Motorbikes in Taipei

Today I arrived in Taipei. The most surprising thing so far has been the large number of motorbikes that I saw while walking around the city. They’re on the roads and parked on the sidewalks, almost like in Vietnam. Yet there are far more cars here as well. It’s like a 50/50 blend. A lot more motorbikes than, say, Singapore, HK, Japan, or the US; but not as many as in Vietnam.

I’d like to see if I can travel on a slim budget.

At the airport, I exchanged 100 USD into TWD (Taiwanese Dollars). The rate was 28.225000, giving me an NT Dollar Equivalent of 2,823. The NT Dollar is the same as the TWD; it stands for “New Taiwan Dollar.” The currency exchange shop, which is called Mega Int’l Commercial Bank Taoyuan Int’l Airport BR., is located at the airport. They charged me a fee of 30 NT$, resulting in a Net Amount Payable of 2,793. Effectively, I got an exchange rate of 27.93 TWD per USD.

Here’s where it’s gone so far:

145 TWD for the bus from the airport to Taipei-101

15 TWD for bus 650, from Taipei-101 to Heping Senior High School

200 TWD to buy an EasyCard, the RFID card used for public transport payments here in Taiwan (it’s like the Taiwanese Octopus Card)

  • Details: On 2011-05-10 at 22:11, I paid 200 TWD cash for a Taiwan EasyCard. 100 TWD goes to the card deposit, while the other 100 TWD becomes the card’s initial credit.

That leaves me with 2,433 TWD remaining. I’ll try to keep track of my daily spending to see how cheaply I can travel here in Taiwan.

I actually packed really poorly for this trip. There are two essentials I forgot: a pair of pants, and a towel. I thought they were already brought down from the 4th floor of our house at TQK, but I guess they actually weren’t, so I ended up not bringing them. I’m actually traveling with a single pair of pants at the moment. I’ll try to find a store tomorrow that sells convertible pants.

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