Cầu nguyện ở Chùa Long Sơn Tự

Last update:2018-01-24 11:23:36

Được xây dựng gần ba thế kỷ trước ở khu vực cổ của Đài Bắc (huyện Wanhua), Long Sơn Tự là một trong những ngôi chùa nổi tiếng nhất ở Đài Loan và là điểm đến hấp dẫn đối với các tín đồ văn hóa phương Đông.

Long Sơn Tự có rất nhiều vị thần để mọi người có thể cầu nguyện, tùy thuộc vào nhu cầu của họ. Ví dụ, thần trí tuệ, thần kinh doanh, nữ thần sinh con ... thậm chí có một vị thần chuyên mai mối!

Những con người sùng đạo trên khắp hòn đảo Đài Loan này thường đến để dâng trái cây và các món ngon cho các vị thần của họ. Nhưng không giống như tôn giáo phương Tây, họ không sử dụng thánh giá để cầu nguyện; thay vào đó, họ sử dụng hai khối gỗ hình lưỡi liềm. Về cơ bản giống như một chiếc điện thoại để kết nối với các vị thần!

Nghi lễ này được biết đến với tên gọi là bwa-bwe, nơi mà những người có thắc mắc muốn xin ý kiến thần linh sẽ ném hai mảnh gỗ lên mặt đất trước bức tượng của các vị thần; hình dáng miếng gỗ rơi xuống là câu trả lời. Nếu một mảnh ngửa và cái kia thì úp xuống, đó nghĩa là ĐỒNG Ý. Nếu cả hai mảnh úp xuống thì đó là KHÔNG, và nếu cả hai đều ngửa có nghĩa là KHÔNG RÕ RÀNG.

Bạn thấy đơn giản mà phải không? Nếu bạn có một câu hỏi đã làm phiền bạn, hãy đến đây để nhờ những vị thần này giúp đỡ!

 

  1. Trước khi bước vào, bạn phải cầu nguyện với vị thần "chủ nhà" của chùa, để được phép hỏi các câu hỏi: nêu tên, ngày sinh và địa chỉ của bạn cho chủ nhà biết, trong đền thờ này là nữ thần từ bi và lòng thương xót, Guanyin.
  2. Khi đã bước vào trong, bạn có thể cầu nguyện với các vị thần còn lại, bắt đầu từ bên phải. Sau đó, bạn có thể đi đến vị thần mà bạn muốn nói chuyện.
  3. Hãy hỏi "Thần có ở đó không?", Bởi vì ông ấy/bà ấy có thể bận. Bạn cần sự đồng ý để được hỏi tiếp; nếu thần trả lời bận, chờ vài phút và hỏi lại.
  4. Hãy đặt hỏi câu hỏi ĐỒNG Ý / KHÔNG ĐỒNG Ý một cách rõ ràng. Nếu câu hỏi của bạn liên quan đến một người nào đó, hãy cho biết chi tiết về người đó.

Bây giờ, nếu bạn muốn có một câu trả lời sâu hơn, bạn cũng có thể xóc ống đũa để một thanh đũa ra khỏi ống gần bàn thờ. Mỗi thanh có một số trên đó, tương ứng với một câu nói cổ của Trung Quốc.

  1. Đặt câu hỏi của bạn, và hỏi xem các vị thần có sẵn sàng cho bạn một thanh không; bạn cần ba câu trả lời ĐỒNG Ý liên tiếp để kéo ra một thanh.
  2. Khi bạn đã có một thanh, hãy hỏi nếu nó là một trong những điều các vị thần muốn bạn có; cùng với ba quy tắc ba sự ĐỒNG Ý.
  3. Nếu vị thần cho bạn ba thanh ĐỒNG Ý, bạn có thể lấy một tờ giấy với câu nói của người Trung Quốc cổ và đi đến một sư chùa của đền thờ để được giải thích thêm.

 

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Không giống các đồng tiền khác như đồng Đôla và đồng Euro, tiền tệ của Đài Loan là điều mà hầu hết mọi người chưa bao giờ nghe đến, cho đến khi họ quyết định lên kế hoạch cho một chuyến đi đến hòn đảo xinh đẹp này. Vì vậy, bài viết này sẽ giới thiệu nhanh và cho bạn một vài lời khuyên hữu ích.

  1. Currency

Tên của tiền tệ ở Đài Loan là “New Taiwan Dollar”, thường được gọi tắt là NTD hoặc NT$. Trong tiếng Trung Quốc, nó được gọi là “yuan”, nhưng trong giao tiếp hàng ngày, chúng ta chỉ gọi đơn giản là “kuai”, nghĩa là đồng (tiền)

Mã tiền tệ ISO là TWD

Tại thời điểm viết bài này, tỷ lệ chuyển đổi là khoảng 1USD: 30NT

Đây là các minh hoạ để bạn dễ hình dung về giá cả ở Đài Loan:

1 chai nước suối = 15NT (10.000 VND)

1 vé xem phim = 250NT-350NT (160.000-200.000 VND)

1 gói thuốc lá Marlboro = 125NT (80.000 VND)

1 tô phở bò (một trong những món ăn đường phố nhất định phải thử) = 100.000 VND

Tiền vé tàu điện ngầm cho 1 ngày = 120.000 VND

Làm thế nào để thanh toán tại Đài Loan?

  1. Mọi người chủ yếu sử dụng tiền mặt khi thanh toán bất cứ thứ gì (không giống Mỹ hoặc Châu Âu, nơi bạn có thể thanh toán bằng thẻ cho dù chỉ là 1 quả táo!)
  2. Tất nhiên, thẻ tín dụng vẫn được chấp nhận rộng rãi (Visa, MasterCard ...), đặc biệt là trong các trung tâm mua sắm và hầu hết các nhà hàng.
  3. Easy Card. Cực kỳ thuận tiện cho việc đi tàu điện ngầm, xe buýt, và thậm chí để thanh toán tại những nơi như cửa hàng tiện lợi, hiệu sách, rạp chiếu phim, và cả Starbucks! Bạn có thể dễ dàng có được một thẻ Easy tại 7-11 hoặc bất kỳ ga tàu điện ngầm.

Làm thế nào để rút tiền mặt?

Không có nơi đổi tiền mặt trên đường phố, nhưng có rất nhiều cách khác dễ dàng để có được tiền mặt.

  1. Tại sân bay, luôn có một vài quầy đổi tiền và ngân hàng.
  2. Cây ATM có ở khắp mọi nơi (có cả Tiếng anh và Trung)! Từ đường phố, trong các trung tâm mua sắm, ở phía trước của các ngân hàng và ngay cả trong các cửa hàng tiện lợi như 7-11. Tuy nhiên, sẽ có thêm phí rút tiền, vì vậy tốt nhất là bạn nên chuẩn bị đủ tiền mặt cho toàn bộ chuyến đi trong 1 lần.
  3. Tại các ngân hàng, họ thường mở cửa từ 9 giờ sáng đến 3 giờ 30 chiều và đóng cửa vào cuối tuần, vì vậy hãy nhớ đến sớm nhé! Bạn sẽ được yêu cầu điền vào biểu mẫu bao gốm địa chỉ và số điện thoại địa phương hợp lệ, chỉ cần ghi tất cả thông tin về khách sạn mà bạn đang lưu trú là ok.
  4. Trong các trung tâm mua sắm lớn (như Đài Bắc 101 hoặc Sogo), tuy nhiên, tỷ giá thường không “thân thiện” (khá thấp)

*** Hãy nhớ! Luôn luôn mang hộ chiếu của bạn khi bạn muốn đổi tiền mặt tại một trong những nơi này (trừ máy ATM). Oh và một điều khác nữa là: hãy đổi phần tiền mặt còn dư của bạn trước khi rời khỏi Đài Loan, bởi vì NTD không phải là một đồng tiền dễ dàng để trao đổi, đặc biệt là khi ra khỏi châu Á!

 

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Using an UBER in Los Angeles.

Last update:2018-01-24 11:02:52

Whether you are a frequent wanderluster or a newbie-traveler,  Los Angeles is exciting, sunny and hip.  A bustling metropolis with mountains, rivers, sun-kissed beaches, and one of the biggest airports in the world, Los Angeles International (LAX). In 2016 LAX handled 80,921,527 passengers, so it is one of the busiest airports in the world too, this means the last thing you'll want to face on arrival after the queue at customs and your baggage collection; is the taxi lines, bus schedules or hotel shuttle services. But, don't despair, LAX has UBER!

In LA there are thousands of UBER drivers much cheaper than regular cabs. If you've never used UBER before, the drivers are everyday people driving their personal cars (which have to be in good condition and registered with UBER). Passengers will use an app on their smartphone to request a ride and the driver has the same app so they can find the passengers easily. What is great is that you can tell the exact cost of the journey before the cab arrives through the APP, so no surprises, and UBER will make the payment on your behalf once you exit the cab (via the credit card you have saved to your profile). Just thank the driver, jump out, and then rate them afterwards. It is safe, reliable and very convenient. What's more, the UBER APP is global so you can use the same profile and credit card you use back home.

How to use UBER at LAX.

  • To use UBER, register online and download the APP prior to arriving in LA.
  • On arrival, LAX has free Wifi if you need a connection, and then simply log onto the APP from your smartphone.
  • You can request a cab by inputting where to meet them, double check the sign closest to you once you exit for this. The APP will ask you to specify your terminal and door number to help you clarify your pickup location. If you are worried, however, you can call your driver.
  • You can also see the name and license plate number of your driver in the APP. As well as see them (literally) on the APP as they drive to collect you, and they can see you too.
  • Look out for the Uber decal/trade dress which will always be displayed on the passenger-side windshield of your driver’s car.

www.smartsign.com

  • Just remember to exit at the right level, selecting your terminal and nearest door number,  and meet your driver curbside.

It is that simple.

Remember that LAX is a very busy airport and UBER drops off and collects passengers almost 24 hours a day here, so chances are, there will probably be an UBER cab already waiting before you request. It is therefore important to only request a cab when you’re already outside, as cabs cannot wait around .

Where to meet your UBER.

Riders requesting uberPOOL, uberX, uberXL, and UberSELECT

  • Meet drivers on the departures (upper) level.
  • On the departures level, there are 5 “Ride Service” pickup signs located curbside (A-B and D-F)
  • .Riders requesting UberBLACK, UberSUV, or UberLUX
    • Meet driver downstairs on the arrivals (lower) level.

    Passengers with accessibility needs

    • Picked up is in the designated access zone on the arrivals level.

    UBER Cars.

    Select a car that suits your requirements and group size (luggage too). If you have multiple bags or passengers, a larger vehicle would be a better option. A high-capacity vehicle like UberXL is an option that seats up to 6 riders.

    Uber offers a range of services, from single riders, groups as well as executive limo services.

     

  • uberPOOL: Shares your ride and the cost. Good for 1 or 2 riders with a small amount of luggage. If no one is going where you are going and you have selected uberPOOL, the driver will wait up to five minutes and then depart with you alone and you’ll still get half-off (Uber will pay the driver the other half).
  • UberX: Is the cheapest and most common form of Uber. It is good for 1 or 2 riders with a small amount of luggage.
  • UberXL: For a  group with multiple bags. SUV or minivan.
  • UberASSIST: Request an uberX or uberXL driver who is trained to assist passengers who require assistance.
  • UberSELECT: A step above the everyday; request a ride in luxury sedan with a leather interior.
  • UberBLACK: Request a high-end luxury sedan driven by a professional driver.
  • UberSUV: UberBLACK for a larger group, it can seat up to 6 passengers.
  • UberWAV: Passengers with accessibility needs may request a wheelchair accessible vehicle with UberWAV.

  • FARESOnce you're in the cab, the driver will take you to your destination and then Uber charges your credit card directly through the app including tip.

    Go here for current rates in Los Angeles or try the UBER fare estimator here.

    Keep in mind that the fares are for one car, not per person. If traveling with a group, the cost per person is even lower. You can choose to split the bill between the group as long as the other travelers have UBER.

    Useful links:

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Traveling Taiwan, Ding Taxi.

Last update:2018-01-22 22:52:42

If your looking for transport in Taiwan that's affordable, convenient and lets you be the master of your own itinerary; then we may have just what you are after, its called Ding Taxi.

Arriving at an airport and jumping into a taxi is arguably the preferred option for most but taxis are expensive and for long distances, they add up quickly. This is precisely why Ding Taxis has become so popular in Taiwan, they have affordable rates that are predetermined prior to jumping into the cab. What's more, the company also offers private tour services with English speaking drivers, and you can plan a whole day (or a couple of days) travel including getting lots of great itinerary advice beforehand. It's a super cool and convenient way to plan your travels while you are in Taiwan and it's really easy to do. According to Ding Taxis website, the best way to travel is to ‘Travel Like a Local’, and with none of the stress and hassle of planning on your own you'll be able to do just this through a few simple clicks, whilst being in control of it all. It really is that awesome!

Who Are Ding Taxi?

At affordable prices and with an easy to use APP to keep in contact with your driver, Ding Taxi offers great Taxi services all over Taiwan. What makes them unique, is that you are able to choose only where you want to go, and it can all be planned before you arrive in Taiwan. Ding Taxi claim that they are the top recommended travel service in Taiwan, which is rather impressive and you will find their website is full of options to explore with pre-planned options too if you would like some help. You can also chat with someone online if you have any questions or need advice on where to go or to find some help to smooth out your travel plans. You can also review passenger reviews online.

How does it work?

  1. Choose your route
  2. Choose your preferred vehicle ( depending on preference or group size). Compare prices & reviews instantly.
  3. Pay deposit. Secure your reservation by paying a deposit online. The remainder can be paid in cash when you use the service.
  4. Submit trip details. After you deposit payment, you can then input your itinerary details for the driver.
  5. Download the APP, discuss your trip and contact your driver with the exclusive DingTaxi APP.

Service Options.

Day Tour

Hire a local driver-guide to show you around Taiwan.

Airport Transfer

DingTaxi provides 24-hour airport shuttle services and you can choose your vehicle preference.

Multi-day Car Hire

Submit your customized trip plan and DingTaxi will provide the right quotations to meet your needs in Taiwan.  They also offer bus rentals.

Download the DING tax APP.

Additional Info.

Ding taxi Email: support@dingtaxi.com

Ding Taxi Contact: +886 917-749-339

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AirPoPo Taiwan: Convenient Airport Transport.

Last update:2018-01-22 23:06:56

AirPoPo is an affordable and convenient way to catch a ride to or from the Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) in Taiwan. AirPoPO, who won the Jury prize at the IDEAS Show@APEC IN 2016, offers services from Changhua, Taichung or Taipei or any nearby area, and won't leave you feeling out of pocket. You can get a low-cost shared-ride shuttle or a private-ride charter service, simply by using their app to reserve the 24-hour service. If you want to enjoy a comfortable trip and save money, you will find AirPoPo to Taoyuan Airport convenient, cheap and frankly fantastic!

Using the APP.

It's really simple.

  1. Download the APP
  2. Make a reservation, inputting you address and time of collection. If you have any queries on how long it might take to get through customs if you are arriving in Taiwan for the first time, simply email Airpopo for advice ( support@airpopo.com | (+886) 905-265-067). They are very friendly and prompt to respond.
  3. If you are using the shuttle service you should book at least a day ahead as there are limited seats, however, by using the APP for a private ride, you can book just 15 minutes before.
  4. For a full refund, cancellation must be made 2 hours before your time, however, if you have a flight delay simply email AirPoPo on landing and they will reschedule you. (There is free internet in the airport)
  5. AirPoPo drivers will contact clients by phone on arrival, but you can contact AirPoPo via email, messenger or WhatsApp too.
  6. For pick up at Terminal 1, go to Arrival exit no.18 Pillar. For Terminal 2, exit no. 27 Pillar. The boarding info, however, will be sent to you 1-2 days prior to the appointed date.
  7. Airpop accepts VISA, Mastercard, and JCB, but do not accept cash. Payment must be made before you ride through the APP, via phone or online.
  8. For shuttle ride, an additional late-night charge of 100NTD per person is applicable between 23:00 – 07:00.
  9. For Private ride 300NTD per car is charged for late-night charge.

Other ways to book a ride.

  1. You can also Reserve Via Phone or through LINE, Whatsapp or your Wechat ID.
  2. Use the number : +886 968-773-805
  3. Alternatively, go to the Ding Taxi website where you will also see a comparison of prices between Airpopo and other airport transport services on offer. If you book through Ding Taxi, however, you must download their APP even if you book an AirPoPo ride.

The Shuttle Service.

Air PoPo shuttle service is very convenient as it doesn't have a fixed schedule or specific routes it needs to follow. Therefore depending on the traffic flow or on the number of people it needs to collect, you will be taken the shortest route to the airport. Unlike other airport shuttles that have to follow a specific route, AiPoPo is flexible.

From around 6 US Dollars (Taoyuan Airport to Taipei), AirPoPo costs 1/3 the price of a Taoyuan Airport taxi and its travel time is much faster than using the MRT (subway).

Private Ride service.

For passengers in a group or with lots of luggage, AirPoPo also provides cheap private Airport transport to Taipei, Taichung, and Changhua or vice versa.

Phone +886 905-265-067 to inquire about fares, or go to the Ding Taxi website.

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One-day trip PART 3- Yingge pottery

Last update:2018-01-15 11:27:38
  1. Work on a DIY pottery at Yingge

 For all you ceramic enthusiasts out there, Yingge is the place to be! It is a town not too far out of Taipei and is very well known for its famed pottery: the high-quality clay deposits found in the region have made Yingge a center of ceramics production, since the 19th century. The word means “parrot song” in Chinese, supposedly getting it from the parrot-shaped rock in the north of the town.

There are plenty of activities to do in Yingge for the day, there is a Ceramics Museum, an old street filled with countless ceramic pottery and craft shops, and even some DIY pot-making workshops!

Yingge Ceramics Museum

Seeing how popular the ceramic culture in Yingge has become, the government established this museum to show people the history of the ceramics industry in Taiwan. It is very well organized and beautifully displayed, with audio guides available in both Chinese and English.

Yingge Old Street

Ready for some crazy pottery shopping? The old street offers ceramics of all kinds, from basic teapots and dinner plates to finer luxury flower vases; prices vary depending on the quality. Warning: the street might be full of tourists and shoppers on weekends, so try to come here during weekdays.

DIY pot-making

If you still haven’t had enough of pottery, go on and make one yourself! A lot of the shops provide DIY classes on the side (although for the more popular ones you might need a reservation in advance), the Ceramics Museum itself as well. You get to learn the whole process of pottery making while designing and making your own one. You won’t be able to get the finished product right away, as it takes a few days to dry and fire, but most shops provide delivery service afterward.

How to get there:

There are TRA trains that go directly from Taipei Main Train Station to Yingge Train Station, it only takes about 30 minutes.

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One-day trip PART 2- Maokong

Last update:2018-01-15 11:22:15

Relax over a pot of locally grown tea and a scenic night view

 If you want to have a slower paced day, plan a trip to the tea hills of Maokong, which includes a fun gondola ride up to the top of the mountain, an interesting visit at Zhinan Temple, and an enjoyable meal at a teahouse over the scenic night view of Taipei.

The best times to take the gondola up are when the sun is setting, and when the lights of the city are shining at night.  A ride up to Maokong takes about 20-30 minutes, so you will have plenty of time to admire the views below you, such as Jingmei River, the thousands of cars moving along the freeway, and the never-ending tea hills. Tip: since prices are the same, pick the crystal cabin so that you get a see-through glass floor for a more thrilling ride!

If you are into temples, get off at Zhinan Temple station for a quick visit. It is known for its long history and importance to the Taoists of Taiwan, mainly worshipping the deity Lu DongBing (who is one of the eight Immortals of the Taoist pantheon).

Once you arrive at Maokong, you will see plenty of tea plantations and a variety of teahouses, each one of them providing a range of high-quality tea selection. It is very popular among locals to drive up here for tea and late-night chats with friends, over a beautiful night view of Taipei. Remember to try the famous “Muzha Tieguanyin” and “Wenshan Pouchong tea”!

How to get here:

Take the MRT to Taipei Zoo station (at the end of the brown line), and walk to the gondola station nearby. From there, the gondola takes you past the Zhinan Temple and up into the tea hills of Maokong. A one-way ticket to Maokong costs 120NT ($US4.00).

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One-day trip PART 1- Pingxi railway line

Last update:2018-01-15 11:22:57

One-day getaways from Taipei without your car

Taipei is a vibrant city full of never-ending things to do, but sometimes you just feel like getting away from all the hustle and bustle for a day. Luckily, there are plenty of fun day trips that you can do from Taipei, and you know what, you don’t even need a car

  1. Hop on the Pingxi Railway Line

 The Pingxi line is a popular railway branch for locals and tourists who want to go on a day trip. It is one of the three narrow-gauge railways that remain open from the Japanese era, and goes through 7 stations in total, including the most known Ruifang, Houtong, and Pingxi. Here is a recommended itinerary for your trip:

1st stop: Pingxi for sky lanterns

Fly a sky lantern on the railway tracks! Once a year they hold a huge festival in Pingxi, where hundreds of lanterns fill up the whole sky like little fireflies, but don’t worry, you can do it anytime you want. You get to write your wishes on the lantern and fly it up yourself.

2nd stop: Houtong cat village

To all the cat lovers out there, this is a place you do not want to miss. Houtong is an old mining village literally full of cats (they’re nice and tamed), with a beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers.

3rd stop: Jiufen for the amazing view

 

Old Japanese tea houses line the hill side in Jiufen, TaiwanProbably the biggest tourist attraction outside of Taipei, Jiufen is a small town up in the mountains, known for its breathtaking ocean and sunset views, its old streets, and perhaps most importantly its movie fame: it is said that Jiufen inspired Japanese producer Hayao Miyazaki for his famous movie Spirited Away.

2. How to get to those places:

Buy a Pingxi day-pass at Taipei Main Train Station, it costs 80NT ($US2.70) and you get unlimited rides along the line. Take the train to Ruifang station, and from there get on the Pingxi line.

Start from the end of the line at Pingxi, and slowly make your way back, through Houtong and finally Ruifang, where you need to take a taxi or bus no.788/1062 to reach Jiufen (it won’t take more than 15minutes).

 

 

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What’s not to love about traveling by train, it's relaxing, and much faster than a car but without any of the stress associated with traffic and unfamiliar roads. Taiwan's trains are efficient, and fast, showcase beautiful landscapes right around the island with comfort and connect all major cities. It is a system easily accessible to the traveler and what’s more, English signage is pretty decent and available in most stations and on trains.

Trains.

Taiwan's railway will take you from one end of the island to another in just a few hours by high-speed train and although there are no trains that run centrally into the mountainous regions, there are tourism branch lines that do.

Tze-Chiang (limited express), Chu-Kuang (express) and Fu-Hsing (semi-express).

These are express trains and are therefore the fastest, and most expensive. However, discounts are available for senior citizens, children, and there are ‘early bird sales’ when purchased in advance, so try to make use of this. The high-speed trains run from Nangang, just north of Taipei City, and go all the way down south to Kaohsiung.

  1. Tze-Chiang is the fastest, most comfortable and expensive train in Taiwan. The trains only stop at major stations. It is advisable to reserve a seat so you don't have to stand,  especially on the weekends or on a national holiday.
  2. Chu-Kuang and Fu-Hsing are slower than Tze-Chiang but still fast and stop at more stations between the main cities. They can get crowded often and are definitely not worth riding without a reserved seat.
  • Fu-Hsing applies to shuttle trains.
  • Chu-Kuang applies to Puyuma and Taroko.

 For additional information on the high-speed-rail system or to book go to : https://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/TimeTable/SearchResult

Local Trains (not express).

These access a majority of locations all over Taiwan, stop at every station and are cheaper. They are slower too with speeds that vary as they can be very old or very new. You cannot reserve seating but are generally quieter than the express trains. If you are happy to take your time they are air-conditioned and do make for a peaceful and enjoyable trip.

For local train timetables and bookings go to : https://www.railway.gov.tw/en/CP.aspx?sn=16988&n=19590

How To Book?

It is advisable to book in advance and reserve a seat, especially if you plan to travel on weekends or on a public holiday. If you book in advance you may also be able to get an ‘early bird’ discounted rate. Tickets can be booked 14 days in advance online or 12 days in advance in person at a train station.

For information on early bird discounts go to: http://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/Article/ArticleContent/da4e4552-97f3-427f-93fc-a79af439f80e

Online. You can book on the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA)  website, your passport number is required but it is very easy to do. You then need to take your booking number to any train station or convenience store to pay within two days of making the booking.

You can use this link to check out train timetables and book online:http://163.29.3.92/twrail/EN_QuickSearch.aspx

Convenience store. You can use an Ibon kiosk at a 7-Eleven to book your train ticket. These are, however, only in Chinese, but you might find a friendly store assistant who can help you. It will print a slip, which you need to take to the counter, and pay. This will validate your reservation.

Train station. Go to any train station with your passport and book your ticket at the kiosk.

Tickets: What Are The Options?

Single journey tickets. If you have a set schedule.

Return tickets. Return to the departure station.

Taiwan Railways, Multi-card system, Easycard, IPass and Taiwan smart card. These can be used if you want to go cash free and a 10% discount is given on some of the lines. Go to http://www.easycard.com.tw/english/use/index.aspx  for information on the Easycards.

TR Pass.For students. Can be purchased at the station's ticket kiosk with a valid student ID. TR passes can take you on Intercity and Juguand trains unlimitedly during the valid dates.

Day passes. The tourism branch lines (Pingxi, Neiwon, and Jiji). The pass may only be used on the day of validation. It may not be used without a validation stamp. You can hop on and off the trains as many times as you like within the designated zones.

For a complete list of ticket types please go to : https://www.railway.gov.tw/en/CP.aspx?sn=16972#

How to Ride?

  1. Decide your origin and destination. (Google Maps can help on this.)
  2. Find the appropriate schedule, and find the train you want.
  3. Visit the online booking system, or visit any convenience store kiosk, or head directly to a train station for their automated machine or windows to buy the ticket.

If you decide to book online, write down the ticket code after booking, then pay online with a card within the specific time frame, visit a train station window (card or cash), or a convenience store to pay and pick up your tickets.

Arrive 30 minutes early or earlier if you are collecting a ticket or purchasing at the station, there might be a queue.

  1. Check the platform your train will be arriving on, escalators and stairs may be needed. If you are confused, station personnel are very helpful and will often use body language to help should they not speak English. (Download Google translate, it is extremely useful as it can translate spoken words.)
  2. Go through the ticket punching gate, find your platform and car and wait there.
  3. The conductor will visually check the boarding process, so don’t worry the train won’t leave you if you’re being polite at the end of the line. After you board and found your seat if someone’s sitting on it don’t sweat just politely ask them to move or simply show them your ticket. If you do not have a reservation you are permitted to sit in an empty seat.

 

 

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Where to go souvenirs hunting in Taipei?

Last update:2018-01-15 10:47:29

When traveling, shopping for souvenirs on the last day of your trip is always one of those love/hate activities. It’s so much fun, but it also gives you a huge headache. What should I buy? Where can I get them? Is it the cheapest there is? Is the quality okay?

If you’re having a hard time deciding where to start your souvenirs hunting, head over to one of the places below: they will give you plenty of ideas to choose from.

Ximending Red House

The Red House located in Ximending is home to Taipei’s creative and culture industry. The complex of nearly a century old was originally built to serve as a public market place, and has evolved throughout time to become the multi-functional building of today, hosting art exhibitions and shows on a daily basis.

Within the Red House, you’ll find a creative boutique of two floors filled with small shops promoting their own unique products. Postcards in the shape of a big tea bag (with actual tea leaves), “I LOVE TAIWAN” T-shirts written in Chinese calligraphy, old-school pins with Taiwanese sayings, aboriginal handmade scarfs… you can definitely find something special and different here. Note: if it’s still not enough, walk around in the Ximenting area for even more shopping, the prices get cheaper there!

Dihua Street

Due to its close location to the Dadaocheng Wharf, the 800-meters long street used to be the central trading market for Chinese herbal medicine, rice and tea, as well as fabrics. The whole area has a nostalgic feel to it, walking around makes you feel like you’ve jumped back in time.

While being quiet on most days, Dihua Street becomes crazily packed a few days before Chinese New Year’s Eve, with thousands of people trying to squeeze into the shops for free samples and vendors yelling their lungs out.

If you are into dried goods and candies, this is the place to be. There are a wide variety of stalls selling dried items and local snacks (there’s a “fish candy” that you must try, it used to be considered a yummy treat for kids back in the day), feel free to try them out before buying!

Local supermarkets

This is for the lazy ones: you can actually find most of the typical Taiwanese souvenirs in any local supermarket! Places like Wellcome, Px Mart and even Carrefour offer the cheapest prices when it comes to food-related souvenirs, and often have a very wide range of brands to pick from. Here are some products that you could bring home:

  • Tea leaves (oolong and high-mountain tea are must-buy flavors)
  • Instant noodles (the brands Tongyi and Weili are the most popular ones)
  • Pineapple cake (the best snack to go with a cup of tea)
  • Nougats
  • Egg rolls (be careful as it is easily breakable)
  • Dried shredded squid (there are spicy and normal flavors)
  • Pork or beef jerky

Taipei City Mall

You will have a lot of fun shopping here, at the biggest underground shopping street in Taiwan. It is more than 800 meters long, and has everything you can ever think of: food and drinks, makeup stores, massage center, electronics, clothing and even anime merchandise! There are also a lot of affordable and whacky souvenirs to buy; everything is cheap here so take your time to get lost.

 

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