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TAIPEI 2018

Upon deplaning, change your dollars into New Taipei Dollar at banks in the arrival area. Then purchase unlimited internet surfing mobile phone card being offered by 2 major and 3 minor telecoms companies. Cost 300 NTD for 120 Hours to expiry.  Then go to a machine terminal to buy a transport stored value card for NTD 100 plus 400 NTD of value. I used NTD 160 for the 50 minute Express Train to Taipei Main station. And used an average of NTD 15 for short  or 1 zone public buses that are plentiful and reliably on time with the city bus app.

It can be challenging to ride the Metro Rail when searching for the right exits as the distances can be 15 minutes walk from the street surface levels up to the 3rd basement level. Staff at the terminals are helpful to assist inquiries from disoriented travelers.

Compared to a few years ago, Taipei is now teeming with young people and tourists, with limited shopping but more preoccupied with eating.  Prices for Taiwan products are higher than in my home country. I only bought items that are not available at home.

Hotels of 2-4 star rating are in overwhelming numbers with the R—– Hotel located in many street corners in the Chongquing South Rd  Sec 1 area of Taipei.

A la carte Food is best ordered by pointing to a picture or menu if you can read Chinese.

Uniformed police are no seen, but it is quite safe in areas with a lot of moving people. With a few exceptions of 2 wheeled motorbikes, drivers yield at crosswalks and pedestrians observe the traffic lights. Approve!

Streets are smoothly paved. And sidewalks have a 2-4 degree inclined ramp. So it is easy to push the 4 wheeled luggage-very tourist friendly. No litter. Approve!

Shops open from 1 PM to 9.30 PM. Wufenpu area for clothes of the millenial Generation fashion type for the showy and expensive. Sections with garments from Vietnam and Korea too. Sales people are indifferent. No fitting allowed. More than 1 hour traveling by bus as MRT station requires some distance walking. From the Taipei main station, 2 and 1/2 hours round trip travel time and 1 hours just looking around. Not worth it rating was 1 out of 5.

SHILIN night market. Opens from 5 PM to 12 midnight. Plenty of shoes there also with clothes for the trendy. Not as great for me as projected by some websites.  Plenty of street food there. Travel time to and from Taipei Main station was 1 hour by Bus. Time spent exploring 75 minutes. My rating was 3 out of 5.

Ximenting no longer as vibrant as 20 years ago but still okay. I got TenRen tea to consume back home.

At the departure area of Terminal 2 Taoyuan Airport, all hand carried plastic water bottled not allowed. I guess it also applies to non solid cosmetics and perfumes. The exception is that for items purchased from the Everrich duty free stores. And the farthest boarding gate can be 15 minutes walk from the check in area.

During peak travel season,  you need at least 3 hours from arrival entrance to the actual boarding time. Add 1/2 hour if you need to eat or drink from the restos at the airport.

My advice for future travelers worldwide, bring extra cash and lots of it to Taipei, just like going to Hong Kong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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