Transport and Driving in Taiwan
Taiwan is a small country which is connected by comprehensive and affordable bus and rail services. Transport in Taiwanese cities is excellent and Taipei, where most foreigners live, boasts a metro system. The public transport system is reliable, affordable and easily accessible, so expats should have no problems getting around in Taiwan.
Public transport in Taiwan
There are buses that travel almost every main street in Taiwan. They’re clean and safe and run often. Taking the bus in Taiwan is a practical and safe way to get around town inexpensively.
One can take the train easily from city to city. The trains in Taiwanese urban centres run frequently and are very cheap. The announcements are in both Mandarin and English, as are all the road signs.
For long-distance travelling, Taiwan has a high-speed rail system. In a little over two hours, one can travel the whole length of the island. The train is very modern but can be expensive.
Driving in Taiwan
Driving in Taiwan is difficult due to the chaotic nature of the local driving culture. It is common for other drivers to disobey traffic laws and drive dangerously. In Taipei, traffic laws are enforced and driving there is safe and easy. However, outside of Taipei, this is generally not the norm. Scooters also tend to weave in and out of traffic, which can result in accidents.
An international driver’s licence can be used in Taiwan, which is valid for 30 days for those living in Taiwan. After which, new arrivals must obtain a Taiwanese driver's license. Taiwan has reciprocal license agreements with certain countries and members of these countries can obtain a Taiwanese license without taking a driving test. Otherwise, expats not from these countries will need to pass the Taiwanese driving test, which can be taken in English.
Air travel in Taiwan
There are two international airports in Taiwan; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for the northern part of the island and Kaohsiung International Airport, which caters to the southern part of the island. However, in many places, there are local airports where one can book a flight to anywhere in Taiwan, including the islands out in the Strait of Taiwan.