September 16, 2013

Taking the bus

Exploring Taichung, Taiwan - little by little

Taxis can be found everywhere - but I prefer other transport 

“Taxis are dirt cheap here in Taichung” someone said.

Although I am not so sure I agree...

It didn't take me very long until I started to compare prices in Taiwan to what you pay for other things - not the least for food - and then the taxis are definitely not dirt cheap anymore. Food is very inexpensive which means a taxi ride is worth several meals; When that's how you count it it is not as cheap anymore, is it?

Also, if you have a bus card, a travel card, one of those cards that can be loaded up with money, a trip that is shorter than 8 km in Taichung city won't cost anything. Try and beat that!  Compare a taxi ride for several meals with a free bus ride - and then you see my point.

At a bus stop - plenty of buses around
In Taichung, taking the bus can be bit of an extra challenge - the signs at the bus stop are all in Chinese... For me who wants to learn that is not bad though; And the bus stops are announced in English inside the bus, both in written and over the speaker. Getting off at the right stop is not the problem (to be on the safe side you can show the driver a sign with where you want to get off and he'll stop at the right stop). Finding the right bus to get ON may prove a bit more tricky but you can work your way around that too.  Or just do what I do, take the bus down one road and get off when it turns if you didn't want to go in that direction, inside the city the stops are frequent.

Taking the bus is a great way to get to know the city; Just hop on a bus, see where it takes you, get off, walk around and explore. That's how I found many of the interesting things I have found so far - plus on the bus I have a chance to interact with people, in a taxi I am lacking that opportunity. 

I have taken the habit of photographing my stop, so I at least know where to go if I need to get back... The head is full of Chinese characters and I can't keep track of them all, nor can I say all of them, so I figured photographing was more convenient. It works well. I am going out to the big road, Taichung Port Road, I take the first bus that comes, and then I go with if for a bit, until I feel like getting off and explore the new area. Very easy, quite convenient and a lot of fun!

Oh, and did I mention that the bus pass can be purchased in any little Family Mart or 7Eleven - you can do everything there, and both shops are spread out everywhere in the city!

Close-up of the "map" - can you spot your stop?


Anonymous said...

sjukt impad av ditt driv och kul att få följa!!!/burgschki

TravellingAK said...

Tack Burgschki - du är ju minst lika driven själv :-)
Men det är definitivt ett fantastiskt äventyr! Men Taiwan är lätt att vara i, alla är väldigt rara och hjälpsamma.