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Well, it's already spring in Taipei, and summer is just around the corner. Things are starting to heat up!  What to do now? Get ready to get yourselves to Taipei in August to participate in Fringe, of course! We’ve collected some information which we think may be especially useful for our foreign artists and guests to get them started on planning for a wonderful 2017 Taipei Fringe Festival and a great trip to Taiwan.
 
Information:


1.  Getting to Taipei
Almost everyone who flies into Taiwan lands at Taoyuan International Airport which is located 40km/25mi southwest of Taipei City. From there, you’ll need to catch a bus, taxi or airport metro into the city. Taxis, which take about 40-50 minutes, cost around $1300NTD (approx. $44USD). There are also several bus lines that can take you to various points in the city. Their prices vary, but in general are in the $110-$150NTD range ($3-$5USD). Buses take around 40-60 minutes to get you to your destination, and most end their trips at Taipei Main Station, the hub for public transportation of all kinds in Taipei. The newly built airport metro offers the fastest options to take you into the city in 30 minutes, cost around $160NTD (approx. $5USD). 
 
A breakdown of transportation options from Taoyuan International Airport can be found here: http://goo.gl/OFVjyB

Public transportation guide for passengers who land at Taipei Songshan Airport:goo.gl/MsrIsn  
 

2.  Getting Around Taipei
Taipei's public transportation system is one of the best in the world, with its MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) metro system the star player in efficiency and convenience. Most of Taipei Fringe's venues are located within a 10-minute walk of one of the MRT stations. Single-use trips can cost anywhere from $25-$65NTD ($.85-$2.20USD), but there are special multi-use travel cards that you can buy to make your trips less expensive. These cards can be used on the MRT, public buses, and even in some taxis. For more information on routes, fares, or travel cards, you can visit the MRT website at.
http://english.metro.taipei
 
In addition to the MRT, taxis and public buses are also ubiquitous. Taxis are very noticeable with their traditional yellow paint-jobs. If you’re adventurous, buses can be interesting to take. While most bus stops have complete route information posted, only the main stops are listed in English. On board, many buses will also display each stop name in English and Chinese.

Whichever mode of transportation you use, please know that Taiwanese people are generally very kind and most will work very hard to answer your questions and get you where you need to go. Don’t hesitate to ask passers-by if you need help getting directions; but, in many cases, if a Taiwanese person thinks you’re lost, they’ll ask you if you need help before you even open your mouth to ask. Taipei is a very safe and very friendly world city.



3.  Accommondation
Being the starting-off-point for many travelers to Taiwan, Taipei is awash in hotels, inns, motels, and hostels, all with varying levels of cost and quality. Most travel websites and books can give you good suggestions for places to stay. For hostels, we suggest you take a look at the website
http://www.hostels.com/taipei/taiwan



4.  Festival Tips
4.1  Weather
Taiwan is located in the subtropics, so summertime is both hot and humid with an average high temperature of around 90F/30C in Taipei. Air conditioning is ubiquitous, so we advise foreign visitors to bring one or two light jackets to keep warm while indoors. Also, summertime is peak season for typhoons, so be prepared for heavy rains and strong wings if a typhoon comes. For detailed information, you can check this website: Weather forecast in Taipei
 
4.2  Language and Culture
Taiwan's population is around 23 million people, and Taipei’s metro population is nearly 7 million people. It's a bustling city of mostly Mandarin Chinese speakers, but Taiwanese, another dialect of Chinese, is also spoken by many Taipei denizens. English information is available in most major venues and many people speak passing English, so don’t be afraid to get out into the city!
 
In Taiwan, most traditional art and performance is based on Chinese traditions such as Peking Opera or pottery. However, being one of East Asia's urban hubs, contemporary art, influenced by artistic styles from across the globe, is also quite common.
 
People in Taiwan, as mentioned above, are very friendly and enjoy meeting and speaking with people from other cultures. Taiwan is also very safe with very little violent crime or even pick-pocketing occurring in the general public. Women are generally safe walking on the streets by themselves, even at night, and boasting the largest gay pride parade in Asia, Taipei also is fairly accepting of homosexual culture. That said, foreign visitors should always move about with a sense of caution when traveling abroad.
 
Unlike many other parts of Asia, street food and food in general is clean and safe to eat. Night markets are an especially great place to find local delicacies. Tea is the most common beverage in Taipei, and you can find almost any style and flavor at tea shops located all over the city. But coffee is also becoming very common as well. You should not drink water out of the tap, but most hotels and hostels will provide boiled water for consumption. Most urgent food or drink needs can be met by 7-11s, which are everywhere in Taipei, and they are all open 24-hours.

4.3  Night Markets
Night markets, which start operating every evening at dusk, are a great place to take in local culture, get some souvenirs, and fill up on delicious and inexpensive foods. For information on Taipei night markets, visit Travel CNN for a great analysis and Taipei Travel for addresses.
 
4.4  Taiwan's Performing Arts
Taipei is the heart of Taiwan's performance arts scene. There are music, theatre, and dance performances going on year-round, with the most famous performance art group probably being Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. If you have a chance to see one of their shows, we highly recommend it. The largest performing arts venue in Taiwan is the National Theater and Concert Hall located at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. For information on shows there, you can visit their website at www.artsticket.com.tw.

*National Performing Art Center
 http://www.ntch.edu.tw.
 
For more information on arts and culture in Taiwan, visit :
Department of Culture Affairs, Taipei City
Live Music Venues In Taipei



5. Other websites that may be useful for planning your trip to Taiwan:
Taiwan Immigration's Information for Foreign residents and visitors:
http://goo.gl/NTzH6g
Taiwan travel information (including accommodation, transportation, popular destinations): www.go2taiwan.net
 
Finally, while Taipei is the Fringe Festival's home, it certainly doesn’t represent everything Taiwan has to offer. If you have the chance to get out of the city, Taiwan has many beautiful beaches, islands, mountains, lakes and national parks spread all over the island. And because Taiwan is relatively small, it doesn’t take much time to get there. We highly recommend visiting the east coast with its amazing marble topography, the central mountain region which is home to Jade Mountain, the tallest peak in East Asia (even taller than Mt. Fuji!), Tainan, the old capitol and the heart of Taiwan's history, or the southern beach town of Kenting where you can go snorkeling with tropical fish.
 
As always, if you have any questions you can contact us at Taipei Fringe any time at enginfo@taipeifringe.org.
 
However you plan your trip to Taiwan, we hope that you enjoy the vibrant art, friendly people, delicious food, and beautiful scenery of this wonderful island. We’re looking forward to seeing you in August!

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