Here’s the full packed itinerary of our Taiwan adventure as promised.😊
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 – KuoKuang Line) going to Taipei Main Station. Ticket price is 125 NTD. Travel time is about 45 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
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.😊
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.
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 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!😍
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!☺️
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).
First stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. We took the red line going to Xiangshan MRT. Just two stops from Taipei Main Station.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!☺️
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.😊