Visiting Taipei, travelling guide for Muslim travellers

400px-Map_of_Taipei_districts

Arrival

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Taoyuan Airport is the international airport for Taiwan, and located about 30km from the city. The airport has two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

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There are four transportation options at the airport: bus, high speed rail, taxi, and pre-arranged sedan. An MRT line is under construction, but it will not be completed until October 2014.

From the four choices, express bus fare will be the cheapest fare (NT$120 to NT$150) to the city. Travel time takes about 45 minutes however depending on the traffic conditions.  The bus also have connecting route to the domestic Songshan Airport (downtown Taipei).

Taxi fare will be around NT$1000 to NT$1200 to the city. (Please be prepared with the Hotel name or the place/destination address in Chinese to be shown to the taxi driver).

Accomodation and Get around

Try to find a hotel near the MRT or Metro Taipei station. The MRT is a convenient way of travelling in Taipei City.

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Fares are between NT$20 to NT$65 for one-way trips around town.  Stations and trains are clearly identified in English, so even for those who cannot read Chinese, the MRT system is very accessible. All stops are announced in four languages: Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka and English. Most stations have information booth/ticket offices close to the ticket vending machines. There is no eating or drinking while in the stations or on the trains. Trains generally run from 6AM to midnight, with convenient bus connections outside the stations.

Women and/or children traveling at night can benefit from the Safe Zones – sections of platforms that are under heavy surveillance – located in some of the subway lines. Stations and trains (including the monorail) are wheelchair-friendly, but note that when there are multiple exits from a single station, usually only one of these is equipped with a lift.

For easy reference and guidance, please do ask for the map with MRT route from your hotel or from the tourism kiosk.

Where to eat and is it halal?

In Taipei, there are many halal restaurant which are certified by Chinese Muslim Association. There are two types of restaurant which known as MR and MFR. MR stands for Muslim Restaurant and MFR stand for Muslim Friendly Restaurant. You can find the listing of the restaurants at the Chinese Muslim Association website.

* Just a note, in Taoyuan Internation Airport foodcourt (Terminal 1), there is one halal food restaurant located at the basement level.  Do locate the name Taipei Halal Bismilla Restaurant to find your halal served food. However, it closes around 8.30 pm.

* Another note, it is advisable to take note of the opening hours for each of the restaurants. If you could speak Chinese, you might want to call the restaurant for reservation and confirming the opening hours. If not, safe hours to have your lunch or dinner will be around 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm (lunch) or 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm (dinner).

Below are the list of restaurant that we managed to have our great food during the trip:

  1. Halal Bismilla restuarant – 1F., No.40, Beining Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei City 105, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
  2. Kunming Islamic Restaurant – No 26, Lane 81, Fushing N.Rd. Taipei City
  3. Yunus Halal Restaurant – No 36, Pei Ning Rd. Taipei City
  4. The Best Pakistan and Indian Halal Restaurant – 1F., No.6, Aly. 5, Ln. 70, Yanji St., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
  5. Ai-Jia Beef Noodle – No.41, Ln. 223, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

kunming halal bismilla

Prayer Time

Prior to your visit, you can prepare the Taipei City solat time as your reference later. You can download at the Chinese Muslim Association website.

There are two masjid in Taipei City namely, Taipei Grand Mosque and Taipei Cultural Mosque.

taipeigrandmasjid

Climate

Do also check the climate before your planned trip to make necessary preparation.

Have a good visit to Taipei

Taipei is one of the safest cities you will ever visit, and violent crime is extremely rare. However, as in many large cities, pickpockets operate in crowded areas, and so you should be vigilant in night markets.

Local police are a resource you can turn for help, and many officers speak at least basic English.

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Reference: Chinese Muslim Association and Wikitravel

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