Unlike other currencies such as the US Dollar and Euro, Taiwan’s currency is something that most people may have never heard about, until they decide to plan a trip to our beautiful island. So here’s a quick intro and a few useful tips for you.
- The currency name is New Taiwan Dollar, usually shortened as NTD or NT$. In Chinese, it is called “yuan”, but in our daily conversations, we just use the word “kuai”, meaning “piece” (of money).
- The ISO currency code is TWD.
- As of the writing of this article, the current exchange is approximately 1USD : 30NT.
B. Just so that you get a general idea of what price levels are like in Taiwan:
- a bottle of water= 15NT (US$0.50)
- a movie ticket= 250NT-350NT (US$8-$10)
- a pack of Marlboro cigarettes= 125NT (US$4.00)
- a bowl of beef noodle soup (one of our must-try street foods!)= 150NT (US$5.00)
- an all-day metro pass= 180NT (US$6.00)
C. How to make payments in Taiwan?
- We mostly use cash when paying for anything (unlike the US or Europe, where you can pay with a card for even just an apple!)
- But of course, credit cards are still widely accepted (Visa, MasterCard…), especially in malls and most restaurants.
- Easy Card! Super convenient for taking metros, buses, but also for paying at places like convenience stores, bookshops, cinemas, and even Starbucks! You can get one easily at 7-11 or any metro station.
D. How to get cash:
There are no moneychangers on the streets, but there are plenty of other easy ways to get cash.
- At the airport, there are always a few money exchange counters and banks on your way out.
- At any ATM, they are everywhere (and bilingual)! On the streets, in shopping malls, in front of banks and even in convenience stores like 7-11. However a withdrawal fee will be charged every time, so it is best to get enough cash for the whole trip at once.
- At banks, they normally open from 9am-3:30pm and are closed on weekends, so remember to go early! You will be asked to fill out a form requiring a valid local address and phone number, just write in all the info of the hotel you’re staying at.
- In big shopping malls (such as Taipei 101 or Sogo), however, the rates are usually not so friendly.
- REMEMBER! Always bring your passport when you want to get cash at either of these places (except for ATMs). Oh and another thing: exchange what’s left of your cash before leaving the country, because NTD is not an easy currency to exchange especially once out of Asia!