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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Taipei, Taiwan Travel Blog, OOTD

Last week, I went to Taiwan for a vacation with 2 of my college friends, Mia and Aiko. We've been friends for quite some time, and this was our first international travel together. Since the Visa-Free Travel to Taiwan for Philippine Passport Holders has been extended until July 31, 2020, we took advantage of it! 

Mia and I planned this trip for a couple of months, waiting for seat sales and promos. We booked a one-way ticket on sale (Manila to Taipei) for only P2200 each via Cebu Pacific. We did not book our return tix immediately because we were planning to exit in Kaohsiung, Taiwan to explore other cities than Taipei. It was supposedly a 6-day trip but due to some reason, we decided to make it 4 days instead - 2 days in Taipei, 1 day in Taichung, and 1 day in Kaohsiung. So, expect a 3 part blog series of our Taiwan Adventure (and misadventure)

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Things to Remember

Taiwan is one of the best countries to consider if it's your first time to travel abroad. The weather is quite similar to the Philippines and there is no time difference. It's very easy to go around because they have accessible transportation and they also use the same power outlet. And if you are picky when it comes to food, they have a great selection of food everywhere! I have here a few reminders or things to consider that might help if you are planning to go to Taiwan for the first time.

Buy a local sim card or pocket wifi

Although there is free wifi everywhere, you still need to buy a local sim card or pocket wifi when traveling for you to have internet access. I bought a 4G Prepaid Sim Card via Klook for only 375 PHP that includes 5 days of unlimited data with calls and text. It is cheaper and unlike the portable wifi, you don't have to return it at the airport. You can dispose of it after using or keep it for remembrance.

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Get an Easy Card

The easy card is like an octopus card in Hongkong. It can be used for transportation and cashless payment at selected stores and tourist attractions. You can book it on Klook ahead of time and it can be easily claimed at the airport upon arrival. I loaded my card 600 NTD at the airport and I was able to use it in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung for 4 days. For the remaining balance, I was able to use it to buy food at the airport before our flight back home. 

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Download the Taiwan Metro App

One of the things that I love about Taiwan is its fast, clean, safe, and efficient metro system! No wonder it is considered one of the best in the world. It's very accessible and everything is organized. You won't see people eating, smoking, and talking out loud. Everyone follows MRT etiquettes. 

It's best to download their MRT app because it is more reliable than google map. Trust me! Google Maps can be a bit confusing at times. We got lost a couple of times on our 1st day. Good thing, we have a 1-day transport fun pass with unlimited access to MRT and city buses in Taipei.

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Prepare an umbrella or raincoat 

Lastly, you must prepare an umbrella or raincoat when you visit Taiwan because the weather here can be crazy! A few days before our travel, I always check the weather in Taiwan. Luckily the weather is not that bad when we arrived. But guess what? When it's about time to visit some of the tourist spots in the city, it rained! Luckily, some umbrellas and raincoats are being sold in the convenience store like 7/11 and Family Mart. 

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Where to Stay in Taipei?

We booked an Airbnb in Zhongshan District (Who's Knock Tiny Apartment) for our 2 nights stay in Taipei. I highly recommend this place because it is very clean and spacious. Everything we need is already provided. The photos on the website are the same in person. What you see is what you get!

Get 1600 PHP discount when you book at Airbnb if you sign up here.

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

With our host, Henry. He is very welcoming, friendly and he let us check in early upon arriving. 

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Our Airbnb is just near the Minquan W Rd Station and there are many restaurants and convenience stores around. 

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Places to visit around the city

Getting around Taipei isn't difficult because of their well-mapped public transport system. Using public transportation is the best way to dig in for an action-packed trip.

On our first day, we were supposed to explore the city in the afternoon, but since it rained that day, we had to cancel some plans including Maokong Gondola Ride and the Double Decker Bus Night Tour :( We are at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall when it starts raining, so we bought our raincoat at the convenience store and ate a quick snack. After that, we went to Taipei 101 and headed back to our Airbnb to rest.

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Taipei 101 Observatory

Taipei 101 is located in Xinyi District in Taipei. It is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world that features a unique appearance that differs from other normal skyscrapers. We were able to experience the fastest elevator that takes only 37 seconds to travel from the 5th floor to the 89th floor. There's a lot of instagrammable spots inside! You may book your Taipei 101 Observatory ticket here

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous landmark and tourist attraction erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. The entire pace is clean and pleasant to walk around in. The main gate and the hall are decked in Blue and White which makes it beautiful to look at.

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Ximending 

The weather in Taipei is much better on our 2nd day so we just walk around Ximending in the afternoon. Ximending is a neighborhood and shopping district where you can find really cool buildings.

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

The 110-year-old Red House is also located here. One of Taipei’s most iconic building, at the heart of Ximending

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)

Raohe Street Night Market

Of course, a trip to Taipei wouldn't be completed without going to a night market! The Raohe Street Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan. It is packed with fun and interesting night foods and snacks, quaint shops and stalls, claw machines, and carnival games with prizes.

Exploring Taipei, Taiwan (Where to Stay, Places to Visit, Things to Remember)


And that's it for our Taipei City adventure! On my next blog post, I will be showing you a different side of Taipei so make sure you are subscribed on my blog. For the discounted tickets, you may check the following links:

Easy Card: https://www.klook.com/en-US/activity/5777-public-transport-easycard-taipei/
4G Sim Card / Wifi: https://www.klook.com/en-US/wifi-sim-card/?city_id=19&region=27-Taiwan
Fun Pass: https://www.klook.com/en-US/activity/8823-taipei-transportation-fun-pass-tpe-pick-up-taipei/
Taipei 101 Observatory: https://www.klook.com/en-US/activity/1659-taipei-101-taipei/
1600 PHP discount on Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/c/nicoles25732?currency=PHP


2 comments :

  1. Thank you for this guide. I might go there next year!

    ReplyDelete

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