Things I have realised while travelling in Taiwan

So I am back from Taiwan again (previously I went there with my school).
A different experience for me and it's the first time I am planning my own trip. Because usually I will ended up having my friends/school/family to plan for me. This time round, I would like to have a say lol.

Of course, these are some of the things that I have learned from this trip. And to remind myself in the upcoming overseas trip.

Before the trip

Always always check the weather forecast
Learnt my lesson this time round in Taiwan because I packed for the wrong season.
The highest temperature was 19 degrees with strong wind and rain. But all I packed was one cardigan and the rest are short sleeves top. Basically something that I will wear in air conditioned room but not in this weather. 

Plan your trip and get things ready
(Source: x)

Know where you want to go and take what kind of public transport etc. And most importantly the timing that the public transports will be available. This is not Singapore where buses come in every 15 mins or so, some countries have their buses coming only every other hour. We took train and bus most of the time thus it's important to note what bus number and what stop to alight! FYI, Taiwan buses are so confusing at times. For example, for some buses, I will have to tap my card when I board and alight, while some cases I only need to tap when I board. Thus it's important to read the sign before boarding or ask the bus driver for information. Most of them are friendly enough to help. So far I only experienced one bus driver that scolded us lol.

I purchased my easy-go card at the airport counter and it's so convenient?? What's more I get to keep the card till the next time I visit Taiwan again. Singapore ezlink card and Taiwan easy-go card have actually corporate to have the cross border combi card but it's still can't be used.

Bring extra luggage/bag
(Source: x)

You know how you will go crazy shopping for all the cheap stuff when you are overseas. And it will be too late to realise you have actually forgotten to bring extra luggage to store all your items. 
  
During the trip

Never trust all strangers you meet
It may sounded like common senses but when you are overseas in somewhere foreign, no doubt you will trust what the local says. We have been fooled once by the local and almost wrote a complain letter to the company. But thank goodness Taiwanese are really nice and helpful thus they solved this issue with us within 2 days (speaking of the super fast efficiency please). Sometimes the taxi driver will promote their taxi and ask you to sit but charging you way more than usual so be careful!

Some interesting things I have notice during my stay:

1. There are water cooler at EVERY train station.
So far all those that I have went, I can basically refill my water bottle at those stations. Good news for people like me who love drinking water. HAHA. P/S They have washroom at every station and I must say it's very clean (some are even cleaner than those we have in Singapore)!

2. Underground shopping
My hotel was near Taipei Main Station (but I feel that it's the most run down station ever although the name TAIPEI made it sound otherwise), and there are underground shops!! Not just a few shops like you see in Singapore that mainly sells food. Here, I can shop for almost half a day and get pretty good deals (like bargaining from NT1000 to NT700).

3. There are not much escalators or lifts in the station.
Especially the one at Taipei Main Station. We carried our luggage all the way up those flight of stairs and mind you it's not just one flight but at least 2 flights of stairs. I could feel myself building muscles during my stay in Taiwan because I climbed those stairs everyday. 

Most importantly, enjoy your stay when you are overseas!

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