Alright! This is long overdue! It’s time to share my Taipei trip itinerary. First of all, guess what? We only spent P14,000 (265 USD) for 3 days and 3 nights, so you might really want to read this. Yup that P14,000 already includes the airfare, hotel, itinerary, and souvenirs. I specialize in having the best trip with the lowest budget possible. I’ll stick to tips and trivia and not a very detailed itinerary – click the links (those with a different font color and underlined) for individual posts about the place or comment below 🙂
NT$ 1 = PHP1.761
USD = NT$ 30.59
Taoyuan International Airport
TPE is a large airport, so know immediately what terminal would you get off to. Terminal 1 and 2 is connected by a train. Also, take note that their train station heading to Taipei is not included in the 3 days bus and metro pass. It’ll cost you NT$160 (PHP 277; USD 5.23) to get to Taipei Central Station. This will also be a good time to buy your local sim card for a data connection – they have it at airport price! We got ours for NT$230 (PHP 397; USD 7.52) – that’s unlimited internet for 4 days.
This is my favorite among the places that we went to in Taipei. This is so beautiful! The rock formations are all eye-candy. It has a vibe and natural colors that made our trip worth it, no matter how hot it was. Don’t miss out that ice cream shop at the end of the street to counter the heat(NT$80/USD 2.62/PHP 138)!. All the other details are in my separate blog post.
Although there are other gondola rides, this one is a good experience too. You will cross the mountainside through the crystal cabins and see the skyscrapers on top. This one will only cost you NT$200/USD 6.54 for a two way ride up to Zhinan Station. Also, drop by the Chance store near the Taipei Zoo Station – they have these cute ice creams with real fruits in them!!!!
I would like to refer to this place as “the unblogged destination”. While researching my way through our travel, I didn’t encounter any posts about the Zhinan Temple. Luckily, I gambled a choice between this one and Maokong station (where there is a plantation), and I am so happy that we did, because it literally made my jaw drop in it’s beauty. Will post a different blog for this one!
I love this temple! I have been to different temples already, but this one is the most authentic. It’s unlike any other in the sense that this is really a place of worship than a tourist spot. When we got there, there were people praying, reading their holy book, offering sacrifices and putting up their hands in worship. It was a good experience to see this kind of culture with not much people going just to take a picture and post it in Instagram. There is no entrance fee.
Shifen Old Street
Of course, you can’t go to Taiwan without doing this, right? Flying a sky lantern is a Taiwanese practice where they write their wishes and let it fly hoping that their god would see it and grant it. We don’t exactly did that for that, but it was still a good experience. Please go here in the afternoon. It is a good sight during the night but there’s no people already during this time because there’s really no direct transportation to the city. Stores closes at 8:30.
Cost: Lantern – NT$200 (USD 6.53/PHP 345), Taxi to the city – we got ours at NT$150 (USD 4.90/PHP259) each (6 people in one cab).
Shilin Night Market & Ximending Night Market
If you want the cheapest foods and the best night markets, I really recommend this two. Shilin night market is the cheapest and most popular among the other night markets. It is full of different street food that tastes really great! On the other hand, Ximending made me feel like I was in Times Square in New York. It was so lively! BUT – it has discounted designer brands in here so it’s not really cheap but if you want to buy branded stuff, then you can find good deals here.
Taipei 101, Jiufen Old Street & Liberty Square
Yes, I put these three on the last point because… well, I think your Taiwan trip will be complete even if you miss out this three. But if you have a few more hours or days to spare, then this is also a good option.
Of course, everybody wants to have a picture with Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world before Burj Kalifa. You might want to go inside too, but that’s just a shopping mall of expensive brands. That’s the same with Liberty Square. Good for pictures, but there’s really nothing there.
Juifen Old Street looks really good in the eye and for photos, but I don’t think the fare and travel time to go up there is worth it. It is a loooong street of souvenir shops (but not cheap compared to night markets) and lanterns. That’s it.
I had a really good time in Taiwan, especially because of their locals, so I hope you have a good one too! You can also check my post on how you can have a budget-friendly travel. If I can help in any way, feel free to reach out!
BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
Plane ticket (Cebupac piso fare promo)- PHP1880|USD 35.58|NT$1089
Airport tax (NAIA) – PHP1620
Accommodation (Hostel Jiizu; Private double room with private bathroom; Near Nanjing Sanmin Station) – P1864|USD 35.27|NT$1080
Sim card, unlimited data for 4 days (hotspot!) – PHP397|USD7.51|NT$230
Train from TPE to Taiwan Central Station – PHP277|USD5.24|NT$160
Fun Pass Card (unlimited bus and train card) – PHP758|USD14.34|NT$440
Lunch (Shredded chicken with mango shake) – PHP259|USD.490|NT$150
Bus to Yehliu (two way; not included in the Fun Pass card) – PHP216|USD4.08|NT$125
Lunch (Mcdonald’s) – PHP130|USD2.45|NT$75
Dinner at Watami Ramen – PHP397|USD7.51|NT$230
Souvenir at Shilin Night Market – PHP1553|USD29.38|NT$900
Coco Milktea – PHP69|USD1.31|NT$40
Breakfast (local food) – PHP86.26|USD1.63|NT$50
Gondola (two way; until Zhinan Station) – PHP345.02|USD6.53|NT$200
Lantern (we only bought 1 lantern, so this will be split in 3) – PHP345.02|USD6.53|NT$200
Bus ride to Jiufen (not included in the Fun Pass card) – PHP147|USD2.77|NT$85
Taxi from Shifen to Taipei Main Station (6 people in 1 cab) – PHP259|USD4.90|NT$150
Dinner – PHP259|USD2.90|NT$150
Souvenir (FOOD! Nougat, salted egg biscuits, and mochi; we bought around 15 bags) – PHP2588|USD48.97|NT$1500
The rest is spent in other souvenir and food 😀