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Understanding Taiwan: Home

This guide provides useful information and links to resources on Taiwan.

At A Glance

HUAN YING!

The following information have been carefully selected for your reference. Some resources may have bias perspectives. Please approach the SMU Libraries (library@smu.edu.sg ) should you have any doubts or need clarifications.

This introduction video brings you around Taiwan - when to go and the top things to do while you're in Taiwan.

  • Demographic Trends
    Learn more about the population distribution 
    and density of Taiwan.

Learn more about the complex political situation on the island of Taiwan. Both the Republic Of China (ROC) and the People Republic of China (PRC) claim to be the legitimate government of China. The current situation is stuck in a stalemate with the two ways of resolving the dispute (unification and independence).

 

Need To Know

This section helps prepare an individual before embarking to Taiwan, such as learning the cultural etiquette, basic conversational phrases, and even some useful local contact numbers.

Cultural Dos and Don’ts

Taiwanese are very polite in both the way they speak and how they treat other people. However, it's good to know the following DOs an DON'T's in Taiwan from a cultural point of view.

  • Do not point at the moon - apparently, your ears will fall off or bleed.
  • Refrain from crossing the pedestrian crossing - it's quite dangerous as the vehicles may or may not stop for you.
  • Don't talk about death and politics - both topics are very sensitive to Taiwanese culture, they should not be brought up at all.
  • Stay on the right of the escalator - it differs from Singapore culture which is staying on the left of the escalator.
  • Tipping is not required in restaurants - there are service charges included in the bill.
  • Never wear sandals/flip-flop to formal events - deemed to be a lower status.
  • Not necessarily to bow - a handshake will be fine.
  • Remove footwear before entering someone house - a sign of respect.
  • Receiving gifts - kindly reject two to three times before accepting, if not they view you as a greedy person.

Basic Conversational Language

Some phrases in Chinese that are handy to know when visiting Taiwan.

  • ni-hao (Hello)
  • zai-jian (Goodbye)
  • ni-hao-ma? (How are you?)
  • xie-xie (Thank you)
  • ... zai na-ni? (Where is…?)
  • gao-xing-he-ni-jian-mian (Nice to meet you)
  • duo-sao (How much?)

Phone Apps

  • DUOLINGO
    Lessons are broken down into bite-sized chunks and it feels like you’re playing a game. Duolingo is a great introduction, but it can feel like you’re learning a random mix of information, often through repetition. The more you do, the more robust your vocabulary will be.
       
     
  • TANDEM
    The only way to become fluent in a new language is to speak it. Tandem is geared toward conversations with native speakers. The idea is that you can help one another learn new languages via text, audio, and video chat. The app vets you and then helps you to find a partner who shares your interests. They teach you and you teach them.
       

Currency

New Taiwan Dollars (TWD)

More details on the exchange rate.

Dialing Code

+886

Useful Numbers

  • Police: 110
  • Tourist Information Hotline: +886-2-2717-3737
  • Fire & Ambulance: 119
  • Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs: +886-2-2348-2999
  • Embassy of Singapore (Taiwan): +886-2-27721940, +886 953532638 (after hours)
  • More emergency numbers

Additional Video

Check out this compilation video, it has included some of the most important words and phrases in the Chinese language which will aid you when travelling around Taiwan.

Local Media Source

This section links to the various local news media in Taiwan.

RSS News Feed

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What To Look Out

This section informs the common scams and crimes to look out for when visiting Taiwan.


Scams

Crime & Security

  • Overall Crime and Safety Report
    Find out more information on the common crime threats, areas of concerns, transportation-road safety, and even terrorism threat.

Insights to Taipei

This National Geographic's Megacities-Taipei documentary explores the past, present and future of Taiwan's capital, Taipei also known as "Asia's little tiger".

Books

This section lists some recommended readings about Taiwan.

Databases

Useful Links

This section provides useful links to the Taiwan social media.


Social Media

Tourism Bureau, Republic of China (Taiwan)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)

Acceptable Use Policy

Electronic resources (e.g., databases, datasets, e-journals, e-books and streaming audio/video) provided by the SMU Libraries are governed by license agreements that restrict use to current students, faculty and staff of SMU and the Singapore Copyright Act.

The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy