Aloha Taipei! Day 1

I’m a day behind in my blogs due to a different work schedule from Cat Toth (@Thedailydish), who is with me on this Taiwan adventure, but hopefully you will find this useful.

As you know, Hawaiian Airlines launched their inaugural direct flight to Taipei this week, and we went along to see what this destination has to offer — an exciting prospect of a trip, since neither of us has ever been here. Here are some things we’ve learned as newbie travelers in this place:

  • You can exchange your money in Hawaii if you have to have some Taiwanese cash on you, but many people recommended we just exchange our money when we arrived in Taiwan. That seems to have worked fine.
  • Wifi: For most NORMAL people, there is ample wifi throughout the city and usually in your hotel. Just click here to register for the free city wifi. It’s not the greatest, but it’s adequate for normal people. If you are social media junkies like me or Cat, however, you may want to rent a device when you get here. Your concierge can direct you to a place.
  • Transportation by MRT (their subway system) is cheap and easy, as all signs are also in English. If you want a more convenient means of transportation, taxis are actually quite cheap.
  • Side note: If you buy individual tickets for the MRT, they are actually plastic tokens. To get through the turnstile, simply press the token to it and the gate will open. Upon disembarking, put your token in the turnstile slot to exit.
  • Many people here speak English, and they’re very friendly. So don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
  • Be mindful of the “No photographs” signs. For some reason, a lot of people and businesses here don’t like you to take pictures.
  • Bring your own plastic bags for your trash, if you eat street food. There aren’t a lot of trash cans in the streets, but everyone is responsible for their own rubbish. You may also want to bring your own napkins or wet wipes.

Aloha Taipei!

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Every adventure starts with the right luggage. Note the difference in our packing styles. I have a full-sized suitcase, a carry on, and a large purse. Cat has a backpack and…well, that’s it.

As mentioned in the gallery, we found a cute bakery with unusual products. Here’s how a couple of them tasted:

As you read this, we are checking out of the W Hotel Taipei to move to another hotel, while the rest of the delegation gets ready to return to Honolulu. If you decide to stay at the W, note that this area is very swanky and is considered the “Manhattan of Taipei.”

Up next: The Shi Lin Night Market!