4D3N DIY TRAVEL GUIDE TO TAIWAN
Taiwan Travel Guide
Day 1: Taipei City
Day 2: Taipei Expo Park, Yangmingshan, Beitou & More!
– Yangmingshan Travel Guide
– Beitou Travel Guide
Day 3: Keelung City, Yehliu Geopark, Shifen Old Street, Jiufen, Jinguashi and more!
Day 4: Taichung City, Taiwan
Day 2 of our stay in Taiwan. Tired from our Day 1 activity, we woke up early to stick with our itinerary. Today’s itinerary is a bit different because we are going to experience the off beaten path tourist destinations often overlooked by most of the tourist when they come to Taiwan. Here, one will experience the Japanese influence left in the country and the Mainland China. So let’s start!
It’s better to plan your travel so you don’t have to waste hours in thinking if a place to go when you are there. Instead, write it down on a paper/notebook or type it down on your phone. Plus book your activities online beforehand as its way cheaper than buying it when you get there.
Where to get cheaper tours?Based on our personal experiences, Klook Are a great company for discounted tours for your trip to Taiwan and we took the following from KLOOK.
- ‘Unite Traveler’ 4G SIM Card (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan
- Yehliu Geopark Shuttle Bus from Ximen
- Taipei at Night
- Taipei Double Decker Bus Tour
- Taipei 101 Observatory E-Ticket
- THSR One Way Ticket to or from Taipei
Places We Visited
Taipei Expo Park
The Expo Park was a big noise in 2011 during an International Floral Expo, but this often overlooked attraction is well worth a visit. Its huge, kids friendly, gardens are great with loads of interesting pavilions to rest your feet and watch the world go by. ?aid=2313
It’s easy to access from the nearby Yuanshan MRT Station and is close to the Maji Maji Square shopping and food area when you moving to the Fine Arts Park and Museum. The museum also offers free interactive child-themed exhibits in the basement as well as a cafe that serves child-friendly meals in plastic car and plane dishes.
Finally a little further on is the Xinsheng Park and the Lin Tai Ancestral House.
Entrance Fee is FREE except to Taipei Fine Arts Museum where you need to pay 30NT$.
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Maji Maji Mall
Lin Tai Ancestral House
|By MRT||After arriving at Yuanshan (圓山) on the Red Line 2, exit into Taipei Expo Park, walk east to enter the park. The park is readily visible from the MRT station.|
Confucious Temple & Dalongdong Bao-an Temple
These are THE two temples that you have to visit and are seldom visited by tourists in comparison to others like Longshan Temple. With these 2 you have a serene tranquility almost an out of body religious experience as well as fantastic architecture.
The Confucius Temple honors one of the greatest philosophers of all time and exemplifies his teaching- simplicity and you will notice the lack of elaborate wall designs and the blinding mixture of gold and red colors.
Dalongdong Bao-an Temple
Just behind the Confucius Temple is the also renowned Dalongdong Bao-an Temple. Established in 1742, it was awarded a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award in 2003.
Perhaps a little sadly, the Bao-an Temple is usually visited by people praying for good health or recovery from illness, but you will be pleased to know that the temple deity, Baosheng Dadi, seems to grant many visitors a speedy return to health! Taking over 25 years to build with materials mostly sourced in Mainland China, Bao-an Temple is a style icon along the lines of those of the more exotic temples.
So 2 contrasting experiences right next to each other – be sure not to miss them!
Address: No.275, Dalong St., Datong Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Entrance Fee: No Entrance Fee
Sundays and National Holidays: 08:30~17:00; Closed on Mondays
From Taipei Expo Park, use your google to reach the Confucius Temple.
|By MRT||Take the Red Line 2 to Yuanshan Station (圓山). After leaving by Exit 2, continue walking down Kulun St (庫倫街), take a right at the intersection of Dalong St (大龍街). The main entrance will be located on the right side.|
|Youbike||A rental station is located slightly further along Dalong Street at the intersection of Hami Street. When exiting the temple, turn right and walk 70 meters.|
Yangmingshan National Park
The park is famous for its cherry blossoms, unique volcanic geology, and topographical sights, with signs of volcanic activity like fumaroles and hot springs everywhere. It’s easy to reach from Taipei, just one hour by bus. Due to its accessibility for the people of northern Taiwan, on weekends and holidays, the park attracts countless hikers and other visitors who come to enjoy the scenery.
Park Address: No. 1-20, Zhuzihu Road, Shilin Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Entrance Fee: No Entrance Fee
Best Months: 01、02、10、11、12
How to get there:
|By Bus||From MRT 2 Jiantan station (劍潭), leave Exit 1 (Shilin Night Market), and walk to the left-side bus station, buses heading north. Take either city bus R5 or small bus (PREFERRED) S15 or S17 to Yangmingshan station (陽明山). The fare is NT$15, payable by cash or Easycard. This station serves as a base to explore the mountain, and the area has a few shops like 7/11 and a Starbucks. Bus 260 also leaves from Taipei Main Station, although Jiantan is recommended. Bus S15 from Jiantan is best, as it travels past the main transfer station to other destinations such as Xiaoyoukeng (小油坑), Lengshuikeng (冷水坑), and Qingtiangang Grassland Trails (擎天崗).|
From Beitou station a one-station branch line runs to Xin Beitou station, which is near the hot springs area. One train services this line running back and forth between Beitou and Xinbeitou MRT stations, departing from each end approximately every ten minutes.
In order to get close to the hot springs, you can go from Beitou Station direct to Xin Beitou. The train goes every 10 minutes. You can rent a bike (YouBike)when you arrive which makes it so much easier to get around but you can walk if you have the energy and stamina and if you’re going to want to visit the Beitou Museum it’s a fair old trek on foot!
How to get there:
|By MRT:||Take the MRT Red Line 2 to Beitou Station (北投), then change to the train bound for Xinbeitou (新北投). Upon exiting the station, walk straight on either side of the park to find hot springs.|
Beitou is a geothermally active region about half an hour by MRT from Taipei. A prime tourist spot for domestic and international tourists, it’s famous for its hot springs, Japanese history, and its geothermally active park and spring.
To reach Beitou take the red MRT line towards Tamsui Station or Beitou Station, transfer at Beitou Station to the Xinbeitou Line, which reaches XinBeitou Station (the hot spring area) in a few minutes (one stop). From there it’s a few minutes walk to the Hot Springs Park. A trip to Beitou could easily take a whole afternoon and is often combined with a trip to Yangminshan.
National Palace Museum
Before heading to Shilin Night Market and if you still got plenty of time, you can still include this in your itinerary. The Taipei National Palace Museum can trade punches with any world-class museum anywhere and contains some of the rarest pieces from centuries of Chinese dynastic rulers and how they got there is a great story in its own right.
The design of the museum itself mimics the Northern Chinese Palace in The Forbidden City and contains over 700,000 pieces of Chinese imperial art spanning a total of 8,000 years! Needless to say, it can get very busy (over 6 million visitors a year) but if you enjoy ancient Chinese art and history this is a no-brainer – can’t be left out of your places to go in Taipei.
Park Address: No. 221, Sec. 2, Zhishan Rd., Shilin Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Entrance Fee: NTD $350
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (Sunday ~ Friday) 09:00 – 20:30 (Saturday)
How to get there:
By MRT & Bus:
|From MRT Red Line 2 Shilin station (士林), walk outside the station and board Bus R30 (紅30), fare NT$15, payable by cash or Easycard. Do not cross the road, as busses on the MRT station side of the road head east towards the museum. Busses generally leave every 30 mins on weekdays until 7PM and 15 mins on weekends until 6:55PM. To visit Shilin Night Market after the museum, take R30 back to the city, but stay on after MRT Shilin until the night market (MRT Jiantan). Additional buses are available after hours on Friday and Saturday evenings. Bus BR20 (棕20) also travels from the museum to Brown Line 1 Dazhi station, however, Shilin is recommended for speed and convenience.|
Elephant Mountain (it’s more a big hill) is known for being a great place to get amazing pictures, not least Taipei 101, but also if you’re lucky, some drop-dead fantastic sunsets, so a good time to start a hike is during the afternoon to coincide with the event. The climb takes roughly 15-20 minutes with a lot of steps along the way, but it’s not too hard to reach, even for even for those of moderate fitness. There are rest points, benches and viewing balconies along the way if needed. It is all free and that’s fantastic but the drawback is that it can be pretty crowded not only with sightseers but also lots of locals who can often be seen walking up backward for some reason, as well as aspiring athletes engaged in the rigors of training. But it’s all worth it if you get your timing right and nature cooperates and you get 101 with a stunning sunset behind – quiet breathtaking!
How hard is the hike? Not too hard. Like I said, it’s 15-20 mins, maybe 30 minutes up if you’re a little out of shape, and while it’s pretty steep, there are plenty of rest stops and seats on the way to take a break. I’d recommend taking a bottle of water and a towel, other than that it’s pretty basic.
There’s no ticket necessary for the hike, so you can rock up pretty much any time and actually the night hike is super popular too. Another benefit of the evening hike is that it’s not so bloody hot!
Park Address: Xiangshan (Mt. Elephant), Xinyi Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Entrance Fee: No Entrance Fee
1. Trail length: Hiking trail: approx. 1.5km, total: approx 2.3km
2. Altitude: 183m
3. Walking time: approx. 1 hr 40 min
|By Mrt||After arriving at Xiangshan station (象山), the terminus of Red Line 2, leave from Exit 2 and continue walking alongside the edge of the park. At the end of this road, take a left and follow until the entrance for Xiangshan Hiking Trail (象山登山步道), total 650 meters, around 20 mins.|
|Youbike||The closest station is located along the street next to the park at the base of the trail. Another station is located across the street from Taipei 101.|
Shilin Night Market
There are many night markets in Taipei but none can shine a light on Shilin. It’s the biggest, best, most popular and downright top dog of them all. It has everything from a massive selection of food to gaudy, yet amusing, tourist nonsense that you can haul back to not so good friends and family! It’s like some unsolvable maze to walk around and you can’t help feeling you been somewhere before 10 minutes after you think you were there previously, but that’s all part of the fun of such a great place that oozes atmosphere from every single nook and cranny. Be there or be square – and you can buy them too!
Many of Taiwan’s traditional foods can be found and bought for reasonable prices from the friendly locals who are eager to let you taste the unique flavours of their traditional recipes such as Giant Fried Chicken Steak, Tempura, Bubble Tea, Oyster Vermicelli Oyster Omelet, Fried Buns and of course, the most notorious Taiwanese goodie, Stinky Tofu.
Park Address: Jihe Rd., Shilin Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Opening Hours: Daily 17:00 – 24:00
|By Mrt||Take the Red Line 2 to Jiantan Station (劍潭), not Shilin Station. After leaving Exit 1, diagonally across the street to the left to enter the night market.|
Day 2 Travel Vlog
Taipei Expo Park + Yangmingshan
+ Beitou + Elephant Mountain
+ Shilin Night Market
Itinerary & Expenses