Costs and English in Taiwan
Favorite thing: Taiwan could get expensive, since it offers most of what a western country has to offer, BUT if you know what to do and where to go - it could be just as cheap as any other big Asian city like Bangkok, Saigon or Singapore.
English is no problem. It might look a bit scary on the first few days, since English is well hidden, but trust me – it’s out there. Most Taiwanese people speak basic English, but are a little shy about it and will not make the first approach. If they don’t speak English, they will probably find someone who does pretty fast and will go out of their way to try and answer your question and make you feel comfortable at their country. All streets have PinYin English namesigns and the buses and metros have English signs and vocal announcements.
Recycling is EASY in Taipei
Favorite thing: It is everybody's responsibility to take care of the environment, but especially when one is visiting a foreign country. I found Taipei, and increasingly the rest of Taiwan, to have one of the most convenient trash separation and recycling systems available anywhere. Most recyclable items bear the "recycle" symbol which looks like four arrows pointing towards the center of a square, and Taiwan recycles just about EVERYTHING from all paper, metal, plastic, and glass to used batteries, electronics, clothing, and kitchen scraps. These should be separated from trash (what little is left) and given to the truck bearing the same "recycle" symbol that usually tags along behind the garbage truck. While in the city, any metro station or 7-Eleven (among other places) will also have recycling bins marked with the "recycle" symbol. You don't need to go out of your way to help the environment in Taipei. Recycling simply cannot get any easier!
For more information, visit the EPA at: http://www.epa.gov.tw/english/
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
- Work Abroad
Favorite thing: ATMs that accept US cards are very abundant and easy to find throughout the city. Just in case, get a small amount of money at the airport so you will be set for the drive into the city. Exchange rates are usually bad at the airport, so just get enough money for the trip to town (less than TW$500 for the bus)
My hotel was TW$2000. You could easily get food and drink for around TW$500 (US$15) per day if you are careful with your money and eat your meals on the street. The subway varies from TW$20-65.
- Budget Travel
Taiwan and PinYin don't get along.......
Favorite thing: My biggest pet peeve with Taiwan... there are a few that get to me, but this is the number one reason for frustration. Taiwan does not use the standard of Pinyin of China. It uses its own.... and the Taiwanese don't even know it and it is not the same from block to block of the same street.
So for a foreigner who knows nothing... you are walking along jungshan rd( should be Zhongshan rd) and the next block says jhongshan or zongshan or zhongxan.... My suggestion is learn characters, though the MRT has started putting up new correct signs... we can still only hope that the Taiwanese will stop being stubborn and adopt standard Hanyu PinYin.
Favorite thing: In the CKS airport, there is a volunteers counter to help the disabled.
Any disabled who need help in term of information, vehicle arrangement, or volunteer, they are more than willing to help them as those volunteers are train to provide useful hands to the disabled.
The receipt lottery
Favorite thing: As you buy something in the convenience store at Taiwan, you will get a receipt for you purchase. Don't throw it away.... this might win you big money.
The Taiwan Government launched a lottery system years ago to keep track of the income of the retail business.... don't ask me the tax system, I am not sure as a foreigner.
Anyway, the numbers on the receipt is the lottery number.... they have lottery pick every 2 months. And they'll publish the lucky numbers on newspaper.
Some say, they will not stay in Taiwan for that long period..... still, don't throw it away, you can actually donate the receipt to socail welfare organization. Sometimes you will see there is a box just right in front of the cashier or the shop.... it is for the organization... you won't it will win a big prize or not but you create an additional chance for the social welfare organization.
FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD
Favorite thing: According to new report, over 40% tourists will visit Taipei (Taiwan) again for the tasty and a myriad of food. Yes, you will never get hungry here. The price range widely from NTD 20 for a bowl of meat rice to thousands of NTD for exotic cuisine.You can eat either on the road or in a luxury restaurant.
Fondest memory: I love "stinky dofu" very very much, it smells just wonderful, unbelieveable and hungry.:-D
This time, i visit the "official" source of stinky dofu - the town of Shen keng. Let's meet "roast stinky dofu"!!
- Arts and Culture
24-Hour Toll-Free Travel Hotline
Favorite thing: 0800-011-765
The 24-Hour Toll-Free Travel Hotline is available Chinese, English, and Japanese.
Ask any queries, from how to use the public transportation, finding a lost passport, and getting medical help to finding the right hotel or the best tour advice.
Lots of people from the Philippines
Favorite thing: While there are Filipinos around the world, there seem to be more in Taipei than anywhere else. This is great for a traveler like me, because that means many bars and restaurants have English-speaking Filipinos to make me feel at home.
Apparently, Taiwan will allow anyone with Chinese heritage to have citizenship, and many Filipinos qualify. Since the pay is generally higher in Taiwan, many will take advantage of this to make a living in Taipei -- often sending money home to family left behind. The life of these economic migrants is often arduous, but most of the people I've met take it with good cheer.
- Women's Travel
- Beer Tasting
- Business Travel
Favorite thing: Tired after trekking up the mountains or walking around too much?
Go loosen your muscles at a massage palour. These shops can be found in many locations in Taipei.
You can choose to have a full body massage or just foot reflexology.
Special Offers for 2004 Visit Taiwan Year
Favorite thing: 1. International visitors can get free admission to the National Palace Museum.
2. Visitors transiting at Chiang Kai-Sek International Airport can take part in a free half day tour of Taipei, including CKS Memorial Hall, National Palace Museum, and Martyr's Shrine.. Buses leave daily from Terminal 2 at 7.30am and 1pm, and from Terminal 1 at 7.45am and 1.20pm.
3. Visitors attending international conference or exhibitions can take part in a free one-day tour. Conference/exhibition organizers must apply in advance for participation in order to be eligible.
Favorite thing: It was unexpected to see animals in this dirty water... But really these are 3 real turtles!
We also had a closer look at the shore and what did we see? Thousands of crabs fighting over their territory and waiving with their scissors! It was great fun to look at them!
A Memorable Arrival
Fondest memory: This wasn't a fond memory but it was indeed memorable. On my last trip to Taiwan I had booked a hotel limo to pick me up at the airport. On leaving the airport terminal and heading out to the main roads, the car was pulled over by police. A rifle was directed at the driver and he was directed to get out of the car. While they were checking his papers, another police officer beckoned to me (with rifle 'slightly' averted) to get out of the car. No checks were done of my passport etc and as soon as they were satisfied with the driver, we were allowed to get back in the car and proceed. I believe it was just a routine check. I couldn't ask my driver as he didn't speak English. Just a little bit of excitement to start my trip off.
Get a Map and Wander
Fondest memory: I found just wandering around the streets with a map in hand fascinating. It beat trying to communicate with taxi drivers and I got to see a lot more of the day to day things. I loved all the temples scattered around Taipei. The local people do not mind you going in and taking photos. Through the back streets you can see some amazing things and the people themselves were fascinating.
Favorite thing: When hunting the spicy girls... (la-la-mei) or some western food, look no further than Hsimending, which is the section of Taipei where the young and trendy tend to congregage.
Located one subway stop away from the main Taipei train station on the Panchiao line....
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