I must say Taiwan is one of the cheapest to travel and a-must-visit country in Asia. If happen you are living in the Philippines and you compare the Market Price from PH to Taiwan, you might say “It’s like the Philippines, super cheap!” plus you will love the weather here (Not too Hot, Not too Cold).
Taiwanese People for me is so gentle compared to Chinese people (Technically their both Chinese but Taiwanese peps are like Japanese when it comes to the way they treat the Person)
Taiwan is composed of Five Regions:
Cities: Hsinchu, Hsinchu County, Keelung, New Taipei, Taipei, Taoyuan County, Yilan County, Yangmingshan National Park
The capital city, main airport, and technology hub of the island
Cities: Changhua County, Miaoli County, Nantou County, Sun Moon Lake, and Taichung
Scenic mountains and lakes, major national parks and the second biggest city
Cities: Hualien County, Taitung County, Taroko Gorge, Hualien, Taitung
Hualien and Taitung are cut off from the rest of the island by the central mountains; This is a region of great natural beauty
Cities: Kaohsiung, Tainan, Chiayi County, Pingtung County, Yunlin County
The tropics of Taiwan with beaches and terrestrial heat scenic
Outlying Islands (Green Island, Kinmen, Matsu, Orchid Island, Penghu)
A couple of small islands that are popular getaway destinations with the locals.
Taiwan has many large cities and towns. Below is a list of the most notable. Other cities are listed under their specific regional section.
Taipei (臺北 or 台北)
The capital and the center of commerce and culture. Home to the world’s fourth tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101.
Taichung (臺中 or 台中)
The second largest city in Taiwan, also known as “food capital” in Taiwan. There are many night markets, museums, historical spots, and parks.
New Taipei City (新北市)
The city that surrounds Taipei and the largest city in Taiwan. The area includes a substantial stretch of Taiwan’s northern coastline and surrounds the Taipei Basin. New Taipei City is the epitome of Taiwanese culture from the urban districts of Banqiao and Xinzhuang to the more laid-back Tamsui and Wulai.
The third largest city and also an industrial city. It has a busy seaport (the Port of Kaohsiung) along with the island nation’s second-largest airport, Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH).
A town located at the geographical center of the island. Serves as a hub for exploring the central mountains and Sun Moon Lake.
Tainan (臺南 or 台南)
the oldest city and former capital, famous for its historic buildings.
The island nation of Taiwan is also home to high mountain ranges, great beaches and stunning national parks – many with hot springs. Other Destinations you might want to visit:
Misty forests of giant cypresses and amazing sunrises at the center of the island, reached by a scenic narrow-gauge train
Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)
Nestled at 762 m (2,500 ft) in lofty mountains in Nantou County, this lake is famous for its clear sparkling blue water and picturesque mountain backdrop.
A historic logging area and one of Taiwan’s most scenic spots. Located in Yilan County.
Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園)
Spanning a mountain range overlooking Taipei with a dormant volcano still producing some steam.
A former gold mining town located on the northeast coast that is now a popular tourist destination.
PRE TRAVEL GUIDE
HOW TO GET THERE:
Two hours Flight from the Manila, Philippines, you can also fly direct from Cebu, Clark, & Iloilo.
For Philippine Passport holders, can enjoy VISA-FREE entry to Taiwan (tourism, business, visiting relatives) for a duration of up to 14 days Until July 31, 2020.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Taiwan has a subtropical weather with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. The best season to visit Taiwan is during fall around November to March because of lesser rainfall. Typhoon season in Taiwan starts in July and end in October.
You may also want to avoid the Chinese New Year. This is peak season, so the prices of hotels are more expensive.
WHERE TO STAY:
Accommodations in this country are pretty cheap, you can find a Dorm-type for 250.00 PHP (5 USD) per Night or Private Room for 1,500.00 PHP (32 USD).
I Highly Recommend staying in Ximending Area. One of the best and most convenient areas to stay. It’s a fun and lively commercial area with plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
WHERE TO EXCHANGE CURRENCY:
Taiwan’s unit of currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). I find that changing currency is kinda stressful in Taiwan because currency exchange services are strictly regulated by the government. In Taiwan, you can exchange your currency in Airport/Banks (Mostly Close during Weekends)/Some accredited Money changer that’s not easy to find.
Mostly when exchanging your money in Banks/Airport they will deduct 100 NTD each transaction but we found one Local Money Changer near Taipower Building MRT Sta. (5 mins walk from MTR Sta.) which give you the exact exchange rate without deduction. If I remember it’s a jewelry shop with moneychanger inside. You can that check-out thru Google Map.
Alternatively, you can also withdraw NTD from an ATM. The rates are competitive. Just be sure to advise your bank you’ll be using your ATM card overseas so you don’t run into any problems.
Klook saves a lot of money and Energy (in some ways) when it comes to Activities, Transportation and etc. I definitely recommend booking your travel activities with KLOOK! Sign-up here to get 150.00 PHP Discount on your Bookings: KLOOK
» Wifi Connection (Via: KLOOK )
»Easycard – Cost: 100 NTD (You can buy it directly to any MTR Sta.)
»Planning to visit Kaohsiung, Taichung and many more with an unlimited ride of High-Speed Rail for 3days? Book your Tourist Pass here: KLOOK: 3 Day THSR Tourist Pass
» I Highly Recommend booking this tour instead doing DIY-thing KLOOK: Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen Shuttle Bus from Ximen
»Stay in Hostels / Guesthouses
Hostels in Sort-of Expensive but if you do have a budget, you can stay at the Hotel.
Here are some of my List when booking my accommodation:
»It’s Better to book your Activities and Tourist Pass thru Klook.com because touring in Northern & Southern of Taiwan is kinda hassle to do DIY-thing because of transportation availability. (Note: Not all Location is accessible by MRT or TRA)
»You can use your Easycard when buying food in a convenient store, Transportation such as MRT and Bus (Within the Central of Taiwan)
Note: You need to pay in cash if you’re planning to go to Taichung via Bus.
»For Souvenirs (Like Keychain and Ref Magnet etc), you can buy in Shilin Market it’s a lot cheaper than buying in other Night Market in Taipei but my little advice is.. if happen you visit Shifen Old Street and you want to buy the Mini lantern as a souvenir. Go Buy it! Don’t hesitate, sometimes they offer “buy 5 take 1” for 100-150NTD ( I forgot, something like that) it’s super cheap when buying that in central. I think one lantern in any night market in Taipei will cost you around 50-100NTD.
5 DAYS/ 4 NIGHTS ITINERARY
DAY 1 – Manila-Taiwan
0300H ETD to Manila International Airport Terminal 3
0400H Arrival to NAIA T3
»Pay Travel Tax
0645H Boarding bound to Taiwan
1000H Arrival at Taoyuan Airport
1040H Pick-Up Klook Portable WIFI
1110H MRT: Airport to Taipei
1230H Check-in to Ximen Corner Hostel
1. 3PM Check-in / 11AM Check-out
2. Highly Recommend budget-dorm-type-hostel
3. 200 meters away from Ximen Station (Exit 6)
4. Everything from Restaurant to budget meal food to Shopping Center and souvenir shop is in Ximending. (Its like Mongkok ng Hongkong / Malate ng Philippines / Chinatown ng Singapore)
1250H Roam around Ximen & Eat Lunch
1500H Check-in time & Change Outfit
1530H Off to S.Y.S Memorial Hall
1600H Photo Op at S.Y.S Memorial Hall
1630H Walk going to Taipei 101 up-to Elephant Mountain
*We use Google Map to locate those places
*Yes, not an easy one hike. Wag maniin ang Elephant Mountain lalo na kung wala kang exercise
*Took us an hour to reach the Jump-off ng Elephant mountain from S.Y.S Memorial Hall
*30-40 mins going to the top of elephant mountain, its depends on how fast you walk
*Madaminng tao sa taas so kanya kanya diskarte para sa magandang kuha
*Mas maganda mag sunset viewing sa taas hanggang sa magdilim, kita mo yung buong City umiilaw (Unfortunately during our visit maulap at ummaambon so walang magandang view)
*Always know the time of sunset di siya tulad ng pinas na 5:45PM, i think 6:45-55PM ang sunset sa Taiwan
2000H Off to Ximen *Took an MRT from Xiangshan to Ximen
2100H Roam Around Ximen and took dinner
2400H Lights Off
DAY 2 – North, Taiwan (Arranged Everything by KLOOK)
0700H Prep time / Breakfast
0800H Off to Meeting Point at Ximen Exit 4
0830H Start Tour : First Stop: Yehliu Geopark
*Highly Recommend to book your tour than doing DIY
*A-must-booked Transportation kasi mahirap magcommute papunta sa mga lugar na pupuntahan niyo since wala naman MRT line sa lugar na yon plus less hassle na din for us
*Not Included: Entrance fee / Lunch / Tour Guide
*Free: Bottled Water & Transpo itself
*Don’t Book the 8:30am during weekends kasi may mga lugar ka na hindi mo mapupuntahan, sulit siya during weekdays but not on weekends
0930H Yehliu Geopark (70 mins given time to roam around the place)
1045H Off to Second Stop: Juifen
1140H Juifen Village
*You need to transfer from one Bus to another and you need to pay for 15NT/way
*Travel time going to Juifen from Bus Stop: 10mins
*Given time to roam around also Time to eat your lunch: 2 hours
1400H Off to Third Stop: Shifen Waterfalls / Shifen Old Street
1440H Shifen Waterfalls (50 mins given time to roam around)
1530H Depart to Shifen Old Street
1540H Shifen Old Street (70 mins given time to roam around)
*You have to pay for the Lantern and Souvenir
*Its better na bumili ka nalang ng lantern (mini) as souvenir cause it will cost you around 50NT unlike sa ximen / other night market will cost you around 80-100NT
1700H Return to Ximen
1800H Arrive to Ximen
1900H Look for Money changer and took us to Taipower Building (MRT Line)
*During weekends walang money changer sa area, I mean banks but meron malalapit but most sa money changer sa bank they will deduct 100NT sa mismong pera mo but lucky we found one na kung magkano yung palitan walang deduction na magaganap
*We don’t know the area but we grab the chance na magikot ng wala sa itinerary namin
1900H Depart going to C.K.S Memorial Hall
1920H Photo Op
2130H Walk back to Ximen
2200H Buy some dinner and Rest
2300H Prep time (Impake Time – Change Accommodation, Next day)
2400H Lights Off
DAY 3 – Supposed-to-be-Taichung but shit happens
0730H Check-out / Off to Art Inn (400 mtrs away from pur prev. Hostel)
0750H Check-in at Art Inn / Leave our luggage and headed to Taipei Main Station
0830H Taipei Main Station
*We made a mistake, big mistake for us. Kasi nag top-up kami ng 600NT each sa Easycard namin then without knowing sa lahat ng ticketing booth ng Bus and TRA they need cash and easycard is not acceptable as payment unless yung way mo is around taipei lang. But since bandang south yung Taichung so negative na kami sa oras at sa pera, so what we did is yung supposed-to-be next day itinerary namin, pinuntahan namin para lang di masayang yung araw namin on that certain date and we decided either we pursue Taichung next day or forget it, ’til next visit
*We decided to eat and Visit Yangmingshan Park,Taipei Zoo & Maokong Gondola
1100H Took Lunch at Taipei Main Station / Mall
1200H Depart going to Yangminshan Park
*From Taipei Station, North Exit 2 or 3, you will see the bus stop ride Bus No. ___ going to Yangmingshan. (Forgot the Bus No.)
*Fare: 30NT each way
*From the bus stop you have to walk for like 1mile/1.6km but meron bus na diretso sa mismong park lately lang namin na discover nung pauwi na kami kasi may bus stop sa loob mismo ng Park (same bus number that will get you back in Taipei Main Sta.)
*Travel time is around 30-40 mins
1500H Depart to Taipei Main Station
1600H Depart to Taipei Zoo
1630H Arrive at Taipei Zoo
*Wala kaming naabutan sa zoo kasi sarado na sila ng 5PM
*Always do your research cause honestly speaking I did not do my research here we just go with the flow, one week lang kasi pagitan ng HK at Taiwan Trip namin so one week lang ang preparation ng Trip namin na ito kaya madaming aberya.
*Since wala kaming napala sa Taipei Zoo, we headed to Maokong Gondola Cable Car
*From the starting point to Gondola, Travel time is 30mins or more.
*Just like what i said go with the flow at napunta kami sa Gondola w/out knowing how to get back to Taipei Zoo. Cable car is not an option cause it will cost us another 120NT, Luckily sa mismo mga bus stop sa area meron bus number na nakaindicate kung saan pupunta.
*We found one that will cost 15NT only going back to Taipei Zoo
2000H Depart to Ximen Station from Taipei Zoo
2100H Hostel / Rest
2200H Dinner / Watch Movie
2400H Lights Off
DAY 4 – Migraine hits me (Rest day) and Night Market Hopping
0900H Wake-up / Preptime
*We decided to visit Fulong Beach but my Migraine hits me, so we end-up staying in the hotel for the whole day
1500H Finally no more headache and we visit two famous night market in town
1. Raohe Night Market
2. Shilin Night Market
Plus Camera Street near Ximen
2200H Our Last Stop Ximen Night Market
2300H Dinner / Impake Time
0100H Lights Off
1. Visit Fulong Beach – They have event called Sand Sculpture Art Festival Every year
2. Visit Taichung – This is Highly Recommended to visit: Rainbow Village & Zhongshe Flower Market
3. Visit Sun Moon Lake (one day trip) – Something that you should book the moment you plan your trip to Taichung.
4. Chun Shui Tang Cafe – the birthplace of Bubble Tea – Multiple branches
DAY 5 – Back to Manila
0700H Off to Taoyuan Airport
0800H Taoyuan Airport / Drop our Wifi to the same booth we took it
*Just make sure na may baggage allowance kayo if may liquid kayo sa bagahe niyo and remind you na stricto sila sa weight ng check-in baggage so better na limit lang kayo ng 7kgs or else you have to pay for an extra baggage
1045H Bound to Manila
1330H Touchdown Manila!
- Day 1: 1,031.75 PHP
- Grab Home – Airport: 102.50 PHP (subdivided for 2 pax)
- Easy Card: 175.00 PHP
- MRT – Airport to Taipei Main Sta.: 280.00 PHP (160.00 TWD)
- MRT – Taipei Main to Ximen: 26.25 PHP (15.00 TWD)
- MRT – Ximen to SYS Memorial Hall: 28.00 PHP (16.00 TWD)
- MRT – Xiangshan – Ximen: 35.00 PHP (20.00 TWD)
- Breakfast: 100.00 PHP (KFC – Airport)
- Lunch: 170.63 PHP (97.50 TWD)
- Dinner: 87.50 PHP (50 TWD) (Rice & Hot Star Chicken Fillet)
- Snacks: 83.13 PHP (47.50 TWD) (Chocolate Egglet & Dessert)
- Milk Tea: 43.75 PHP (25 TWD)
- Day 2: 898.63 PHP
- Bus Transfer to Juifen (Not Included in KLOOK): 26.25 PHP (15.00 TWD)
- Bus Transfer (Return): 26.25 PHP (15.00 TWD)
- MRT – Ximen to Taipower Bldg: 35.00 PHP (20.00 TWD)
- MRT – Taipower Bldg. to CKS Memorial Hall: 26.25 PHP (15.00 TWD)
- Breakfast (Free)
- Lunch: 170.63 PHP (97.50)
- Snacks: 144.38 PHP (35.00 TWD) (Jasmine Green Tea & Egg on Stick)
- Snacks: 35.00 PHP (20.000 TWD) (Peanut Ice Cream Roll)
- Snacks (Food trip): 152.25 PHP (87.00 TWD) (BBQ, Red bean Cake, Siopao)
- Dinner: 147.00 PHP (84.00 TWD) (Miswa, Rice, Coke & Beer)
- Souvenir, Tip & Entrance
- Ticket – Yehliu Geopark: 140.00 PHP (80.00 TWD)
- Souvenir – Penny: 78.75 PHP (45.00 TWD)
- Day 3: 2,467.50 PHP
- MTR – Ximen to Taipei Main Sta: 26.25 PHP (15.00 TWD)
- Bus – Taipei Main – Yangmingshan Nat’l Park: 52.50 PHP (30.00 TWD)
- Bus – Yangmingshan – Taipei: 52.50 PHP (30.00 TWD)
- MRT – Taipei Main – Taipei Zoo: 43.75 PHP (25.00 TWD)
- Maokong Gondola Cable Car: 210.00 PHP (120.00 TWD)
- Bus – Gondola to Taipei Zoo: 26.25 PHP (15.00 TWD)
- MTR – Taipei Zoo Ximen: 43.75 PHP (25.00 TWD)
- Breakfast: 100.63 PHP (57.50 TWD) (Bread and Drinks)
- Lunch: 148.75 PHP (85.00 TWD)
- Dinner: 105.00 PHP (60.00 TWD)
- Snacks: 43.75 PHP (25.00 TWD)
- Accommodation for 2 nights: 1,575 PHP (900 TWD) (subdivided for 2 pax)
- Day 4: 1,246.88 PHP
- MRT – Ximen to Songhan: 35.00 PHP (20.00 TWD)
- MRT – Songhan to Jiantian: 35.00 PHP (20.00 TWD)
- MRT – Jiantian to Ximen: 35.00 PHP (20.00 TWD)
- Lunch: 166.25 PHP (95.00 TWD)
- Dinner: 105.00 PHP (60.00 TWD)
- Snacks: 30.63 PHP (17.50 TWD) (Mochi & Red bean Cake)
- Snacks: 37.50 PHP (65.63 TWD) (Sausage & Tea)
- Snacks: 65.63 PHP (37.50 TWD) (Miswa & Oreo Milktea)
- Ref Magnet / Keychain: 262.50 PHP (150.00 TWD)
- Food Souvenir: 551.25 PHP (315.00 TWD)
- Motchi: 1,225.00 PHP (700.00 TWD)
- Day 5: 306.25 PHP
- MTR – Ximen to Taipei Main: 26.25 PHP (15.00 TWD)
- MRT – Taipei Main to Airport: 280.00 PHP (160.00 TWD)
- Others: 4,947.73 PHP
- Travel Tax: 1,620.00 PHP
- Baggage Allowance: 300.00 PHP
- Klook Wifi: 355.35 PHP
- Klook Tour (Geopark Shuttle Bus): 1,210.66 PHP
- Hostel for 2 nights (Ximen): 1,361.72 PHP
- Total Expenses: 9,537.01 PHP (Excluding Airfare)
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