Essential Info for Taiwan

Official name: Republic of China (ROC)

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 of rugged mountains running 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, Taoism, I-Kuan Tao, Christianity

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

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

Tipping: Tipping is not normal, 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. Two-pin flat blade plugs and one with a third grounding pin is used.

Internet domain: .tw

International dialling code: +886. City/area codes are in use, e.g. 2 for Taipei.

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

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