Taiwan Travel Journal

Taiwan was never on my bucket list until they lifted the visa for Filipinos. I didn’t hear much about the country as a common place for tourism. As I searched through the internet about it, I realize maybe I should reconsider adding it to my list while it’s still visa- free, and I am more than glad I did.

If you are planning to visit the country soon, you might want to check out these places I have visited for 3 days.

Day 0 – arrival

We arrived at Taoyuan International Airport late night and from there, we took an express train to Taipei where we booked our hotel, Sleepbox Hotel, just 10 minutes walk from Taipei Main Station.

Day 1 – City Tour

We kicked off our first day with a walking tour to some of the common tourist spots within Taipei.

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Park

These huge structures, twin temples facing each other and a grand entrance wall is definitely a must see while in Taipei. This is just 15 minutes walk away from our hotel as well.

Huashan 1914 Creative Park

We had the tastiest brunch while we were in Huashan Park. This place is filled with souvenir shops, restaurants and a movie house.

Fine Arts Museum

At 2pm, the museum was closed, so we strolled outside the place where we found some weird huge nests made of rattan materials. As we go along, we passed through its wide reaching park where we rested our bruised feet =)

Shilin Market

I heard so much about this place so we decided to pay a visit. After almost 3 hours going around the market, we went back to the hotel heavy hearted because their displays are so pretty and nice and vogue but the price tag is thrice as much compared to Mongkok. It was definitely heart breaking (and pocket baring too).

Day 2 – northern taiwan

Since Taiwan has a lot of old streets and amazing natural destinations, we decided to rent a car thru Taiwan EZ Go and headed North.

It was a last minute decision to go for a chartered car service because we were just chance passengers for a flight to Taiwan (the woes of non- revenue passengers) and we never really expected we could get a seat on a fully booked plane. When we got our boarding pass, it was the time we booked for our hotel. When we finally landed in Taiwan, it was then we booked for a chartered car.

So anyway, here is our Northern Coast Tour itinerary:

Bitou Cape Trail

We hiked the long trail to the cliff overseeing the endless coast. For a person like me who is not a fond of hiking and gym, it was definitely not an easy feat, but the view was quite a reward.

Nanya Rock Formation

Yehliu Park is the common tourist spot in Taiwan for those who want to witness unique rock formations. But since it sounds so cliche, we opted for Nanya coast instead. We never regretted our decision because Nanya Rock Formation is just as amazing.

Jiufen Old Street

When you see a mountain so high you could not see the top because it’s wrapped with fog, then it might just be Jiufen. Jiufen is a bustling old city that sits on top of a mountain where you can find a lot of goods, food, souvenir items, and restaurants (which accept credit cards!)

Along the way, we passed by the Golden Waterfalls which is just wonderful as it is.

Shifen Waterfalls

The trail towards the Shifen Waterfalls is nothing fancy but when we get to cross the bridge, we realized the falls might actually be a wonder, and indeed it was as we reached the majestic view of the plunging water.

We dropped the Shifen Old Street from the itinerary because we were too tired already and headed back to the hotel. Our chauffeur, Max, did a great job in making our tour memorable.

Day 3 – husband’s day out

If this trip was all about me, I would have preferred to spend my third and last day at the Yangmingshan Park or Wuling Farm. But I opted to give this day to my husband who I tagged as my patient photographer throughout the trip. So Day 3 was the husband’s day out.

Syntech Mall

So we’ve seen in youtube that this is a biggest tech mall in Asia and without a wink, we paid a visit to this  nine – floor building filled with technology goodness.

iHotel

iHotel is just two hours away from Taipei and it was like every online gamers’ paradise. It is an esports themed hotel with a gaming cafe in the lobby and a couple of computers in the room complete with DX racer chairs. We stayed there for a night the day before our flight back home to my husband’s delight.

budget

For both me and my husband, we spent less than Php 50,000, that would be Php 25,000.00 each for 5 days and 4 nights. But you can spend less than that, consider these things that we splurge on that were really not necessary :

–  private chartered day tour (you may book a group tour through Klook or Kkday)

– no show charge because we mistakenly booked for the satellite iHotel instead of the flagship hotel (they booked us to the flagship hotel and charged 1 night no show for the satellite hotel)

– taxi fares because we are lazy travelers who do not want to walk to the train station or get lost while switching platforms

But we did saved a lot because our hotel was just so near to the train station and across the hotel is 7/11, our dining room throughout our stay.

 For more photos of this vacay, you may check out my Facebook page in a couple of days, or you can shoot me an email, joymie.arnaiz@gmail.com, if you want to know more about this trip.

♥, JL Arnaiz

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