While Taiwan has very low rates of crime, there are certain things that you need to be aware of during your stay in Taiwan. For a list of emergency telephone numbers, click here.
Petty Crime and Scams
- When in crowded public areas, keep an eye on your belongings, and be careful not to carry anything valuable in open vags.
- Keep photocopies of your passports and other important documents.
- Scams like credit card fraud, telephone fraud and ATM fraud are quite prevalent.
- Be careful of getting calls from unknown numbers who may claim to be a family member or friend. These types of callers will usually request for money.
- Also be aware of calls from people who claim to be from a bank, or a government office, and ask for personal information like bank details, account numbers, etc.
- It is illegal to possess, use, or traffic illegal drugs. If caught, you will can be detained and prosecuted, even if you may be a foreign national.
- Scooters are a very common sight in Taiwan. Scooter accidents are quite common, as some riders ignore traffic signals and may run a red light, or may suddenly appear out of nowhere as you’re about to cross the road.
- Some drivers may not stop at the crosswalk, even when people are allowed to cross, so be sure to look left and right before crossing.
- Road closures in eastern Taiwan may happen during typhoon season.
- If you’re planning to rent a room or an apartment, be extra careful about the condition of the place you plan to rent. There have been some cases of illegal structures being rented out to foreigners since the enforcement of these laws can be quite lax. These kinds of structures tend to be fire hazards, so it’s best to avoid them.
Food and Water Safety
- The quality of tap water in Taiwan may vary depending on the condition of the pipes in your city or apartment complex, so you may want to install a water filtration system if you don’t have one.
- Earthquakes happen quite frequently, and can get strong enough to cause damage sometimes.
- Typhoons are also just as common, especially from July to November. Some typhoons can get strong enough to warrant the cancellation of class and/or work. Usually, the school will email you about typhoon announcements and warnings, so be on the lookout for that.