Is Taiwan safe to travel right now? | Latest Taiwan Safety Insider Tips

February 15, 2024

< back to blog home

Is it safe to travel in Taiwan? Taiwan is ranked as the third-safest country in the world, with minimal crime rates, and a welcoming atmosphere for travelers. It is extremely safe for travelers and an easy country to travel around. As far as crime, you might be surprised, violent and petty crime barely exists in Taiwan.

It is important to acknowledge that Taiwan is a very safe country. Nonetheless, there are a few possible risks, both natural and man-made. Learn about these in advance to increase the safety of your travel to Taiwan!

Planning a Taiwan trip? Read our in-depth Taiwan Itinerary Guide for 7 to 10 day to know exactly where to travel.

Start planning your Taiwan trip with our Taiwan Itinerary guide, and visit great spots like Long Shan Temple, Jiufen old street, Huotong Cat Village, and Pingxi.

Is Taiwan safe to travel alone?

Without a doubt. Solo travelers, including women, can explore Taiwan with confidence, thanks to its safe streets and friendly locals. We’ve traveled all over Taiwan, including Taipei, other big cities and remote villages, and always felt safe.

How safe is it for women to walk outside at night in Taiwan?

Having lived in Taiwan for over a year and traveled around Taiwan extensively, I felt extremely safe traveling as a woman alone. Violent crime, rape, and even petty crime (like pickpocketing or scams) are almost nonexistent. I’ve never been cat called while in Taiwan, whereas that was a regular occurrence growing up in America. This is one reason why I feel so safe as a woman traveling in Taiwan!

It’s not just me, the LonelyPlanet even published an article stating that many solo women travelers reported feeling much safer traveling in Taiwan than in other countries. Taiwanese people in generally have a very simple peace loving culture, and are naturally helpful. When I walk around in Taiwan, I never hesitate to ask locals for help.

Is Taiwan safe for foreigners? Are locals friendly towards foreigners?

Taiwan is extremely welcoming for foreigners! As an American and a foreigner in Taiwan, I have found Taiwan not only safe but so welcoming! (so much so that we’ve even considered moving there) Locals are so kind, friendly, and caring. Locals have invited us to have tea with them while hiking, a Taiwanese auntie offered to show us around the neighborhood, a local Taiwanese uncle invited Deeshen to learn Taichi, and many locals have pointed us in the right direction when we were lost.

Is Taiwan safe for Americans? We hear this question a lot. Taiwan is super safe for Americans. According to the U.S. Department of State, Taiwan’s travel advisory level is currently at one, which is the lowest and safest level.

Is Taiwan safe for Singaporeans? Taiwan is super safe for Singaporeans. In fact, each year, tons of Singaporeans visit Taiwan. Singapore to Taiwan Visa Info.

girl taking a walk in food heaven jiufen, taiwan
Jiufen Old Street has some of the best food and scenic spots in Taiwan

But what if you don’t know how to speak Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan?

In Taiwan, most people speak Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese, however many locals understand basic English. While you should always learn a bit of the local language to enhance your experience, it’s very easy to get around Taiwan even if you don’t know any Chinese. Transportation signs are mostly written in both English and Chinese all across the country, and following Google maps is very reliable in Taiwan. Many small Taiwanese stalls may only speak Chinese, but you can easily point to something you want, and prices are always listed.

Start planning your Taiwan trip with our Taiwan Itinerary guide. If you’re looking for a luxury, fully customized tour of Taiwan, I recommend Life of Taiwan services. These are true experts on travel planning in Taiwan, how to cater to foreigners to experience Taiwan authentically. They are are some of the most knowledgeable in the industry. Not only do they provide personalized guides, cultural, and family tours of Taiwan, they also put you up in some of the most amazing hotels. If you contact them, please let them know that Jade and Deeshen from NamastetoNihao sent you over!

Is Taiwan safe to travel after the recent 2024 earthquake? Travel advice after Hualien earthquake.

Taiwan experienced a 7.4 magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast of Taiwan on April 3rd, 2024 and many are asking if it’s still safe to travel to Taipei and Taiwan? Despite the earth quake, travel in and out of Taiwan has remained uninterrupted and safe!

The earthquare mostly impacted Hualien, a city near Taroko Gorge in the eastern part of Taiwan. All other major cities were not impacted, and had minimal damage; many people reported vases and cups falling in their homes. We have family in Taiwan in Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Keelung, and thankfully no one was impacted as well.

Airlines like United Airlines and Eva Air spokesperson all said in a recent CNN interview that was “thankfully no impact” to its operations and that “all our people are safe.” The airlines confirmed that the natural disaster has not affected its current or future operations, and that all of its flights at Taoyuan International Airport (in Taipei) remain on schedule.

Taiwan’s major airports, ports, and railways are all operating normally in major cities, according to the Taiwan Tourism Administration. Hualien in eastern Taiwan is working diligently to restore transportation infrastructure damaged in recent events. Honestly, Asia (especially Japan, Korea and Taiwan) has one of the fastest response to restoring transportation after a natural disaster.

Is it safe to travel to Taiwan because of China?

Although tensions between Taiwan and China governments loom on the horizon, the likelihood of conflict or war remains remote and unlikely. In fact, the top nationalities of international visitors to Taiwan for tourism purposes are from China, Hong Kong, Japan, followed by South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, United States and Canada. Each year, more than 3 MILLION Chinese tourists from China visit Taiwan.

It’s super safe to travel to Taiwan and it’s even ranked among within the top 5 safest countries in the world. While diplomatic tensions persist, Taiwan’s robust defense measures, close relations with the United States, and international support, provide reassurance against any potential threats. To better understand Taiwan and China relations, you’d have to understand a bit about Taiwan’s history.

Fun fact: Fo Guang Shan is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. Add this spot to your Taiwan trip!

Taiwan’s History

How much do you know about Taiwan history? Having lived in Taiwan and grown up in the United States, I know for a fact that many people around the world have no idea about Taiwan. Some people even confuse it with the country Thailand, which have completely different language and culture. Some only know what they hear on the news. If you’re traveling to Taiwan, here’s a quick summary of Taiwan’s history.

Taiwan is a dynamic, modern democracy today with a free press. It is renowned for its amazing street cuisine, beautiful nature, friendly locals, and safety. It has been determined to be the best country to live in the world for foreigners. Additionally, it was the first nation in Asia to grant equal rights to gay marriage and has an annual PRIDE parade joined by groups from all over the country. Finally, Taiwan was a shining example of how effectively it handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dutch and Spanish temporarily conquered Taiwan, but the Portuguese are credited with naming it “Formosa,” or “beautiful island,” a title that lasted for centuries. Millions of people have migrated from China to Taiwan in the past 500 years, particularly from the southeast province of Fujian. For this reason, the Chinese dialect spoken in the Minnan area of Fujian is the same as “Taiwanese,” the native language of Taiwan. After centuries of being outside the purview of Chinese imperialism, Taiwan was occupied by the Japanese from 1895 until 1945.

After losing to the Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the nationalist KMT party of the Republic of China fled to Taiwan with millions of other Chinese soldiers and refugees from all around China, carrying with them their food, culture, and language (Mandarin). They never succeeded in retaking China, despite their expectations. For this reason, Taiwan is still formally (and confusingly) known as the Republic of China, but as of just now, “Taiwan” is now printed in larger letters on passports. Taiwan’s first non-KMT party to win an election was the DPP in 2000. Tsai Ing-wen, the current president, is a member of the DPP party, which supports independence.

There is still a great deal of friction in the relationship between China and Taiwan. China bullies Taiwan from joining the United Nations and World Health Organization, claims that Taiwan is a province of China, and forbids Taiwan from using the name “Taiwan” in international competitions such as the Olympics, forcing them to refer to their team as “Chinese Taipei.” However, the majority of Taiwanese regard Taiwan as an independent nation, and anyone who has visited both places understands how dissimilar they are. Taiwan is recognized officially by very few nations, yet it functions as an autonomous nation in almost all respects.

Visit this charming little village with our Houtong Cat Village day trip guide.

Is Taiwan LGBTQ friendly?

Taiwan has made significant strides in LGBTQ rights and is often regarded as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly countries in Asia. In 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, marking a historic milestone for LGBTQ rights in the region. This achievement not only reflects changing societal attitudes but also underscores Taiwan’s commitment to equality and inclusivity.

In addition to legal recognition of same-sex marriage, Taiwan’s LGBTQ community enjoys a vibrant and active presence in society. Taipei, in particular, is known for its lively LGBTQ scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and events catering to the community. The annual Taipei Pride Parade, one of Asia’s largest LGBTQ pride events, attracts thousands of participants from around the world and is joined by groups from all over the country. Taiwan embraces diversity and acceptance.

While LGBTQ rights have made significant progress in Taiwan, challenges may still exist in more conservative or rural areas. However, overall, Taiwan’s LGBTQ-friendly policies and inclusive atmosphere make it a welcoming destination for LGBTQ travelers seeking acceptance and celebration of their identities.

What about scams? Do I have to bargain when shopping as a foreigner?

Scams are very rare in Taiwan. The simple fact is Taiwanese people are a very practical and peace loving culture, there’s a lot of stability, and also honor in the culture. Taiwan also does not have a bargaining culture country. All items have a set price and are very reasonable, and the most you can haggle at the night market (if any) is maybe a small 5-10% discount. When I visited other countries like Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, and South Asia, you always had to bargain while shopping and prices could be inflated as much as 100%-500%. That has never been the case in Taiwan.

Taiwan Safety Concerns

While Taiwan’s safety record is commendable, there are still a few factors travelers should be mindful of to ensure a smooth journey.

Traffic Accidents: Road safety remains a concern, with a notable number of accidents occurring annually. Vigilance on the roads is paramount, as navigating Taiwan’s bustling thoroughfares requires caution.

Venomous Snakes and Bees: Though encounters with dangerous wildlife are rare, hikers should stay alert to signs of snakes and bees, particularly in remote areas. However, such encounters are infrequent, and the risk is minimal.

Food Poisoning: While Taiwan maintains high food safety standards, instances of food poisoning are very rare, but they can occur. We’ve never had any food poisoning in Taiwan, and we’ve ate from night markets and small stalls many times. We advise travlers to exercise caution if you see unsanitary places and trust your instincts when dining out.

Earthquakes: Taiwan’s seismic activity is a fact of life, with occasional earthquakes felt throughout the island. While earthquakes are more of an inconvenience than a threat, it’s wise to be prepared and aware of emergency protocols.

Typhoons: The typhoon season brings relief from scorching heat but also the potential for disruptive weather. Fortunately, severe storms are rare, and precautions can mitigate any risks.

The Bottom Line: Is it safe to travel in Taiwan?

Is Taiwan safe? Undoubtedly. While no destination is without its risks, Taiwan’s overall safety record and hospitable environment make it an ideal choice for travelers. By exercising caution and staying informed, visitors can enjoy a worry-free experience in this captivating island nation.

Short Version FAQ About Safe Travels in Taiwan

Is Taiwan a safe place to go? Absolutely. Taiwan ranks among the safest destinations globally, with minimal crime rates and a welcoming atmosphere for travelers.

Is Taiwan safe to travel alone? Without a doubt. Solo travelers, including women, can explore Taiwan with confidence, thanks to its safe streets and friendly locals.

Is Taiwan friendly to foreigners? Yes. Taiwan’s cosmopolitan cities, particularly Taipei, embrace diversity and extend warm hospitality to visitors from all corners of the globe.

If you’re planning an upcoming Taiwan trip, be sure to take a look at my other Taiwan and Taipei travel guides so you don’t miss our favorite hidden gems! We’ve no doubt that Taiwan will leave a life changing mark on your journey!

Ultimate Taiwan Itinerary for 7 or 10 days: Take our Taiwan 7 day itinerary or 10 day itinerary to explore the best Taiwan attractions. This Guide includes the best things to do in Taipei, Kaoshiung, and Tainan on your unique Taiwan tour, what to see and eat. This one week Taiwan itinerary perfectly blends nature, culture, and culinary delights.

Houtong Cat Village: Immerse yourself in the adorable world of cats in this charming village.

Jiufen Food Heaven: Delve into the gastronomic delights of Jiufen, exploring its culinary treasures.

Pingxi Food Guide: Dive deeper into the culinary wonders of Pingxi with this dedicated blog on local food delights.

Pingxi Sky Lantern: Relive the magic of releasing sky lanterns in Pingxi and discover the beauty of this traditional festival.

Exploring Pinglin, Taiwan: Uncover the charm of Pinglin with its tea plantations and rich cultural heritage.

  1. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! Safety when traveling (especially as a female!) is always top of mind & you always hear mix things about this region. Happy to know I can safely keep Taiwan on my bucket list!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *