Taiwan Destination Guide

Best time to visit Taiwan

In Taiwan, the strongest fluctuation in weather conditions is during spring and winter, while during summer and autumn the weather is relatively stable. Typhoon season hits in late summer to mid-autumn between June to August, and tends to strike the east coast particularly hard. Summers are hot and humid. The autumn months of September to October enjoy cool and soothing weather, while Taiwan's relatively warm and short winters (November to February) is the time for you to admire the beautifully coloured maple trees. Autumn and spring are the best times to visit Taiwan as conditions tends to be warm and dry and air pollution is at a minimum.

January is the coldest month of the year in Taiwan. Average low and high temperatures are 13°C and 16°C. In the south it is usually sunny and warm, while in the north it is often cloudy and windy. In the early morning and evening you may need a light sweater and a jacket. Chinese New Year usually falls in late January or early to mid-February. The streets are alive with traditional lion dances, temple fairs, and displays of lanterns. Head to the Beitou Geothermal Valley for a stay in one of the hot springs resorts or hit the ski slopes on Yushan Mountain.

February weather varies in different parts of Taiwan. In the south it is mostly sunny and warm with temperatures of about 25°C while in the north there will be a fair amount of rain and it is colder with temperatures of 10°C. Water-proof jackets are recommended if you travel to the north, because it is damp with occasional rainfall. In the south you only need a shirt and a sweater.

March heralds the beginning of Spring and is the best time of the year to visit Taiwan, as the weather is pleasant and cool. Average low and high temperatures are 14°C and 18°C. It is warm during the day but a sweater is needed for the early mornings and evenings. Visit geothermal parks, hit the ski slopes , or head to Kenting National Park to relax in the sun.

April is warm although the rains are expected at the end of the month.
Average low and high temperatures are 19°C and 23 °C. If you like spring flowers, hot springs, geysers, mountains, scenery. and nature, this is the perfect time to visit
Yangmingshan where the cherry blossoms are at its most beautiful. Go on a long hike to admire the beautiful azaleas or take a dip in the hot springs.

May is the rainy season. It is warm and humid with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. There is more rainfall in the south than in the north.
Average low and temperatures are 21°C and 26°C. In the south the temperature may reach 30°C.

June welcomes the beginning of summer and days become hotter. Wear summer clothes such as shorts, T-shirts and skirts, and sun protection. There is occasionally rain in the south and the mountains are cool. Expect storms during the summer typhoon season.

July in Taiwan is hot and humid with frequent afternoon thunderstorms and occasional typhoons. Average temperatures are 28 °C but often hit 35°C during the day. The sunshine is very strong, sunglasses and sun block is essential. Umbrellas and mosquito repellent are also needed.

August is the hottest month of the year in Taiwan, with average temperature of 28 °C and often at 35 °C in the day. There are frequent afternoon thunderstorms and occasionally a typhoon. Summer is the time to include a trip to Kenting National Park on the southern tip of Taiwan. It offers stunning scenery, spectacular ocean views and nature hiking opportunities.

September is the start of autumn but the weather is still hot in the south, with average temperatures of 27°C, while in the north the weather starts to cool off. Join in the celebrations during the Mid-Autumn festival when the streets come alive with lion dances and glowing lanterns. Visit Shilin Night Market to try some of the traditional moon cakes.

October is one of the best times to visit Taiwan, with mostly sunny and pleasant weather and little rain.

November has relatively less rainfall, and it is still warm. It is a good time to go to the mountain parks to see the fall foliage, national parks, hot springs, geysers, and scenic mountain areas.

December: Winter starts from December, but weather is generally mild, with average temperatures of 14 °C with occasional showers. There is a big difference in temperature between day and night. During the day a long sleeve shirt is adequate, but in early mornings and evenings you will need a sweater. In the south, the tropical beaches of Kenting enjoy warm days with temperatures hovering around 25°C during the day and 18°C at night.

Best time to go

The North, Taipei, Taoyuan, Yanmingshan, Yehliu

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
12℃ 12℃ 14℃ 17℃ 21℃ 23℃ 24℃ 24℃ 23℃ 19℃ 17℃ 14℃
 Average maximum temperature
19℃ 18℃ 21℃ 25℃ 28℃ 32℃ 33℃ 33℃ 31℃ 27℃ 24℃ 21℃
 Average hours of sunshine
3 3 3 4 5 6 7 7 6 5 3 3
 Average rainfall in mm
86 135 178 170 231 290 231 305 244 122 66 71

The South, Kaohsiung, Kenting,

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
18℃ 17℃ 19℃ 22℃ 23℃ 24℃ 25℃ 24℃ 24℃ 23℃ 21℃ 19℃
 Average maximum temperature
24℃ 24℃ 27℃ 29℃ 31℃ 31℃ 31℃ 31℃ 31℃ 29℃ 27℃ 24℃
 Average hours of sunshine
6 6 7 7 7 8 7 6 7 7 6 5
 Average rainfall in mm
23 28 23 51 188 366 439 544 282 158 36 18

General travel tips

Location
With a total land area of 36,000 square kilometres, Taiwan is shaped like a tobacco leaf that is narrow at both ends. The island lies off the south eastern coast of mainland Asia, with Japan to the north and the Philippines to the south.
Taiwan is a mountainous island with a great range of terrain, from tropical beaches to spectacular mountain peaks of 3952 metres.
Taiwanese territory also incorporates many small offshore island chains.

Time
Taiwan is GMT+8 and does not have seasonal time variation.

Currency
The local currency in Taiwan is "New Taiwan Dollars" (NT$).

Religion
Taiwan is a tolerant society and is greatly diversified in terms of religious faith. Taiwan has 3 major religions- Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Other religious practices include Christianity, Mormonism, the Unification Church, Islam, and Hinduism, as well as native sects such as Yiguandao.

Language
The official language in Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese. Other languages spoken include Hokkien or Minnan, Hakka, and some aboriginal languages and dialects; however Mandarin is the most widespread and commonly used language.

People
Taiwan has a population of 23 million, largely descendants from the various provinces of mainland China. The indigenous people, the original inhabitants of Taiwan can be distinguished into 14 different tribes, namely the Amis, the Atayal, the Paiwan, the Bunun, the Puyuma, the Rukai, the Tsou, the Saisiyat, the Tao (or Yami), the Thao, the Kavalan, the Truku ,the Sakizaya and the Sediq. The most heavily populated city is Taipei with more than 2.7 million people. Other large cities are Kaohsiung,Taichung and Tainan.

Festivals
Chinese New Year
New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first new moon of the year. Street parties, fireworks and music dominate proceedings.

Lantern Festival
On the 15th day of the first moon, the towns of Yenshui, Luerhmen and Peikang literally erupt with colour and spectacle as the Lantern Festival begins..

Kuanyin's Birthday
Kuanyin is the goddess of mercy, and festivals in her honour are held at Buddhist temples all over Taiwan on her Birthday, the 19th day of the second moon.

Matsu's Birthday
One of the main Taoist deities is Matsu, the goddess of the sea, who protects and blesses fisherman and sailors and is often prayed to by those embarking on a long journey over the sea. On her birthday (the 23rd day of the 3rd Moon) celebrations in her honour are held at Tao Temples.

Dragon Boat Festival
On the fifth day of the fifth moon, a major day of racing is held across the island. Long, beautifully decorated Chinese dragon boats, each with a crew of expert oarsmen, race for local and national titles.

Ghost Month
For the entire seventh moon, ghosts dominate the island of Taiwan. Sometimes called the Mid-Summer Ghost Festival !V this entire month is a period when its is believed that the spirits of the dead walk the earth. This is a long held Chinese Taoist belief, which has its roots with the birthday of the Chinese Guardian of Hell. It is believed he celebrates this day by decreeing an amnesty in the underworld, allowing all of the lost souls in hell to rise and return to earth for one month before being sent back.
During this month many special celebrations are held, with sacrifices and offerings laid out to feed and appease the wandering lost souls. The gates of tombs and graveyards are left open to allow the dead access to the world, and lanterns are floated in the sea to guide back the souls of those lost beneath the waves.
On the first and 15th day of the month, colourful ceremonies to honour the ghosts are held in public places and in Taoist temples.

Moon Festival
The Moon Festival also known as the Mid Autumn festival is a time to celebrate the celestial light of the moon. During this annual holiday, which falls on the 15th day of the 8th moon, there are plenty of spectacular fireworks displays throughout the night, and bakeries everywhere sell traditional Moon Cakes.