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Solo travel in Taiwan is incredible!
Taiwan is the perfect introduction to Asia. It is familiar yet unfamiliar. English is fairly widely spoken, and it is super safe. All these factors not only make Taiwan a great introduction to Asia but also a great introduction to solo travel!
Solo travel in Taiwan is super easy. Even if you’ve never travelled alone before, a solo trip to Taiwan is something most people can manage without feeling overwhelmed.
This post will tell you everything you need to know about solo travel in Taiwan, so you can plan the perfect Taiwan trip!
You won’t regret travelling alone in Taiwan!
1. Taiwan is Safe at Night
One of the first things people Google when planning a solo trip anywhere is whether or not it is safe.
I don’t blame you. I do it too!
I’m very happy to report that Taiwans is very safe for solo travellers. It is safe during both the day and the night.
You don’t have to worry about any nighttime crimes, and you can freely walk around after dark with no worry.
Unless you’re an adult who is mildly afraid of the dark like I am.
How safe the country is is one of the most attractive aspects of solo travel in Taiwan.
You don’t have to worry about avoiding certain areas of town, major scams, or violent crimes.
Of course just like any country in the world there is the possibility of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and having something happen. Petty crimes like pick pocketing can happen in any country as well.
Just because Taiwan is safe for solo travellers doesn’t mean you get to drop your entire guard.
You still have to be aware that some petty crimes happen and to be smart about your actions.
But, overall, solo travel in Taiwan is very safe, and 99% of solo travellers in Taiwan don’t run into any problems.
2. Get Out and See More Than Taipei
One of the worst things you can do in any country you visit is just visit the capital city, and Taiwan is no exception!
Taipei is an amazing city, and I will admit it is my favourite city in Taiwan. But there is so much to see outside Taipei.
Taiwan has so many different sides, styles, and vibes to it.
The north is vastly different from the south, and it is worth visiting multiple cities!
You can travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung in less than 2 hours. You can easily visit the two major cities in Taiwan in one trip.
If you have two weeks, I highly recommend you visiting Hualien as well. It has some of the best hiking in the country!
Even if you don’t have much time in Taiwan, you should at a minimum take a day trip from Taipei. The top pick is without a doubt Jiufen.
A lot of blog posts make it seem difficult to travel from Taipei to Jiufen, but I promise it isn’t as daunting as it seems in writing. You can read my full guide on how to easily get to Jiufen here.
No matter what city outside Taipei you choose to visit, it’ll be a different experience to Taipei, and you’ll understand the country a bit better.
3. There is Wide Spread Wifi, but You Have to Jump Through Hoops
Taiwan has a nation wide public wifi network called iTaiwan.
It sounds great, but, in theory, it doesn’t work quite as well as you hope.
It can be a bit tricky to get connected to the iTaiwan network, and the most important thing you need to know is you have to create an account with the government before you arrive in Taiwan.
You can register your account online in advance here.
If you happen to show up in Taiwan without registering for an iTaiwan account before arriving, you can still register for an account. You have to go to a tourism office, show your passport, and create an account with an employee.
It is a bit annoying honestly.
Once you have an iTaiwan account, you can access free public wifi at nearly every public place in Taiwan!
It is pretty cool when it works well, and it is definitely worth the effort in setting up an iTaiwan account.
If you’re like me and travel a lot, you may want to look into investing in a Skyroam to solve all your internet woes while on the road. I bought mine in 2019 and am obsessed.
It is without a doubt one of the best travel purchases I’ve made!
Please, please, please be internet safe!
Relying on public wifi is basically an essential part of travel, but it leaves you at risk of being hacked and having your personal data stolen.
Yes. Hotel wifi counts as public wifi even if it is password protected!
The last thing you need while on a Taiwan solo trip is for someone to get into your personal devices and steal your information. Especially if it is your banking information!
Trust me. I’ve had my fair share of dealing with banking issues while abroad.
The only way you can protect your online data and privacy when using public wifi is by installing a VPN on your phone, tablet, and laptop.
A VPN essentially puts a forcefield around your personal devices that keeps any and all prying eyes out!
It makes using public wifi as safe as using your home wifi where only you know the password!
I always say if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect your online information! The monthly cost of a VPN is less than a latte at Starbucks!
My favourite VPN
I’ve used a lot of different VPNs over the years.
VPNs are notorious for slowing down your devices and making them painfully slow and frustrating to use. With most VPNs, I eventually give up using them because they slow things down so much I lose my patience.
The only VPN that doesn’t slow your devices to a painful level is NordVPN.
I started using NordVPN in 2019 and haven’t looked back since! It is the only VPN I haven’t cancelled after the first year!
The VPN is super quick compared to other VPNs, which is the biggest selling feature in my books!
You can connect up to six devices on one NordVPN subscription, so you can easily protect all your devices for one low fee!
Seriously! It is a no brainer. You need to keep yourself internet safe whenever you travel.
Oh. And one final (but amazing) feature is the ability to change your location, so it looks like you’re in a different country.
This allows you to access the Netflix library from that country, and you can unlock access to tons of shows and movies you can’t get in the country you’re in.
4. Easy to Get Around
One of the best parts about a Taiwan solo trip is that it is incredibly easy to get around Taiwan.
Whether you are travelling within a city or between cities, the Taiwan transportation system makes it a painless process!
And every city in Taiwan no matter how small has a comprehensive bus system!
The country also has a world class high-speed rail system that zips you across the country 300km/hour.
You will be amazed at how easy solo travel in Taiwan becomes when you take advantage of all the transportation options!
And if you’re like me and are obsessed with walking, the cities are fairly walkable. Many tourist attractions are grouped in similar areas, so if you plan your days correctly, you won’t even need to rely on public transportation!
5. Cash is King
Cash dominates the market in Taiwan.
Lots of restaurants and convenience stores accept credit cards and debit cards, but if you buy any street food or shop at a street market, you need to have cash on hand.
This may seem like an odd tip to include in a post about solo travel in Taiwan, but it is a very important thing to know.
When you travel with someone else, they can bail you out and loan you cash if you’re in the situation where you don’t have enough cash to pay for something.
You don’t have that luxury when you’re travelling alone in Taiwan.
You are 100% responsible for having enough cash to pay for any cash-only purchases you make.
It just comes with the territory of solo travel.
I highly recommend you covert some of your local currency into New Taiwan Dollars before you leave your home country.
This gives you the security of knowing you have the ability to pay for anything that comes up before you can get to an ATM in Taiwan.
Plus you avoid the stress of searching for an ATM and risking it not accepting your foreign card or having a lot of fees.
Moral of the story: always have some cash in your wallet when you’re in Taiwan!
6. Google Maps Isn’t Always Accurate
95% of the time Google Maps works like a charm in Taiwan, but it is that 5% that makes you want to pull out your hair.
Google maps is great when you want to use the metro, catch a bus, or walk to a major sight.
The problem comes in when you try to use it to get to a lesser known night market or somewhere with alleys.
You can find yourself walking in circles for hours growing frustrated that Google Maps isn’t showing you the way.
Trust me. It took me two days and a lot of determination to find one specific clothing market in Kaohsiung!
A Taiwan solo trip can become a bit frustrating when your map doesn’t tell you where to go.
You have to rely on having a general idea of where to go, local street signs, and following that little blue dot hoping you keep getting closer to your destination.
This can be a little frustrating when you’re alone in Taiwan.
You don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of and are stuck with only yourself to figure out where to go.
Google Maps has your back most of the time but be prepared for the odd time it stabs you in the back and leaves you in the lurch.
Just please know the address of where you’re staying and have a solid idea on how to get back there in case Google Maps really does you dirty!
7. Inexpensive Compared to Rest of East Asia
Taiwan is in East Asia, which is the most expensive region in Asia.
Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong all have reputations for being expensive, and Taiwan breaks that mold.
The prices in Taiwan are very inexpensive compared to the rest of the region.
It is by no means as affordable as Southeast Asia, but you won’t break the bank in Taiwan either.
You can get a full meal at a street market for less than $10, transportation is $1-$2 per ride, and I didn’t pay more than $50 per night for mid-level hotels.
I have very surprised at how affordable Taiwan is. I came home with money to spare, and that is something that never happens when I travel!
The fact that Taiwan is inexpensive but still super modern and semi-Westernized is why I think Taiwan is the perfect introduction to Asia as a solo traveller.
8. Cafés Aren’t Very Common
This is without a doubt my least favourite part about solo travel in Taiwan!
I love hanging out in cafés and reading when I travel, and that simply isn’t a popular thing to do in Taiwan.
There are tons of places to grab tea, but most of them are window stores with no place to sit.
Honestly, I’ve never been to a country where I’ve seen fewer Starbucks than in Taiwan! Not that I like Starbucks, but it gives you a sense of how uncommon cafés are!
If you’re like me and relish the opportunity to relax, read, and unwind in a café when on a solo trip, Taiwan isn’t the place to do it.
Leave your book at the hotel because you likely won’t find a place to sit down and read it.
I know this isn’t a big issue for most people, but it was definitely a shock for me (and a disappointment if I’m honest).
9. Night Markets are Your Best Friend
Taiwan is known for its incredible food. In fact, the country is often touted as a foodie’s dream destination.
Every city in Taiwan has multiple night markets where you can try out a bunch of food and indulge.
Night markets are a big part of Taiwanese culture, so you don’t have to worry about them being too touristy and unauthentic.
Visiting night markets is one of the best things you can do while on a Taiwan solo trip.
A lot of solo travellers are nervous about eating at restaurants alone, and visiting night markets is the easiest way to eliminate that!
It is 100% street food, and you either sit at a table or eat while you walk.
Many locals visit night markets alone, and you won’t feel uncomfortable or weird wandering around a night market alone.
Not only are night markets the perfect solution to any qualms you have about eating alone, but they are also super affordable!
You can have a full meal for less than $10!
Night markets are a way of life in Taiwan, and you haven’t experienced Taiwan until you’ve been to at least a couple of night markets.
10. Taiwanese People are Very Friendly
You will be blown away at how kind and friendly Taiwanese people are!
I arrived in Taipei and immediately went to Taipei Main Station to catch a train to Hualien. I stopped to look at the train departure board, and within seconds, an old man came up to ask if I needed help figuring out what platform my train was departing from. It was really sweet of him.
And that isn’t an isolated expereince!
People are always willing to help. Employees at museums are excited to tell you about the artifacts, street food vendors make sure you’re 100% happy with your meal, and hotel employees go above and beyond.
Sometimes when you’re travelling alone in a country it can feel a bit awkward if you need to ask for directions or help of any sort.
That isn’t the case in Taiwan!
If you need any sort of help or are lost, I can guarantee you won’t have to look far to find a local who is willing to help you out!
The Fear of Solo Travel
You are now prepared to embark on your solo trip to Taiwan!
You’re an expert in all things travelling Taiwan alone and can conquer your Taiwan solo trip like a boss!
There is absolutely nothing scary about taking a solo trip to Taiwan!
It is without a doubt on the friendliest countries in Asia for solo travellers.
Taiwan definitely isn’t an obvious choice for solo travel, but I guarantee you won’t regret booking a trip there!
The country is completely safe for solo travellers- including solo female travellers. It is affordable, unique, full of good food, and has an awesome vibe.
Taiwan is without a doubt one of the most underrated countries in Asia, but I don’t think it will be underrated for much longer.
So get there while it is still a hidden gem before it gets overrun with tourists!
And don’t forget to be internet safe and install a VPN on all your devices!