Hi everyone! Recently, I’ve been telling you a little bit more about our travel adventures through blogs & vlogs– just to level your expectations, the blogs are meant to provide you with full details while the vlogs are meant to be more entertaining, visual and informational at the same time. I like to believe that both are supplemental to the other so if you’re reading this blog, please make sure to also check out my vlog. Also, liking, subscribing and commenting would also be highly appreciated!
Before I start, I think it’s important to share some tips and things I did in preparation for our trip. These are:
1. Book your tickets (duh)
We booked our tickets via a seat sale at Cebu Pacific Airlines for about P3,500.00. This wasn’t a sponsored trip but if you guys wanna sponsor us, be my guest! HAHA
2. Pack your things (after fixing your itinerary!).
Good that you’re here, cuz I’m sharing how I packed and where to go/ what to do all in 1 post.
I’m a little too organized when it comes to traveling and it might work to your advantage so indulge!
3. Prepare all the necessary documents
By the time we were off to Taipei, Filipino’s entry was not yet Visa free. I had to apply for my Visa online which I think has been a point of interest for many Filipinos who have shown interest in going there. Here is what I had to do.
3.1. Log into ROC-Taiwan, fill in the forms and a few minutes later, you’ll receive an email with another set of information to fill up. I was required to 1. fill up a form, 2. scan/ send a photo of my visa and 3. scanned ID’s of the credit card holder of whom I was using. I don’t own my own credit card so I had to use my grandmother’s but it was super easy for me to comply with.
After complying, I received my e-visa after a day and all I had to was print out my own copies.
“E- Visa online application will no longer apply to Filipinos upon the implementation of the visa-free treatment as from November 1, 2017″
Good for you!
Aside from the e-visa which you will no longer be needing, I also made sure to make copies of:
our tickets & passports. Just in case.
4. Download some useful apps:
Our weapons of choice were: Google Translate, Google Maps and Foursquare.
– GOOGLE TRANSLATE (make sure to download the language you will use, in this case, CHINESE (TRADITIONAL), so you can use it offline
– GOOGLE MAPS (make sure to download the map offline)
DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Things To Do:
– Have money exchanged
** We were not able to have money exchanged in Cebu because the money changers we went to did not carry NTD. However, there are money exchangers at the airport (before & after immigration) and ATM machines.
– Pick up wifi/ sim card (cancelled)
We had read about portable wifis which we wanted to avail of. Unfortunately, since the pick up booth is only open with the times 5:30am-1:00am, we were unable to avail of this service. Our other options were Chunghwa, Taiwan Mobile or FarEastone sim cards (requirements: 2 ID’s) which we later realized that we did not really need and we spent the entirety of the trip without LTE and relied on free wifi.
– Buy an EASY CARD
EASY CARDs are basically prepaid cards (imagine, TIMEZONE cards) that allow you to pay for public transportation and for certain things at stores/ restaurants. We bought our cards for NTD$100 with NTD$100 in it and we loaded up NTD$300 before heading out to our would be home for the next 6 days.
GETTING TO YOUR PLACE:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Apparently, MRT’s close. Opening times: 6:00 AM – 12:00 MN. If you arrive any time after this, a bus is your cheapest option. Otherwise, you can consider private taxis or take an Uber.
(sample navigation guide)
Airport Terminal 1 -> Taoyuan Airport MRT -> Railway station -> (Taxi) No. 124- 2, Sec 2, Wuchang St., Wanhua District, Taipei City, 108, Taiwan
With the use of Google Maps, I would pre-plan all our trips so I could list down the directions and not have to rely on the internet. Once we were out, we would then use our Google Maps to lead the way. It sounds simple, which it is, but it does take some getting used to.
WHERE WE STAYED:
Booked this room via AIR BNB, here’s the link to the exact room
Our place was in the Ximending area (Ximending is basically the fun, hip district of Taipei). Our room had wifi, a washing machine, good ventilation, lots of closet space, sitting space, trash bags, a heater and even umbrellas since Taipei’s weather can be weird sometimes. It was all really good and our host was really accommodating and helpful!
DAY 2: Taipei Zoo, Ximending Night Market
|1:00 PM||TAIPEI ZOO
Entrance: NT$ 60
Zoo Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (no entry after 4:00 p.m.)
|Air BnB -> Walk (700 m) -> Ximen -> Bannan Line MRT Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station -> Zhongxiao Fuxing -> Wenchu Line MRT Taipei Zoo Station
Time: 43 minutes
|Ximending Night Market||ATT 4 Fun -> Walk (1.0 km) -> Taipei City Hall Station: 212 Night Xicang Rd. -> Ximen Station -> Walk (140 m) -> Ximending Night Station
Time: 26 minutes
|Home||Ximending Night Market -> Head north on 漢中街 toward 峨眉街6巷 -> Turn left onto 武昌街二段
Ok, I’m just going to be honest with you, I wouldn’t go back to Taipei Zoo nor would I recommend it. To be honest, we did not hear nor read anything compelling enough about the zoo but since I love animals (and yet I don’t mind seeing them suffering? It’s a bit ironic, sorry.), we decided to go anyways. You can check out the vlog for more information but if I had to give my most honest thoughts (at the stake of you hating me), the zoo is too big, with nothing really going on there. It seems to be on the brink of closing but with the entrance fee being NTD$60.00- I don’t really know what we were expecting.
XIMENDING NIGHT MARKET
As I said earlier, Ximending is the young people’s district of Taipei. They have their own night market which is also surrounded by good food and great shopping places that are mid range in price. We decided that our first night market would be here since we were butt beat tired from our zoo trip and we wanted to get it out of the way as soon as possible. Here were our favorite food stalls:
Drop by Joe Fu’s caricature stop for NTD$300/ person.
DAY 3: National Palace Museum, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, ATT 4 Fun, Shilin Night Market
|October 7, 2017
|Itinerary||How To Get There|
|National Palace Museum
Hours: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm
|Air BNB -> Walk (900 m) -> Boai Rd -> Nei Hu Main Line: Zhongsan St. Entrance -> Dazhi Station -> BR13 Da Lun Wei Shan -> National Palace Museum
Time: 1: 32
|Sun Yat Sen
Hours: 08:30 am -5:00 pm
Time: 7 minutes
|ATT 4 FUN||Taipei Zoo -> Walk (190 m) -> Taipei Zoo Station -> Wenchu Line MRT Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station ->
Daan ->Tamsui- Xinyi LineXiangshan Station -> Taipei 101/World Trade Center -> Walk (600 m) ->
ATT 4 FUN
Time: 39 minutes
|Raohe Night Market||ATT 4 FUN -> Song Shou Rd Intersection -> 611 Songshan Station (bus) -> Songshan Station -> Walk -> Raohe Strret Night Market
NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
Our visit to the NPM was definitely interesting! You can find more about it on my vlog entry!
SUN YAT SEN MEMORIAL HALL
Based on our research, SYSMH was the better memorial halls to check out as compared to Chang Kei Shek Memorial. Sure, I’m 1 stop short of a comparison but the interactive displays and everything else were pretty fun and I really did enjoy the experience.
ATT 4 FUN
We took a little shopping trip to ATT 4 FUN which also gave us a nice view of the Taipei 101 building. If you’re wondering why we didn’t drop by one of the world’s tallest buildings, it was because we didn’t want to line up and pay the entrance fee. It just didn’t seem like something we wanted to do but if you want to find out more about it, you can click here.
If you’re wondering why we chose this mall, it’s because they had UNIQLO’s sister brand, GU, which is slightly cheapers and us girls couldn’t pass off the opportunity to shop there! There are also a lot of cute shops to dine in and other international retail brands.
Commune A7 wasn’t on the list but since we finished early, it was too early to go to our 2nd night market and it was literally across the street from ATT 4 FUN we decided to drop by here anyways. We read somewhere the Commune A7 was a bit underwhelming and is a more high scale, Western inspired food market more than anything else. We agree but we found ourselves there anyways. lol.
RAOHE NIGHT MARKET
Geographically, Shlin would have been the better option for us but since we were already in the shopping mood and read that Raohe was also another great shopping option, we decided to go there. We were definitely not disappointed and Raohe had turned out to be our favorite night market out of the 3 we visited.
DAY 4: VR GO, Shilin Night Market
|October 8, 2017
|Itinerary||How To Get There|
|Shilin Night Market||Home -> Bannan Line -> Taipei Main Station -> Red line -> Jiantan Station -> Shilin Night Market|
By the 4th day, we were so tired of walking we couldn’t care for any more adventures. So, we decided to spend the day exploring the Ximending area and we ended up droping by a virtual reality store named VR Go so we could experience it.
SHILIN NIGHT MARKET
I wasn’t able to take photos or videos of our trip there because the rain was quite strong that night but Shilin was one of our least liked night market. There are games novelty games (shrimp and fish catching which I hated) all around, a small section to shop & eat and it didn’t really have a defining starting or end point. I’m not telling you not to go, you still should but just don’t get your hopes up too high.
DAY 5: Juifen, Jinguashi Gold Eco- Park, Shifen
|October 9, 2017
|Itinerary||How To Get There|
|Jinguashi Gold Eco- Park||BUS|
|Shifen||Jinguashih(Gold Ecological Park)
788Keelung Station( Ocean Plaza ) -> Rueifang Station
Fuxing / Shuttle4744to Shi Fen ->
Juifen is popular for being the inspiration behind Spirited Away and is a beautiful town in the mountains. It has small streets that have food, stalls along the way and a beautiful view. It is also called the Santorini of Taiwan.
JINGUASHI GOLD ECO PARK
I’m getting tired of writing. Here are photos. Please watch the video <3
Refer to previous sentence
DAY 6: HOME
If you’ve noticed, our itinerary wasn’t fully packed because we didn’t want to tire ourselves out too much. Plus, we had 5 days to fill up anyways. If you’re looking to fill up your itineraries a little bit more, you can also check out Taipei’s hot spring & the geo park.
I hope this is beneficial to you and helps give you an idea of how you would like to spend your trip to Taipei.
Issa, Paolo & Lor