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Travel tips for Taiwan - what to prepare in advance and what to obey

1. The official currency of Taiwan is the Taiwanese dollar. Foreign currency is not accepted on the island. It is recommended that you convert your local currencies in advance or in any of the local Taiwan banks or hotels.
2. The main problem encountered while traveling in Taiwan is the complexity of the Chinese language. It is therefore recommended that you always carry along with you a sheet of paper with your personal data written on it in Chinese, as well as a business card of the hotel where you are lodging. This will make it clear to the locals that they are dealing with a foreigner.
3. On billboards and signs, along with the hieroglyphic letters, the Latin alphabet is used. It should be borne in mind that each province of Taiwan has its own principles of transliteration of Chinese inscriptions. To avoid confusion, it is worthwhile to specify all variants of the name of the city or street from the guide or representative of the hotel.
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4. In small private department stores and shops, you can be denied payment by credit card, so it is always worthwhile to have cash with you.
5. In Taiwan, trade establishments of one specialization usually occupy a particular area or section. Thus, it is possible for example, to find in a particular area or section different chains of souvenir shops, and in another, different chains of pharmacies. Separately standing stores are quite rare.
6. Food products and readymade meals can be bought at night markets or in cafeterias at the lowest prices. It is however advisable to restrict your choices to local products as their imported equivalents are quite expensive.
7. Taiwanese sellers are open to bargaining. This therefore offers an experienced buyer the chance to get a significant discount. You can bargain in private shops, street kiosks, and markets. If in the course of conducting a transaction the language barrier poses a hindrance, you can use a calculator or a pen and paper. Copyright
8. In order to enjoy a meal at any restaurant in Taiwan, it is worth learning how to use chopsticks.
9. As a token of gratitude to the waiter upon filling your glass with a drink, you can make a tap on the table three times with the middle finger of your hand. This action mimics the traditional triple bow of respect.
10. When meeting a Taiwanese, a handshake is enough. The bow is appropriate only in a very formal setting. Meeting a group of locals, first greet the oldest member of the group as this is considered a sign of good taste.
11. When calling for a person a few meters away, you should do this with the help of downward fingers, as if raking something. Calling someone with your fingers raised upwards is considered impolite.
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12. When entering the home of a Taiwanese, you need to take off your foot-wear. The host can offer the guests, room shoes. It is however not customary to take off foot-wears in public places.
13. Special permits are required to enter some National Parks. Thus, to visit the Parks Yushan and Sheipa, you must first contact the Police Department or the Administration of National Parks.
14. Most Museums and Religious institutions prohibit taking photos and video filming. Nevertheless, in some places it is allowed to photograph and shoot videos, but for a fee.
15. There is a law in Taiwan prohibiting smoking in public places such as offices, parking lots, shops, cinemas, etc. However, smoking in cafes, bars and restaurants is allowed, but only in specially designated areas equipped with air conditioning for smokers. The execution of this law is monitored by Patrol Inspectors, who also issue fines to violators.
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