4D3N DIY TRAVEL GUIDE TO TAIWAN
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
Here are things you need to know before your trip:
1.Check if your Country is VISA free
Normally if your passport still has a least 6 months validity you can apply for a visa, but please check details for your own country. A Tourist/Visitor visa requires filling in a form and satisfying the requirements (it’s all on the Taiwan official web site).
Citizens of the Philippines:
Visitors to Taiwan for tourism purposes are permitted a 14 day stay starting on 1 November 2017 until 31 July 2018. For other cases, please apply for e-Visa or ROC Travel Authorization Certificate.
- Arrival Information
Documents required for entering Taiwan:
2. Return ticket
3. Customs declaration form
4. Hotel Reservation or any proof of accommodation
5. Foreign nationals: Visa, arrival card, boarding pass
2. Book your Ticket & Hotel
Most of the flights from the Philippines to Taiwan go through the night and arrive early morning, so their not the best, but a typical ticket price bought well in advance is around PHP 2,000 return plus luggage – but there are always loads of spot promotions so you never know your luck!
Hotels abound and cater for all types of budgets – use all the usual online hotel search sites as even the cost of the same hotel can vary depending on which site you check out. In our case, we stayed at Jiizu Hostel. We paid Php3456.28 in our 4D3N stay. Check-in is from 2pm onwards but you may store your luggage as early as 7am. Their rooms are so clean and service is really accommodating. But if you want to check out other hotels you can check Agoda.
4. Plan your Itinerary
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 101 Observatory E-Ticket
- THSR One Way Ticket to or from Taipei
- Yangmingshan National Park & Hot Springs Tour
5. Get a Local Simcard or Pocket Wifi
We bought our sim cards online via Klook for Php531 with 5 days Unlimited Internet (Buy here). I prefer getting a Simcard because data roaming with a Philippines network is so expensive. You can purchase sim cards at the airport but they are so expensive and are often not even open, so if you want to use Youbike you will need a working data mobile phone.
Pick Up Location:(Opening Hours: 5:30am-1:00am)
- Taoyuan International Airport(TPE) Terminal 1, counter 3, Unite Traveler
- Taoyuan International Airport(TPE) Terminal 2, counter 3, Unite Traveler
In picking up your Simcard you need 2 things:
3. Another Valid ID ( Drivers License, Birth Certificate and so on.. )
One person can purchase up to 5 Sim cards
Note: Free Public Wi-Fi
With the same iTaiwan account, you may use local internet Wi-Fi service in other cities such as New Taipei, Tainan, Taichung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Changhua, and Taitung.
Be very careful with what data (e.g. passwords, usernames etc) you share during connection because the connecting process uses unencrypted transmissions. This might cause information you put out there to be stolen.
6. Get an EasyCard
The EasyCard is one of the most important things to have in Taipei. Among the things, you can use these contactless smartcards for the excellent metro, the city bike scheme, buses, ferries, and even taxis. You can use them to pay for public parking, and as a prepaid credit card for convenience stores and supermarkets. They can also get you into the zoo, the Maokong Gondolas, Youbikes and some museums. Buy them at Metro and bus stations or at convenience stores. In our case, we bought them at the convenience store downstairs the Arrival Area. A standard fare card is NTD100 ($3), and they can be topped-up in amounts up to NTD10,000 ($310). Any unused cash can be refunded
7. Where to change money?
If you think ahead then order your foreign currency in advance through your bank or in the malls. Changing money at any airport is a rip off so try to avoid. You can, of course, use credit and debit cards, but check with your bank as to charges. Don’t take peso cash and no one wants to change them, so if you can’t get local currency in advance get some US Dollars instead.
Getting out of Taoyuan International Airport
The transportation network connecting to the Taoyuan International Airport is highly efficient. Travelers entering or departing the country can choose from a variety of transportation methods to and from the airport. The high-speed rail which allows direct access to all major cities and the buses which travel between various regions make it extremely convenient for travelers to go to and from the destination of their choice and the airport.
Visitors may also take a taxi, a tour bus, or car rentals if they wish to reach their destination directly.
Shuttle bus to THSR Taoyuan Station
- Taoyuan International Airport a complete THSR shuttle bus routes network connecting the airport, Novotel Hotel, and THSR station, providing a comfortable, convenient, low-cost and practical transportation option for travelers.
- Shuttle information
Ticket price: full fare NT$30, half fare NT$15.
Ticketing: Tickets sold at bus counters.
Intervals: 06:15-21:45 15-30 mins
21:45:22:50 20-40 mins
Trip length: 25 minutes.
The Taiwan Airport MRT has Express and Commuter Trains. The Express Trains are for airport passengers and travel time is 38 minutes while Commuter trains have more stops and the travel time is 1 hour & 10 minutes and you can pay using your EasyCard. The Airport MRT is also one of the best ways to get to Taipei from the airport. It costs 160NTD one way. Make sure to ride the express service, which is only a 35 minutes train ride from Taipei Main Station, then the commuter service who stops at all stations before the airport. It is also just available from 6AM to 11PM.
If you arrive at 2am or so, like we did, the best option is to take a bus going to Taipei (Cost 125NTD) Buses are 24/7 with a 15-20mins interval.
If you are arriving in Taiwan around 11pm to 7am it’s really quiet and you can opt for a hassle-free transfer from Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei. You can book the Taiwan Airport Carpool Transfer here. or Choose a private car from Taiwan Airport Transfer, good for 4 persons.Click here for Private Car Aiport Transfer.
Getting Around Taiwan
- Train – This is probably your best bet, but if you arrive at the airport after 12am then the train station will be closed, but on a normal day it’s the best and most efficient way to travel. From your hotel just take a cab to the nearest Station. We took the Express train to the airport which was I think about 100-150 NTD. For trips around the city, Taipei Metro is the easiest way to get around; it’s convenient, fast, easy and cheap. A basic ride starts at 20NTD (around 35Php) so our advice to you is to get a travel card called an EasyCard. The fare using EasyCard is 20% lower than the single ride ticket. It costs 100NTD which is consumable.
Attractions along MRT Lines:
|Tamsui-Xinyi Line||Beitou Station||Beitou Hot Spring|
|Tamsui Station||Tamsui Old Street|
|Jiantan Station||Shilin Night Market|
|Wenhu Line||Zoo Station||Zoo, Maokong Gondola|
|Songshan-Xindian Line||Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall|
|Bannan Line||Longshan Temple|
|Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall|
|Taoyuan Airport MRT||Taishan||Sanhe Night Market|
|Linkou||Mitsui Outlet Park|
|Kengkou||Kengkou Colorful Drawing Village|
2. Bus – If you are going to New Taipei City or any other northern province, it is better to ride the bus. We used Google Maps to know where the bus stops and what bus number should to ride. EasyCard can also be used here. A bus showing 上, will cost a fare of NT$15 (US$0.49) or one showing 下, Will be NT$15 (US$0.49).
3. Taxi – Strange as this may seem, not only is this the most expensive travel option but it’s all the least effective. An average trip from the Airport or your hotel will cost around 800+ NTD that’s 1000+ Php. and the drivers speak little English so you need google maps or similar to show them where you want to go.
Uber – Uber is the only app bested taxi service in Taiwan and they do not accept cash payment, only credit cards or account.
4. Rent a car – You may prefer to pre-rent a car and that saves long taxi queues etc., check out Klook for offers Private Car Charter.
5. Rent a Youbike – This is a bike sharing system and it is all over the city! This is definitely recommended if you want to save time and energy avoiding long walks. All you need is an EasyCard and a local mobile number to be able to register in the kiosk terminal. One mobile number can register up to 5 EasyCards. Once you’re registered, you just need to tap your EasyCard on the bike terminal to use and once you return it at another kiosk just tap your EasyCard again to terminate the hire. The first 30 minutes of each trip is free then the following 30 minutes will cost 10NTD.
Bicycles on MRT:
To guarantee people’s leisure activities, the authority allows bicycles to be taken on metro during weekends and holidays. Each person can only take one bike and it is forbidden to use the escalator with bike. Regardless of the distance, the cyclist should pay NT$80 to ride the train. Generally, the size of the bicycle should be within 71in*47in*28in (180cm*120cm*70cm) in length, height and width. Children under 14 years old cannot bring a bike on train unless being accompanied by an adult.
Bicycles are allowed to take into many MRT stations except the following:
1. Tamsui Station
2. Taipei Main Station
3. Daan Station
4. Zhongxiao Fuxing Station
5. Nanjing Fuxing Station
6. All stations on Wenhu Line
6. Taiwan High-Speed Rail (THSR) – is a high-speed rail line that covers the West coast of Taiwan. It starts from Taipei Main Station and ends at Kaohsiung in the South. It’s an amazing service and can reach speeds of up to 300kph. Taiwan has train pass packages to help tourists save money, especially so if you’re planning to visit places outside of Taipei (which we highly encourage you to!).You can check out Klook’s 3 Day THSR Tourist Pass Guide and 5 Day Joint Train Pass Guide to discover the many places of interest, both mainstream and hidden gems like:
- Sun Moon Lake
- Da Han Bridge (bungee jumping everyone!)
- Shei Pa National Park
- Lotus Water Park (wakeboarding time!)
- Rao He Night Market
- Feng Chia Night Market…and so many more!
4D3N Taiwan Itinerary & Expenses
Day 1: Taipei City
*Expenses may differ depends on what you eat or where you eat plus I didn’t include here the Php1,500 pesos I spent for Pasalubong (take home gifts).
Tourist Spots in Taiwan
|BUILDINGS AND MONUMENTS||MUSEUMS|
|Lin An Tai Ancestral Home
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
Taipei Film House
National Martyr’s Shrine
Fort Santo Domingo
Lin Family Mansion and Garden
Beitou Public Library
Chiang Kai-Shek Shilin Residence
Taipei Guest House
The Red House
|National Palace Museum
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Suho Memorial Paper Culture Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei
Beitou Hot Springs Museum
Taipei Astronomical Museum
Shung Ye Museum
National Museum of History
Miniatures Museum of Taiwan
Museum of Drinking Water
National Taiwan Museum
Taiwan Folk Arts Museum
|PARKS AND GARDENS||TEMPLES|
Zhishan Ecological Garden
Maokong Tea Plantations and Gondola
Yangmingshan National Park
Daan Forest Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Taipei Botanical Gardens
228 Peace Park
Taipei Confucious Temple
Zhishan Huiji Temple
Beitou Puji Temple
Songshan Ciyou Temple
|MOUNTAINS AND HIKES||
WATERFALLS AND GEOTHERMAL ACTIVITY
Elephant Mountain/ Four Beasts Trail
Xiaotzukeng Old Trail
Mount Shamao Trail
Juansi Waterfall Trail
Jinmianshan/ Little Gold Face Mountain
Lion’s Head Mountain
Dalunwei and Daluntou Hiking Trails
Xianjiyan Hiking Trail
Menghuan Pond Trail
Pingding Historical Canal
Caoling Old Trail and Wankengtou Mountain
Qingtiangang Circular Trail
Jiantan Mountain Trail
Qixingshan/ Seven Star Mountain
Da Tun Shan Hiking Trail
Mount Caigongkeng Trail
Zhong Zhen Shan Hiking Trail
Mount Ding and Mount Shiti Trail
|Xiaoyoukeng Recreation Area
Lengshuikeng/ Milk Lake
Beitou Thermal “Hell” Valley
Longfenggu Geothermal Area
|NEIGHBORHOODS TO EXPLORE|
|Juifen Old Town
Bopiliao Ancient Street
Ximending Shopping District
Bitan Scenic Area
Danshui/ Tamsui Waterfront
Things you need to Know!
What to Eat?
Taipei is a foodie paradise. There are so many good dishes and some of the most favored include braised pork on rice, beef noodles, oyster omelet, and pearl milk tea (bubble tea). There are really so many good things to try that you could write pages on this subject alone, but for the more unusual dishes to keep an eye out for , look for fried cuttlefish soup, Dongshan duck head, Taiwanese meatballs, shredded chicken on rice, pepper popcorn chicken (Taiwanese fried chicken), flaky scallion pancakes, hot grass jelly, and mango shaved ice etc. Most are not expensive and have some unique tastes!
Pastries and Tea go together in Taipei like a horse and carriage! In the more traditional cafes, the old ways still prevail, but there are plenty of more modern slants on an old theme. Specialty teas include Tieguanyin and Baozhong and don’t forget to try the delicious local pineapple cakes, mung-bean cakes, and nougat candies.
Tipping is not customary in Taipei, but some hotels and restaurants automatically add a 10% service fee to the bill.
Taipei’s night markets are the places to go for the overall food experience. You don’t want to arrive earlier than 8/9pm or you will not get the full atmospheric effect of the places. Greater Taipei has more than two dozen night markets, and Shilin, Raohe (don’t miss black pepper pork puns by the temple entrance) and Ningxia with its excellent fried chicken, are the most popular. Sadly as they are so popular with tourists from all over the world, they are becoming ‘fashionably’ pricey, so do try the lest well-known places such as Nanjichang in gritty Wanhua district, or Dalongdong in historic Datong district. Nanya night market in Banqiao, Sanhe night market in Sanchong, and Luzhou-Miaokou night market in Luzhou are also Less famous.
Top 10 Night Markets in Taiwan
|Most Charming||Shilin Night Market (Taipei)|
|Best Shopping||Huaxi St. Night Market (Taipei)|
|Most Unique||Ningxia Night Market (Taipei)
Wenhua Night Market ( Chiayi)
Flower Night Market (Tainan)
Zhonghua Street Market (Fengshan)
Fengjia Night Market (Taichung)
Liuhe Night Market (Kaohsiung)
|Friendliest||Ludong Night Market (Yilan)|
|Tastiest & Friendliest||
Miaokou Night Market (Keelung)
Apps to Download