Essential Info for Taiwan

Official name: Republic of China

Population: Over 23 million

Capital city: Taipei

Neighbouring countries: China, Japan and the Philippines

Geography: Taiwan is an island and is characterised by a contrast between rugged mountains, which run in five ranges from the northern to the southern tip of the island, and the flat to gently rolling Chianan Plains in the west that are also home to most of Taiwan's population.

Political system: Semi-presidential republic

Major religions: Buddhism and Taoism

Main languages: Mandarin (official), Taiwanese Hokkein and English (mostly in Taipei)

Money: The New Taiwan Dollar (TWD), which is divided into 100 cents

Tipping: Tipping is not standard, although it is unlikely to be refused if offered. Baggage handlers at hotels and the airport will accept loose change. Hotels and restaurants typically add a 10 percent service charge to the bill.

Time: GMT +8

Electricity: 110 volts AC, 60Hz. 'Type A' two-pin plugs with flat blades and 'Type B' three-pin plugs with two flat blades and a grounding pin are commonly used. 

Internet domain: .tw

International dialling code: +886

Emergency contacts: 110 (police), 119 (ambulance and fire)

Transport and driving: Cars drive on the right. Taiwan has an extensive public transport system that is easily accessible and reliable. 

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