as well as the pier and the mountains behind it, from there.

2. Experience The Sun Moon Lake Circular Bike Path

It’s time to explore Sun Moon Lake on a 2-wheeler after seeing the sunrise! Rent a bike for the day and discover some of Sun Moon Lake’s stunning tourist attractions along the western lakeside bike path. The cycle path parallels the lake’s edge on a well-kept, stable concrete foundation, and is one of the most fun bike paths you’ll find. The scenery along the bike path was beautiful, and riding a bike allows you to stop and take pictures whenever you want.

3. See the Longfeng Temple

A beautiful temple called Longfeng Temple can be found not far from Shuishe. Longfeng Temple is a tiny but vibrant temple perched on a mountainside with a beautiful view of the lake. It’s not particularly big, but it should give you an idea of what to expect from temples in the Sun Moon Lake region.

4. Ita Thao Village is a perfect place to snack your way around

Ita Thao Village provides tourists with a rare insight into the lives of the locals. This small native settlement is a perfect place to shop for native trinkets and find special treats. One of the things to do in Sun Moon Lake is to explore the narrow alleyways.

Taitung Photo by Lisanto 李奕良

Taitung

When driving up Taiwan’s east coast, you will remember how different it is from the west coast. Take a look at Taitung Forest Park, get a massage, and relax a little! You can travel to Dapo Lake, Brown Lane, and even get to know Taiwan’s Aboriginal tribes.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Taichung, turn left onto Wuquan Road.
  2. Continue onto Wuquan South Road.
  3. Take the exit towards Central Wufeng.
  4. Make a u-turn.
  5. Keep right towards Natou.
  6. Take the exit towards Xinpi.
  7. Turn left towards Taitung.
  8. Then turn right onto Datong Road.
  9. Continue onto Zhongzheng Avenue.
  10. Keep right towards Taitung.
  11. Continue onto Washburn Road.
  12. Then continue onto 11.
  13. Turn left onto Zhongshan Road Section 4.
  14. Then turn left onto Guilin North Road.
  15. Continue straight on.
  16. Turn right onto Xinyi Road: the destination is on your right.

Things to do

Taitung County has so much to offer that you could easily spend two weeks there and do something different each day. Are you unsure what to do in Taitung? Here is a list of the best places to go and things to do in Taitung.

1. Be amazed of the rock formations at Xiao Yeliu

Taitung, like the rest of Taiwan’s coast, tends to be full of unusual rock formations. The ocean carved an impressive landscape in Xiao Yeliu, full of rock formations carved by the sea. There are approximately 5 places where various types of rocks can be seen. It’s fascinating to see how the scenery can be so different while being in the same place.

2. Take a stroll in Taitung Forest Park

Taitung Forest Park, perhaps Taitung’s most well-known park, is a pleasant place to stroll and a popular tourist destination. It’s more like a man-made park than a wild forest, with views of the sea and a river. If you have a lot of time, it is preferable to ride a bicycle around the park than to walk. Bicycles can be rented at the park main entrance or the train station.

3. Admire the view at Peinandazhen Riverside Park

Peinandazhen Riverside Park is a tiny park with nothing to offer besides a stunning view of the surrounding mountains. It’s a nice spot with a breathtaking view. Simply find a seat, sit down, and take in the scenery.

4. National Forest and Zhiben Hot Springs are nice places to visit in Taitung to enjoy the lush nature

Zhiben is well-known throughout Taiwan for its spring water, which is among the purest in the region. If you go, don’t expect to find a wild and organic hot spring. Zhiben is a popular spa destination, with numerous hotels and spas. They use spring water in their buildings and have a diverse range of services. Since the water from the hot spring is too hot for anybody to swim in directly, there are no “natural” hot springs there.

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