If you are on your travel to Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, it is important that you learn about the very advanced transport system of the city. Even though you may want to drive on your own, but due to the traffic congestion and high availability of public transport options, it is a better idea to avail a public vehicle than to opt for self driving.
Taipei subway – the most effective way to move round in the city
Equipped with excellent infrastructure, the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) or the subway service of Taipei is literally the life line of the city’s transport structure. Whether you want to pay a visit to the Taipei 101 tower or the National palace Museum during your travel to Taipei, the MRT system is the best choice to take you to the required destination.
Every station of MRT have English labels, hence it is all the more convenient for the expats. Unlike some other countries, the rides are not free of cost on MRT, but they are beyond doubt, very cheap. With distance base travelling fare system, the fares on Taipei subways would vary in between NT$15 and NT$65. If you get the Easy Card or Yoyo Card worth NT$500, you would get a discount of 20% on the rides.
Bus rides could be confusing
While the city has extensive bus routes and a huge number of buses plying from one place to another, at times it becomes a bit confusing non locals during their travel to Taipei as they find it difficult to identify the right bus for their destination. This happens because the placards on the bus notifying about the destination is not written in English most of the times. The bus drivers in most cases would not speak English and you would be required to converse with them in Chinese, which you may or may not know.
If you can manage to get on the right bus that will take you to your destination, the base fare of the bus would be NT$15. Paying the bus fares could also lead to a tricky situation. The mode of payment is the Easy card always, but the time of payment varies. In some buses you would be required to pay as you get on the bus and in some you have to pay while getting down. There is a Chinese symbol that would illuminate above the driver’s seat that will let you know when you need to swipe your card to pay the bus fare.
Taxis are easily available
The yellow taxis of Taipei are as common on the streets as birds on the sky. Although they are bit expensive as compared to the MRT or buses, but at NT$250 (equivalent to less than $8), expats would still find taxi rides cheap. A red light on the taxi would indicate that it is vacant and can be taken. There is no need to tip the drivers as you take a taxi. The taxis of Taipei are available all through the night, but it is still not recommended for women travelling alone to take one during the night hours.
You could otherwise set afoot and roam around in the city as your travel to Taipei would not be complete if you do not taste the street foods of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.