Visitors to Taiwan have long been using the Guoguang highway buses running every 15mins or so between TPE airport and Taipei main station. And it is an endless wait for many passengers who land during the popular and busy time of the day. Now, after years of debate and construction, the Taoyuan Airport MRT is finally open to the public! The MRT officially opened in February but was only available to selected group tours, and starting from 3/1, the MRT is open to the public and is currently having the promotion of 50% off all ticket prices. So right now a single way 30 minute ride from Taoyuan airport to Taipei cost NT 80 which is roughly 2.5 USD, can’t beat that price! Here’s a step by step picture for the actual ride from airport to Taipei main station. Video coming soon.
Note: this is a tutorial for Terminal 1 of Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)
Step 1: Walk from the arrival hall back to the departure hall.
Not a great picture, but if you’ve never flown out of Taoyuan airport before, this is roughly what the departure hall looks like.
Lunar New Year, or sometimes known as Chinese New Year, is the annual celebration where family members chat and share lives with each other, enjoying the feel of surrounded by family. Because it's not technically the one day holiday such as Thanksgiving and Christmas that you'd typically see in the western society, Lunar New Year celebration is close to a month worth of celebrating. Even though technically there's only one New Year. In the articles last week we introduced the list of events and holidays within the Lunar New Year celebration; however with the list being so long and complicated, lantern festival was mentioned but not explained in depth.
Custom 6: January 1 (Lunar) Spring is Officially in Action
Firecrackers are lit during the countdown to new year to drive away the creature Nian who used to scare the farmers. By the morning of January 1st, everyone, and I mean probably include your mom’s dog she walks everyday, goes out and greets everyone they know from friends, neighbors, to the bosses they usually hate. However, women who are married are traditionally not allowed or shun on for going back their original family on this day as they are considered a part of their husband's family instead of their original family. Continue reading "The Complete Lunar New Year Guide Pt.2"
It's that time of the Lunar New Year again! Have you been summoned to help on New Year's shopping?
Speaking of New Year Essentials, it's gotta be the DiHua Street of Taipei's Dadaocheng business district.
Dadaocheng's trading activity started around the end of Qing dynasty to the early stage of Japanese Occupation, mainly focusing on North&South groceries and teas. After 1945, the street becomes the wholesaler center for Groceries, Chinese Medicine, and Textiles. Most of the buildings still have their traditional looks, not only recording the history of Taipei but also Taiwan's history of international trading and business development. Now Dadaocheng has integrated the traditional structure and it's culturally creative content, the area has attracted a new crowd of tourist coming for its historic and archaic vibe. Not to mention the craziness of families doing New Year's Shopping around the Lunar New Year week. Barely any room to even turn your shoulders, DiHua Street's crowd of people and the different dried goods sold in the store can definitely represent something unique of Taipei.
Whether you're a prepared buyer with lists and deals ready, or a demo person that's hopping in at the right time, or even just a tourist stopping by to experience the Lunar New Year feel, DiHua Street has something for everyone. Rows after rows of cooked food and dried goods ready to lure you, store shouting out sale and bargaining on this side, countless signature items and tastings, all of these asking you the customer to stop and pay with every dime you've got in the wallet. In my honest opinion, it's going to take some effort for you and your wallet to survive DiHua Street during the Festival and New Year times.
Backpackers will usually choose public transportations such as metros or buses when it comes to traveling abroad due to the budget issue. But if you are more of a night owl or traveling a more remote area, then you might still run into the situation of riding a taxi. So we're going to introduce in this article the rates of taxis and things to watch out for in Taiwan. Continue reading "Traveling in Taiwan: Taxis"
Relationships and marriage tends to be something that Asian people look to the deities for a definite answer. Even though the younger generations have successfully gained their freedom on choosing partners, the deities and the praying process is still considered as a boost to your luck in love.
Who said the love of god has to be a baby half naked? Image by martinak15. CC:BY-SA
In our last article, we've introduced Taiwan's Free WiFis. Unfortunately, both the FamilyMart and 7-Eleven's Wifi Registration page doesn't provide an English version. Therefore we've written this article in the hopes of helping out our friends that doesn't read Mandarin to enjoy such an awesome free service. This ultimate guide will ensure you're able to signup without knowing Mandarin.
Step 1: Connect to the ibon-WiFi on your device then it will be automatically transfer to the Login/Register page. First time users please click the register button.
For tourists, subways are probably the most reliable and convenient tools to ride within Taipei and Kaosiung two major urban area. Taiwanese people categorize the public transportation by TRA, THSR, and other rail systems that move within the city area is commonly called MRT (Metro Rapid Transit).
Kaohsiung Metro Formosa Boulevard Station Dome of Light。Photo by Chi-Hung Lin, CC: BY-SA
Taipei is commonly recognized as the capital and the place to go for foreign travelers due to its convenient public transportation system and population density. However, for the adventurous spirit and advanced backpackers, the rest of the island is actually not as hard as imagined to be reached. Taiwan’s Highway system is rather complete and sophisticated, almost any sights and parks can be reached through the road system. With the added benefits of acceptable gasoline prices and well maintained surface, driving could be a good alternative when planning your travel to this beautiful island.