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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificTaiwan · 1 decade ago

How much American currency do I need in Taiwan?

I am going to be in Taiwan for a month and want to know how much I should take out. I plan to be backpacking around the island, seeing as much as I can, and am going to try to be as frugal and cheap as I can be. Also I was wondering should I just wait until I land at the Taibei airport and just take out money there at an ATM (assuming there is an ATM...)? Any insight would be most appreciated!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Taiwan is a great place to travel around cheaply. Taiwan is highly developed with prices higher than most other Asian countries, yet is still relatively cheap by western standards. The food is amazing and only $2-3 USD at the cheaper restaurants.

    Taiwan's got excellent travel infrastructure that's very good value by any standard. There are heavy discounts on the slower trains or buses, but fast trains are still reasonably priced. Check out http://www.railway.gov.tw/en/index/index.aspx for Taiwan Rail prices or http://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/ for the HSR prices (High Speed Rail - aka, bullet train). While you can save half or more by taking the slowest trains, in my opinion it's not worth it to pull in to _every single stop_ on the line.

    Students are eligible for an unlimited 10-day Taiwan Rail pass (~$45 USD). Even if you don't have a student card, _anyone_ under 30 can get a Youth Travel Card to enjoy discounts at a huge variety of locations, like restaurants and museums. Highly recommended for the budget traveler. See http://www.youthtravel.tw for infos.

    Hitchhiking works, but it's an uncommon sight in Taiwan. I've done it half a dozen times, but usually didn't get a ride quickly. But in all cases the Taiwanese were really nice, sometimes going way out of their way and twice offering me a beer!

    Accommodation will likely be your biggest expense. Figure $10-15 USD per night in Taipei hostels. Here again, I wouldn't go for cheapest--you'll get a much better experience by paying that little bit more. I highly recommend Eight Elephants Hostel or The Cat's Pajamas Hostel over anything else in Taipei--you won't regret it! For other cities which may not have hostels, you might have to ask around for homestays (民宿 - minsu) or grab a cheap hotel room for ~$20 (all prices are generally lower outside of Taipei). Of course the best frugal travel advice is to not travel alone. Not only is it more fun, splitting the cost of rooms can save a bundle.

    I've had good experiences too in Taiwan with couchsurfing.org, but you'll need to contact hosts way ahead of time and likely give up a lot of travel flexibility by locking down your travel schedule. The great thing with couchsurfing is, in addition to staying for free, you'll likely get treated to traditional foods and taken cool, off-the-beaten-path places by a self-appointed tour guide.

    ATMs are everywhere and that's usually the best option as long as your home bank doesn't have outrageous fees for overseas transactions. Most people have no trouble accessing their cash, but bring ~$40 to exchange at the airport just in case there's an issue. That will cover the bus ride from the airport and first night at least.

    So overall $15-20/day if you don't mind low-rated hostels and spending most of the day on a train, ~$30/day and up if you splurge on some extra comfort, speed and fun experiences.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You'll definitely need money in taiwan's local currency to get around town (New Taiwan Dollars). Depending on where you are, credit cards work well in major cities. However, cheaper places to stay/dine don't usually accept credit card.

    You'll be able to find ATMs at TPE airport. I'd advise to withdraw as much as you need each time to avoid paying for $1-3 USD processing fee. ATM usually offers the BEST exchange rate as opposed to airport currency exchange or local banks, etc.

    Food can be very affordable in Taiwan... you can get a good meal for less than $3 USD from 7-11 shops or street vendors. A meal at McD will run you about $3-4 USD... so food is not very costly unless you dine at finer establishments.

    Lodging varies from inexpensive to very expensive. In general, the nightly rate you'd pay in Taiwan should be slightly lower than you would in the US.

    Break down of how much you will need per day -

    Food $10 USD

    Lodging $50 USD

    Transportation $10 USD (could be less depending on the mode of transportation and distance)

    Entertainment $15 USD (could be less/more depending on what you do)

    Total $85 USD per day if you travel on a budget!

    Hope this helps!

    Source(s): Taiwanese national
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  • 1 decade ago

    Take as little as possible to start out. Exchanging before you go would be a good idea. I was informed there was a better exchange rate at the intl. airport, but found that I would have gotten a better rate in the states as of a couple of hours ago I saw money exchanging at about $30.14 ntd to $1 US. If you are trying to stay cheap remember to carry a coin purse and keep most of your money in $100 ntd increments, as it will help keep you from breaking larger bills into the almost worthless $1 coin. Google the areas you are wanting to see and map it out finding the bus and train routes as possible. Bus and MRT lines work on transit card which can be purchased and recharged for cheap. High speed rail is the fastest way to travel north to south and costing $30 to $40 US one way. Do not bring traveler's checks as every money exchanger will laugh at you and if you bring US $100 bills make sure they are not of the AB series as they are not accepting them. ATM's are plentiful as there seems to be around 6 to 7k 7elevens and the bank fee is usually around $3 to $4 US. Taxis are cheap and plentiful, but the trips add up so figuring out mass transit is a must whether backpacking or traveling the cities. The eastern side of the country seems to still be recovering from typhoons so take that into account as well. Also if you do not speak the language and are not of an Asian ethnicity prepared to be gawked at to some degree.

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  • 1 decade ago

    How frugal are you, really?

    You can do it for nothing, if you are willing to walk everywhere (or buy a scooter helmet and hitchhike), drink from the streams (though some ARE polluted), eat off the land (a lot of wild plants are edible here), and sleep in a tent (or at the mercy of strangers).

    To be a bit more on the safe side though, I'd recommend you bring US$15-$20 per day. You can exchange your money at the airport's currency exchange upon arrival.

    Be kind, thoughtful of others, and enjoy your journey.

    Side note: You might wish to check out online stories of persons who have done such travels, so as to pick up some tips.

    Source(s): TT
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  • 1 decade ago

    You don't need any American currency, because you won't be able to spend it. You will need Taiwanese dollars,available from bank ATM machines. You might find that some of the smaller centres will present you with difficulty accessing a foreign bank account.

    People get around by train, mostly. I recommend against trying to hitch-hike.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    yes if said bank has an internation dept.

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