Taiwan is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination and with vibrant cities, breathtaking scenery and rolling countryside it's no wonder more and more people are booking flights to Taiwan. The capital Taipei is a sprawling metropolis with plenty to do. Head up the Taipei 101 buildingthe tallest skyscraper in the world - for stunning views or visit Shilin Night Market to sample cheap Taiwanese cuisine. A trip to the peaceful city of Hualien is a must and the gateway to the spectacular Taroko Gorge, while the coastal city of Taitung offers access to Taiwan's Green and Orchid Islands.
China Airlines offers direct flights to Taiwan from London Heathrow arriving in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The journey takes around 14 hours, however the number of flights are limited. You can also fly indirectly from most major UK airports with airlines including British Airways, KLM and Cathay Pacific. Flights arrive in Taipei Sung Shan Airport, Taipei Taiwan Taoyuan Airort and Kaohsiung Airport. You can also fly indirectly to Makung with bmi, however this flight can be extremely expensive.
Taiwan's excellent transport system makes getting around the country a doddle. The Taiwan High Speed Rail is a bullet train covering the whole of the west coast from Taipei to Zuoying. It can be a little pricey, but it's worth it for the speed and comfort the trains offer. The rest of Taiwan's rail network might not be quite so quick, but it's still an excellent system stopping at all major cities and is the ideal way of getting around the country during your Taiwan holiday. If your budget is really tight however, buses offer a cheaper alternative and are pretty extensive, reliable and comfortable.
Taxis are readily available to get around most of the bigger cities, however most taxi drivers won't speak English so you need to bring directions written in the Taiwanese alphabet. In Taipei and Kaohsiung the easiest way to get around is using the comprehensive MRT, just pick up an EasyCard available at most metro stations.
Taiwan's more expensive than many other Asian countries, however it's still possible to find cheap hotels in Taiwan by shopping around online and booking in advance. Outside of Taipei accommodation options reduce, especially in the smaller towns and villages where you'll mostly find small, affordable guesthouses run by locals.
For cheap eats during your Taiwan holiday head to backstreet noodle bars or night markets where you can pick up Taiwanese specialities such as an oyster omelette or beef noodles for less than a pound. Shopping centres also have affordable eating options usually located on the upper floors. You don't need to worry about tipping either, as it's not expected in Taiwan. The only problem you might have is the language, as most menus (except in very touristy areas) will be in Taiwanese, so be sure to bring along translation book if you're a picky eater!
Updated 4th December 2013
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