Taizhou is on the newly opened Nanjing-Nantong railway line and is served by approximately 6 trains per day in each direction - most just run between Nanjing (2 hours, ¥13 hard-seat) and Nantong but a handful are K-trains continuing to Shanghai - there are also daily connections to Guangzhou (26 hours) and Beijing (15 hours). The station is brand new and located very far from the city. Local bus 26 (¥2) runs into downtown, taking around 30 minutes, and a taxi should also be very cheap. The station is simple enough to use - there are 2 waiting rooms spread over 2 floors (2nd and 3rd floor) and 3 platforms. The ticket office is fairly quiet at most times and you never have to wait more than 5 minutes, although the staff don't speak English.
There are regular buses to Nanjing, Nantong, Yancheng, Yangzhou etc as well as a few per day running to Shanghai. The bus station is a little closeer to the city than the train station.
Taking a bus is fairly simple - the city centre is compact and runs in a straight line along Zhongshan Lu. Most buses are ¥1 although the 26 to the train station is ¥2 - the fare is written on the farebox. Exact change is required. Most buses run from 5am to 10pm. Schedules are in Chinese only, as are the on-board announcements although if you have a basic knowledge of Chinese they're easy to follow.
Taxis are plentiful and cheap with flagfall starting at ¥7.
As car traffic is very light in Taizhou, riding a bike can be a fast, fun and fairly safe way of travelling. Bicycles can be purchased cheaply in the large Times Extra supermarket on Zhongshan Lu for around ¥200 for a simple single-speed city bike that will fall apart after 1 week to about ¥600 for a 21-speed mountain bike. Second-hand bikes can be bought from small shops around the city - quality is varied. If you wish to use a higher-quality bike such as a Trek or Giant, they can be purchased in major cities such as Nanjing and transported into Taizhou on the train or bus (¥20 haulage fee). If you want to go a bit faster, e-bikes and 50cc scooters are also popular - e-bikes are sold in Times Extra. Whilst not such a huge problem as in the big cities, bike theft does occur so make sure your ride is locked up safely.
As it's very compact, uncrowded and has little trafiic, walking around Taizhou is very pleasant. Zhongshan Lu is the main artery and the Times Extra shopping centre marks the heart of the city.
There's not much to see or do here, although foreigners are such a rarity in Taizhou that it's a great place to practice your Chinese as everyone will be eager to talk to you. Many Taizhouites study in nearby Yangzhou or Nanjing, so at the weekends and holidays it's common to find students who can speak English and might show you around.
The central part of Zhongshan Lu is the main area for shopping. There's a large Suning electronics store, a shopping mall selling Chinese-brand products and a large Times Extra supermarket.
The area around Zhongshan Lu has the usual hole-in-the-wall eateries, dumpling shops, noodle shacks, hot-pot restaurants and street vendors. There is only 1 western restaurant in the whole city - a KFC on Zhongshan Lu, opposite Times Extra.
Nightlife in Taizhou typically involves ordering beers in a restaurant and there's little in the way of bars or clubs. If you have a group of friends, going to the KTV above Times Extra is a great way to spend the evening - order some beers, choose some songs (English songs are available but the choice is limited) and sing the night away.
Zhongshan Hotel is a reasonable hotel with clean en-suite rooms starting from ¥80 per night including breakfast. Remember to unplug the phone when you sleep unless you want calls offering 'ma-sha-ji' (马杀鸡）massage at 2am! The staff don't speak English although they are happy to receive foreign guests - often they'll lower the price if your specified room isn't available, and they will refund cancelled nights. Single - ¥80 Twin/Double - ¥140. Key deposit ¥100. It's on Zhongshan Lu and within 5 minutes walk from Times Extra, KFC, internet cafe, Bank of China (only bank in Taizhou that accepts international cards) etc. Ask taxi driver for 'zhong shan jiudian' or from the station take bus 26 and get off at Times Extra.