Visiting the Heart of Asia

I managed to get myself another holiday before this year ended! This was a bit rushed holiday as I kept changing my dates on when to go because I didn’t want to go alone. I was about 90% sure that I’ll have to park my plans to visit but then everywhere I go, I would see commercials or hints of what to see in there. All my friends who’ve been to Taiwan kept on telling me to just go for it.

I’m really happy that I got to visit Taiwan last month. I was there for about a full week and I got to explore beyond the main city. It was a really great time to visit because the weather was great (averaging 22C per day). We did a ton of walking so I’m glad it wasn’t humid nor too cold that I have to put on plenty of layers of clothing.

Here are some of the remarkable things I’ve found in Taiwan (both good and bad):

  • Public transportation is a breeze. If you knew me well, you’d know that I take a taxi everywhere. In Singapore I kept taking uber and I had the shock of my lifetime when I got back home and saw my credit card bill. It’s just the convenience that I’m after, but here in Taiwan the system is very easy to navigate and for some reason it’s never really crowded to the point that I don’t wanna get in and ride. In my whole stay, I only took the taxi twice — when the bus route was a bit complicated to get to our destination and it was only 15 minutes away, and when the MRT has closed down (it closes at midnight). It’s also very easy to leave the main city. No need to go on tours and it’s easy to figure it out all on our own. Google Maps isvery accurate.
  • The EZ Card is your best friend. The EZ Card is a reloadable prepaid card that you can use to pay for stuff such as train and bus tickets. What’s more amazing is that convenience stores and pretty much any other place accept it as a mode of payment too. I used the EZ card to pay my fare (and the rate is going to be discounted) and a few small items in 7/11.
  • The roads are amazing. I’m not sure if it’s because of the cold weather or not, but it’s such walkable place! I was complaining a lot because I don’t walk much but I’m not gonna deny that it’s nice to walk around.
  • The people are friendly. The people here are really always smiling and helpful. I had an instance of trying to load my EZ card at the station and the guy looked at us for a bit and then helped me figure out. People also don’t crowd around the train station and are very courteous.

If I have one key take-away from Taiwan, it’s probably the convenience of everything. The EZ Card, the public transportation… these are things I only wish we can have back in Manila. The whole place was very relaxed and there was no rush to be anywhere. I also have to give plus points to the perfect weather which really made me happy throughout the whole trip.

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