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November 12, 2005 – A journey to General Tips, Taiwan in Asia

A Few Tips For Traveling Taipei And Surrounding Areas

- Take the Air Bus from the airport (100 NT or $3 USD). Taxis can cost from 1600 NT (around $50 USD) and up to get to Taipei central.
- The Taipei Mass Rapid Transit is very easy to take and very convenient. Most sites are within a few minutes of each other. Likewise the Taipei Main Train Station is an easy stop on the MRT line.

Taipei MRT train

free umbrellas for borrow at the MRT stations - how nice!

- Taking the train is fairly easy too. For longer rides, make sure you purchase tickets in advance, else you may be left standing during rush hour. Getting to cities around the island doesn't take as much time as you think.
- Accommodations are pricey in general (I found them even pricier than accommodations in Japan). Look for deals in free coupon/booklets from the airport or at tourist booths. You can also bargain - prices go down even more if you stay more than one night. Staying outside of Taipei city is an option too - such as in Beitou or Danshui.
- Street food shacks and small hole-in-the-wall restaurants are everywhere, and open till really late at night. These are great options for cheap and filling eats. Plus, you get to taste local Taiwanese cuisine.
- You can find almost any cuisine in Taipei - Japanese, Hakka, Chinese (Sichuan, Peking, Cantonese, etc.), Brazilian, Thai, Indian, Mexican, etc. Taipei is very food-oriented - some of the MRT stations even smell like delicious fresh-baked garlic bread.

an extensive food court can be found in Taipei 101, the world´s tallest building for now

- Be wary of no drinking/eating/smoking signs in public areas - they do ticket. I got a warning for drinking water while waiting for a train at a MRT station (they forgave me because I didn't know and wasn't paying attention to the signs).

luckily I didn't get fined around $50 USD for drinking water

- Recycling bins are everywhere, so do your part!

- For some reason, I'm fascinated by the puppetry in Taiwan. If you have the opportunity, check out one of the puppet shows shown in public (or on TV if you can´t find one). Puppet theaters can generally be found near night markets and temples.

various puppets for sale

a puppet theater near the Shilin night market

puppet show on television

- Last but not least, the people here are quite friendly. Quite a few can speak a little English, and many are willing to help you if you're lost.

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