The Budget Travelers Guide to Taiwan
The prices for can vary widely, with rates ranging from NT$1800 to over NT$3000 (~SGD$75 – SGD$125). As usual, , with a bed in a dorm room costing around NT$450-NT$600. Furthermore, you will often get better value by booking a B&B compared to a two or three-star hotel, as the standard can often be just as high but for a fraction of the cost.
During the high season, accommodation in cities such as Kaohsiung and Tainan, and popular tourist destinations such as Kenting National Park, fill up quickly so you will need to reserve in advance. However, outside of these regions, even in the high season of summer, you will not need to book in advance and you can often find great deals.
TIPS FOR TRAVELING CHEAPER IN TAIWAN
Buses serve the country very well too and are generally cheap, but if you want to get anywhere fast, especially along the west coast, then consider taking the . The service runs from Taipei in the north to Tainan and Kaoshiung (Zuoying) in the south. Prices are reasonable, at NT$1,630 (SGD$67.88) for a standard adult single journey the whole way to Zuoying, just outside of Kaoshiung.
If you’re limited on time, we recommend taking the High Speed Rail for long distance travel on the west coast. Buses operate frequently for routes that are not served by train, but can often be caught by heavy traffic, extending travel times significantly.
EATING ON A BUDGET IN TAIWAN
Typical food at night markets includes the famous specialty, ‘smelly tofu’, among other Taiwanese classics such as soup dumplings, hot sticky rice rolls, egg cakes, tube rice pudding, Taiwanese hotdogs and an amazing assortment of seafood such as oyster omelet, fishballs, squid and sea urchins!
Lots of Taiwan’s best food chains serve up typical Taiwanese cuisine at great prices, and many independent restaurants can be found serving world-class dishes across the country. However, if you’re planning to stick to a budget while traveling in Taiwan, you’re not missing much by skipping the restaurants and chains and heading straight for the night markets. You might just need to change your eating schedule!
HOW TO FIND BUDGET ENTERTAINMENT IN TAIWAN
In the south of the country, Kenting National Park’s admission fee is just NT$100 (SGD$4.16), meaning you can explore and relish in one of the most stunning parts of Taiwan for very cheap. Getting there is easy too, with regular bus services from Kaohsiung City, just 3-4 hours drive.
Taiwan also plays host to some fantastic festivals throughout the year; an amazing and budget-friendly way of getting to know the culture on a deeper and more fun level. Festival highlights throughout the year include the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, Hungry Ghost Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival, each with plenty of public celebrations, events and shows for tourists to enjoy.
There are lots of ways to enjoy traveling in Taiwan without spending a lot of money in the process. Visit the night markets, rent a scooter or take the bus, catch a public show or event during one of the festivals, research and book accommodation in advance; there’s no reason why your next trip to Taiwan can’t be the budget-friendly trip of a lifetime!
For the independent travelers who want flexible dates but pre-arranged high quality tours, please have a look at Taiwan Holidays’ comprehensive range of Taiwan Tours Package on offer by clicking here.
(Source: www.holidayssg.com, 10 April 2014)
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