2014年2月24日 星期一

[Travel Taiwan] Setting Dates I: Weather & Seasons

One of the most difficult thing for me when planning a trip is setting the date. Will I be able to cope with the weather? Is there a massive sale going on? Is the town going to be packed with tourists like me? To make life easier for anyone looking to travel to Taiwan, I've compiled all related info into two parts (part deux coming on Thursday), hope it helps!
Weather Overview
Taiwan’s weather is nice and warm, not too hot and not too cold. The annual average temperature is 22 degree Celsius, making Taiwan the perfect summer getaway for tropical friends, or a winter getaway for people from higher altitude. Most places are air conditioned. On the coldest days it may drop below 10 degrees Celsius, which is nothing compared to snowy countries, but because here it's "wet cold" as opposed to "dry cold", it can feel a lot colder than it actually is.  The air is loaded with moisture because Taiwan is surrounded by water, at most times it’s very pleasant (No wrinkles or cracking skin!), but during the summer it can get really hot and humid. 

Spring (March-May)


Rain season (May-June): 
during rain season it might drizzle all day, be sure to bring an umbrella. In Taiwan we don't really go sans-umbrella like in Canada, because your clothes never really dry afterwards and it feels sticky on your skin.

Air pollution: 
sometimes there is air pollution caused by factory emissions or sandstorms from China, nothing life-threatening, but if you have respiratory issues such as asthma, you can pick up a face mask at any convenience store.

Do: 
flower watching at Yangminshan


Summer (June-August)


Convectional rain: 
On the hotter days, there might be convectional rain, i.e. sudden, heavy downpours that come and go. Always have an umbrella with you if you’re out and about, even if it doesn't look like it’s going to rain. Or, if you get stuck, take the moment to appreciate the beauty around you J

Typhoon: 
Taiwan get 3-4 typhoons per year, mostly during summer. A typical typhoon brings strong wind and heavy rain, which might cause floods, landslides, power outage, flying debris on the streets and other damages. During a typhoon it is advised to stock up on necessities and stay indoors, since most shops will be closed and it's dangerous to be out and about. (I almost got hit by a flying sign once) If you are staying in or near the mountains, be sure to watch out for landslides.
Taiwanese people are used to typhoons and are well prepared, so usually there isn't a lot of permanent damage or any casualties. If you are ever so "lucky" to encounter a typhoon, do as the locals do and you'll be fine.

Do:
Bikini spotting in Kenting
Music Festivals
Surfing (the wave is best before/after typhoon hits, be safe!)


Fall (September- November)


Unstable temperature
fall is the most unpredictable when it comes to temperature. on most days it's cool, but it can suddenly get very hot or chilly the next day. Best way to prevent catching a cold from the weather is bringing a light jacket or cardigan with you.

Do: maple leaf watching


Winter (December- Feb)


Cold snap:
Winter in Taiwan isn't very cold, on most days it's around 17 degrees Celsius, but sometimes we get cold snaps, i.e. cold currents that will make the temperature suddenly drop. It's rare for the temperature to go below 10 degrees, unless in the higher mountains. 

Do: 
Surfing
hot springs






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