Five Things to Know Before Visiting Taiwan
1. DON’T GIVE IN TO THE MISCONCEPTIONS: Before my trip, I was constantly asked why out of all places I was visiting Taiwan when there is so many other exciting countries to visit in the Asia region. This type of comments instilled a fear in me as to wether I was making the right decision by doing a week long trip into this marvelous country. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I didn’t listen to their feedback. Taiwan is far by one of the most fabulous countries that I’ve experienced so far. If you are considering if you should book that trip: DO IT!
2. THE LANGUAGE WILL BE A BARRIER: Sorry to break this down to you but not many people in Taiwan speak English. Be sure to download a translation app before your trip as you’ll need it when visiting places that are not major tourist destinations. This is particular true if you plan on visiting the areas outside of Taipei. With that said, don’t let this discourage you as I found this to be an exciting challenge that only made the experience more memorable.
3. TAIWAN’S RICH FOOD CULTURE: If you are a foodie like me; you’ll feel as if you are at heaven in Taiwan. The food culture is unlike anything I’ve experienced. Finding food to eat in the late night is not a problem here! You’ll find yourself surrounded by food at all times. Don’t be afraid to try their unique dishes and most importantly the street food.
4. TRANSPORTATION: The public transportation system in Taiwan is so easy to use that I highly recommend you use it as much as you can. Not only is it much cheaper than using Uber and Taxis but it also lets you avoid miscommunication as some drivers don’t speak any English.
5. CURRENCY: While the number of establishments accepting USA credit cards is increasing, you’ll find yourself needing cash at most places. Be sure to convert your money upon arrival to avoid missing out on any experiences.
If you are wondering where you should stay during your trip to Taipei, I would highly recommend staying at Hotel Hoyumi which is located in the Zhongshan district. Near some of the best attractions yet just far enough from the noise of areas like Ximen.
It's one of the cutest little boutique hotels and the service is really top notch. Each rooms design is based on one of the artworks of artist Natali Hoyumi, making each room special. The rooms are so comfy that I must confess I spent a whole day inside, just ordering room service from their new restaurant below. They are so accommodating and wether you are vegan or a meat eater, they'll prepare something delicious.
PS: If you have to work during your stay they have a cute little rooftop (as well as an outdoor cafe) that offers a perfect place to work from during your trip.