Is Taiwan Safe?

Is Taiwan Safe?

Is Taiwan safe? If you’ve ever been to the country, you might find this ridiculous, certainly when it comes to crime—it barely exists in Taiwan.

Taiwan is a very safe country—let’s get that truth out of the way. However, a few potential dangers exist, both manmade and natural. Educate yourself about these now to make your Taiwan trip even safer!

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Crime in Taiwan is Relatively Rare

Is Taiwan safe? When it comes to violent (and even petty) crime it is. In 2018 (the latest year for which statistics are available), Taiwan reported 1,207 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, with 2.3 of those being homicides. This compares to 2,500 and 4.95 in the United States. Overall, Taiwan is around half as dangerous as the US when it comes to crime, although this doesn’t show the entire picture.

What I mean by this is that Taiwan crime statistics are not available as they pertain specifically to foreign tourists. What I will say, from personal experience, is that I have not ever felt seriously threatened in Taiwan—well, minus one time in a laundromat, when an unhinged old man lashed out at me for removing his idle clothes from a dryer. I frequently leave my door unlocked while out on small errands, and even sometimes leave the key in it accidentally!


Top Taiwan Safety Concerns

Traffic Accidents

Road safety in Taiwan is a major issue, as it is just about everywhere in Asia outside of Japan and Korea. While the stats might not seem bad, whether on their own or in comparison to Western countries, I personally know literally a dozen Taiwanese people who have been in serious accidents. Moreover, in my own experience renting cars in Taiwan, I’ve had a few close calls.

Venomous Snakes and Bees

Is Taiwan safe, when it comes to wildlife? The good news is that there aren’t a lot of big animals here, i.e. lions, tiger and/or bears. Actually, I imagine there are some bears. (Oh my!) However, most warning signs I see along trails foretell the presence of smaller, albeit more lethal vermin. At the same time, while I have occasionally been chased by the stray wasp, I’ve never seen a snake here—they’re as scared of me as I am of them!

Food Poisoning

In general, I’d say Taiwanese food is relatively safe to eat, since unlike most of Southeast Asia the country actually has food safety standards. With this being said, I’ve had more than a few bouts of food poisoning here, both in dodgier local type establishments, as well as in chain restaurants. My general rules before passing judgment is getting sick twice from the same place; this thankfully shouldn’t be possible with a week in Taiwan or two.


Is Taiwan safe from natural disasters? It’s funny, because when I was first considering moving to Taiwan, a friend advised me against it due to the country’s (lack of) preparedness for earthquakes. Truth be told, I experience at least an earthquake a month here but thankfully, at least in Taipei, the impact is more of an annoyance than a danger to my well-being.


It might sound funny, given what a disaster every subsequent hurricane that hits the US seems to be, but many Taiwanese greet the Taiwan typhoon season with relief. That’s because, in a normal year, it follows the blistering heat of May and June, and except in the instance of very severe storms, is more of a respite than a risk to public safety. I say “normal year” because 2020 was the first year on record where a typhoon didn’t hit Taiwan in July!

The Threat of a Chinese Invasion

If you’ve read anything about Taiwan-China relations since the Wuhan coronavirus escaped the PRC, you know that they are pretty much in the toilet. Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen is about as pro-independence as a politician at her level can be; public anti-China sentiment (especially among young people) is at an all-time high within Taiwan, as well as among Taiwanese.

So, is Taiwan safe from a Chinese invasion? On one hand, China has responded to what it considers misbehavior on Taiwan’s part with increased verbal aggression, even removing the “peaceful” qualifier from its official document insisting on “reunification” of the two countries. On the other hand, the US is legally obligated to defend Taiwan in the event that China were to attack; I don’t doubt that President Trump, for all his other flaws, would follow through.


Other FAQ About Safe Travel in Taiwan

Is Taiwan a safe place to go?

Taiwan is one of the safest countries in the world for travelers, with very low rates of both violent and petty crime. The main dangers you face when traveling to Taiwan are natural disasters and traffic accidents, plus the remote (but increasing) threat of a Chinese attack or invasion.

Is Taiwan safe to travel alone?

Taian is extremely safe for solo travelers, even solo female travelers. This is because it’s exceedingly unlikely to be the victim of crime in Taiwan. In fact, I’d almost go so far as to say that Taiwan is one of the best solo travel destinations in the world.

Is Taiwan friendly to foreigners?

Taiwan is extremely friendly and welcoming to foreigners. This is particularly the case in cosmopolitan Taipei, where a great command of English and plenty of Western creature comforts undergird the hospitality that pervades everywhere in the country.

The Bottom Line

Is Taiwan safe? Yes, but you don’t suddenly become invincible or immortal when you land at Taoyuan Airport. Although levels of crime are low, Taiwan has some small dangers baked into it. With this being said, if you can avoid dangerous drivers, be careful about which street food you eat and heed the instructions of authorities in the rare (OK, not so rare) event of a natural disaster, your Taiwan trip will go off without a hitch. (Even if you don’t hire me to plan it, which I very much recommend you do!)


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