Thursday, October 13, 2011

Taiwan Travel Tips & Tricks 台灣旅遊提示

There are several things many people do not aware of before depart to Taiwan. The goodies that offer by Taiwan Tourism Council are really care for backpackers like us. I hope you found my blog way before your departure. :)

Digital Tour Buddy 寶貝機
Digital Tour Buddy is a mobile phone with sim card provided by Taiwan Youth Travel.
You do not need to worry getting a prepaid card in Taiwan, and wondering how much it burns when you not using it anymore.

Digital Tour Buddy come with a SIM card with NT100. We don't need much money in it because it's only for emergency in case any of us get lost. If you need more credit, just top up at the convenient store.

All you need to do is fill up the form online, and collect it at the airport when you arrive. It can be collected at the Customer Service counter that you can see it once you step out from the Arrival Hall. Air Asia from Malaysia will be arrived at Tower 2. You are required to leave your Identification Card or Driving License to the Customer Service, you will get it back when you return the phone to them before your departure from Taiwan International Airport.

Youth Travel Card 台灣青年旅遊卡
The Youth Travel Card is eligible for traveler aged between 15-30. They have various of discount on restaurant, shopping and entrance ticket to place of interest. We use it when we went to The Taipei Zoo (Muzha Zoo 木柵動物園) and it only cost us NT30 for the ticket, which is 50% discount from the original price. Apply the Card at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Customer Service Counter, same place where you collect the Digital Tour Buddy.

With the Youth Travel Card, it allows us to join the tour package offer by Taiwan Tour Bus through Tour Buddy Program. We joined the Taroko Gorge One-day Tour (太魯閣峽谷觀光一日遊) with NT890 per pax where it supposed to cost NT988. The program assigned a tour buddy with us through out the trip. She is a friendly and easy-going university student major in tourism. She pick us up at Hualian Train Station and take us to where we suppose to take the tour bus. She is helpful in all way and we have lots of fun together.

photo with tour buddy

High Speed Rail Discount 台灣高鐵早鳥優惠
High Speed Railway obviously means it's much faster than the normal train. However, it is expensive as everybody knows. Ouh.. but wait! It's not expensive in Taiwan~ If you know there's an early bird promotion!

You get 30% discount on the fares if you purchase 15 days before the departure date. It could be cheaper than the normal train! You have the option to purchase it online, which is more convenient for oversea traveler and collect them in any 7-11 store with a fees of NT50. If you are a bit late to notice it, you still get 10% discount if you purchase 8 days ahead. Shouldn't waste such a benefit!

Easy Card 悠遊卡
Easy Card is something like Touch n' Go in Malaysia. It can be used as the pass for all buses and trains in Taipei. The only difference is you don't get discount with Touch n' Go Card when you take the train. However, you can, with Easy Card~ Every swipe is cheaper than you purchase the ticket at counter or pay directly when you taking a bus. You can buy it in any MRT station. NT500 for adult, with NT400 of credit and NT100 deposit. You will get refunded for your full balance and deposit with a charge of NT20 termination fee, as long as your card is still in good condition.

There are Day Passes for Easy Card too. After precise calculation on our itinerary :D, I found it not really worth it as we don't really take that much of public vehicles in a day. So that's depends on your itinerary, do not get cheated by the sounds-too-good stuff.

Taiwan Tourist Shuttle 台灣好行景點接駁公車
Taiwan Tourist Shuttle previously provides free shuttle service, but now I think they started to make charges. However, it might be still useful as it runs mostly on tourist attractions. Convenient for traveler as do not need to take public bus that run extra destination, save on time and energy to find the correct route. Schedule and fares can be check from their website.

Taiwan Tour Bus 台灣觀光巴士
Taiwan Tour Bus is different from the Tourist Shuttle as it focus on day tour package instead of just pick-and-drop passenger. If you bringing elderly or kids, probably is a good choice as you need not worry about the tentativeness of public transport.

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