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Travel & living abroad

Asia and Oceania

Taiwan

Still current at: 03 July 2011
Updated: 23 June 2011

This advice has been reviewed and reissued without amendment. The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in this travel advice for Taiwan.

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country

Travel Summary


  • We are actively monitoring the situation concerning nuclear facilities in Japan. See our Travel Advice for Japan.

  • The threat from terrorism is low. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • Around 38,000 British nationals visit Taiwan every year. Most visits are trouble-free. See General - Consular Assistance Statistics.  Nevertheless, you should maintain the same level of vigilance as you would at home, and take sensible precautions.

  • The UK has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan so limited consular-type services are available to British nationals. If you are staying for longer than four weeks you should register with the British Trade & Cultural Office. See General - British Trade and Cultural Office.

  • The typhoon/tropical storm season in Taiwan normally runs from May to November. See Natural Disasters.

  • You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to Taiwan. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See General - Insurance.

Safety and security

Safety and Security - Terrorism
The threat from terrorism is low. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.


See our Terrorism Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Crime
Small-scale petty crime affecting foreign nationals is not commonplace but exists.

If your passport is lost or stolen contact the British Trade and Cultural Office.

See our Victims of Crime Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Crime - Advance Fee Frauds
People and companies in the UK (and elsewhere) often receive letters, faxes and e-mails, offering them large sums of money provided they send various 'advance fees' to Taiwanese bank accounts. The fraudsters have obtained the details from telephone or commercial directories, so recipients are not being specifically targeted.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) investigates advance fee frauds in the UK.  You are recommended not to reply to these types of communication. The SOCA website at: www.soca.gov.uk contains more information on this type of fraud.

Safety and Security - Local Travel
There is a risk of road blockages and landslides following typhoons, especially in central and southern Taiwan. You should check the Central Weather Bureau website (http://www.cwb.gov.tw) and the Directorate General of Highways website (http://www.thb.gov.tw) before travelling to these areas.

Safety and Security - Road Travel
If you intend to drive in Taiwan, you will need an International Driver's Permit (IDP). Once in Taiwan, you will need to take your passport, IDP and a passport photograph to the nearest Vehicle Registration Dept and apply for a driver's licence visa, which will then be secured in your IDP.

Be alert crossing roads, even on protected crossings.

See our Driving Abroad page. 

Safety and Security - Political Situation

Taiwan Country Profile

You should avoid large-scale political gatherings.

Local laws and customs

If found guilty of smuggling, trafficking, possession or use of illegal narcotics you can expect to receive a severe jail sentence or, in some cases, the death penalty.

See our Your Trip page.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements - Visas
You may spend up to 90 days in Taiwan without a visa. You can then extend this by a further 90 days once you have entered Taiwan. If you plan to stay in Taiwan for longer than 180 days you must have a visa before you arrive.

Specific rules exist for naturalised British Citizens born in the Peoples' Republic of China and holders of British National (Overseas) passports wishing to enter under the visa waiver scheme.

For further information on entry requirements, contact the Taipei Representative Office in London, 50 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0EB; tel: 020 7881 2650/4; fax: 020 7730 3139 or in Edinburgh, 1 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7PE   Tel: 01312 206886/90 website: http://www.roc-taiwan.org/uk/ before travelling.

Entry Requirements - Passport validity
If your passport has less than six months validity you will not be allowed to enter Taiwan.

Entry Requirements - Travelling with children
For information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact the Taipei Representative Office (as above) before travelling.

Health

Taiwan has adequate health and dental facilities to handle routine, emergency and outpatient treatment. Some have English-speaking staff. Hospitals operate on a "pay as you use" basis so it is wise to take sufficient money with you and have the appropriate insurance cover. You might also be required to produce your passport. You should be aware that, unlike the UK, it is not normal practice for a paramedic to accompany an ambulance.

Dengue fever occurs in southern Taiwan. The NaTHNaC website has further details of symptoms and treatment. If you suspect you have Dengue fever you should seek medical attention straight away. Hand, foot and mouth disease also occurs in some regions (this is not the same as foot and mouth disease). See the NHS website for further details.

You are also advised to ensure all food is fully cooked and you should drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you suffer from diarrhoea during a visit to Taiwan you should seek immediate medical attention.

If walking in rural areas you should be wary of poisonous snakes.

You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. See our HIV and AIDS page.

You should seek medical advice before travelling to Taiwan and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the National Travel Heath Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

See our Travel Health page.

Natural disasters

The typhoon/tropical storm season in Taiwan normally runs from May to November, sometimes resulting in local flooding and landslides. See our Tropical Cyclones page.

There is still remnant infrastructural damage as a result of Typhoon Morakot that hit Taiwan in 2009, but this only affects certain rural areas of southern Taiwan. Travellers should be aware that transport links may be disrupted in affected areas.

Listen to Typhoon Alerts on ICRT, BCC and PRS radio stations, or alternatively monitor the following websites:
Taiwan Central Weather Bureau: http://www.cwb.gov.tw
ICRT: ICRT
US Naval Research Laboratory: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/

General

General - Emergency Services Numbers
Police – 110
Medical/Fire – 119

General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. Check for any exclusions and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurance page.

If things do go wrong when you are overseas see our When Things Go Wrong page.

General - British Trade and Cultural Office

The UK does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The British Assistance and Services Section of the British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei can provide certain limited consular-type assistance.  However, they cannot issue full validity passports.  You must send your passport application to the British Consulate General in Hong Kong (www.ukinhongkong.fco.gov.uk) for renewal.  In cases of genuine emergency, the BTCO may be able to issue you with an emergency travel document.

If you are staying for longer than four weeks please register on LOCATE before you leave the UK, or on your arrival in Taiwan.


General - Money

Western Union, Moneygram and Travellers Express have offices in Taipei.  However, operating hours are restricted.  Bank transfers can be slow. Some branches of The Bank of Taiwan and HSBC will accept British credit cards, but you will incur handling charges.  ATMs are plentiful but not all accept British bankcards. Designated banks will accept American Express, Citibank or Thomas Cook travellers’ cheques (up to 1,000 US Dollars per day) but you should be prepared to produce your purchase certificate or receipt as well as your passport when cashing them in. If in doubt, check whether your travellers’ cheques will be accepted in Taiwan before you travel.

General - Consular Assistance Statistics
Around 38,000 British nationals visit Taiwan every year. Most visits are trouble-free. 17 British nationals required consular assistance in Taiwan in the period 01 April 2009 – 31 March 2010 for the following types of incident; one death; three hospitalisations; and eight arrests, for a variety of offences.

Contacts

Taiwan, Taipei, British Trade & Cultural Office

Address:

26th Floor
President International Tower
Number 9 - 11 Song Gao Road
Xin Yi District
Taipei, 11073

Telephone:

(+886) (2) 8758 2088
(+886) (2) 8758 + extension (Direct line)

Fax:

(+886) (2) 8758 2050

Email: info.taipei@fco.gov.uk

Office hours:

Office hours, Monday-Friday
09:00-12:30 / 13:30-17:00 (Local time)
01:00-04:30 / 05:30-09:00 (GMT)

Website: http://ukintaiwan.fco.gov.uk

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