Keeping in touch in Taiwan is straightforward, thanks to the country's advanced and dependable internet infrastructure, while ADSL broadband connections are also typically reliable.
The media industry in Taiwan is diverse and competitive, offering a wide variety of radio stations, cable television channels and newspapers, including sources in English.
Mobile phones in Taiwan
Foreigners are eligible to sign contracts with local mobile phone companies, although the actual documentation required varies between companies. Some service providers allow expats to sign a contract with a one-year advance payment, while others may require a Taiwanese resident as a guarantor.
An Alien Registration Certificate (ARC) is typically required for expats, but some companies may also request additional identification, such as a passport. A deposit is often needed as well. Despite the potential complexity, securing a mobile phone contract is usually worthwhile, as prepaid options, while available, may be more costly over time.
Many mobile service providers offer contracts with discounted rates during evening hours or for calls to other phones on the same network. Expats are encouraged to compare plans from various companies to find the one that best suits their needs.
LINE, an instant messaging app widely used in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, is the preferred communication app in Taiwan. Despite the availability of global alternatives like WhatsApp, WeChat and Telegram, LINE remains the most popular, also offering features such as mobile payment and music streaming services.
Internet in Taiwan
Taiwan's robust communications infrastructure provides consistently high-speed and reliable internet connections. There's no internet censorship in Taiwan, and social media platforms and instant messaging services are freely accessible.
Internet cafés are widespread across the country, and free WiFi is commonly offered in coffee shops, restaurants and certain public spaces. In Taipei, the city government provides free WiFi service at MRT stations and select public areas. Certain public telephone booths also offer WiFi connectivity.
Postal services in Taiwan
The postal service in Taiwan is efficient and reliable, operated predominantly by Chunghwa Post, the state-owned postal service provider. They offer a wide range of services, including domestic and international mail, express mail service (EMS), registered mail and parcel post.
Post offices are widely available throughout Taiwan, even in more rural areas. Business hours are generally from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Some larger post offices in cities may also operate on weekends. English signage is common, and many staff members can communicate in basic English, making the process easier for expats.
For sending mail, postboxes are readily accessible in cities and towns across Taiwan. They are painted bright red and green. The red box is for standard local mail, and the green box is for express and international mail. Mail is usually collected several times a day.
Package delivery services are also widely used in Taiwan, with numerous international courier services, such as DHL, FedEx and UPS, along with local companies, offering delivery options. Taiwan's e-commerce boom has resulted in efficient and reliable delivery services, often with next-day delivery options available.
It's worth noting that, for sending important or valuable items, registered mail or a reputable courier service is recommended for the added security and tracking capability. Despite the prevalence of digital communications, the postal service remains an important and convenient part of life in Taiwan.
English-language media in Taiwan
There are numerous cable television channels in Taiwan, alongside five free-to-air television networks. Cable is available at affordable subscription rates. While most channels broadcast in Taiwanese or Mandarin, a few English channels are available. Notably, many Western programmes are aired in their original language with Chinese subtitles, providing expats with varied viewing options.
Several English-language newspapers and news sites cater to Taiwan's expat and English-speaking audience. The China Post, The Taipei Times and The News Lens are among Taiwan's prominent English newspapers, while Taiwan News is a popular online portal for local news.