Last week, I transferred all my knowledge on the MRT to all of you. You already knew how to get to places, now the question is where should you go? Below I’m going to share with you 5 useful websites I frequently use to help me plan my trips around the beautiful Formosa.
(A little history here: Taiwan was formerly known as Ilha Formosa, named by the Portuguese sailors passing Taiwan in 1544. The name means “Beautiful Island” in Portuguese)
1. Google Map: If you’re already familiar with this web mapping tool, that’s fantastic! Because it’s gonna be your travel buddy during your time in Taiwan. Unlike North American cities, numbered and lettered street names rarely exists in Taiwan. Chinese street names can be confusing, even for locals like me. Also, cities don’t always have a grid street pattern. Random small alleys are commonly found. It is easy to get lost. Always check Google Map to locate yourself on the map and use it to direct you to your destination. That will save you tons of time! Not to mention that Google Map will also inform you which MRT line to take, where to transfer and where to get off! Super helpful 🙂
Taiwan.net.tw: If you know nothing about Taiwan at all, Taiwan.net.tw is a good place to start. This site is maintained by Taiwan Tourism Bureau, helping foreigners to learn about Taiwan and explore this beautiful country. You can find out about the climate, scenic attractions, festivals, famous local snacks, popular shopping districts, night markets, accommodations and transportations, all of which are helpful information for first-time travelers!
2. Taiwan Tour Bus: If you don’t want the hassle to arrange the transportation and accommodations, you can consider letting travel agent do all the work! Taiwan Tour Bus is certified by Taiwan Tourism Bureau, offering sightseeing tours all across the country. Simply select the area you would like to travel to and the length of period, then you would have a list of possible itineraries to choose from!
3. Taiwan Trip: This is my favorite site for trip planning. It takes you to main tourist attractions and provides shuttle service from the close-by railway stations and High Speed Rail stations – perfect for backpackers and independent travelers! It’s a cheap, easy, and environmentally friendly way to travel too 🙂 Mainly, it provides 2 types of services:
a) Shuttle buses from railway stations to the attraction sites. Instructions as follow. You don’t have to pay online beforehand. Only pay while you’re on the bus.
b) Package Tour: If you’re looking for more than just a shuttle service to the attraction site, you will find the economical package tours a lot more fun! Different packages are bundled with different items – some includes ticket to the water park, $100 coupon for food, sky lantern or a bowl of shaved ice. They are not guided tours so you have the freedom to plan your activities that suit your schedule the best. Unfortunately, this service is not posted on the English website. I will demonstrate in the pics below how to check available packages on the Chinese website.
5. THSR Holiday (高鐵假期): This site is managed by Taiwan High Speed Rail and provides packages that include HSR tickets, accommodations and shuttle service from HSR station to your hotel. Some may include theme park tickets, cruise fare, or food coupon! Unfortunately, they don’t have an English site.
Lastly, I would recommend every traveler to rent a WiFi router in Taiwan to keep yourself connected! (How are you gonna use Google Map if you don’t have WiFi connection, right?) WiFi Taiwan provides such service at economical price. It is easy as 1-2-3. Just book it online, pay through PayPal, and pickup your device at your hotel or the nearby convenient store you selected. Once you’re done, put the device in the package and hand over to the convenient store! Easy peasy, eh?
There are many reasons to visit Taiwan and I hope you this post help you plan to see this beautiful country. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a message below and I’m more than happy to help you out!