Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

Taiwan

What I loved: Flights from South Korea reach Taiwan in about 2.5 hours, so this place can make for a great weekend getaway; inexpensive flights here; inexpensive transportation within the country; inexpensive food (especially delicious street food); food in general was very multifaceted and diverse; lots of day trip destinations from big cities, availability of hot springs, waterfalls, parks, beaches and other recreational activities and their ease of reach; very polite and welcoming people; inexpensive use of Internet while there for a few days; friendly hosts even when they didn’t speak our language; spacial awareness.

What I didn’t: didn’t like how short our trip was (6 days, because most of our friends said that you won’t need more than that). I disagree! I could explore Taiwan for months from North to South and in between! Some signs were mostly in Chinese, which made having a smart phone with Internet and Apps (like Maps) very helpful. If they say visibility is “Good,” that doesn’t mean it’s going to be that good to take a decent shot from Taipei 101. Many taxi drivers don’t speak a word of English.

Quick travel tips: Buy a Sim card at the airport when you arrive (3-4 dollars a day to help you seamlessly get around, translate things, etc). Don’t be afraid to try street food, especially in Wulai. Soak your sins in one of the hot springs areas. Ask students for directions, taxi drivers won’t be much help unless you show them the name in Chinese or be able to pronounce it correctly. Enjoy the chaos of night markets of Taipei. Bring warm clothes, even when it says 25C. See a Chinese Opera show!

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