~ Crowds at the Shilin Night Market
Transportation in and around Taipei happens to be quiet efficient and contrary to public opinion and Lonely Planet , one can travel around quite a bit with the help of a bilingual map, some name cards* and good pointing skills. Never attempt to pronouce place names and you might as well forget the concept of street names, it will not get you anywhere. After three days, we realised why the taxi drivers would look confused when we mentioned Grand Hotel, yet one look at the name card and we would be there in a jiffy. You see the Chinese word for this hotel is Yuanshan da fandian, which translates to big hotel in Yuanshan. Street names on the other hand deserve a post of their own along with why Lonely Planet rules. The Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is highly efficient and covers the city extensively. Station names, announcements and ticketing is done in both languages. There is also a bus system but here only the bus numbers are in English. One is better off taking a taxi from the nearest MRT station as taxi fares are quite cheap.
* these are business cards written out in both English and Chinese scripts.