Taiwan has a marine tropical climate so it is cool in the winters and hot and humid in the summers. During the end of Autumn (Oct-Dec) is a nice time to visit, although typhoons may hit, particularly along the East coast. Taiwan's mountainous regions see a more temperate climate.
The languages primarily spoken by the Taiwanese are Mandarin (official), Taiwanese, and Hakka. However, among the younger generation, English is the favored foreign language to learn and is widely spoken and taught in larger cities.
Public Holidays and Festivals
January 1 – Founding Day
February 4 or 5 – Farmer's Day
1st Day of 1st Lunar Month - Chinese New Year
February 28 - Peace Memorial Day
15th Day of 1st Lunar Month - Lantern Festival
March 12 - Arbor Day
March 29 - Youth Day
April 5 - Tomb Sweeping Day
15th Day of 7th Lunar Month - Hungry Ghost Festival
September 3 - Armed Forces Day
15th Day of 8th Lunar Month - Moon Festival
October 10 - National Celebration Day
October 25 - Taiwan Retrocession Day
Winter Solstice - Dongzhi Festival
December 25 - Constitution Day
Although the US dollar is accepted throughout Taiwan, the official currency is the New Taiwan Dollars. The exchange rate as of Oct 2010 is 31.25 NTD to US$1.
When bringing US cash, bring newer bills and older and/or damaged/dirty bills will not be accepted. ATMs can be found throughout and credit cards are widely accepted.
One can find many bargains at night markets as haggling is expected wherever prices are not displayed.
Tipping is not expected.