Require Advice

Hi, this is my first post and I know it’s extremely self serving so I apologize but:

I am 18 years old and going to Taiwan for the first time with my friend (who has family in Taipei). I’ll be there 19 days but from after looking at all the travel books and googling stuff, I worried that there isn’t enough stuff in Taipei to do! That being said, how long do you think it would take to travel through one museum, say like the National Museum of History, or the 2-28 Memorial Museum or the National Palace Museum? And assuming that my growing worry is correct, what types of things/places to see are there outside of Taipei? (I am on a limited budget of 2,000 USD)

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Hi ninjanuke and welcome to Forumosa!

If you’d be more specific about what you’d LIKE to do, your replies could be more specific. Clubs? Bars? Museums? Sight-seeing? Nature? Hikes? Sports? Food? Culture?

19 days? You could have a great time!

What do you like to do? If you like bike riding take a train to Hualien and rent a Giant for a week: NT200 a day. Eat at 7-Eleven and cheap restaurants and camp and it won’t cost very much and you’ll see the best part of Taiwan.

There’s lots of great hiking all around Taipei. Yingge and Sanxia for museums. The Juming Museum in Jinshan.

19 days in the city is too long.

I assume you’ll be staying with your friend’s family. That’ll help make your US$2000 go a long way.

A museum like the National Palace Museum could take all day; the others you mention only need a few hours.

In the city there’s a lot to do, depending on your interests. The Maokong Gondola followed by tea or dinner at a Maokong teahouse is highly recommended. There are interesting temples you can visit, like Longshan Temple, and then explore the environs around it like Herb Alley, Bopiliao and the day market. Beaches? There’s Baishawan and Fulong, among others. Taipei has some great night markets… my favorite is Raohe St. Night Market. There’s hiking in the mountains around Taipei. If the timing is right, you could even join our hiking group. You can make a day trip to Danshui (take the ferry from Dadaocheng Pier in the morning, and the MRT back), Wulai (for hiking, aboriginal food and aboriginal culture) or Jiufen (an old gold mining town on a hillside turned into a bizarre and picturesque, albeit touristy, network of shopping streets and restaurants), which offer different sights from Taipei.

… ride slowly to Taidung on the coast road, stopping in every little fishing port for fresh sashimi and cold beer, sleep in little pensions. Then, ride back to Hualien up the rift valley, stopping at the hot springs and tea plantations on the way. Magic.

Just don’t try this in a typhoon…

Thanks all for your quick responses and advice.

In the multiple references to beer and alchohal; what is the legal drinking age in Taiwan, and if I use a US drivers license will that get me access to the goods?

In addition, I think I should probably gift my friend’s family for letting me interpose myself upon them; what should I get for them(my parents tell me gingseng or Godiva chocolate, but my family is for all purposes Angle-American except for in skin color)?

I would prefer biking/hiking/rock climbing stuff, but my friend’s a bit of a nerd so I think I’ll probably be restricted to sight seeing and other historical stuff…
Is there anyway I can tour Taiwan’s highest legal court or their capital building?

Thank you!

Since you like hiking, check this out: (see pics inside)

That is up in the 3400M mountain, but you need to drive car to the mountain first (from Taipei, probably takes 4-5 hours), hiking itself to the top takes about an hour…That is easy and safe route, don’t worry ! staying over night in CingJing Farm would be great if necessary.

Tons of stuff to do in Taipei. Kept me going for eight years.

[quote]In addition, I think I should probably gift my friend’s family for letting me interpose myself upon them; what should I get for them(my parents tell me gingseng or Godiva chocolate, but my family is for all purposes Angle-American except for in skin color)?

Its very nice of you to think of taking a token, most people are thoughtless.

Take sth. Nice. Especially for the lady of the house, she will put you up for the better part of 19 days and feed you breakfast and the like, and besides, offering accommodation in itself is a very generous gesture. Chocolate is good, if some one invited you for dinner. I would say a small bottle of perfume 40-50 USD ( or a coach wallet for about 90usd), and a general ‘house gift’ like a souvenir, or sth. or chocolates if your friend has other siblings. Where are you coming from?? A tin of foie gras is a good choice too…another 18 year old once got it for me, and I’ll remember her for a long time :slight_smile: :lick:

Seriously 19 days is a long time, be gracious and generous. They are being extremely kind opening their doors to you. :2cents:

The legal age for drinking/clubs is 18, and your passport will be good for ID.

There are lots of smaller museums around the city that are really interesting, like
The puppet museums (at least two)
The minatures museum
The Taiwan museum (only 10nt entry and right near Taipei Station)
The art museum
The Red Castle up in Danshui (there’s a day trip, to Danshui on the MRT, can get in a bit of walking, too)
Taiwan Storyland
Taiwan something or rather (Taipei City Hall, it’s free)
the aboriginal museum opposite National Palace
The insect museum (free)
Postal museum
National Museum in the botanical gardens
The robot museum (in a university in Peitou, with robots you can try yourself)
The clay/pottery museum in Sanxia (it’s their big celebration month, lots going on)
Gold museum in Reifang (heard it’s free, like lots of others in taipei county this year, because they beat Taipei city in a museum/cultural contest, and there an historical train there)
Museum of drinking water, with a hike up to Taipei’s first water reservior
Taiwan beer has a museum/tour
Science education museum - lots of information on Taiwan in the science area
Insect museum in Taipei city

Aborginal museum up in Bali (opposite Danshui), they have concerts going on all summer…
If any of those interest you, let me know and I can give you some more that in your area of interest or give you details about them.
There’s a lot of hiking and biking to be done, too, if you choose a museum there is probably a chance to do somethign else you like “just while we are in the area.”

Please pardon my ignorance but what is “sth”?

In addition, my friend told me that his family is willing to cover all my food (at their house) expenses as well…

I feel heavy in their debt.

Any advice on how to proceed?

sth= something

Don’t feel too heavy in their debt, come over and enjoy yourself! Taiwan’s guest culture is generally, you are guest so they treat you, and if they or a relative or close friend of theirs ever goes to your area, then you welcome them and treat them. So, sincerely make that known to your hosts, that you welcome them to visit you anytime. Treat them a meal near the end of the stay as thanks, you don’t have to go big-budget, it’s just a nice gesture. It’s also pretty usual that guests coming to visit from overseas will bring a bottle of whiskey or some other drink (maybe teas if the host is not a drinker, or some local snacks - people here are great snackers!), then the host and guest will sit down over the holiday and share a drink or snack and chat.

My family in New Zealand also loves having people visit, it’s a chance to learn new cultures and show off the hometown As a guest, you give by sharing and listening to the hosts. So, if your friend made the offer, don’t feel too much pressure to give a lot of stuff, just come and have a good time.

Okay i purchased about 70 dollars (geez there goes 10 hours of summer job earnings right there) of chocolate for them.

Now my flight is scheduled for tommorow to taiwan, and I’m slightly afraid that my luggage doesn’t meet regulations.

I heard from my buddy that liquids aren’t allowed on the flight, does that include Listerine, hair gell, shampoo, and other items of that nature?

And what about carry-on item limits?

I’ve never left the United States before, so I’m pretty wary about the rules; and no matter how much I search the web nothing seems to come up.

Thanks in advance!

take the HighSpeed Rail to Kaohsiung and then a coach down to kenting for a few days. Travel back via the EAST Coast . Train to Taitung and then train to hualian , visit taroko gorge, then train back to taipei. STop in Suao (visit taiwans largest fish harbour at nanfangao) , stop in ChiaoShi for a hot spring bath and then perhaps fulung for a day at the beach, then back to taipei.