Situated in the Philippine Sea, east of China, is the island nation of Taiwan. Home to over 23 million residents, it is a country famed for its natural beauty. Taiwan offers you gorgeous landscapes, glittering cities and gastronomical treasures. Top attractions include Elephant Mountain in Taipei, Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in Kaohsiung and Kaomei Wetland in Taichung.
Start packing your bags, because cheap flights to Taiwan are now available for a limited time! Taipei is the home of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), a 45-minute drive or an approximate 1-hour bus ride from the city centre. TPE serves many airlines, including Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and Singapore Airlines. Popular connecting flights to Taipei depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Taipei is approximately 15 hours, 20 minutes.
Popular flights to Taiwan
* Please note that the prices are subject to availability and block out dates do apply over peak season.
Why visit Taiwan
Discover why Taiwan was originally named Ilha Formosa (‘Beautiful Island’) by Portuguese sailors in 1542. Today, you can indulge your senses in wonderful scenes like Wufengchi Waterfalls, Taroko National Park and Hehuanshan Mountain.
Sacred and Historic
Taiwan boasts a story that dates back tens of thousands of years. Explore the many historic sites and sacred temples that reflect this nation’s rich heritage, including the Changchu Shrine, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Jiujen Oldtown.
Exceptional Food Culture
The culinary scene in Taiwan is shaped by an amazing array of influences, including Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asian and American. Famous dishes you can try include braised pork rice, oyster omelette, milkfish and Slack Season danzai noodles.
Essential details you need to know before your trip
New Taiwan Dollar
1 ZAR = 2.33 TWD
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)
GMT + 8
Type A / B
Best time to visit Taiwan
The most popular time to visit Taiwan is during the summer (July to August). The country experiences the hottest temperatures during these months and major rainfall (it’s typhoon season in July). If you don’t mind the rain and intense heat, be sure to book accommodation well in advance. Additionally, take note that the cost of hotel rooms and tourist attractions reach their highest during this season.
To get more discounts on accommodation and enjoy pleasant conditions, visit Taiwan between the months of September and October (autumn) and between April and June (spring). Make sure to visit the major sights during the week since the crowds gather during the weekend. Avoid booking accommodation and tickets to tourist attractions on the weekend since they sit at high-season costs throughout the year.
For the cheapest hotel and tourist sight rates, book a flight to Taiwan between the months of November and March (winter). This does not apply to hot-spring hotels, which still offer peak season prices. There will be fewer crowds, except around January and the Chinese New Year (late-January to mid-February).
Weather & Climate in Taiwan (Taipei)
Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month
Originally named Ilha Formosa (translated, beautiful island) by Portuguese sailors in 1542, you’ll quickly see why the country of Taiwan earned such an honour. Discover an enchanting scene that includes amazing cliffs, beautiful gorges and lush tropical forests. Besides these natural treasures, Taiwan offers vibrant cities and 15,000 elegant temples.
This island nation’s capital, Taipei, is recognised by its foremost landmark, Taipei 101. Besides this architectural wonder, the city is renowned for its cosmopolitan culture, with a fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asian and American influences. Discover the capital’s exceptional food culture, its intriguing history and picturesque parks.
Taichung is yet another scenic destination of this island nation, with numerous nature sites, such as Taichung Park, and beautiful historic sites, including the Chang Liao Family Shrine. Immerse yourself more into this city’s ambience with visits to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine arts and the Taichung City Cultural Affairs Bureau.
On the southern coast of Taiwan is Kaohsiung. The largest port city in the country, this destination offers you a contemporary scene that features wide streets, quaint cafés, waterside parks and even a luscious 1000-hectare forest. The major attractions of this city include the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Cijin Island and the Dome of Light.
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South African passport holders will need a visa to enter Taiwan. The process for obtaining this visa can be lengthy, so be sure to apply for and receive it before your departure date. Check that your passport’s validity is six months after the duration of your stay, and that at least three pages are blank for visa stamps. For information, contact the Taipei Liaison Offices in Cape Town (phone: +27-21-418-11881) and Pretoria (phone: +27-12-4306071).
Make sure that you are up to date on all routine vaccinations before you leave for Taiwan. Check with your doctor for more information. Additionally, travellers may need vaccines and medication for the following diseases:
• Hepatitis A (spread through contaminated food and water)
• Hepatitis B (spread through sexual contact, contaminated needles and blood products)
• Japanese encephalitis (spread through mosquito bites)
• Rabies (spread through the bites of infected mammals, such as dogs and bats)
The major cities of Taiwan have a problem with pollution. Children and the elderly should make sure to use a mask that filters out fine particles.
Taiwan enjoys a high level of safety, even at night, nevertheless, it would be wise to remain cautious. Petty crime like pickpocketing is a problem, so keep your valuables close to you and well out of sight when outside. Women should take precautions when taking a taxi alone