Over the summer, I worked remotedly from Taoyuan, Taiwan. If you’ve been to Taiwan during the summer, you’ll know that it’s very warm and humid. Worse yet, people tend not to use AC or to not use much of it. Partly for this reason, I set out to find cafes and public places with wi-fi connections, strong ACs, and comfortable chairs. There are a couple of ways that you can get wi-fi when you’re out and about in Taiwan.
You can buy a Wifly card at a Starbucks or 7-Eleven. Wifly claims to have thousands of hotspots throughout Taiwan. The cards are available for 24 hour unlimit use (for $100 NT, which is about $3.50 USD), or for 30 days unlimited use (for $500 NT, under $20 USD).
Starbuck Wifly 30 day Card (Front)
Starbucks Wifly 30 day Card (Back)
To use this card, scratch off the back of card to reveal the password. You will need a cell phone with which to activate the card. I did not have a cell phone with me at the time that I bought the card. But the store was able to give me a special code to take the place of the one that would have been sent to my cell phone for activation.
Once you connect to the network with the “Wifly” SSID, follow the directions on the Wifly webpage to activate and log in to your account.
Another option for paid access to wi-fi hotspots is Hinet, which also has thousands of hotspots (cafes, McDonalds, etc) throughout Taiwan. They offer similar types of cards at comparable prices.
With both services, I noticed that I needed to manually log out of the account before I could use the same account with a different device. In other words, the services would not automatically log out the first device when the second device logs in. Instead, they disallow the log in of the second device until the first device has logged out.
After using Wifly for a few weeks, I discovered that my local library had free wi-fi. I visited two libraries in Taoyuan. One was within walking distance of where I was staying. The other was the main branch library in Taoyuan. Both had free wi-fi. Both had a study room with dozens of desk where student studied, used the wi-fi, or napped.
Taoyuan Library Study Room
I was quite happy with the study rooms because the ACs there were stronger than the ones at the local indoor mall where I had been spending my afternoons working through a Wifly connection. Each library also had water dispensers that dispense hot and cold drinking water.
At the Taoyuan main library, I noticed this book sterilizer contraption, which uses UV-C light to disinfect library books. I didn’t get a chance to try it out. It’s definitely not something that you see in the states.
Book Sterilizer at the Taoyuan main library
You can get more information about Taoyuan libraries and links to other Taiwan libraries at library.taocity.gov.tw.