We found a 7Eleven and asked about a sim card. The girl at the counter smiled and shook her head. She couldn't understand us, but she very sweetly did her best to understand our sign language. Behind us a young employed asked if he could help, in pretty sound English too. He took care of us, and seemed delighted and proud (as he should be) that he could communicate with us. They didn't have what we needed, but he took us outside and gave us directions to a shop that he thought could. We were both very impressed by his helpful attitude.
As it turned out coverage in Taroko Gorge would be patchy and we'd have wi-fi in our room. My Husband decided to go out on a limb and forgo the sim card - yay - freedom!
At the train station, we had a similarly lovely interaction with the guy in the information kiosk. He figured out which train would be best for us and then wrote out the specific thing for us to ask for which we brought like trusting children to the ticket both and purchased our tickets. It was that easy
We thought that not speaking Mandarin would be our biggest challenge in Taiwan, but it turned out that the people were so kind, friendly and eager to make us as comfortable that, in fact, our biggest challenge was leaving!
We spent a weekend in Taipei with My Husband's family. Our Nephew spoke Mandarin, Cantonese and English, so we were all able to communicate with each other and with the locals.
Taipei is a lovely city. Think Hong Kong, with breathing space. It had a really futuristic feel with it's ultra modern buildings and malls. At night the streets were lit up and felt safe and welcoming.
Generally, I'm not a museum person. I do find myself apologizing for that. I wish I could get excited about museums and art galleries, as it seems so cultured and grown-up but, well, I am who I am.
I do love miniatures (doll houses, train sets, town planning models etc) so I reckoned the miniatures museum would be worth a look. I wasn't wrong! I took hundreds of photos but later realised that I should have included scale in all of them.
For example - would you believe that this candelabra is only two inches across?
There are lots of museums in Taipei, but apparently if you can (or will) only go to one it should be the National Palace Museum.
So what did I think? Well, it was a rainy day so an indoor activity was good. It was very crowded, and the exhibits were very old. Some have come a long way to be there and the story (or speculation) behind that was interesting. I managed to do about an hour and a half and then discovered they had a really nice coffee shop!
If museums are your thing, you will love Taipei. This, from a gal who found the museums in Amsterdam boring (sorry)! And I think