Things to know about Taipei for our overseas friends!
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README.md
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README.md

Welcome to Taipei! 👋 😉

This is a handbook for people coming to the g0v Summit from overseas put together by everyone.

Table of Contents

Visa

This information applies for short-stay visitors only.

Visa Exemption & Visa on arrival

Passports eligible for Visa Exemption

Passports eligible for Visa on arrival

Passports of India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

If you have valid visa for any of the following countries: US, Canada, Japan, UK, Schengen countries, Australia, New Zealand, use the fast track visa application

Otherwise follow the procedeures below for "All other passports".

Chinese Passports

  1. If you live in China

  2. If you are eligible for 自由行, go for that.

  3. Otherwise: ask if the conference organizer can send formal business visa invitation. Please allow 2 months lead time.

  4. If you live in Hong Kong or other countries, and have residence permit

You are generally eligible for the "Type 3 Chinese Visitor" category. Follow the procedeures below for "All other passports". Please allow 3 weeks lead time.

All other passports

See here

Arrivial

Facial and fingerprint registartion is required for all foriegn passport holders. The only exception is to be invited by a institution and the host has to apply for your fingerprinting exemption by proving your exceptional academic or professional achievement, according to "執行外來人口入出國(境)辨識個人生物特徵作業要點" 三(三)依國際機場禮遇作業辦法申請國賓禮遇、特別禮遇及一般禮遇 with this form. Please allow two-week lead time.

Data SIM Card

At Taoyuan (TPE) (Mostly International flights) or Songshan (TSA) airport you can buy Data SIM card from main carriers of Taiwan.

Due to the law, you must have BOTH your passport AND your local ID or international driver license to buy one. 😞

  • Passport => No SIM card
  • ID card => No SIM card
  • Passport + ID card => SIM card!

Power (Socket)

Type A, B (110V, 60 Hz).

Free WiFi

Sign up an account from TPE-Free. Most of the public places (shopping mall, library and Metro stations) have TPE-Free.

And also, you can use iTaiwan. It will be available at some public places like post office or local government.

Tipping

No need to tip.

Communication

Chinese & English, most of people will help you anyway.

English news can be found on Taiwan News, Taipei Times and Focus Taiwan.

Airport transportation

Taoyuan Airport

Taipei Songshan Airport

Getting Around

Google Maps is your best friend.

EASYCARD

The public transport system runs on a reloadable contactless card called EasyCard (悠遊卡). There are also one to five day unlimited pass (for MRT and Buses), called Taipei pass, and 24hr Taipei Metro Pass (only for MRT). It’s better to buy a EasyCard unless you will plan on making 5+ trips per day then you can buy the Taipei pass at all metro station information. The EasyCard is available at all metro station information counters and convenience stores.

EasyCard credits are refundable (with some fees) so if you still have some credits left, remember to go to the MRT counter to apply for a refund.

MRT and Buses

No eating or drinking is allowed inside the metro station or on the MRT train.

Taxi

You can flag down a taxi from the street. Starts at NT$70-90, but in some tourist sites away from central Taipei (eg., Jiufen), the price will be a little bit higher.

Uber is also available in Taipei, with the same price as taxi (when without surge pricing), and in most situation are more convenience for foreign users.

YouBike (Bike sharing)

Yellow bike sharing service YouBike is available everywhere across Taipei (and near all metro station). It allows commuters to rent from one station and return at another with EasyCard with very cheap price as low as 30 per hour, which is available at all metro station information counters and convenience stores.

Download the App so you can access the stations map and know if there's still empty places to park your Youbike or if the closest station has available Youbike!

Obike

Obike is also avalaible in Taipei, but it's almost dead.

Buying electronics

Guanghua Market (光華商場)

Sight Seeing

Check Taipei#Tourism on Wikipedia for more detailed venues info.

Top places

All informations are available on the Guide to Taipei. Hereafter, what some suggestions:

Mountain Hiking

  • Elephant mountain (象山, Xiang-shan)

    Here you can see the taipei 101 and whole Taipei city.

    Xiang-shan Credit: 中岑 范姜

  • Maokong (貓空) & Maokong Gondola

    Famous for the taiwanese tea

    Maokong Credit: Prince Roy

  • Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園)

    Yangmingshan Credit: 宋炯瑞

  • Ping Hsi Branch Railway Line & Old Town (平溪支線, 平溪老街)

    Famous for the Taiwan’s sky lantern festival. You can launching sky lanterns on the railway. Like "Tangled" by Disney.

    Lanters Credit: Jirka Matousek

  • Jiufen (九份)

    The famous Japanese animation producer Hayao Miyazaki used Jiufen as an inspiration in Spirited Away.

    Jiufen Credit: cotaro70s

  • Tamsui Old Town (淡水老街)

Hot Springs ♨️

  • Beitou Hot Spring (北投溫泉)

    Beitou Credit: カメラマン

  • Wulai (烏來溫泉)

Anime & Manga

  • Taipei Underground Shopping Street (台北地下街)

    Near Taipei Main Station. Most anime shops located at the middle of the shopping street. (Not to be confused with Zhongshan Underground Shopping Street)

  • Guanghua Market (光華商場)

    Electronic Street, but also have some anime shops in Syntrend (三創). Huashan Park (華山文創園區) is also a good place to go.

More information: The 25 Top Taipei, Taiwan Things To Do: What to Do Today, This Weekend or in September.

Food

Taiwan is very famous for night market. There are so many night market in Taipei, for example: Shihlin night market and Ninxia night market. In this night market, you can find many Taiwanese foods. See also 45 Taiwanese foods we can't live without on CNN.

Xiaolongbao Dumpling (小籠包, Siao-Long-Bau)

Probaly the most known Taiwan food. If you want to try Ding-Tai-Feng (鼎泰豐) be prepared to queue for 1 hour in lunch and dinner time.

Braised Pork Rice (滷肉飯, Lu-Rou-Fan)

Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐, Chou-Dou-Fu)

Search Google for stinky tofu challenge

Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉麵, Niu-Rou-Mian)

  • 林東芳牛肉麵

    One of the best places in Taipei. Be prepared to queue

Oyster Omelet (蚵仔煎, O-A-Jian)

Small Sausage in Large Sausage (大腸包小腸, Da-Chang-Bao-Siao-Chang)

Looks like American hot dog but is broiled sausage wrapped in "rice sausage".

Bubble Milk Tea (珍珠奶茶/波霸奶茶, Jen-Ju-Nai-Cha)

Pan-fried bun (水煎包/生煎包, Shui-Jian-Bao)

Gua bao (割包)

Tian bu la (甜不辣/關東煮)

Similar to Japanese oden but is a Taiwan-specialized version. Also called "黑輪" (Oh-Lian)

Ba wan (肉圓)

Two types: Oil-fried and steamed. Steamed is usually only in southern Taiwan.

Fried Chicken (雞排, Ji-Pai)

Unlike American style fried checken, and also unlike Japanese fried checken (kara-age), the Taiwanse fried chicken is flat and as large as your hand, some are even larger than your face.

Flaky Scallion Pancake (蔥抓餅, Tsong-Jua-Bing)

Oyster vermicelli (蚵仔麵線, O-A-Mi-Sua)

Shaved Ice Mountain (剉冰, Tsua-Bing)

Shaved Ice Mountain usually served with sweet beans like azuki bean or fruits. Besure to try Mango Shaved Ice which is the most known ice in Taiwan.

Pepper Cakes

Ribs stewed in medicinal herbs (藥膳排骨, Yao-Shan-Pai-Goo)

Mochi

Pineapple cake

Sun Cakes (太陽餅, Tai-Yang-Bing)

Note: Sun is not included in the cake.

Tube rice pudding (筒仔米糕, Dang-Ah-Mii-Gou)

Aiyu Jelly (愛玉)

Like Jelly but softer. Usually served in cold with lemon. This sweet is probaly only available in Taiwan.

Café

Ongoing list of cafes put together in Wiki. Most café provide free wifi, and power socket is available in some place. Do check "coffee" in Foursquare for (many hundred of) good quality indenpedent cafés.

You can also get cheap (but not so bad) coffee at convenience store at $50~100.

Cat Cafés

Taipei MRT map of Cat CafesCredit: Ms.Aman

Souvenirs

  • Pineapple cake

    It's great for afternoon tea. The filling is either pineapple, or more traditionally winter melon (冬瓜) sealed with a buttery crust.

  • Nougat

  • Tea Leaf Pack

  • Sun cake

  • Kavalan Whiskey, available at airport, many retail stores and convenience store.

See also

License

CC-BY-SA

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Credits

This guide is forked from the Ruby Taiwan Community, which was inspired by Ruby Singapore community, check out their handbook if you visit Singapore.