Theme: Taipei 101
Hashtags: #TAIWANnabewithyou #TAIWANandonly #TAIWANtmore #iLoveTaiwan #OQinTAIWAN
Cebu Blogger: Last month in June 2018, me and two of my friends went to visit Taipei, Taiwan for a 5-day trip. We initially planned for a 3-day exploration but added 2 extra days because we can’t find a cheaper plane ticket when we were just weeks ahead booking our airfare within a 3-day itinerary. We had it with Air Asia Ph. Details of our fare will be disclosed below.
We enjoyed that VISA-Free entry that is extended now until July 31, 2019 for Filipinos. Yay! We wish to revisit it again and to explore more of Taiwan’s natural landscapes and attractions outside the capital, Taipei.
Since the launch of my Cebu flower shop business in 2015, I’ve never been to a new country within the last 4 years. My last trip was in Singapore in 2014. And my passport is 7 months away to expiry (expires on Jan 2019). And so I spent a few minutes at the immigration! I was a bit exhausted! I’ve been to different countries in the past and had a smooth way at the immigration counter. So maybe, this is just my “time”. LOL.
The officer took my phone! It’s not as if I’m taking photos at the immigration which is a big No, No. I was just holding it on my hand until she asked me impolitely to hand it over. Yes, I thought it’s an invasion of my privacy as she was literally scrolling photos on my private phone! Like seriously! I know the U.S. has a law that federal agents can inspect someone’s phone but not yet here in Cebu, Philippines! I don’t know any law yet here in our country. Enlighten me please if there is any.
Asking me about my flight no. (which she can see it on the document I already provided) and if I brought along a copy of my business permit to prove I own my flower shop! WTF! (pardon for the expression). I just said “NO, I don’t have it atm”. Then, I have to show my other phone where it got photos of my bouquets and other floral arrangement just to prove I’m a florist! And a few more irrelevant questions continues. Surprisingly, she just stamped my passport. After that, I’ve raised my eyebrows while exiting the counter! I was super annoyed to the highest level. At the back of my mind, I have all the basic documents she needed like my return ticket, accommodation, KKDay and KLOOK tickets (will explain on this further). She ignored it! She might be envious of my selfies on my phone and realized she’s already pathetically aged and needs a facial makeover! Oh, b!tch please!
I was then reunited with my friends after minutes of questioning by that arrogant officer. Hahaha. Word of advice, just try to stay “COOL” and pretend to put a smile when answering to the official’s questions no matter how you hated him/her during interrogation.
Lesson Learned: I will now print photocopies of my “business permit”, ITR, etc. and slap it to her face the next time we see each other (hopefully, not). Nyahahahaha. That, b!tch!
It is good to plan an international travel at least months ahead for you to have a chance in booking cheaper plane tickets. In our case, it was like a 4-weeks short. So tickets are a bit pricier! Research more online on travel blogs for recommendations and suggestions. If you are reading this, congrats! You are one step closer to an enjoyable trip to Taiwan!
So let’s cut the chase as I share with you our budget and itinerary below.
1 NT Dollar = 1.76 PHP (as of June 2018)
Have your local peso exchanged already here in the Philippines for the New Taiwan Dollar. I initially traveled with NT 3000 or around Php 6000 as pocket money in Taipei.
At the time of booking our plane fare, Air Asia PH is the cheapest among other airlines. A Cebu -Taipei – Cebu route round trip ticket cost us Php 8790
I still consider that really expensive but nothing can hold us back so we have to push with the plan.
From Cebu Mactan International Airport Departure Sched is 7 AM
From Taoyuan International Airport Departure Sched is 10 Am
TIP: Decide months ahead and purchase cheaper tickets. Don’t forget to spare a budget for the Philippine Travel tax of Php 1620. And the terminal fee of Php 700 (in Cebu).
Since there are three of us, we need to find a room that has at least three beds, clean bathroom, nice interiors, has wifi, near to an MRT station for easy access, and the most important thing, affordable. So, we head to airbnb and did a thorough research filtered on our requirement.
For 6D5N, our total accommodation is less than Php 5k, that is Php 4907 to be exact in total.
We were able to book A* (star symbol) at Zhongshan District or check this link.
I don’t need to copy the description of the place here. Just click the link above for further details.
TIP: Make sure to book your stay near Taipei Main Station MRT.
Day 1 Arrival in Taipei and Observatory in Taipei 101
- we picked our portable wi-fi at the airport Terminal 1. Booked through KKDAY at Php 140/day. A total of Php 840 for 6 days. Since there were three of us sharing it, it cost us Php 280 each. Book one here at KKDAY Taiwan wifi.
- we got an Easy Card at the airport too for easy access on mrts, bus, family mart, etc. Initially loaded it with NT 300 (approx. Php 600).
- we took the the Blue Commuter Train from the airport to Taipei Main station (around 1 hour travel time) then to the red line (Tamsui-Xynyi line) which is going to our nearest MRT stop where our accommodation is located. From the airport, we can also take the Purple Express Train. It will only take us 35 minutes to reach Taipei Main Station. We only realized this when we took this option on our way back home on the last day! Hahaha.
One funny experience we had as first timers, it took us an hour roaming around Taipei Main Station in finding our transfer station to Tamsui-Xynyi line. Hahaha. Time-wasted. Even the MRT information personnel is of no help. *we almost cried* They don’t speak English that much. So that can really be a problem. But we were able to figure out a way later after an hour. Sigh.
I suggest you study this Taipei MRT map below thoroughly.
TIP: To find the MRT transfer lines, it’s always nice to go down! And if you want to go the EXIT, take the escalators going up. In our case, we took the opposite direction. We were officially, LOST TOURISTS. Hahaha.
- After we found our travelers’ nest for our 5 nights stay in Zhongshan District, we checked the clock and have only around an hour and 30 mins to eat before heading to Taipei 101 Observatory where we pre-booked at 3 PM again with KKDAY Observatory ticket at Php 890
BTW, there is a Family mart, a McDo fast food chain below our unit but we took our fast lunch at Moss Burger which is just across our building. Budget was around NT 110 or Php 240. We took a cab using UBER bringing us to Taipei 101 in minutes for NT 105 or Php 210.
We had dinner at Taipei 101 too. Budget of NT 250 to 300 or Php 600.
Day 2 Leofoo Village Theme Park
- It’s like Taiwan’s version of Hong Kong’s Ocean Park. Perfect for children and those young at heart like us!
- For a hassle-free admission, we pre-booked it at KKDay Leofoo Village Theme Park for Php 1072
- So we actually spent the rest of the day here enjoying the amusement parks and trying as many rides as we could. However, Taiwan’s weather condition is very unpredictable. It rained so hard the entire afternoon! Such a bummer.
- In going to Leofoo, we headed to the nearest mrt station which is Jingan Station where we have to wait for the E-Go bus to bring us to the park. For a detailed direction, we followed this. E-Go Bus fare is NT 120 or Php 240 per way. Travel time is 1 hour each way.
- Food budget in Leofoo, around NT 240 to 350 or Php 700 on average. Prepare around NT 800 or Php 1500. You might get hungry or thirsty! Hahaha
Epekto sa na-ulanan!Gikabuangan ko ni Chai Io#TAIWANabewithyou#huwagmoakongtaIWAN
Posted by Xerxes Bernadez on Sunday, June 17, 2018
Day 3 Double Decker Bus City Tour and Night Market
- Before we check Taiwan’s natural attractions at their Northern coast, we thought to check Taipei’s concrete jungle and other tourist spots in the New Taipei City!
- We used KLOOK this time to book our Double Decker Bus Tour for only Php 472
- We checked Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, the National Palace Museum, the Shilin Official Residence, etc. This is a whole day tour.
- At night time, we checked Linjiang Street Night Market. But prior to the shopping, we dined at Ding Tai Fung for the famous pork xiao long bao! Price is around NT 100 or Php 200.
Day 4 Yehliu, Shifen and Juifen
- time to hit Northern Taiwan for their natural attractions, geopark, waterfalls, fly our sky lantern, etc.
- We pre-booked through KKday Day Tour in Yehliu, Shifen and Juifen again for Php 1750
Day 5 OPEN Time (IKEA shopping, P.S. Bubu Cafe, Raohe Night Market)
- We call it our FREE time. So we had the chance to meet my high school classmate who currently takes her master’s degree at a university. It’s a good thing to have a friend as a tour guide! We are confident we won’t be lost.
- First stop is IKEA store. We tried their food. Of course, a bit of shopping won’t hurt our budget. Trust me!
- For snacks, we went to the famous P.S. Bubu Cafe in Shilin. If you’re an avid fan of Meteor Garden’s San Cai and Dao Ming Xi, this is the cafe where they had their first date in that series. So we dined in that Pink Vintage car!!!
- At night time, we ravaged the street food that Raohe Night market has to offer and of course did some last minute pasalubong shopping before we head back to Cebu the next day!
Upon tracking my expenses including my shopping spree in IKEA and the night market, I only spent less than Php 30K for my whole Taiwan trip. Here’s a quick accounting record.
Pre-booked Airfare, Accommodation, KKDAY and KLOOK (For a STRESS-FREE trip)= Php 18,161
Travel Tax and Terminal Fee (Cebu)– Php 1620 + Php 700 = Php 2320
Pocket Money = Php 6000 or NT 3000 (for food and transpo in Taipei) of course I brought my Credit Card for emergency shopping which I’ve used.
It could be less if I didn’t eat too much and shop too much! hahaha
I hope this itinerary could serve as your guide when you visit Taipei. Let me know if you have questions below.
(to be updated with photos and videos…)
P.S. Don’t treat love like it’s a flavah of the month!