If you’re planning a Taiwan trip and you’re not sure where you want to go, start with a tour of Taipei. This little-known gem of a place, which some call “expat haven”, has almost everything you expect to see in a western city. Taipei’s citizens are also known to be very friendly and go out of their way to help you during your Taipei sightseeing excursions. The colorful night markets represent Taipei attractions in their own right, delivering mouthwatering food at every stall. Surrounded by lush hills and flowing rivers, your Taipei trip should include visits to the parks, too. Check out the beautiful Thousand Island Lake, the spectacular Taroko Gorge, and the relaxing Yangmingshan National Park and hot springs! Getting in touch with nature is what to do in Taipei during your Taiwan vacation!
• Under my umbrella. The inhabitants of Taipei often carry an umbrella under their arm wherever they go. It can pour buckets in Taipei without a moment’s notice. Throw a good raincoat into your suitcase, too!
• Helpful citizens, little English. In Taiwan, it isn’t unusual to see a tourist surrounded by locals trying to help them. However, many people speak very little English. The language is taught at schools, but they don’t speak it after that. So, the easiest people to communicate with may be young adults.
• Easy does it. EasyCard is a contact-free smartcard which makes traveling in Taipei very easy. You can use the EasyCard on local busses, the subway, convenience stores, Youbikes, or even to pay for parking.
Taipei enjoys mild to moderate weather throughout the year. Because of its location, the average temperature in Taipei can change quickly. On a single day, the weather can go from sunny to a torrential downpour. The best time to visit Taipei is from October to March when the weather is pleasantly mild and dry. Cherry blossoms are very hard to predict; but, locals swear they bloom between February and mid-March. Between April to September, the weather is hotter, more humid, and rainier, too. Within that time period, between June to August, is typhoon season.
• The Taipei subway offers easy and cheap transportation and connects to the best attractions in Taipei. It’s the best mode of transport in Taipei. The metro is foreigner-friendly, providing English translations and easy to understand instructions.
• Busses are also another option. It’s now much easier for foreigners to take the bus than before, because of new English translations on the route maps. The extensive bus network can take you to most places you wish to go.
• The healthiest way to get around in Taipei is on bicycle or by foot. During the summer months, it can get very humid and this might not seem very appealing. However, when the temperature is right and humidity not too high, it’s a great way to see the city.
• Taipei experiences a lot of typhoons. These storms bring strong winds and rain to the mainland. In a year, six to eight typhoons can hit the mainland. Most of them are not dangerous ; but, they can still impact your travel plans and mobility.
• Stick to bottled water. If you’re not able to get a hold of bottled water, then make sure the water you drink is always boiled. Dysentery and typhoid are very common and you don’t want to get that while traveling.
• The traffic is a bit chaotic and scooters go everywhere, even on sidewalks. Look both ways before you cross the road and poke your head out first when you’re exiting a shop.
I like to ride my bicycle!
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