Taipei Travel Guide: A 3800 PHP Itinerary

Considered as one of the hidden Jewels of Asia, Taiwan 台湾 will absolutely sweep your feet off with its alluring beauty. The country may seem small, but I’m telling you, it offers everything beyond your imagination.

You can really never go wrong with Taiwan. It may not be that known as countries to visit in Asia unlike Japan, Korea and China, this country is still worth visiting for- like oa. Also, this country may have a modest size, but dude, you can find everything here- from mountains to beaches, from majestic buildings to historical sights, lahat na! Not only does this country offer amazing places to visit, but also scrumptious food to try! This country is without a doubt, perfect! And yes, I am really encouraging you to visit this place. You’ll definitely not regret it.

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PRE TRAVEL GUIDE:

pink-airplane-mode-on-512.jpg Where to get cheap flights?

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My forever go to platform on finding the cheapest flight is Skyscanner. What I like about this travel search site is that they can already do a lot of legwork for you, comparing cheap airfares of trusted airlines and travel providers in line with your personal preference, with no hassle and definitely reliable.

All you have to do is simply access their website [http://www.skyscanner.com.ph], then provide the information needed for your flight (you can even search for the month with the cheapest fare), then bam! Skyscanner will provide you vast choices you can choose from for your flight. They can also provide you the cheapest hotels, car hire and holiday deals.

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27 pounds/ 1600PHP for a flight to Taiwan!
stock-vector-passport-book-cartoon-vector-and-illustration-hand-drawn-style-isolated-on-white-background-222314308.jpg  Do we need Taiwan Visa?

Several foreign passport holders have a benefit of a visa free entry to Taiwan for a duration of 90 days. These countries include UK, USA, Japan, Republic of Korea, etc.

As for Philippine passport holders, as of September 2017, we are now visa free! Yeay!

77b94a5ca91d20947b7dbfd94955b5e0_house-outline-clipart-clipart-house-outline-free-clipart_558-595.png  Where to stay?

We make sure we will be staying in an accommodation close to the MRT station, so we found Hotel Fun – Ximen.

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Hotel Fun – Ximen is a hostel centrally located close to city proper, and is conveniently a 10 minute walk from Zhongshan MRT Station. It offers modern affordable yet convenient rooms perfect for travelers like us.

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 Room Price: 2400 TWD (4000 PHP) PER NIGHT-good for 4 pax

  • Inclusive of Breakfast Buffet, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, daily housekeeping, grocery deliveries, laundromat, postal service.
money-bag-256.png  How to get Taiwan Dollars (TWD) currency?

I highly suggest to avoid exchanging your money in airports or hotels because of high transaction charges. You can exchange your money a day before your trip in Authorized Money Changers, which is more favorable.

samuibus_banner_logo_red.png  How to get around?

Aside from hiring a private transportation that could take your around Taipei- which is so expensive, there are several choices (public transportation) that you can take that will really save you money.

MRT

Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s major cities has Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) metro systems that could easily take you from one place to another. As for this guide, we will just be focusing on Taipei MRT.

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10 lines, 102 stations, 112.8km of track.

Using their MRT system is really easy. Get a map from the stations then you just have to know what station you’re coming from and to what station you are going then locate it in the map. Then you will know what MRT line (Red line, Yellow line, Green line, Blue line) you’ll ride (and transfer to.) Don’t worry since there are also a lot of signs around the station that are written in English. Yeay!

Tip: Buy their Easy Card. It’s a loadable or unlimited card that you can use in all MRT stations. This will save you from the hassle of buying tickets in every station you take and also saves money since fare is discounted. Check out the kinds of Easy Card Pass they offer H E R E.

Bus

I’ve never tried riding their bus but I heard that as easy as their MRT system, riding a bus is also uncomplicated.

Know more about this: Taiwan Bus Guide  ||  Lonely Planet: Getting around by bus

 

untitled Tips:
  • Purchase 4G WiFi which will be useful for browsing the internet, searching for directions, and the like.
  • Discounted tour, activities, attractions and transfers here: Klook Discount!!

 

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TAIWAN VIDEO DIARY:

Before anything else, here’s a glimpse of our trip to Taiwan! (Yeay for my very first vlog!)

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SUGGESTED ITINERARY

We had 2 short days for us to explore Taiwan- and I must say 2 days isn’t enough for us – LIKE OA. Hence, as we organize our Itinerary, we made sure we visit the best places, on a minimum budget and considering the time constraint.

However, there are times that plans don’t just work out perfectly due to unexpected circumstances and the like. Yep, unfortunately, we failed to visit all the places in our Itinerary. Nevertheless, we were still very much grateful because we had the best weekend this 2017 yet!

Below is my suggested Itinerary that can serve as a guide for you.

Click: Taiwan Budget and Itinerary

TIP:

  • Be mindful of the time. Wake up as early as possible for you to maximize your day.
  • Stick to the plan. Since last minute change of plans will waste so much time -instead of enjoying your day, you’re stuck on planning your ITI.
  • Make sure to buy an Easy Card during your 2nd day in Taiwan for an unlimited day pass.

Discounted Tours and Attractions:

 

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 ACTUAL ITINERARY

So this was exactly what happened during our trip.

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DAY O

From my office in Makati, I already proceeded to the airport right after office hours. I had a side trip to Mcdonalds’ drive through for my dinner to keep my tummy happy during the flight. Then, from the airport, do take note that you are required to pay a Travel Tax of 1620 PHP. Make sure to keep the receipt for further checking inside the airport. Happy Travel!

From Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, you can either ride a cab going to your accommodation or try their new Taoyuan Airport MRT that just opened last Feb 2017. This MRT station can direct you to Taipei and Zhongli district.

TIP: Riding the cab may be a little bit too pricey comparing it to the MRT ride. Thus, I highly suggest that you take the MRT instead.

Know more about this: Taipei MRT Tips and Guide

 

 

 

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DAY 1

This day is dedicated for the Pingxi Lantern Festival. It’s an annual festival during the Chinese lunar calendar in Taiwan, hosted by the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, wherein thousands of sky lanterns are lit and released into the sky carrying their wishes and prayers for the upcoming year. SO MAGICAL.

*Blog post about this festival to be posted soon*

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We arrived in Shifen at around lunch time so we had the whole afternoon to tour around the place. PS: All places visited today can be reached just by walking.

12:00 PM- 12:30PM: JINGAN SUSPENSION BRIDGE

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Near the drop off point of the train is this instagrammable hanging bridge that you can visit for photo ops. You can reach Nanshan Village on the other side of this bridge. This Nanshan Village has this houses all painted in blue, including their windows, doors, walls, etc. How cute is that?!

1:30PM – 2:00PM: SHIFEN OLD STREET (十分老街)

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Along the sides of the train rail, there are A LOT of street foods to choose from. Yeay, a celebration for your happy tummy!

2:00PM- 3:00PM: FLY YOUR OWN LANTERN

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Imagine yourself writing a love letter to the heavens. Ahhhhh, it feels magical, right? And that is actually possible. In Shifen, you can write in your own lantern with your wishes and prayers, light it up and release it to the heavens.

Cost of the lantern activity depends on how many colors the lantern has:

  • 150 TWD: 1 color only
  • 200 TWD 4 colors only

Also, each color has its own significance:

  • Red: Health- Peace
  • Yellow: Money – Wealth
  • Blue: Career- Promotion
  • Purple: Study- Test
  • Pink: Bliss- Joy
  • White: Future- Brightness
  • Orange: Love- Marriage
  • Green: Vigor- Success
  • Magenta: Attraction- Popularity
3:00PM- 5:00PM: SHIFEN WATERFALLS ( 十分大瀑布)

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Get to visit the Niagra Falls of Taiwan, Shifen Waterfalls. This can be reached by a 15-20 minutes walk from Shifen Old Street. Believe, the long walk is nothing compared to what you can get upon reaching the place. IT IS TOTALLY JAW DROPPING.

Read More: Taiwan Travel Guide: Shifen Waterfalls (十分大瀑布)
5:00PM- onwards: PINGXI LANTERN FESTIVAL

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Ahhhh, the highlight of our Taiwan trip. We couldn’t miss this for the world. Let the photos mesmerize you.

DAY 1 EXPENSES:

Do take note that our food includes only our lunch and dinner (+ snacks) since we have our free breakfast from our hotel earlier.

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DAY 2

This day couldn’t get any better! We had the whooooole day to explore Taipei, and I must say, this city is AMAZING. This is a must visit city once you’re in Taiwan. The food were ridiculously delicious. We didn’t had any hassle moments commuting from one place to another. Their commute system is great! The places, oh my god, they are all astonishing beyond words.

PS: Don’t forget to purchase their Easy Card- unlimited day pass, if you’ll roam around Taipei more than we did. It will totally save you money, since you will be riding their MRT the whole day.

9:00AM-11:00AM : ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN/ XIANGSHAN (象山)

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Witness a 360 degrees view of Taipei City on top of Elephant Mountain (象山). This requires a 15-30 minutes hike towards the ultimate peak of the mountain. If you’re fit, you can reach it in just 15 minutes. But for those that are……. normal, it can get a bit tiring and may require you to reach the summit in approximately 30 minutes. Don’t worry, the sweat is all worth it.

Read More: Taiwan Travel Guide: Elephant Mountain/ Xiangshan (象山)

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10:30AM: SONGSHAN FENGTIAN TEMPLE (松山奉天宮)

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 Exactly beside the Elephant Mountain is this small temple worth visiting after your climb.

10:30AM – 12:30PM: Roam around TAIPEI ZOO (We didn’t go inside though)

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Due to lack of time, we decided to skip visiting Taipei Zoo. (Sad) Well gratefully, we still got a few photos taken outside the zoo. Ahhh, we’ll definitely be back in Taiwan to visit this!

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12:30PM- 1:30PM: MAOKONG GONDOLA (貓空纜車)

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Ahhhhh my favorite part of the day- riding a cable car around Taipei! It was too much fun, and I wouldn’t mind trying this all day. The view outside the cable car was unexplainably breathtaking! We witnessed the different sides of Taipei, and it was amazing!

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Read more: Taiwan Travel Guide: Maokong Gondola (貓空纜車)
1:30PM – 2:30PM: MAOKONG

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Before heading back to Taipei Zoo Station after our cable car ride, we made a side trip to the cafes/ stalls just beside Maokong Station. There are a lot of unique cafes to choose from! What’s great about this is that you can also get an amazing view of Taipei City.

Other places to visit in Maokong: Sanxuan Temple, Circular Tea Trail, Tianen Temple, Chang Naimiao Memorial Tea Museum

2:30PM – 3:00PM: Head back to Taipei Zoo Station

We had to go back to the starting point of the cable car ride: Taipei Zoo station to proceed with our tour, since there are no trains in Maokong, our drop off point.

How? There are taxis located beside the station that will bring you back to Taipei Zoo for a fee of 300 TWD.

 

3:00PM- 5:30PM: CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL PARK

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Our last stop is CKS Memorial Hall, which is the most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan. Once you’re in the place, I swear, you will literally jaw-drop! The structures were magnificently beautiful.

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Read more: Taiwan Travel Guide: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park (中正紀念堂)
DAY 2: EXPENSES:

Do take note that our food includes only our lunch and dinner (+ snacks) since we have our free breakfast from our hotel earlier.

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EXPENSES

Description

In TWD

In PHP (x1.5)

Day 1 Expenses 633 TWD 950 PHP
Day 2 Expenses 480 TWD 720 PHP
MRT to/from Airport to Taipei main station 320 TWD (160TWD per way) 480 PHP
1.5 Overnight Accommodation 4320 TWD (Shared by 4 people): 1080/ PAX 1620 PHP

T O T A L

2513 TWD

3770 PHP

Basically, this is everything we spent. Everything was cheap in Taiwan: the food, the activities, the transportation fare, etc. It was definitely worth visiting for. You wouldn’t regret anything. But if there’s something that is beyond cheap here in Taiwan, probably it’s accommodation. Unlike in the Philippines, overnight accommodation can be cheap as 200 PHP-500PHP per night, but in Taiwan, 1080 TWD/ person is already in their level of cheapness. But don’t worry the cost of everything is worth it! line

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20 thoughts on “Taipei Travel Guide: A 3800 PHP Itinerary

  1. Hi. When did you go to Taiwan? I noticed that you’re wearing jackets so I was wondering if it’s cold? We’re going to Taiwan this September and I’m still confused about the weather. Thanks!

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  2. Hi Ate, I just want to ask some tips how to book a hotel wiser mga e.g around 1k lang ang babayaran niyo each for 3 night :3 sobrahan po sa tipid pero anu po yung magandang booking site. Thankies

    Like

  3. Hi! Nagpaplano kami ng friend ko to travel sa Taiwan, can i ask if when applying for taiwan visa may “show money” din ba sila like korea and etc. And also mahirap ba makapasa? Hehe

    *your blog inspires us to go and push na mag travel!! Hope you’ll reply hehe thank you! Keep it up!!

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  4. Hi Ate Colleen! I just wanna say that your blog inspires me to travel and improve my writings I’m a newbie blogger and I love seeing your post in your social media accounts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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