Taiwan Travel – what I should have done
Early last year I decided to go on a massive South East Asian holiday, I traveled to Philippines – Taiwan – Japan. Being half Asian (and unable to speak any other language than English) I could write a book on how awkward it is.
One country I definitely enjoyed during my trip is Taiwan, although most of my holidays overseas or interstate end up having a Griswold Vibe to them, it makes the holidays more memorable. However I would like people to avoid the mistakes I made with these helpful tips and I made HUGE mistakes which I’m not willing to admit on a blog yet…..
Taipei offers a 1, 2 ,3 or 5 day travel pass for all subway (MRT) and buses within the metropolitan area of Taipei. I found this service to be invaluable while in Taipei. While the subway system is quite easy to navigate and buy tokens, the buses were a different story. The bus system is more dependent on the passengers having a travel pass. Tickets on the buses need to purchases after the trip and I found change is not given. These cards can be purchased from subway stations. They also come with a handy booklet with places to visit (if you haven’t already planned) and vouchers for goods and services. I would only recommend if you’re in Taipei for longer than a week and want to travel to quite a few places. For me, the convenience of having a travel pass far outweighed the cost.
It’s hard to believe but I found navigating my way round Taipei was almost impossible without mobile internet coverage. A smartphone was a must for me, since I had access to google maps, email (for accommodation confirmations) and google translate (which turned out to be quite useful in rural towns where english was not used on menus). Going to a Taiwan mobile store when you first arrive to gain a prepaid 3G sim can make the difference between an uncomfortable travel experience to a freaking scary one! To gain access to a mobile sim all you need is an unlocked smartphone (one that works with Taiwan’s frequency) and your passport to sign up.
However if your like me and forgot to look this up before you went, Taipei’s main station has free wifi to find the address of a Taiwan mobile.
I hope you found this somewhat useful.