Taiwan is a beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean. Its coasts are washed by the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea. The island is in the area of the Tropic of Cancer.
The coastal waters of Taiwan are always crystal clear, which makes diving here very popular. The most attractive dive spot is Lüdao Island, which is also known as Green Island. The wonderful coral reefs and the vivid underwater life are really impressive. Orchid Island and Penghu Island are also popular, although diving is quite expensive here. However, this doesn't stop true diving lovers.
Penghu Island and Orchid Island are located 80 km away from Taiwan. They are famous for their clean beaches and their diverse underwater world, as well as modern dive shops.
Green Island is popular among divers. You can get there by plane or by boat. Even beginners can dive here. The local nature is pristine and untouched by humans.
Kenting National Park offers a fascinating variety of corals. You will come across sea animals such as sharks and rays.
Green Island is considered to be the main diving centre. There are a lot of dive clubs and shops where you can rent equipment, book a training course or one to upgrade your skills and get a certificate. Diving with an English speaking instructor is available for beginners.
In March the air temperature is +20 ˚С and water temperature is +25 ˚С. The wind settles down then. In April the wet season begins and it becomes hotter. In May, the air warms up to +28 ˚С, and the sea water up to + 27 ˚С.
In June it is cloudy and rainy in Taiwan. The air temperature is around +28 ˚С. In July the island turns into a sauna. The air heats up to +32 ˚С and the water is around +28 or +29 ˚С. The humidity reaches 92%.
The first half of September is rainy, and then it is sunny. The air temperature varies from +23 to +30 ˚С, the water temperature is between +28 and +29 ˚С. The tourist season begins in October. The air warms up to +26 ˚С and water up to +27 ˚С during the day. The temperature stays the same in November.
In December the air temperature is +20 ˚С and the water temperature is about +24-25 ˚С. It snows in the mountains. The wind speed reaches 32 m/sec. In January the daytime air temperature drops to +18 ˚С. In February the sea water warms up to +23 ˚С.
In March and April you can observe dolphins and whales on the east coast of Taiwan between Hualien and Taitung.
Go to the Chungliao Reef if you are interested in corals. It is one of the most popular dive sites due to the diversity of corals and creatures inhabiting them.
People working in Taiwanese hospitals are highly qualified. However, you should obtain international health insurance in advance and vaccinate yourself against the following diseases: typhus, cholera, hepatitis, diphtheria and tuberculosis. Necessary medicines are sold in the pharmacies at reasonable prices. Tap water has to be boiled in order to be safe to drink. Your wallet will be safe in the tourist areas because of how responsible the police are, however, nobody can protect themselves from an earthquake. Unfortunately, the region has high seismic activity.
Wear special slippers when you go into the water at the shores of Taiwan to protect yourself from sharp coral shards. Don't step on sea urchins and starfish. Also beware of swordfish, pterois, scorpionfish, sharks, venomous snakes, jellyfish and molluscs.
Taiwanese food is varied, it is a mix of Asian and European cuisines. There are a lot of vegetarian restaurants, whose distinguishing feature is a green sign. The island has preserved ancient Chinese recipes, which have long been forgotten in China. If you like unusual combinations of flavours, you will enjoy zongzi — rice balls in palm leaves, and san pei ji — specially roasted chicken. It is served in three clay pots with different sauces.
You must try real Taiwanese bubble tea which is prepared with any variety of tea. It is made with sugar, milk and tapioca pearls (manioc starch) and brewed for half an hour. In Taiwan they drink boiled or bottled water, as tap water can be dangerous here.