Taiwan languages


Taiwan languages

Mandarin is Taiwan’s official language, it became the country’s national language after the end of World War II, before the official language was Japanese. Mandarin is more frequently used in the north in comparison to the south, where most people speak Taiwanese. The younger generation speaks Mandarin better than Hakka or Hokkien (Taiwanese), the elder generation were educated in Japanese.

Taiwanese Hokkien is spoken by about 70% of the population, linguistically, it is a subgroup of Southern Min languages variety originating in southern Fujian.

Hakka is spoken by Taiwanese with Hakka ancestry, the majority lives in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli.

On the map bellow you can see the most spoken languages in Taiwan, (cmn) Mandarin, (nan) Hokkien, (hak) Hakka, (map) Matsu.







1. Getting around in Taipei

Easy Card: With this card you can take the metro, city bus, taxi or ship, rent the bicycle, and pay in chain shops.

Airports: Taoyuan International Airport and Songshan Airport

City Bus: The city has 300 bus routes and a one-section journey costs  NT$15. Sometimes you pay when you get on the bus and sometimes you pay when you get off, you’ll see the sign near the bus door.

Bike sharing service, Ubike: There are many Ubike stations throughout the city, you’ll need an Easy Card to rent one. It takes NT$10 every 30 minutes for the first 4 hours,  NT$20 every 30 minutes for 4-8 hours, and NT$40 every 30 minutes after 8 hours.

Metro: The Taipei Metro System is very convenient, and is the most efficient way to get around the city. A single trip costs NT$20-65 based on the distance and a one-day ticket coasts NT$200.



2. Getting around in Taiwan

Long Distance Bus: The biggest bus center is in Taipei Main Station but you can also go to Taipei City Hall Bus Station. There are many companies you can choose from and the buses are very comfortable. The destinations include Kaohsiung, Tainan, Chiayi, Hualien, Taichung, which depart every one hour. The bus to Chiayi costs about NT$250 with the duration of 4.5 hours, to Tainan takes 5 hours and NT$350, to Kaohsiung costs  NT$500 with the travel time of 6 hours, and to Hualien takes 5 hours with the ticket price of NT$400.

Train: Taiwan Rail Line and Taiwan High Speed Rail, both in Taipei Main Stationtransportation





Health Insurance in Taiwan

How does Health Insurance work in Taiwan? Should you get one here or use the one you have at home?

As foreigners, you can’t apply for the National Health Insurance when you arrive, so if you need to see a doctor you’ll need to pay full fees. Medical fees here are within a reasonable price, got for hospitals for cheaper fees.

To be qualified for Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) foreigners need to have been staying in Taiwan for consecutive 6 months after they receive the ARC. (but you can leave Taiwan once for less than 30 days; and after excluding the days you are out of Taiwan, the days you stay in Taiwan shall be exactly 6 months in total).

    • How to apply for the NHI:
      1. Go to the Administration Division of your resident area for the insurance sheet with your ARC.
      2. Go to the Bureau of National Health Insurance for the Insurance IC card with your ARC, insurance sheet and one photo (2 inches).
    • For detailed information: The Bureau of National Health Insurance, Taipei
    • Address: 5F, No.15-1, Kon-yuan Rd. Taipei City
    • TEL: (02) 2191-2006



Taiwan Visa

Foreign nationals, who hold ordinary passports or other legal travel documents and who intend to stay in Taiwan for no more than 6 months for the purposes of transit; tours; visiting relatives; undertaking visits; undertaking inspection tours; attending international conferences; conducting business; pursuing short-term studies; undertaking short-term employment; undertaking short-term missionary work; and engaging in other activities in the ROC as approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC.

  1. A passport still valid for more than six months with empty pages. (original and photocopy)
  2. Complete and sign the online application form at https://visawebapp.boca.gov.tw
  3. Two 2″x2″ photographs (taken within the last 6 months, in color and with a white-color background)
  4. Certificates of enrollment and registration issued by the Chinese language school affiliated to one of the universities or institutions accredited by the Ministry of Education (original and one copy).
  5. An attendance record.
  6. A transcript of academic records.
  7. Proof of financial support.
  8. A study plan.
  9. A health certificate issued within the past three months either by one of the accredited local hospitals (list attached) or by a licensed foreign hospital or clinic.

For more details, please contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Website: https://www.mofa.gov.tw/en/default.html#http://www.boca.gov.tw/mp?mp=2