One of our favourite places to visit for its food, sights and incredibly lovely people. Please see some of our tips if you plan to visit Taiwan.
1.Always have a swimming cap
Whether it be for the hot springs or even your hotel pool, you’re always asked to wear a swimming cap. In tourist areas they can be expensive.
2. Always have a purse full of coins and cash at the ready
The trains are cheap and so is the street food. Both require small coins, so have them at the ready. Many places don’t accept cards (even coffee shops).
3. Buy a local SIM
Upon arrival at the airport, we recommend getting a local sim. Ours was $30 and had unlimited data for the whole trip. It was super useful.
4. Have a MTR train map
This is helpful so you know when to change lines. You buy you ticket and receive a token to put in the machine.
5. When travelling to different areas use the high speed rail. Gets you places very quickly!
Look out for the express ones too – they bypass plenty of spots. Buy your ticket in advance as well. They do sell out.
6. Use Taiwan Tourist Shuttle
If you’re looking for different tours, the tourist shuttle has some great routes. 42 tour routes and they visit 100 tourist sites in areas such as Northern Taiwan, Central Taiwan, Southern Taiwan, Eastern Taiwan and the Islands.
www.taiwantrip.com.tw for info on schedules, destinations, routes and prices.
7. When communicating, write things down
Sometimes pronunciation of words is very similar and can cause issues (like buying the wrong train ticket).
8. Eat like a local
The food is cheap and amazing! Try the night markets in pretty much any city.
9. Tipping isn’t part of their culture.
Not really necessary anywhere, but at some of the fancier hotels, you may want to tip your bell person.
10. You can rent Youbikes easily to get around cities.
You’ll see these on plenty of street corners.
11. It is super safe at any hour of the day.
We always were comfortable walking around and never had to worry about our purses.
12. They only really use full cream milk
So don’t try for soy, almond, macadamia, whatever because even the coffee roasting winners only use one type.
13. Drink a bubble tea
These are all the rage, milk tea, fruit tea + bubbles. They even have bubble tea carriers
14. Confirm to MRT etiquette
When catching trains, remember don’t eat, drink, smoke or chew gum on the train. Line up and wait for others to exit the train before hopping on.
15. You cannot take surfboards or bikes on trains and often buses
If you’re after an active holiday, forget taking your gear. In some places they allow bikes in special bike bags, but definitely not surfboards.
** Extra tip! If you’re travelling home via Taoyuan airport, you can check in at the station and claim your tax before even arriving at the airport.