Taiwan Packing List

Keep reading to learn how to pack when visiting or moving to Taiwan.

I’ve visited Taiwan many times and currently live here. Depending on your intentions, I’ve put together several lists of things to pack.

I’ll cover these points:

Let’s pack.


Considerations When Packing (Don’t Skip…)

Bug Spray Needed?Yes
Power Socket TypeType A/B (110v)
International Driving Permit Needed?Yes (If you plan to drive)
Vaping Allowed?No
CBD ProductsIllegal
Chewing GumNot illegal
DronesRegulated (rules are here)
Duty-Free Alcohol Limit1 liter
Tobacco Duty-Free Limit200 cigarettes, 1 pound of tobacco, or 25 cigars
Meat & VegetablesDON’T PACK
Type of Phone That’ll WorkGSM
Cash-Centric Country?Yes
Primary Public Transportation CardEasyCard
Cash You Can Bring w/o DeclarationNT$100,000
10,000 USD
VaccinesNone required; but here are recommended vaccinations
Safe to Drink Tap Water?No

Notes:

  • You’ll need international driving permit to rent a car and a motorbike. However, most places won’t allow you to rent a motorbike unless you have a particular driver’s Taiwanese driver’s license.
  • For the love of god, don’t bring CBD or any drugs in Taiwan. There’s potential for the death penalty for folks who traffic drugs.
  • Do not bring any meat or vegetables into Taiwan. They take this very seriously and will fine you a lot.
  • Check Will My Phone Work to see whether your device will work in Taiwan.
  • Chewing gum isn’t banned in Taiwan like in Singapore.
    • Be respectful when you chew it so it isn’t banned in the future.

Recommended guides for further reading:


Suggested Packing List for Visiting Taiwan: What to Prepare

Here are all the items I recommend packing in summer, winter, autumn, and Spring 2024:

ItemReason to Pack
DeodorantIt’s hard to find good brands.
ClothingI’ll do in-depth with this later.
MedicationPainkillers, imodium, anti-histamines, band-aids, ibuprofen, antiseptic cream, and prescription medication.
Portable power bankDon’t let your phone battery die.
CondomsIf you’re messing around.
Reusable water bottleSaves money on water bottles.
Passport Wallet / Purse / Day PackPrevent yourself from carrying too much.
Backpack CoverProtect your backpack in the rain.
Female Hygiene ProductsDon’t pack too much.
Sun ProtectionSunscreen, lip balm with SPF protection, sun hat, and sunglasses.
Luggage ScaleEnsure you don’t exceed luggage limits.
SundriesToothbrush, toothpaste, eye drops, floss
Spare Contact Lenses and/or GlassesWill take time to replace.
Quick-Dry Travel TowelHelps keep you cool.
UmbrellaNeeded, but read the notes.
Copy of Travel DocumentsIn case you lose your documents.

Notes:

  • Refer to the government’s post on rules for bringing medication into Taiwan.
  • You can find tampons/pads at stores like Cosmed, Watsons, and Costco.
  • Opt for polarized sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection.
  • OTC medication is affordable, but most labels are in Chinese.
  • Luggage storage is abundant in cities like Taipei; helpful to know.
  • You’ll need an umbrella during your time in Taiwan, but if you don’t want to waste space in your luggage, buy cheap ones (under NT$150) from convenience stores. Then donate them once you leave Taiwan.

Clothing to Pack

Here are some areas to consider when packing clothing:

QueryAnswer
Face MasksNot mandatory
Tattoos?Not taboo
ShortsFine for men and women
Can you show shoulders?Yes
Crop Tops?Accepted

Notes:

  • Taiwan doesn’t have a dress code; just don’t expose your butt, breasts, and privates
  • I HIGHLY recommend high-top boots for hiking because Taiwan has a number of deadly snakes.
  • Prepare clothing for high-humidity weather.
  • Expect rain at any moment.
  • If you hike, consider lightweight clothing that’ll cover your skin to protect you from bugs.
  • UNIQLO is a great place to buy backup clothing for various body sizes.
  • If you need formal clothing, get it custom-made by tailors.
  • Red is OK to wear; reconsider colors like white or black during certain holidays because of superstitions.
    • I talk more about these superstitions in a separate guide.

IMPORTANT: If you’re tall (6 feet or taller) bring as much clothing as you can. It’s difficult to find clothing (especially shoes) for tall folks.

I’m not a magician who knows what clothing you have, what temperatures you’ll feel comfortable with, and how often you change clothes. Use the above information to help you determine what to pack.

Most people here typically wear linens and cotton. I like to shell out the big bucks for merino wool which makes the extreme temperatures more bearable.

Throughout the year, a majority of Taiwanese folks will wear tank tops/t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. They’ll typically add jackets to the mix in winter. Again, your comfort level will differ. Use what I said to gauge your comfort levels when visiting.

If you sweat a lot and get stinky often like me, I recommend packing more pairs of clothing or buying additional shirts that you’d want to donate to clothing donation bins once you leave. Because you probably don’t want to walk around smelling like BO.

I made a DIY clothing fabric spray, which helps mask a bit of the smell of body odor. But it isn’t great.

Okay, then what are the average temperatures like?

I don’t know what part of Taiwan you’re visiting. However, in general, the temperatures are as follows:

MonthAvg. Weather (°F)Avg. Weather (°C)
January57°F – 66.4°F13.9°C – 19.1°C
February57.6°F – 67.3°F14.2°C – 19.6°C
March60.4°F – 71.8°F15.8°C – 22.1°C
April78.3°F – 66.2°F25.7°C – 19°C
May84.6°F – 72.1°F29.2°C – 22.3°C
June76.3°F – 89.6°F24.6°C – 32°C
July93.7°F – 79.3°F34.3°C – 26.3°C
August79°F – 92.8°F26.1°C – 33.8°C
September88°F – 76.6°F31.1°C – 24.8°C
October72.1°F – 81.5°F22.3°C – 27.5°C
November66.7°F – 75.6°F19.3°C – 24.2°C
December60.1°F – 69.3°F15.6°C – 20.7°C

If you’re only visiting Taipei, I have published the average temperatures there throughout the year.


Amount of Cash to Carry

Keep around NT$3,000 (around 100 USD) in cash on hand to deal with most transactions and withdraw more when needed.

You’ll have less to convert later — from NTD to your currency — and reduce the amount of cash you’d lose if something bad happened. Plus, Taiwan has ATMs everywhere. It was around 166 ATMs per 100,000 adults [1]…

I recommend using Bank of Taiwan ATMs to avoid ATM fees and for the best currency exchange rates. However, other ATMs may have fees of around NT$100. And most ATMs will let you withdraw a maximum of NT$20,000 daily.


The VPN Question

Taiwan doesn’t have a “Great Firewall,” like in China. However, I suggest having a VPN for these reasons:

  • Accessing websites that block IPs from Taiwan.
  • Using public Wi-Fi networks. These are not secure and could result in you getting your information stolen.
  • Accessing streaming sites that don’t offer support in Taiwan.

I recommend one of 2 VPNs, Mullvad or Proton VPN.

The latter is honestly the best because in my experience, Proton has worked with streaming sites (e.g., Netflix), while Mullvad hasn’t. Proton also has an iOS app, which is essential for iPhone users.

Don’t use a VPN when logging into PayPal. They’ll flag your account for fraud (I think it was fraud) and lock you out, turning your trip into a heart-palpitation-inducing nightmare.

And don’t use free VPNs because many IP addresses with those VPNs are flagged.


Apps to help you navigate Taiwan easier include:

  • Google Maps: To have offline maps of Taiwan and get directions, information & schedules of places to visit.
  • Uber: To book rides with drivers who can speak English and accept credit cards
  • YouBike: To rent public bicycles in Taipei, Kaohsiung and other cities with bike lanes.
  • Taiwan Railway: To track bus routes, stops, schedules, and availability in Taipei, Kaohsiung, & other cities.
  • LINE: To communicate with locals who use this instant messaging app widely.
  • Bus+: To track bus routes, stops, schedules and availability in Taipei, Kaohsiung, & other cities.
  • Go! Taipei Metro: To plan your trips on Taipei’s subway system with maps, fares & real-time information.
  • T Express: To book tickets for Taiwan’s high-speed rail service that connects major cities across the island.
  • Google Translate: To translate text, speech, handwriting, images & websites between 109 languages, including Chinese (Traditional) and English.
  • Easy Currency Converter: Converts currency offline.

How To Pack a Carry-on for One Bag Travel to Taiwan

Pack light with these items:

Backpack coverInsect repellentSunscreen
2 pairs of clothingReusable water bottleDummy phone & wallet
CondomsFemale hygiene productsPackable jacket
MedicationSanitizing wipesCopy of travel documents
Portable power bankPassport wallet/Purse/Day packEye drops
Unlocked smartphoneTravel adapter for A/B socketsInternational Driving Permit
(One bag travel packing list when visiting Taiwan.)

Some Taiwan hotels and hostels offer laundry services, which means you need to pack less clothing. Otherwise, night markets and stores like Uniqlo offer affordable (and decent-quality) clothes.

If you have other things you’ll need to pack (e.g., portable CPAP), bring these as well. Though, it may make 1-backpack travel more difficult.


What to Pack When Moving to Taiwan

In addition to items you’d pack for traveling, bring these items if you’re living in Taiwan for over a year:

Item to BringWhy to Bring It
Travel AdapterBring these to use devices that don’t support types A & B plugs
DeodorantTaiwan doesn’t have a wide selection
Certain skin care productsIt’s difficult to find some popular skin products in Taiwan, unless you buy them online
Laptop varietyYou’ll find better laptop deals outside Taiwan
CPAP machinesThey’re expensive in Taiwan
SupplementsThey’re expensive in Taiwan
Vintage video gamesIf you’re a collector
(List of items that are hard to find in Taiwan.)

If you prefer aluminum-free deodorant, you won’t find many options. I’ve seen Arm & Hammer aluminum-free deodorant pop up in some stores within the last few years. But if you prefer other bands, you may have to order them online.

Many import shops on Shopee offer foreign and hard-to-find topics at a hiked price. It’s how I get my supplements. Costco does offer a wide selection of supplements, but mostly basic stuff like vitamin C and Lutein.

Buy CPAP machines outside Taiwan. From what I understand, they’re costly here. Though, I couldn’t find the exact prices.

Electronics in your home country will likely cost less than in Taiwan. Since Taiwan’s a smaller market, electronics manufacturers allegedly charge more for their products. For instance, you’ll likely find cheaper iPhones in the US.


Sources