I had a wonderful opportunity to partake in the Travel in Taiwan, Follow Me program , as part of Taipei's public service to foreigners during the duration of the Flora Expo. I was alone when I travelled to Taiwan this April, at the end of the Flora Expo, but I had 2 amazing volunteer guides with me who took me to Danshui (Joyful Life Tour) and the National Taiwan University (Education Tour).
Joining the program was easy. I just applied as a member of the program, reserved for two tours (maximum of 2 tours per person), chose my tour guide, and afterwards, I promptly received an email. When the program staff found out that I am travelling alone and that I'm girl, they switched my guide from male to female, and added another female guide, probably thinking about my unvoiced concern travelling with an unknown guy. As it turned out, I was the only one availing of the Joyful Life program in the morning of my chosen day. Well, it would have been a little awkward to roam Taipei alone with a male guide because I'm single and that would seem like a date. Lol. And, yes, the program was flexible and it could suit your preferences and schedule. You could just coordinate it with the staff.
As for the guides, they showed up on time, and they're very professional. They would not even let me pay for their food, but when I finally managed to do just that, they bought me food as well. On the other hand, during the education tour, they took me to a night market near NTU and had a mini-culinary tour. We ate local Taiwanese snacks at food stalls, including stinky tofu and bubble tea, among others, and even ate the famed waffle and ice cream sold at the NTU compound.
Over-all, not only did I have a great time, I also got two new friends.
The program has already ended as far as I know, but I wish the City Government of Taipei could revive this program.
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