If you’re a woman and you’re looking at traveling alone, especially if it’s your first time, it can be nerve-wracking. You want to know you’re going somewhere you’ll be safe to wander and explore. You certainly don’t want to spend your holiday hiding out in a hotel because the streets feel creepy or weird, or somebody has started hassling you.
Being alone in a new country can be daunting for anyone, especially if there is a language barrier. Social norms, safe places, and the subtler signs by which we communicate in our own countries are often completely different when we go somewhere else, so it’s important to check out the place you’re heading to and make sure you’ll be comfortable there. Here are a few reasons why Taiwan is one of the best places for you to go if you’re a female traveling alone.
1. Excellent Public Transport
One of the scariest things when traveling in an unfamiliar place is getting about reliably and safely. In some places, it seems the choice is literally jump in a taxi or walk for miles – neither of which are things which scream safety, especially if it’s getting dark.
Taiwan, however, has fantastic public transport, with a subway running throughout most of the country. One card, Easy Card, lets you hop on trains, buses, some taxis and, of course, the MRT (Mass Transit Railway, or the metro train lines) and you pre-load it with money, which means you don’t suddenly find yourself caught short with no cash late at night.
This is extremely useful because it can allow you to get a ride any time you want and with the closest means of transportation. This allows you to move through the cities and areas in your Taiwan travel with more safety and be more confident to venture out when you know that you can easily get back.
2. Local Tour Guides
If you’re feeling nervous, you can relax when you have a tour guide who knows the area well. Of course, maybe you don’t want a tour guide for your solo trip, but it can be fun if you find one that’s interesting and he/she can show you all of the beauties of the city, while keeping you company. Your tour guide may even introduce you to other female travelers. A good tour guide will know some of the best places that will pique your interests and they might even show you some secret, or off the beaten path locations, that you wouldn’t usually find on your own. This is great because it can give you numerous great experiences.
A guide can help you find great local spots, will be able to advise you on good places to eat and drink, and may even be able to offer information about walking in the countryside. There’s no match for local knowledge and experience, so if you’re feeling uncertain about your Taiwan travel, look into tour guides who can make your stay comfortable and safe.
Related: Taipei Taiwan Travel Guide for First Timers
3. Very Low Crime
Taiwan has incredibly low rates of crime. On the Global Peace Index, it measures in the top 25%, which is saying quite a lot! Violent crime, political unrest, and terrorist threats are all very low, so you’re unlikely to face much that makes you feel threatened on the streets. There is more crime in New York or Paris, for example.
As a solo female travelling alone it is advisable to exercise precaution with your belongings, but you should feel pretty safe as long as you behave with common sense, as you would in most countries around the world. Traveling alone can make you a more tempting target for pickpockets, so be careful – but at least you aren’t going to be caught in a riot! Generally, you will be pretty safe in Taiwan. Of course, you have to practice basic safety measures that you would practice at home as well. Make sure that you always have a means of protection with you when out late and keep your money in safe places; etc.
4. Lovely People
Taiwan is quite famous for how well its people treat foreigners, and how helpful they are. If you get lost, or need help, you don’t need to do much more than ask to get back on the right track. It’s common for people on the street to wave and talk to each other in a very open, friendly way, so you’ll likely feel you fit right in. When traveling alone, it’s so nice to know that those around you are warm and kind; this is another major recommendation for traveling to Taiwan. You will probably meet plenty of nice and warm people that will help you get around and so on. This is the best thing about any location – when people there are friendly and welcoming to you.
The attitude of people towards foreigners carries over into the signage; many signs in Taiwan are bilingual. They aren’t all bilingual, so do make sure you have access to some translation services, but this gesture shows how welcoming and accommodating the people of Taiwan tend to be toward other people. You will likely find many different billingual items and it can help you get around with more ease.
Being a solo female traveling alone shouldn’t have to be a scary process. We all deserve to feel safe when we are taking a break from the chaos of everyday life, and we shouldn’t have to move in packs to feel this. It’s always good to be cautious, but if you’re looking to spread your wings, Taiwan is a great place to start, and you’re likely to have an incredible experience out there. It’s a great country that will provide you with wonderful adventures and sights.