Nantou County is the only county in Taiwan that does not have a beach, and therefore, beachwear should not make your list of what to wear in Nantou. While tourism in Asia is primarily known for its amazing beaches and tropical climate, Nantou has other things to boast of.
First, Nantou County does not have the typical Asian tropical weather. Located above most other Taiwanese counties, the tiny island-nation of Taiwan is cooler and more pleasant than most Asian destinations. Average annual temperature in Nantou County is 23° C, while on mountains is 20° C. While most Western travelers might not feel the need to pack winter clothes, tourists from other Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, might want to wear thicker clothing than they are used to back home.
A downside to the Nantou weather is that it rains a lot. It is not unusual to experience a gust of rain during the dry months, and conversely it is common to feel a burst of heat during the coolest months. Taiwan gets about three to five typhoons in a year, and Nantou is almost always in the path of major typhoons. Nantou has two seasons, the rainy season from April to September and the dry season from October to March. The best times to visit are in the cool months of October through February.
Second, consider the beautiful natural resources in Nantou when thinking about what clothes to pack. Located in Central Taiwan, Nantou is privileged to be flanked by picturesque hills, plateaus and mountain ranges, which earned it the nickname “Switzerland in the East”. The most popular activity for tourists is hiking or mountain climbing. Travelers should come with hiking gear and clothing. A hike on Maolan Mountain offers a spectacular view of Sun Moon Lake, the most popular tourist spot in Central Taiwan.
The capital city and only city in Nantou County is Nantou City. It is a small rectangular city and tourists may go from end to end on a scooter. When shopping in the city, tourists may just go on foot to check out local markets, shops and restaurants. It is a good idea to bring an umbrella as it could rain anytime, especially during the rainy season. Average annual rainfall in the city is 2,100 millimeters.
Finally, Nantou is very laid back. Tourists can just go causal when in Nantou. Walking around in a simple shirt, jeans and sneakers is a norm. But being too casual such as men walking half-naked in public is frowned at. The Chinese are conservative people. In other areas in Taiwan where there are beaches, Chinese women do not go swimming in bikinis.
Foreign visitors should not worry much about what to wear in Nantou. Instead, they should be more mindful about common etiquette than clothing. The most common forms of etiquette in Nantou (or when with Chinese people) include the taking off of shoes when visiting a Chinese home, offering a small gift, giving your gift with both hands, letting elders sit first when dining, respecting the elderly, being generous with flattery, eating as much as you can when invited to a dinner, and not planting your chopsticks to stand on rice; also, drinking from a bowl is fine, as well as slurping and burping loudly.