The beautiful island of Taiwan can be found north of the Philippines and off the coast of Okinawa. The country, which has been governed, since 1945, by the Republic of China, is one of the places in the world with the densest population, sheltering more than 23 million people – in an area of approximately 36,000 square kilometers.
Even though it comes with a high population, Taiwan still has some room left for its lush forests and beautiful steep mountains – while visiting it, you can choose between the beautiful natural landscapes or the crowded city of Taipei, its capital city, home to a quite vibrant culture.
In terms of climate – because we can’t skip this matter when we talk about traveling -, Taiwan comes with a marine tropical one. Summers, namely from June to September, are hot and humid, with temperatures that are usually above 30 degrees Celsius.
However, during winter, the temperatures can get quite cold, so it’s better to come properly prepared if you decide to visit Taiwan in that time – specifically, the northern regions of Taiwan usually come with temperatures around 8 degrees Celsius and with rains that last the entire year.
On the other hand, the southern region of Taiwan comes with dry winters – but they come with the same temperatures still.
Before moving to the main question that is to be answered in this article – namely, is Taiwan safe to visit? – we’ll point out its main regions so that you have a main idea about what you would like to visit.
So, Taiwan is split into five regions – Northern Taiwan shelters the capital city, Taipei, as well as the Yangmingshan National Park, while also being the main technology hub of this island; Central Taiwan comes instead with some major national parks, lakes and breathtaking mountains.
Moving on, Eastern Taiwan comes with that sort of beauty that you could only see in Asian countries – two of its areas, Taitung and Hualien are separated from the rest of the island by its central mountains.
Southern Taiwan is recommended for those that would like to experience the tropical areas of the island – here lie beaches and everything that comes with them. Finally, the Outlying Islands represent the few formations that surround Taiwan, which are preferred by both travelers and locals.
Now that we have a solid idea about Taiwan and what it can offer the curious traveler, it is time to see how safe is Taiwan for tourists – in short, we’ll analyze every security-related aspect of the country and determine whether you’ll have a hard or dangerous time while visiting it.
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Taiwan
Overall Risks in Taiwan: LOW
Given the fact that Taiwan is an island and that it’s quite frequented by tourists, it comes with little to no danger to strangers, so to say – the only things one should worry about are the somewhat medium levels of petty crime and the tropical weather that can spark up some cyclones.
Moreover, reports have seen a significant increase when it comes to the cases of dengue fever – we’ll talk about the measurements you’ll have to take for this disease later on.
Statistics show that when it comes to UK nationals, around 38,000 people visit Taiwan every single year – naturally, there haven’t been reports of anything significant in terms of security.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should be walking carefree around the streets of Taiwan and that you should take at least some basic safety measures if you want your holiday to be as beautiful as you want it to be.
Therefore, let’s move on to some more in-depth Taiwan safety travel tips so that you know exactly what to do in each of the following situations.
Pickpocketing and Theft Risks in Taiwan: LOW to MEDIUM
In general, the crime levels of Taiwan are pretty low – as in very close to not being there at all. Of course, we refer here only to serious crime and such. On the other hand, when it comes to petty crime, you should expect a more increased level.
Obviously, as Taiwan sees thousands of tourists every single year, it is only natural that petty criminals and such do take advantage of an opportunity if they see one. In short, when you arrive in Taiwan you should take the same precautions as if you were traveling to any other foreign country, no matter its security levels – it’s only common sense to do so.
- How to avoid pickpocketing and theft in Taiwan?
As mentioned before, our Taiwan safety guide, when it comes to pickpocketing and theft, recommends you to be cautious – when traveling around the city, when in public transport, and such.
Therefore, keep your valuables out of sight and don’t try to be the center of attention – after all, you are there just to visit the island and have a good time. Moreover, make sure you keep IDs and papers, such as passports, in a safe place, as you don’t want to face more serious problems later or during your visit.
Scam Risk in Taiwan: MEDIUM
When it comes to scams, most of them occur while you are not actually visiting the island – namely, we are talking about the advance fee frauds. People usually receive e-mails and such that claim to be offering large sums of money – the only thing that they’re asking for is an advance fee, that is to be paid beforehand.
Naturally, everyone figures these things out and we don’t need to instruct you on how to protect yourself from them – just don’t send any money to people that you don’t know, even though they claim they can make you rich.
- How to avoid getting scammed in Taiwan?
However, you should still be cautious when visiting Taiwan – scams that involve ATMs or people that seem to be asking for help while, in fact, they just try to rob you, might happen.
Therefore, you should only withdraw money from within the bank and refuse any help, or to offer help to and from strangers. It is best if you don’t go out of your way and try to help someone that requests it from you.
Kidnapping Risk in Taiwan: LOW
There have been no significant kidnapping reports related to the island of Taiwan or to any other terrorist or criminal groups that might activate in or around it – thus when it comes to how safe is Taiwan for tourists in terms of kidnapping and personal safety, it is quite safe.
As mentioned a couple of times before, Taiwan is a technological hub – meaning that it has available advanced technology and that it is the main interest of the people that inhabit or visit the island.
Of course, there are also the sights of the nature that can be enjoyed – nonetheless, no matter the surrounding environment, you should not be worried about incidents such as kidnapping occurring.
- How to avoid getting kidnapped in Taiwan?
Despite all of the aforementioned, you should still be cautious – when asking the question is Taiwan safe to visit, you should first think of the way through which you can make the island safer than it already is.
Therefore, you should keep all your valuables in a safe place and consider traveling on a safe route when inside or outside of any town. This will not only decrease the chance of you getting kidnapped or being robbed but will also ensure your safety during your visit to Taiwan.
Terrorism Risk in Taiwan: LOW to MEDIUM
Next, on our Taiwan safety guide, we’ll be talking about terrorism – an issue that seems to be taking over the world, taking into consideration the recent terrorist attacks that have happened.
This being said, there is some evidence collected by the U.S. Department of State suggesting that Islamic State sympathizers may be located in Taiwan and may try to conduct a terrorist attack similar to the one that took place in Paris, in 2015.
- How to avoid terrorism in Taiwan?
Even though these might be mostly speculations, it is still recommended that you come prepared, no matter the country/ island you are visiting – therefore, basic safety measures should be applied.
Namely, if you notice anything suspicious – especially if you find yourself in a crowded area or near a place of interest, such as official buildings, it is better to flee the area and report what you have just seen to the authorities.
Risks for Women Traveling Alone in Taiwan: LOW
So, is Taiwan safe for solo women travelers? Well, given the statistics we have mentioned a bit earlier about the percentage of people that feel safe walking alone during the day/ night, we think that there are little to no issues that you might encounter if you are traveling alone as a woman.
However, you should not feel entirely safe – petty crime and violent assault could still happen. Thus, it is recommended that you stick to the areas that are recommended for tourists and that you don’t go out for a long walk during the night.
- How to avoid crime as a solo woman traveler in Taiwan?
Things might happen, and you never know exactly when – simply act as if you were in your hometown and respect, so to say, the danger of the slums and of the dim lit areas, and also of the night in general.
As a solo woman traveler, it is best if you stick to populated areas – main streets or points of interest for tourists are always the safest places for you to be in.
Rape Risk in Taiwan: LOW
As we can see here, around 92% percent of the people that live in Taiwan feel safe walking alone during the day – the percentage is not seeing a big difference when it comes to walking alone during the night, with around 84% of the people claiming that they do feel safe in that time of the day as well.
Moreover, there have been no recent reports related to rape or any sort of violent crime – therefore, we can say that Taiwan is safe when it comes to such matters.
If we analyze the previously mentioned webpage a bit more, we find out that roughly 20% of the people living in Taiwan fear crime – being attacked, violent hate crime, and such.
Therefore, if you take the basic safety measures, you should be entitled to a more than joyful holiday on this beautiful island.
- How to avoid getting raped in Taiwan?
As mentioned before, you can safely rely on just the basic safety measures - a decent outfit and some common sense, so to say. Even though it's not likely for you to be approached by any strangers with malicious intents, you should still avoid any remote areas or neighborhoods with bad reputation.
Risks for People Traveling with Children in Taiwan: LOW
Next, on our Taiwan safety guide, we’ll tell you what to do when you are traveling with your children in Taiwan. In short, you must remember that the cities will probably be quite crowded and that there’s a chance that your children might get lost.
- How to avoid unwanted scenarios?
Given the fact that there are no previous reports of children being kidnapped or such, we think that losing them is what you should really be concerned about. Therefore, make sure that you keep an eye on them at all times – the dazzling beauty of nature or the flashy lights of the city might make them go away from your in order to discover and explore more of the surroundings.
If you can’t watch them at all times, at least have another person caring for them while you, for example, browse for souvenirs or take photos.
Natural Disaster Risk: MEDIUM
Taiwan’s tropical weather makes it prone to the tropical cyclone, or typhoon – this kind of season runs from May to November on the island, usually causing landslides and floods.
Moreover, when it comes to the most frequently occurring natural disasters, we have storms with a percentage of 81.3%, earthquakes with 10.9%, and flooding with 7.8%. Obviously, as earthquakes are not that common, storms come with a quite high rate of mortality – namely, 37.3%.
Therefore, we recommend you that, every time before you leave your accommodation, you check the local weather report as well as an online weather report – this will tell you whether you have to prepare yourself for a storm or if you have to stay in for the day.
Transportation Risks in Taiwan: LOW
In terms of roads' condition, there's nothing you should worry about - they are in a good condition and, thus, the only thing you need if you want to drive around Taiwan is an International Driving Permit.
Keep in mind that you will have to apply for a driver's license visa after you get into the country - you will need your passport, IDP and a passport-style photograph.
If you plan on drinking while on the road - even if it's just a sip -, keep in mind that the legal limit is of 0.15 micrograms of alcohol per 100 ml of breath - 0.03% blood alcohol concentration.
Moreover, being caught exceeding the aforementioned legal limit will most likely result in a heavy fine and even imprisonment - in some cases, passengers might also be fined. As you can see, the authorities take this matter quite seriously, so it is better if you avoid drinking while driving at all.
Night-Clubs, Pubs, and Bar Risks in Taiwan: LOW
As there have been no reports of incidents inside night-clubs, pubs, or bars, it is safe to say that you can have as much fun as you want. However, given the fact that you are in a foreign country, it is recommended that you do not get that drunk, so to speak.
We all know what alcohol can do to our bodies - first of all, it is more likely for us to draw attention to ourselves, making it easier for pickpockets or scammers to target us.
In short, drink responsibly - you can have a lot of fun in Taiwan without passing out in a night-club.
Health Risks in Taiwan
In terms of general health, Taiwan comes equipped with adequate facilities and even with English-speaking staff - all you need is proper travel health insurance and enough funds to pay for your treatment in case you need medical attention.
Keep in mind that cannabis derived medication and cannabis oil cannot be brought inside the country, even if it was legally prescribed in another country.
Moreover, if you bring prescribed medicine with you, you must also bring the prescription that has been issued by your doctor with you - the amount of medication brought with you must be the same with the one stated on the prescription.
List of Vaccines You Need in Taiwan
As with most Asian countries, there are certain vaccines that you have to take before entering the country. Moreover, you should be careful with mosquitos and mosquito bites, as they can cause dengue fever – the disease is quite common in the South of Taiwan, especially during the summer months.
Here is a list of vaccines that you need to take before visiting the island – but remember to consult with your doctor with at least 4 to 6 weeks before leaving for Taiwan.
- Routine Vaccines
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese Encephalitis
Concluding Remarks: Is Taiwan Safe to Visit?
Therefore, in the end, is Taiwan safe to visit?
Well, the answer is pretty much a yes – the levels of serious crime are very low, with no recent serious incidents being reported. Basically, you shouldn’t be worried about anything too serious when visiting Taiwan.
If you take only the basic safety measures, you will surely enjoy a beautiful holiday in Taiwan – be it in the chilly north, on the island’s beaches, or in the regions beyond the mountains.
The choice is yours – but remember to always be a little aware of your surroundings so that nothing catches you unprepared.