Basic questions about Taipei

Sep 17th, 2009, 05:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 485
Basic questions about Taipei

We have an opportunity to go to Taipei next month for 8 days. Thie flight (EVA air) and hotel (Ambassador) are taken care of by the school that is bringing us over, so no need to research that end of things. I have been trying to find a good guide book on Taipei, but am not having any luck. So, my questions:

1. What is your favorite guide book for this area?
2. I believe we only need a passport (no VISA), correct?
3. Is the tap water safe to drink?
4, Food? Anything we need to avoid?
5. We fly directly from U.S. into Taipei. It looks like we don't need any shots, correct?

Thanks for any info you can provide me.
travel52 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2009, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 267
You get, I think, a 30 day tourist visa when entering the country and no shots are necessary. Taiwan is very careful about H1N1 and passengers pass through temperature screening devices on their way to immigration.

The guide books seem more or less the same -- Insight or Discovery or Lonely Planet -- but perhaps because I live here (I'm an American who has been here three years with my husband) I don't really pay close attention to them.

Hotel tap water is probably ok, but I stick to bottled water, tea or Taiwan beer. Food in Taipei is delicious!!! When my daughters visit from the States, we "power eat" our way through town. You may not want stinky tofu or various intestines, but there is nothing you have to avoid.

The Taiwan gov't has a decent website (google taiwan tourism and you should find it). Hungry Girl in Taipei lists lots of restaurants.

You should: visit the National Palace Museum, the Longshan Temple, the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, soak in a hot spring, travel to Taroko Gorge if you have the time, go to the top of Taipei 101, the Lin Family Gardens...the Aboriginal Museum is quite interesting, as is the National History Museum and the Museum of World Religions.

Hope this starts you out. Taiwan is a beautiful country with very friendly people and great food.
jgmc is offline  
Sep 18th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Thanks so much. That is very helpful. The other question that I forgot to ask is if we need a converter so we can charge our cell phones, camera etc.

Again, thank you!
travel52 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 267
No converter necessary for Americans.

Weather will still be warm and rain is always a strong probability. Typhoons are possible through October.

Let me know if I can help with any other questions.
jgmc is offline  
Oct 5th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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Another question-
We will be traveling with an elderly woman. I am trying to figure out a way for her to be able to call us when we are not together. DH and I have AT & T cell phones, so ours will work in Taipei (expensive, but will work). We also have an extra phone we could have her use. Do you know of any cards we could buy to put in the phones to use while there? We did that while in Europe, but am having trouble finding information for Taiwan.

Again, thank you
travel52 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 267
Oh, sorry, but I'm not much use here. There are phone stores everywhere you look and yes, you can buy cards for your phones, but I'm essentially ignorant on this subject. Maybe you should start a new thread with "Phone help in Taipei" as the subject line -- you might attract a techie traveler!

Are you traveling for one of the international schools here? Or one of the universities?
jgmc is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I think that you can buy SIM cards in Taiwan for your unlocked phones, but as far as I am aware, they are not especially cost-effective. I'm not sure how they compare to Europe, however.

Personally I've found Skype to be very convenient for making phone calls -- if you have your computer with you and can get cheap internet access. You can get passes at Starbucks with the WiFly program. I seem to remember that Taipei itself is actually full of free hotspots too, so you may be able to get net access for free.

I've flipped through the Lonely Planet guide for Taiwan. As far as I am aware, Taiwan is not well covered by travel guides (for example, I don't think that Fodor's offers one, and neither does Frommer's).

Look also under the NYT travel section for articles on Taipei and Taiwan. Matt Gross has written articles on eating options in Taipei. You should seek out Yongkang Street and of course Din Tai Fung, the very successful (now international) dumplings chain.

Have a great time!
111op is offline  

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