My friends and I flew to Taiwan a few weeks ago. Honestly, travelling to Taipei is probably one of the most challenging trips I had, as I wasn't able to research well given a very hectic schedule at work. Also, I haven't read a lot of extensive posts about Taiwan so I'll try my best to make my posts 5-Day Taiwan trip as detailed as possible. Kindly note that I don't speak any Chinese language so my tips may not be applicable to those who can speak Chinese.
Here's a few things you need to remember when you visit Taiwan:
1. Purchase an EasyCard
EasyCard is Taiwan's all-around reloadable card that you can use to pay for all types of transportation (MRT, buses, Maokong Gondola, U-Bikes), for convenience store purchases (7-Eleven, FamilyMart, etc), Starbucks Coffee, other fastfood establishments and many more. Note that you get 20% discount on fares when you use an EasyCard for transportation.
You can get an EasyCard for a deposit on 100 NT (Php 146), which is refundable when you return your EasyCard.
2. If you're between 15 to 30 years old, get a Youth Travel Card.
Taiwan Youth Travel Card is a membership/discount card to different establishments around Taiwan. You can get yours at any Visitor Center or Tourist Center, just don't forget to show your passport. Here's a list of establishments where you can get discount using your Youth Travel Card.
3. Book your accommodations near the MRT station
We booked an apartment via Airbnb near Zhongxiao Dunhua Station (MRT Blue Line). Being near the MRT station means you'll have a sure landmark whether you ride a bus (we rode buses whenever we feel tired to walk to the MRT station) or a cab. Also, have your host or a hotel staff write the address of your accommodations in Chinese so you can show that to whoever in case you get lost.
4. Walk around.
What has impressed me is Taipei has very spacious sidewalks where people would just walk or bike to work/school. It also helps that Taiwan has a very cool average temperature of 22C all year round.
5. Don't easily get offended
Not a lot of Taiwanese people we approached can speak English fluently. Sometimes, we would be waved off by restaurants who don't have an English menu. Don't get angry when this happens. Just smile and say 'thank you'.
6. Give priority to the elderly, pregnant, and disabled.
What made me admire Taiwan most is their strict implementation on giving priority seats to the elderly, pregnant and disabled in all public transportation. Moreover, the Taiwanese adhere to this rule so as visitors, this rule should also be observed.
7. Drink coffee and/or milk tea
There is an abundant of milk tea shops and coffee shops around Taipei. Drink as much as you can.
8. Seriously, just eat.
Taiwan is famous for its xiao long bao, milk tea, noodles and a whole lot of street food. Eat and enjoy. :)
9. Smile :)
Don't be that grumpy traveler. Happiness is the universal language. Smile as much as you can. :)