If you plan on driving inTaiwan you will need an international driving license. You can write AAA in Hawaii from Guam or your State if in the USA to apply for one. Download the form online, fill it in and send it in. It takes about 2 weeks but should be applied for maybe a month before your trip.
Bring cash and have a debit card to withdraw cash at ATM machines. Many small businesses do not accept credit cards in Taiwan. When arriving at the airport make sure to exchange your money for the local currency. Please do not wait to do this as airports do not have the same requirements as local banks for exchanging money, making it easier here. If possible bring the newest currency from your country in large bills. I have had $100.00 bills turned away because it had a mark on it or it was of an older currency batch.
Get your SIM card at the airport they usually have special deals that are not available after you leave here. Make sure you have an unlocked phone so you can use it here, many times you can only unlock your phone in your home country.
If you are on a super tight budget and plan on forgoing phone and data, Taiwan has the most extensive system in place for providing visitors with free internet. You must sign up for the service and you will be able to get free internet while you are there as long as you are in the designated hotspots. Learn more about Taipei Free Public Wi-Fi or apply for a free account online.
Download Skype in your home country, it works great if you have internet and want to make local or long distance phone calls. Don’t download it in Taiwan as many of the pages will automatically change to Chinese making it impossible for you to read it.
Download Line app either before you come or while here. Line is the app all Taiwanese and those living here use to make free texts and calls. Everyone here will have a Line ID and it’s a great app to keep in touch with your Taiwan friends.
Make sure you have comfy shoes. Taiwan has an awesome public transportation system but of course this means lots of walking. If you plan on hiking make sure to bring the appropriate hiking shoes.
Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer or soap, a bandana (to dry your hands)and a small package of tissues. This will make your visits to the bathroom much smoother.
Prepare yourself for seeing many squat type toilets. Most bathrooms will have a handicapped stall, if you prefer sitting this is usually a good option.
Don’t let the occasional rain ruin your trip. Make sure to bring a rain coat and an umbrella.
Remember to look carefully before crossing the road or walking on a cross walk. Scooters are everywhere and many do not yield to pedestrians. So, you must stay alert at all times while walking on the streets.
Tipping is not customary in Taiwan and is not expected but some larger restaurants may tack on the charge.
If you drive a car and park along the road don’t panic if you see what looks like a parking ticket. This is the way Taiwan keeps track of paid parking aka metered parking so to speak. Just keep the ticket and go to any 7-11 or Family Mart and give it to the clerk. The hourly rate for paid parking is minimal.