|ticles on Taiwanese culture and history.
LEFT LUGGAGE The basement floor of Taipei Main Station has several rows of coin-operated lockers for NT$30/70 per three hours for small/large lockers.
There’s a six-day limit for small lockers andthree for large.
Taipei Songshan Airport and Taoyuan International Airport also have lockers andleft-luggage service, as do most hotels and hostels.
MEDICAL SERVICES Almost every hospital in Taipei has English speakers on staff.
If you don’t have local insurance,rates are still very cheap compared to the West.
Once you’ve registered with a hospital, subsequent appointments can be made online.
Dr Simon Chan Clinic MAP GOOGLE MAP ( 2731-6530; 3rd fl, 126-3 Zhongxiao E Rd, Sec 4; Zhongxiao Dunhua)This private clinic of a fluent English-speaking doctor trained at UCLA is very popular withTaipei’s expat population.
Call for appointments.
Mackay Memorial Hospital MAP GOOGLE MAP (Mǎxié Jìniàn Yīyuàn; 2543 3535; 92 Zhongshan N Rd, Sec 2;Shuanglian) Well-regarded private Christian hospital.
Takes Taiwan’s National Health Insurance(NHI).
Taiwan Adventist Hospital MAP GOOGLE MAP (Táiān Yīyuàn; 2771 8151; 424 Bade Rd, Sec 2; ZhongxiaoFuxing) Well regarded for its foreigner friendliness.
Taipei City Hospital Chinese Medicine Clinic Centre MAP GOOGLE MAP ( 2388 7088; 100 Kunming St; 9am-noon, 1.
30pm & 5.
30pm Mon-Fri, 8.
30-noon & 1.
30pm Sat; Ximen) If you’re interested in checkingout traditional medicine, this hospital has English-speaking doctors.
MONEY ATMs abound in Taipei and most are connected to either the Cirrus or Plus network and acceptforeign cards from aligned banks.
In addition to banks, look for ATMs at 7-Elevens and otherconvenience stores.
ATMs give you the choice of handling the transaction in English or Chinese.
You can exchange money or travellers cheques (US$ denominations are best) at the airport, ormost commercial banks in the city, especially any Bank of Taiwan.
There is no black market forcurrency exchange, nor are there currency-exchange kiosks.
POST North Gate Post Office MAP GOOGLE MAP (114 Zhongxiao W Rd, Sec 1; 7.
30am-9pm; ; Taipei Main Station)Taipei’s main post office is in an historic building southwest of Taipei Main Station.
There are branch offices throughout the city.
Post-office workers can generally understand a bit of Englishand are overall pretty helpful.
TOURIST INFORMATION There are visitor information centre booths scattered around the city, all with the usual assortmentof maps and pamphlets on Taipei and other parts of Taiwan, and generally helpful English-speaking staff.
The most convenient centre is on the main floor of Taipei Main Station and open8am to 10pm.
Several free magazines published in English have loads of Taipei-specific information, including Discover Taipei, which has a useful calendar of current events.
The city’s tourismwebsite (www.taipeitravel.net/en) is also very useful for current and upcoming events.
EASY DOES IT If you’re going to spend any length of time in Taipei, buy yourself an EasyCard (aka Yoyo Card), the stored-value card of the Taipei Rapid Transit Association (TRTA).
Adult/child EasyCards sell for NT$500/300, of which NT$100 is a deposit.
In addition to MRT rides (which the card gives you a discount on) the card is valid on buses within Taipei City, New Taipei City, Keelung City, Taichung City (buses here are free with an EasyCard), Yilan County, Matsu Islands and Tainan City.
It is also good for local trains in the north, non-reserved HSR rides, some taxis, the Youbike program and purchases at all convenience stores, Starbucks and dozens of other shops.
There’s also a 10% to 15% discount on Tourism Shuttle Buses when you use the card.
When you’re done using your EasyCard, simply take it to an MRT ticket booth, where your deposit plus any remaining value will be refunded.
You can add value to the cards at any MRT station or 7-Eleven.
Getting There & Away As the nation’s capital, Taipei is well connected to the rest of the island, as well as the outerislands, by rail, bus and air.
AIR Taipei is directly connected to most major cities in Asia, and there are daily flights to NorthAmerica, Europe and Oceania countries such as Australia.
Most international flights leave fromTaoyuan International Airport (www.taoyuanairport.gov.tw), 40km from downtown Taipei.
Domestic flights as well as direct flights to China, Japan and Korea leave from Taipei SongshanAirport (www.tsa.gov), located in the city itself and accessible by MRT.
You can also book tickets at any ezTravel office, including the one in Taipei Main Station on theground floor near the TRA ticket counter.
BUS Taipei city is serviced by four major bus stations.
West Terminal A MAP GOOGLE MAP (A, Táiběi Xī Zhàn A Dòng;) Directly to the west of Taipei MainStation on Zhongxiao Rd.
Has buses to Taoyuan International Airport (see Getting Around),Taoyuan, Chungli, Keelung, Jinshan and other destinations (mostly) in northern Taiwan.
West Terminal B MAP GOOGLE MAP (B, Táiběi Xī Zhàn B Dòng;) Next to West Terminal A, this station isserviced exclusively by Taiwan’s government-run Kuo Kuang Bus Company .
Busesrun to southern and central destinations like Taichung, Sun Moon Lake, Alishan, Tainan and Kaohsiung.
Taipei Bus Station MAP GOOGLE MAP (Táiběi Zhuǎnyùn Zhàn;) Directly to the north of Taipei MainStation, and connected by underground walkways through Q Mall, is this multistorey station whichoffers a wide variety of luxury buses to destinations including Jiaoxi and Yilan (only with KamalanBus Company, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung.
Taipei City Hall Bus Station MAP GOOGLE MAP In the east part of the city, and connected to TaipeiCity Hall MRT station, this station serves much the same routes as the others, including Jiaoxi andYilan (with Capital Bus only).
HIGH SPEED RAIL (HSR) High Speed Rail (www.thsrc.com.tw) trains run from 6.
30am to 11pm.
Tickets can be purchasedat the HSR counter and automated kiosks at Basement Level 1 of Taipei Main Station, and can alsobe purchased at at 7-Eleven ibon kiosks (in Chinese only).
Booking can also be done via the HSRwebsite.
There are discounts of 10% to 35% for booking eight to 28 days in advance, respectively.deSTINATION FARE (NT$) STANDARD DURATION Chiayi 915 1hr 23min Hsinchu 290 31min Taichung 700 1hr Tainan 1350 1hr 40min Taoyuan 160 20min Kaohsiung (Zuoying) 1490 1?-2hr STANDARD TRAINS (TRA) Taiwan’s trains are clean, convenient and nearly always on schedule.
Unlike the HSR, TRA trainstations are almost always in the centre of town (Taitung is an exception).
You can find schedulesand fares in English at the TRA (http://twtraffic.
DESTINATION FARE (NT$) FAST/SLOW TRAIN DURATION FAST/SLOW TRAINNorth/East Line Hualien 440/340 2?-3?hr Ilan 218/140 1-2hr Keelung 41 50min Taitung 785/605 6-7hr West Line Chiayi 598/461 3?-4?hr Hsinchu 177/114 1-2hr Kaohsiung 843/650 5-7hr Taichung 375/289 2-3hr Tainan 738/569 4-6hr Getting Around TO/FROM THE AIRPORT Two airports serve Taipei.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is about 40km west of the citycentre and Taipei Songshan Airport is just north of the city centre.