Taiwan First Time

Taipei 101 from Zhongshan

On the late of last month, I had my business meeting and short vacation in Taiwan for about a week. So I suspend my Japan trip blog to write about what I experienced in this latest trip at the time my memories still fresh.

  • I did some research and talking with my acquaintance about Taiwan before the trip. I concluded the features of Taiwan are Chinese with a touch of Japanese, kind people, delicious food, convenient transportation, cheap living cost and good-looking Chinese people.
  • I didn’t make this trip plan properly because of my busy work. I only looked for the attractions I like and noted them down. Unlike my past Japan trips which I made plans in the detail. Even train fares were calculated. I also exchange a small money since I had already paid the hotel bill and I didn’t know what to buy there. However it’s almost not enough.
  • One of lucky things in this trip is Taiwan government tests their Visa-Exempt entry to Thai people who go to Taiwan for sightseeing or business meeting. So I didn’t have to do the Visa. Also at the immigrant, there were no special questions asked. Only photo shooting and fingerprint scanning and I passed. However I do prepare a lot of documents which required by immigrant in case of they are asking for them.

THSR 700T at Taichung Station

  • The transportation there is very convenient especially in Taipei that has MRT trains and buses. The MRT lines are easy to understand. They aren’t so complex like Japanese and their fare are cheap. For Taxi, it isn’t a good idea to take it to a far place alone since it’s so expensive. Their meters start at 70 TWD and will increase very fast. To travel to remote provinces or Taoyuan Airport. There are choices of buses, normal trains and high-speed trains depended on how fast you want with the reasonable fares.
  • There are many attractions and activities in Taiwan such as temples, nature, museums, hipster hangouts, famous restaurants and shopping. I believe they will answer most of people’s needs but you will like them or not are other matter.
  • For Thai shoppers. Beware your spending. Because we usually think New Taiwan Dollar has the same value as Thai Baht. Although in reality Taiwan Dollar is a little more expensive than Baht. (about 0.14 – 0.15 Baht) This mean some items you think they are cheap. In fact they aren’t that cheap especially when paying with credit card with high bank exchange rate fee.

Din Tai Fung - House Special Spicy Shrimp and Pork Wontons

  • I think most people who come to Taiwan want to eat chinese food or sea food. For those who don’t like them, there is a lot of Japanese foods in Taipei like in Bangkok. Convenience stores like Seven Eleven and Family Mart have special food, drinks, snack and dessert that are different from other countries. They are waiting for people to try them/
  • One thing I notice about snacks and drinks are their size is quite large. Some snacks portion are as large as one meal. Most of drinks I found are in 500 ml bottle. So this is the first time that I have leftover which can be eaten the next time. I even bring some of them to my home.

Din Tai Fung SOGO Fuxing Branch

  • People I met there are very kind from asking about my well-being to helping me on a small matter. Unfortunately they spoke in Chinese which is I can’t understand. Sometime they spoke in Japanese instead which is enough for me to understand.
  • However the workers in large stores, restaurants and official places like train station have a good to the best English skill. We can talk and understand each others completely. For Thai language, I didn’t see it much here. But I happen to talk to Taiwanese with Thai language once. It’s one of things that make me happy on this trip.
  • Not counting street crossing without zebra crossing and light signal. I think people there are good to be in the rule and manner such as standing on the right of escalator, order all food for all restaurant visitors, not eating or drinking in station area, etc. Some of them are opposite from the ones in Thailand. So you should be careful with your manner there.

Not counting my work there, I think I begin to love Taiwan. If I have a chance and Thai visa exemption is still available, I will visit it again. I plan to write the posts about this trip too. Maybe after I finish my Japan trip blog or I will switch writing between them.

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