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A volcano erupted on White Island, New Zealand on 9 December 2019. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Updates are available from the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.
Call 1300 555 135
Call +61 2 6261 3305
text +61 421 269 080
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Demonstrations happen sometimes but are usually peaceful.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Crime rates are low, including for petty crime.
Taxi drivers have assaulted some passengers. However, taxis are usually safe.
Some Australians have become victims of extortion scams. Examples include minor car accidents and claims of sexual assault at nightclubs.
To keep yourself safe:
Card skimming occurs. Keep an eye on your card when making purchases.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Typhoons happen in the wet or typhoon season from May to November. Flooding and mudslides are common.
The direction and strength of typhoons can change with little warning. In some areas, shelter from a severe typhoon may not be available to everyone.
If a typhoon is approaching, be aware that:
If a typhoon is approaching, local authorities may declare a 'typhoon day' at very short notice. This means businesses may only open for a short time and government offices may close.
Authorities announce a 'typhoon day' on local radio and television stations. This includes International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), which broadcasts in English.
Updates on typhoons and other severe weather are available from the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau. You can also keep up to date by checking:
To prepare yourself in case of a typhoon:
If there's a typhoon or other natural disaster approaching:
Earthquakes happen often. Get advice on travelling to and living in an earthquake-prone region.
Tsunamis are a risk because of frequent earthquakes in the region.
Check the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for information on earthquakes and tsunamis.
If you're near the coast, move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities or if you:
Don't wait for official warnings, such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, check local media.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Some prescription medications are illegal in Taiwan. Authorities may jail or fine you for carrying these medications.
If you plan to take medication, check if it's legal in Taiwan. Take enough legal medicine with you for your trip.
Taiwan Customs gives advice on limits and documents you'll need.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Dengue occurs, especially in the tropical southern and central regions.
Cases of Zika virus were reported in 2016. There's no vaccine available against dengue or Zika virus.
You could also encounter Japanese encephalitis in Taiwan.
To protect yourself from disease:
Speak with your doctor about getting vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel.
If you're pregnant, ask your doctor about possible Zika virus risks.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is common. Sometimes serious outbreaks occur. Outbreaks usually start in March or April and peak in May. However, they can continue until October each year.
HFMD mostly affects children aged under 10 years. However, adult cases occur, especially in young adults.
HFMD spreads through contact with discharges of infected people.
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common. Sometimes serious outbreaks occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
The standard of medical facilities in public hospitals in major cities is good. However, there are often long waiting times.
The medical system can be confusing. Some hospitals have English-speaking private clinics.
Treatment at private clinics and priority care centres is expensive. You may have to pay up-front for medical and dental services, including for emergency care.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty.
Smoking, consuming, possessing or trafficking marijuana can lead to life in prison.
Carrying certain prescription drugs can result in heavy fines and long jail sentences. See Health
If you're involved in a legal dispute, you won't be allowed to leave Taiwan until the dispute is settled. This includes minor offences.
Legal processes can be long. Local authorities won't accept bonds or deposits to guarantee court appearances.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Taiwan recognises dual nationality. Taiwanese males aged over 18 must do military service. Some exemptions are available to overseas residents, but you should check this before travelling. If you're not exempt, you may have to serve when you arrive.
If you're a Taiwanese-Australian dual national and you're male, check before you travel.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
You won't need a visa for Taiwan if you meet all these conditions:
In other situations, you'll need to get a visa before you travel.
Australians can use Taiwan's e-Gate service. To register for e-Gate, visit the e-Gate Enrolment Counters at the airport, located next to the e-Gate lanes at passport control. The registration is valid until six months prior to your passport's expiry date, until you renew your passport, or until you obtain an Alien Resident Card (ARC) in Taiwan. You will need then to register each trip online to use the gates. More information is available at https://egate.immigration.gov.tw/egate-frontend/aus
Working holiday makers (WHM) must apply for the WHM visa before arriving. WHM visas are also valid as a work permit.
Entry and exit conditions can change. Contact the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
You'll be screened for high body temperature when you arrive. This is to guard against pandemics such as SARS and bird flu (avian influenza). Depending on your results, you may need more medical tests.
If you're planning to work, you need to get a work permit before you start paid or unpaid work. Work permits are usually arranged in Taiwan through your employer.
If you work without a work permit or WHM visa, authorities could fine or deport you.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD).
Declare amounts over $US10,000 or equivalent. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
ATMs are widely available in cities and provincial centres.
International credit cards are usually accepted in hotels, restaurants and higher-end shops, especially in cities and larger towns.
If you plan to drive in Taiwan, you must get an International Driving Permit (IDP) before you arrive.
You can drive for up to 30 days with an IDP and a current Australian licence.
If you plan to stay longer, apply for an extension at the nearest motor vehicle office in Taiwan.
Roads and vehicles are well-maintained but scooters and motor cycles often weave in and out of traffic, and vehicles might not stop at pedestrian crossings. Look before stepping onto the road.
Heavy rain and typhoons can lead to landslides and road blockages.
Mountain roads are usually winding and narrow. Travellers have been injured in bus accidents on these roads.
To stay safe:
You need a motorcycle licence, either Taiwanese or international, to hire a motorbike.
Check if your travel insurance policy covers you when riding a motorbike.
Always wear a helmet.
Taxis are usually safe. However, there have been instances of drivers assaulting passengers.
To minimise risk, use:
Taiwan has well-developed rail and bus services.
Petty crime happens, so take care of your belongings.
Some cruise lines stop over in Taiwan.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Taiwan's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 0800 024 111.
Call 110 or contact the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer may have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact the Australian Office in Taipei.
27th and 28th Floor, President International Tower
9-11 Song Gao Road
Phone: (+886 2) 8725 4100
Fax: (+886 2) 8789 9599
Check the Australian Office in Taipei website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.