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Six Tips on How to Feel Like a Local in Taiwan

  • Tap and go with EasyCard (Yoyo Card) or iPass.
    Access Taiwan’s efficient public transportation systems via an EasyCard, Taiwan’s contactless smart card that you tap on the MRT: Mass Rapid Transit (Metro/Subway), buses, Ubike (electronic bike-sharing service) and trains.
    Use your EasyCard to get around like a local and explore neighborhoods and attractions. Just remember you can’t eat, drink, smoke or chew gum on the Metro or in stations. You will get fined if you are caught! Stow your food and drinks in your bag. (Even water!)
    Note, you can also use your EasyCard to make purchases at convenience stores and supermarkets. You can even buy snacks from 7-11 or boba tea at night market stores.

  • Carry a beverage bag.
    A boba tea is the best summer treat but carrying it around is not convenient. Free your hands with a reusable beverage bag, which is also environmentally friendly.

  • Address friends and strangers like your family.
    Like many other Asian cultures, Taiwanese like to address others in familial terms, such as auntie, uncle, sister and brother to show friendliness. So don’t be shy to call the local vendor “Big sister or brother.” You might even get a discount!

  • Don’t take your wallet out to run and get ice cream when you hear a Beethoven melody coming up the street.
    The trash trucks in Taiwan play Beethoven alerting people it’s time to take out the garbage and recycling!

  • Don’t panic if you feel the earth move under your feet.
    About 23,000 earthquakes occur every year in Taiwan, and you can feel about 1,000 of them. So just be prepared to follow the recommended safety precautions, such as DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON!
    More About the Safety Precautions

  • Treasure Taiwanese convenience stores.
    They are little 24-hour shops of wonders where you can get food, recharge your EasyCard, buy transportation tickets or prepaid phone cards, print and photocopy, and send and pick up packages. Most of these capabilities are available at an automated kiosk. Because of this, convenience stores are deeply rooted in our daily life and while you are visiting, should be in yours too! Your Indispensable Friend in Taiwan – 7-11

By students from the Taiwanese Student Association
Photo provided by the Taiwanese Student Association

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