Exploring Taiwan

Here’s the full packed itinerary of our Taiwan adventure as promised.๐Ÿ˜Š

We arrived at Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1, March 18 around 12:00 AM. After immigration, we went to the first floor of the airport to exchange our Philippine Peso. Taiwan money is called New Taiwan Dollar. 1 peso = 1.56 NTD at that time.

There are couches on the first and second floor with charging stations that you can rest on while waiting for the bus schedule going to Taipei Main Station. Ticketing office is located on first floor near the convenient store. Buy the ticket to Bus Number 1819 (Kuo-Kuang Motor Transport โ€“ KuoKuang Line) going to Taipei Main Station. Ticket price is 125 NTD. Travel time is about 45 minutes.

The bus left at 4:30 AM. We arrived at Taipei Main Station around 5:15 AM. We were lost and couldn’t find our hotel so we decided to have breakfast at McDonald’s first. One meal cost 100-150 NTD. 

Good thing there’s free WiFi almost everywhere in Taipei, so we were able to locate our hotel using Google Maps. One tip that I can give you, is to book a hotel near Taipei Main Station. This is what I do every time I travel outside the country, I make sure to stay near the MRT stations or bus terminals so that I can access all the tourist spots easily.

Before going to the hotel, we bought an EasyCard. You can buy EasyCard in convenient stores like 7 Eleven or at the train station. Buy the card for 100 NTD and then tap it to use in riding a bus, train or buy anything in the convenient stores. We tapped 500 NTD each for our 3 days stay.

Around 7:00 AM, we went to our hotel to leave our bags since check in time is 5:00 PM. We booked at King Plaza Hotel, just 5 minutes walk to Taipei Main Station.

Taipei Main Station is somewhat like the Grand Central Station, only simpler and smaller.

I planned to see the cherry blossoms first because it was the major reason why I wanted to visit Taiwan. From Taipei Main Station, go to the west exit and ride Bus number 260. That will go straight to Yangmingshan National Park. Bus fare is 30 NTD one way payable by cash or EasyCard. Travel time is around 25 minutes. See more detailed information in this link Cherry Blossoms at Yangmingshan National Park.

I loved it there! Seeing the blooming Cherry Blossoms is a dream come true! I wish to go to Japan or Korea next year to experience their Cherry Blossoms too.โ˜บ๏ธ

White Cherry Blossoms๐Ÿ˜

After a relaxing view, we visited the old streets. We went back to Taipei Main Station. We took a train to Ruifang station, and then Bus number 788 to Jiufen. We asked to be dropped at Jiufen Police Station, and from there, you can start exploring Juifen Old Street.

The place is so classic and laid back, and we enjoyed every minute we spent there.

Food everywhere!

We had lunch there, it was a restaurant that you’ll pass by while walking up the streets. We ordered a lot! We didn’t realize that the rice meal is already good for two, so we spent 900 NTD. Good thing, we were able to take home some left overs and ate it for dinner.๐Ÿ˜Š

Going down, there are nice doors for your OOTD pose๐Ÿ˜‚

After lunch, we went back to Ruifang station. There are buses just across Jiufen Police station that will bring you back to Ruifang station. From Ruifang station, take a train straight to Shifen. 1 hour travel time.

Trains there are old school, it was really cool!

My main reason for going to Shifen is to fly a skylantern! I missed the Pingxi Lantern Festival last January but it’s all good. Flying a skylantern cost 150 NTD for one color, 200 NTD for multiple colors. Each color has different meanings, you just have to choose which represents you. 


We were told that the locals clean up the lanterns after it has lost its fire, and true enough, I saw these while walking in Shifen Streets.

More food!

We learned that the Shifen waterfalls closes at 4:30 PM and it was already late if we walk, so we took a taxi to bring us there. Taxi fare was 150 NTD, and only 5 minutes travel time.

We were mesmerized by the beauty of Shifen Waterfalls. They call it Niagra Falls of Taiwan. It was breathtaking!๐Ÿ˜

There are food stalls and you can buy souvenirs as well. We also saw some Koi Fishes in the pond.

While walking, you can also enjoy the view in the old Jingan Suspension Bridge.

We walked back and strolled around Shifen Old street

And then, we traveled back to our hotel. We checked in around 7:00 PM, and ate our takeaway food. We slept early because we were awake for more than 24 hours. It was a tiring but jam-packed adventure day for us. I was really happy!โ˜บ๏ธ

The next day, we had breakfast at 7:00 AM. The hotel accommodation includes free breakfast. We showered and checked out around 9:00 AM, we had to check out our bags already because we’ll be out the whole day. But the receptionist allowed us to leave our bags until afternoon while we toured Taipei.

This time around, we used the MRT. It is the easiest way to go around Taipei, newer and cleaner as compared to the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA).

It’s very important that you have this map. Very helpful!

Make sure to take note of the train schedules, you can see it from these monitors

Always fall in line and mind the gap

First stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. We took the red line going to Xiangshan MRT. Just two stops from Taipei Main Station.

This memorial hall is tribute to the founder of Taiwan, Chiang Kai-Shek. It opened in 1980, 4 years after his death.

And then, we went to Taipei 101. From Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall station, we took the red line going back Taipei Main Station and went down to NTU Hospital Station.

The Taipei 101 building was completed in 2004, and has 101 stories with 1,667 ft high. When the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (162 stories with 2,717 ft high) was built in 2010, it took the record for being the tallest man-made structure in the world.

It’s a real beauty

There are colorful tiled walls outside Taipei 101 and we took advantage of itโ˜บ๏ธ

This LOVE sculpture in Taipei 101 was also one of the attraction for tourists. A lot of people are taking photos with it; mostly Taiwanese, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese. We seldom see Americans, Europeans or even Filipinos.

Lunch time! I saw this restaurant online and got curious and I felt the need to go! Haha! From NTU Hospital station, we took the red line back to Taipei Main Station and transferred to blue line Ximen.

The cute concept makes people interested in dining there. You eat in toilet bowls and drink in urinals.๐Ÿ˜‚ One meal cost 270 NTD with free drinks and poop ice cream.

Who wants to eat some poop ice cream! Yummy!๐Ÿ˜‚

After lunch, we wondered (and shopped a little ๐Ÿ˜) around the streets of Ximending. So many shops OMG! I feel like I’m in Greenhills or Divisoria, only in a jacket and cold weather LOL!โ˜บ๏ธ

Some street act

There’s food everywhere, this one caught our attention because it is… stinky!๐Ÿ˜‚

It was already late in the afternoon when we went back to our hotel to freshen up and get our backpacks. We left our backpacks and shopping bags in the locker at Taipei Main Station. It’s 50 NTD for 3 hours.

And then we went to Shilin Night Market. From Taipei Main Station, we took the red line going to Shilin Station. It is also a shopping area same as Ximending.

Saw these bikes while walking towards Shilin Night Market. This is called a YouBike. It is a public bicycle rental program, for more information click this YouBike Charge Rates and Policy Information

Food carts everywhere! Street food are delicious!๐Ÿ˜‹

His favorite! Gummies!

Remember that shopping is optional, but there are a lot of good and cheap finds there. I would say Shilin is cheaper than Ximending in some ways. We actually shopped mostly for pasalubong.

Around 8:00 PM, we traveled back to Taipei Main Station to get our stuff from the locker. We were so tired of walking and walking and shopping, so we decided to have a back massage at the underground shopping mall to spend our last Taiwan dollars. No photos as I was half asleep while having a massage. It was 200 NTD for 20 minutes.

We took the 9:10 PM MRT schedule going to Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1. Fare cost 160 NTD one way. Travel time is 35 minutes.

We arrived around 10:00 PM at the airport. We were able to rest for a while while waiting for our 1:25 AM flight back to Manila, March 20.

Taiwan is a picturesque country! From the Cherry Blossoms, temples, old streets, waterfalls, flying a sky lantern, night markets to eating street food. Our overall experience was indelible!โ˜บ๏ธ

Here are the expenses per person:

  • Airfare – Php 3,450
  • Accommodation – Php 1,500
  • E-Visa Processing Fee – Php 2,570 How to Apply for a Taiwan E-Visa for Filipinos (until May 31)
  • Airport Travel Tax – Php 1,620
  • Sky Lantern – Php 312
  • Back Massage – Php 312
  • Food/Transportation – Php 2,800

 

I did not include the expenses with shopping and souvenirs because it’s optional. But I suggest to bring at least Php 5,000 extra in case you’ll be tempted to shop.๐Ÿ˜Š

For more travel guides to Taiwan and other places I’ve explored, check out Althea’s Adventures or follow me on Instagram. Happy travels!๐Ÿ˜Ž

11 thoughts on “Exploring Taiwan

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  1. Hi there! Are the food expense similar to Japan or way cheaper? Also should we go shopping is it really to cheap to shop there like clothes, electronics? Thanks so much โ˜บ

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  2. That’s a very tight schedule! I’m glad you included stuff that travellers usually look for, like lockers in station, presence of couch in the airport for late night arrivals etc. We have the same time of arrival and departure so I find your details helpful. Just a question, are you aware of any lounge or transit inn for sleeping inside the airport upon arrival? Thanks!

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