Sunday 29 January 2017 (Day1) City Tour
2:00AM Arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1
Tip: Arrival hall on the 2nd floor near the boarding entrance, go to the left near the Aboriginal Handicraft, there’s plenty of cushion seat with charging station next to it.
4:00AM Exchange Peso to Taiwan, during our visit 1NTD =1.5 PHP (Currency Converter)
Tip: For emergency purposes, you can exchange some peso in NAIA 3, but I recommend that you exchange the rest in Taoyuan Airport, the rates are better. FYI there is no money exchange in the city, if you happen to forget to replace your money find a bank ATM and withdraw from the machine, their rates are quite similar. Computation: 10,000PHP = 5,778TWD
4:30AM Catch bus going to Taipei (Bus 1819, Platform #5)
Ticketing office is located on the first floor near convenient store. (Alternative is to take the new Airport MRT to Taipei Main Station first train will depart around 6:10AM)
05:30AM Arrival at Taipei Bus Station, transfer to Taipei Train station to reserve THSR ticket to Kaohsiung. The ticketing office is open as early as 6:00AM.
Tip: If you will be travelling during Taiwan’s holiday it is highly advisable that you book the THSR or High Speed Train due to peak season seats are limited or not available.
There are a few ways to purchase a THSR ticket either of the day or for a later date, such as by the ticket counter or at a ticket vending machine or online. Payment may be made in cash or with a credit card. The customer may also purchase the ticket or print a pre-ordered ticket in most of the convenience stores in Taiwan. Please find the multi-media machine in the convenience store and follow instructions shown on the screen. Get the order sheet and have the ticket printed at the counter in 10 minutes, or otherwise the order will become invalid. Note that at convenience stores only cash payment is accepted.
6:00AM Buy EasyCard
Tap up the card around TWD500, this will be enough and will cover your MRT and bus rides during your trip.
During our second visit, I bought one 3Day Pass (TWD440) and reload my existing EasyCard with TWD500. This is more practical, the Pass will allow you on an unlimited Taipei Metro rides and rides on Taipei City/New Taipei City buses within the validity period.
Tip: You can buy EasyCard in convenient store like 7Eleven or Family Mart or on the train station gate entrance. Card deposit is TWD100 and minimum tap amount is TWD100. Do not forget to refund your card before leaving Taiwan. You can also use the card to pay the scenic spots and museum or use it to buy anything in the affiliated stores.
6:30AM Leave luggage on train station locker. (Smallest locker is TWD20 and biggest is TWD50 for 3 consecutive hours)
7:30AM Breakfast, the restaurants and stores in Taipei normally opens around 11AM, we tried to roam around the streets but cannot find any local resto which is open. On our first day, we had our breakfast at KFC. Mine was not bad at all, the menu is quite different from the one we had in our country.
8:30AM Start of Taipei City Tour
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
National Theater Concert Hall
228 Peace Memorial Park
Tip: Taipei transportation is well organized and easy to navigate, you can take MRT when travelling to the scenic spot. Click this MRT MAP with corresponding tourist spot/scenic view.
4:00PM Travel to Sanchong district and check-in at bnb.
We managed to book a room with two beds for only 3,685PHP for 2 nights stay and good for three to four people.
5:00PM Back at Taipei
6:00PM Ximending and Shilin Night Market. (Best place to shop)
If you love food Shilin Night Market will not disappoint you. The night market consists of two major elements: general merchandise and local cuisine. Along the western edge of the market is the Shilin Night Market Food Court (士林夜市B1美食區), an underground food paradise. The market showcases Taiwan’s culture with its vivid colors and general atmosphere, along with friendly shopkeepers and plenty of delicious food and cheap clothes!The Taiwanese Sausage with sticky rice is so good, price: TWD35 or 3 for TWD100.
10:00PM Back at Hotel
Monday 30 January 2017 (Day2) New Taipei Tour
Along Longmen road, there is a Taiwanese breakfast place called GOOD MORNING. This is another great experience. It may take you a little while to order if you don’t speak Mandarin as you will need to grab the laminated menu and match up the Chinese characters and the prices to the item you would like to order. I have tried the Waffle (TWD50) taste is just so-so (ordinary). My husband tried the “niu rou shao bing” (TWD50), it’s the same flaky bread, but stuffed with sliced beef, green onions, and scallions. Taiwan Coffee (TWD30) is really good.
7:00AM Travel to Taipei Main Station, take MRT.
6:30AM Bus to Yehliu GeoPark
How to get there: To Yehliu GeoPark, Take the express bus 1815 (bound for Jinshan Youth Activity Center) of Kuo-Kuang Co. at East Gate 3 of Taipei Main Station; alight at Yehliu stop. The bus comes every 20 minutes. (Weekdays: the first bus at 05:40am and the last bus at 11:00pm; Weekends: the first bus at 06:30am and the last bus at 11:00pm.
8:00AM Explore the Park
1:30PM Travel to Keelung Station (Take bus 862 or 790)
Tip: Walk back to the station where the bus drop you off earlier. There will be taxi and will offer to bring you to Jiufen but the fare is a bit expensive, it might take for a while but the bus is guaranteed to arrive.
2:00PM Travel to Jiufen Old Street (Take bus 788). Drop off point is near 7Eleven.
It was raining so hard when we arrive at Jiufen. This is an interesting old street full of local delicacies, desserts, tea tasting and handicraft products. Slow stroll within the area to accommodate the ever-increasing crowd, mostly tourists. Besides the main roads, there are numerous small alleys and lanes that snake around the area and sometimes even run beneath buildings.
3:00PM Jiufen Tour and shopping
7:00PM Dinner. From the entrance to every aisle, you will find a restaurant and stall that will surely satisfy your appetite.
8:00PM Travel back at Ruifang Station take the same bus
9:00PM Night Shopping at Taipei Main Station underground mall.
I’m a happy kiddo! Taipei’s Main Station Underground Mall is full of surprise. Bought 3 awesome bags for 1,500NTD.
Tip: Most of the blogs that I read says that the best place to shop is the night market, but if you have the skills to huggle you can also get the best items in the cheapest price at the Mall.
12:00PM Back at hotel
Tuesday 31 January 2017 (Day3) Kaohsiung Tour
It was my first time to ride a high speed train, it feels like you are in an airplane. From Taipei which is the north part of Taiwan we travel to Kaohsiung, south part in just 1 and half hours.
6:00AM Wakeup call
7:00AM Travel to Taipei Main Station
8:31AM HSR Train to Kaohsiung
10:30AM Arrival at Zuoying Train Station
11:00AM Lunch at Shinkong Mitsukoshi Mall.
Oh boy! The restaurant that we tried serves big on their set meals. I got a soup with meatballs, delicious fried chicken with tea-egg and veggies for TWD120 only.
12:00Noon Explore the Mall
If you’re into shopping Taiwan is a haven for you. Branded items are on sale, and even those which are not on sale is still cheaper than the one you will find in the Philippines. Shoes, Toys, Clothes, etc. and the best thing is you are entitled to tax refund when you buy TWD2,000 or more. The store will be giving you a form which you will be handling on the Airport together with the official receipt of the purchase item(s).
1:00PM Travel to Lotus Pond.
On the day of our arrival, there is a food and shopping event in the pond. I really enjoy walking on the road full of stalls that sells different things.
Tip: You can walk your way to the park or go down from Zuoying Station in between the mall entrance there is a bus station look for Red Bus 35A.
4:00PM Return to Zuoying Station for Airbnb host pickup.
I would like to highlight Jeff Yu for taking extra effort to wait and pick us at the train station as well as taking us to Fo Guang Shan Temple. He is not just a good host but became a good friend.
4:30PM Bought Bus ticket for Taipei
Because it was Chinese New Year we had a little problem booking our return in THSR but thank God Kaohsiung has several bus companies that can take you back to Taipei, we bought our return ticket from their satellite terminal for TWD470. Travel time is 7hours.
5:00PM BnB Check in
7:00PM Discover Renwu District, Dinner
Wednesday 01 February 2017 (Day4) Temple Tour
7:00AM Hotel Checkout and travel to Fo Guang Shan Temple
7:30AM Explore the Temple
Tip: You have to be early if you wanted to take a good picture of the place, around 10AM a huge number of tourist will flock the temple.
9:00AM Explore the Museum
11:00AM Travel to Zuoying Station (Take EDA Bus 8501) Check Schedule here.
11:30AM MRT going to Kaohsiung Station
12:00Noon Locate uBus, lunch
Tip: From Kaohsiung Station go to Exit 1 and cross the underpass, you will find different bus terminals. Ubus is near FamilyMart.
1:00PM Travel back to Taipei
7:00PM Arrival at Taipei Bus Station
8:00PM Last Shopping and EasyCard Refund
10:00PM Travel to Airport (Ride Bus 1819)
Thursday 02 February 2017 (Day5)
02:55AM Flight to Manila
FREE TAIPEI HALFDAY TOUR
Taiwan Tourism offers Free Half Day Tour for Tourists with long air layovers. You can choose the morning or the afternoon tour depending on your layover schedule. To register go to Tourist Service Center located in the Arrival Lobby of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
Airplane Ticket via CebuPac (round trip): PHP5,452
Terminal Fee: PHP1,620
Bus from and to Airport: TWD125 x 2
Easy Card: around TWD500
High Speed Train: TWD1,490
National Palace Museum: TWD30
Yehliu GeoPark: TWD80
Food: around TWD35 – TWD150 per meal
Sanchong, Taipei: PHP1,843(shared) 2 nights
Renwu, Kaohsiung: PHP794(shared) 1 night