Author Topic: Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand  (Read 3985 times)

MustachianMD

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Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand
« on: February 13, 2015, 11:39:13 PM »
I will be traveling with the DH and little one to Thailand and then Taiwan. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on what to do? I have been to Thailand numerous times, but always looking for new cool things to check out, especially activities that are infant friendly. Taiwan is going to be a new experience, so I am open to any tips regarding travel and activities.

deborah

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astvilla

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Re: Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2015, 05:59:34 AM »
For Taipei, immediately I think of the National Palace Museum. It's huge, lots of exhibits and very interesting art. Not sure if there many other places in the world with great traditional Chinese art.

Food is really big in Taiwan so definitely use the opportunity to enjoy the huge variety in food. You'll have Din Tai Fung which is good as well as street markets (also good and cheap). Food is pretty cheap and priced well compared to the States and better tasting.

Street markets which I alluded to are also a great place to visit, they can get pretty crowded and buzz with a lot of activity. Snake market I thought was real interesting though your infant might be too young for it or too young to know difference. They also have your standard shopping malls etc but I imagine that's not the reason you are there.

I guess with any city, expect a lot of walking, mass transit, or taxi. Mass transit might be easier for you since there's English available. Cab drivers don't all speak so you might have to show them the chinese characters and say here!

Taipei is pretty safe, safer than most US suburbs and I felt really safe at night there.

It gets real humid and hot during the summer so dress appropriately. Sandals are a must. Umbrellas are also a must.


limeandpepper

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Re: Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2015, 09:11:59 AM »
See Lime and Pepper's journal http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/figuring-out-life-freedom-and-travel-in-australia-malaysia-and-beyond/

Thanks for the vote of confidence! :)

For those who are interested, Thailand trip reports start from the second half of page 9 and continue on to page 10, then the Taiwan trip reports follow on from there.

How much time do you have, MustachianMD, and what sort of things do you like to see and do? We had almost a month and basically explored the country in a clockwise direction. If you have limited time, there are plenty of things just in Taipei and the surrounding areas to keep you occupied. I am not familiar with infant-friendly requirements, but for example, you might enjoy the cat town, Houtong. :) And close to that is Jiufen, which is a pretty town and the inspiration for the street scenes in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away.

MustardTiger

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Re: Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2015, 10:35:39 AM »
I have lived in Thailand for ~4 years on and off.  Most of that spent in BKK, where most of my knowledge would be the best restuarants and places to drink/hang out.

Good tourist places:
Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi
Temples in Ayuthaya
Best Beaches/Islands: Krabi, Koh Lipe, Koh Tao
Chiang Mai and other northern places (Chiang Rai, Pai) are really great.  I would love to retire in Chiang Mai someday but my wife's family is close to BKK.

Let me know if you want more details about any of these.

LLCoolDave

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Re: Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2015, 01:31:11 PM »
Some of my favorite spots in Thailand were Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, and Krabi.

ambimammular

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Re: Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2015, 06:55:14 PM »
I can only speak about Thailand. Our favorite places were the smaller towns, (to avoid the tourist typical stuff.) Chiang Dao was so wonderful (caves, people, educational tour to the Burmese border given through the Chiang Dao Rainbow Guest House) that we extended that part of our stay by 4 days.

And Lopburi had monkeys!!! Traveling by overnight train was an experience. We still get the craving for yogurt, fruit, and muesli. And banana pancakes.

The Lonely Planet has an excellent guide. It was our bible.
Have an amazing time!

johnintaiwan

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Re: Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2015, 07:50:23 PM »
Are you going to be in Taipei? I would not waste much time with many table cloth restaurants. They wont have english menus and are over priced. Stick with small restaurants and street food. It wll be easy to order since you can just point at what you want. This is what most people do here for most meals.

Do go to the night markets. Shilin Market is a bit nicer now that it has been reorganized, but you no longer get the true night market experience. I think Snake Alley is a place to miss. it used to be pretty cool years ago, but it is just really run down now. I would recommend Ning Xia market near Shuanglian MRT station.

I would recommend using public transpotation. You can buy a card for it at the 7-11 to use on buses and the subway (MRT) and also in some taxis. You can also use it to rent bikes at the many public bike racks (free for the first hour). The public transit system is very easy to use and convenient. Dont be afraid, most people speak at least a little english and are more than happy to help you find your stop or which bus to take.

The national palace museum is pretty awesome, but now it is often full of mainland chinese which is a bummer. Expect to get pushed around and experience general rudeness. Taipei 101 is a good thing to see, but the inside is just a fancy shopping mall. Good place to eat in the basement food court (food court here is a legitimate dining expereince not like at malls in the US). It is pretty cool to go up to the top of 101 as well.

Another idea is to take the gondola to MaoKang. It is a tea area and very beautiful to walk around. It has a much slower pace than the city and can be a nice break. The jade/flower market is also a nice day time market to see. I would also suggest trying to find a morning market/breakfast street near where you are staying. Taiwanese breakfast is a little different and not something to miss, dont just stay in the hotel for breakfast. That is one thing I will really miss when I move back to the US.

If you have any questions or want any suggestions/help with arranging travel or anything feel free to message me. My wife might be able to get some translations of places of interest or something if you need it.

MustachianMD

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Re: Traveling in Taiwan and Thailand
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 07:04:05 AM »
Thanks all these are some great recommendations. The wife and I go back to Thailand usually every year, but this is our first time back after a two year hiatus. Definitely has been a game changer with the little one. The good thing is we have my in laws to help. The first couple days have been occupied by Chinese New Years Festivities. We are headed to Taiwan, and it should be exciting. It is my first time there, and it has been almost a decade since my wife has been there. We are excited to check out the recommendations as time permit. The wife has already nixed the idea of the snake market. She was traumatized by it when she was a little girl. Has been scared of snakes ever since.

Any other suggestions on good daytime photography sites would be appreciated. I am guessing that late night photography will not be happening with the little one. Thanks again fellow mustachians, Gong Ci Fa Cai!