Hey, remember that time I went to Taiwan? Yep. Me neither. And no, it wasn’t an Asian blowout weekend a la The Hangover II or the result of a few near-brushes with death on a tuktuk that all but erased the memory. In fact, given that we were only in the country for about nine hours, I’m not even sure it fully counts as being “in” Taiwan.
Nine hours? That sounds like a layover, you might say. #Nailedit. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport offers a free half-day guided tour for any passengers with a layover longer than seven hours. There are two options, and you have to double-check the visa requirements of your home country (Americans, you’re in the clear), but all in all, it’s a great way to see a hint of the country—and it sure beats twiddling your thumbs at the airport all day!
You can get a decent bit done in seven hours, including (but not limited to): touring temples, watching woodcarvers, a smidge of shopping, trying chicken feet (!!), and making friends with other travelers who share your bus.
Since it’s Chinese New Year, I thought I’d celebrate by remembering our seven hours in Taipei. Happy new year everyone!