As the only true democracy in the Chinese-speaking world, the Taiwanese media consistently exhibit a level of openness that is almost unheard of in Asia’s other Chinese societies. Since the end of martial law in 1987, when the ban on independent newspapers was lifted, there has been a rapid proliferation of print, news and entertainment media, with plenty of feisty political debate and steamy celebrity gossip. You’ll need to read or speak Chinese to make the most of this, however, Otherwise you’ll have to rely on a handful of English-language newspapers, magazines and websites for news and information.

Newspapers

For English-language news on Taiwan and the rest of the world, there are three daily newspapers, all of which have online editions: the China Post (wwww.chinapost.com.tw), the Taipei Times (wwww.taipeitimes.com) and Taiwan News (wwww.etaiwannews.com). The writing and editing standards of these papers are fairly high, and some of the domestic coverage can be quite incisive; however, international news is largely restricted to wire copy. All three have weekend entertainment listings and can be bought at bookshops, convenience stores, kiosks and business-class hotels. For more in-depth international news and business coverage, newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal Asia, the Financial Times and the International Herald Tribune can be found in five-star hotels and some news kiosks in Taipei.

Radio and television

There are more than 150 radio broadcasting companies in Taiwan, with regular domestic programming by medium-wave AM and VHF FM stations in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects, chiefly Taiwanese and Hakka. The only English-language radio station, International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT; wwww.icrt.com.tw), broadcasts 24 hours a day at 100.7 MHz FM in northern and southern Taiwan, and 100.1 MHz FM in central Taiwan. Its broadcasts include a mix of Western pop music, news headlines, talk shows and community service segments. It also carries some BBC World Service programmes, which is otherwise unavailable in Taiwan.

Taiwanese television can offer travellers some interesting insights into nuances of the island’s popular culture, with a host of variety and game shows, sitcoms, soap operas and films in Mandarin, Taiwanese and Hakka. Even if you don’t speak Chinese, it’s worth channel-surfing in your hotel room at least once, just to get a feel for what the locals watch. In terms of English-language programming, cable TV is available in most urban areas, offering an assortment of generally American news, movie and theme channels.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Taiwan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Cool Taipei: 8 tips for exploring the city

Cool Taipei: 8 tips for exploring the city

As the only democracy in the Chinese speaking world and the most progressive city for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, a legacy of artists and activists have worked to ma…

19 Oct 2016 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
10 street foods you need to try in Taiwan

10 street foods you need to try in Taiwan

Taiwanese xiǎochī, or “small eats”, are justly famed, and no trip would be complete without several street food feasts. Night markets are among the best …

11 Nov 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The best of the world's smallest countries

The best of the world's smallest countries

Qatar Jutting northwards into the Persian Gulf, Qatar is one of the world’s smaller nations (about the size of Yorkshire, England), but it is also the world…

29 Oct 2014 • Greg Dickinson camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month