Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei has always been known in the Philippines because of the Taiwanese series Meteor Shower but it was only these last 3 years that this city blew up on our social media timeline. It is because 3 years ago, the Taiwanese government lift up their visa requirement for us Filipinos, and instantly, almost everyone knew someone who flew and visit Taipei.

With Taipei’s cheap food, and it’s beautiful nature trails, Taipei is now every Filipino’s first option for an easy and cheap international trip.

Taipei Taiwan
TAIPEI Facts

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan or known as the Republic of China (ROC), a separated island in the east of mainland China. There’s still a big grey area regarding if Taiwan is an independent country away from China or the People’s Republic of China (PRC). After World War II ended, the Chinese civil war resumed full mode resulting in the ROC (the nationalist) to relocate to Taiwan while the PRC (the communist) took over mainland China. Up to this day, both ROC and PRC claim sovereignty over “China”.

Geography: 

Taipei City is the northern tip of Taiwan island which is an island off the coast of China and in the north and south of the Philippines and Japan respectively. Taipei is covered in hills in the southeast, volcanoes, and basins in the northern part.

Climate:

Taipei’s climate is mostly affected by East Asian Monsoon. Cold months are from November to March while summer is from May to October. While typhoons usually strike during the months of July to October.

Chiang Kai Shek

TAIPEI PRE-TRAVEL GUIDES

Exchange your money here in the Philippines before flying out. You can order in your banks 1 month before your trip. This is because money changers are not evident in Taipei. There is only a certain banks in the city that fo foreign exchange. It is quite a hassle too.

Try to stay in Ximending area. It is livelier at night and there are many restaurants around.

There are numerous artsy Airbnb apartments in Taipei that is good for groups. Hotels here are also cheaper compared to HK.

Food is cheap as well so food trip is a must when in you’re in this city. There so much Taiwanese (street) food and milkteas to try!!

In terms of shopping, clothes, shoes and bags are not that cheap (and pretty) compared to Bangkok. Medicines are cheaper here.

How to go to TAIPEI

FROM MANILA:

There are numerous airlines that offer direct flights everyday from Manila to Taipei. They are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Eva Air and AirAsia. Travel time only takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Regular airfare to Taipei can cost almost 7k to 10k PHP. But like Hong Kong, it’s proximity to Manila is a main reason why it is always on seat sale. You can get a Taipei flight for as low as P2,000 round trip during sale season.

*All prices here are when booked 6 months prior the travel dates. Seat sales are usually based on their promotional posters.

AirAsia
6,000 PHProundtrip
  • Seat Sale:
  • 3,000 PHP
Cebu Pacific
5,000 PHProundtrip
  • Seat Sale:
  • 2,500 PHP
Philippine Airlines
11,000 PHProundtrip (w/ 20kg bag)
  • Seat Sale:
  • 4,000 PHP
Eva Air
10,000 PHProundtrip
  • Seat Sale:
  • 4,500 PHP

Taipei Metro

GOINg Around TAIPEI

Getting around Taipei is easy for they have a metro system that almost connects the whole city. Almost all tourist attractions are accessible via the Taipei metro. While some of the provinces of Taipei is accessible by bus and high-speed trains (HSRs).

Taipei 2017

If you’re commuting around Taipei, I advised you to avail their EasyCard to avoid lining up every time for single journey tickets or creating an unnecessary line on the bus entrance while counting money. The fare using EasyCard is also 20% lower than the single-ride ticket. It costs 100NTD (~170 PHP) which is consumable.

Taipei Metro/MRT

Taipei City Guide

Taipei Metro is the easiest way to go around Taipei. It is convenient, fast, easy, and cheap. The basic ride starts with 20NTD (around 35Php).

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, compared to the commuter service who stops at all stations before the airport. It is also just available from 6 AM to 11 PM.

PRIVATE CARS

Taipei City guide

If you want convenience and comfort, then it is advisable to rent a private car. Some travelers I know prefer to rent a private car when going to the northern cities of Taiwan because travel time is a lot faster than the commute. Klook offers some Private Car Charter.

U BIKE

Taipei DIY Itinerary

I didn’t know about this at first until I was in Taipei. It is a bike-sharing system and it is all over the city! This is definitely recommended if you wanted to save time and energy from 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. When already registered, you just need to tap your EasyCard on the bike terminal you wanted to use and return it on the next kiosk you see by taping your EasyCard again. The first 30 minutes of each trip is free then the following 30 minutes will cost 10NTD.

BUS

Taipei City Guide

If you are going to New Taipei City or any other northern province, it is better to ride the bus. I usually use Google Maps to know where the bus stops and what bus number should I ride. EasyCard can also be used here.

ACCOMMODATION

XIMENDING AIRBNB

Taipei City Guide

There are a lot of condominium Airbnbs in the Ximending area but my parents wanted a cheap one. I saw this room for 4 right in the middle of the Ximending night market and it was only 18,000 PHP for 5 nights. So that’s like 900 PHP per night per person. The room is really for travelers who will be out all day. It can be a little crowded with your luggage and the building is already old. It’s kinda sketchy but it seems like the other rooms in the building are registered in Airbnb as well. Anyway, the host is very responsive to all our requests and questions.

If you have enough budget, there are other Airbnbs that are better. You can sign up for Airbnb using my referral link so we’ll both get discounts!

Taipei has an efficient transportation system so it’s okay to stay anywhere in the city as long as it is near a train station. But I recommend getting accommodation near Taipei Main Station or Ximending. Taipei Main Station is the center of all buses and trains; while Ximending is the shopping center. My family chose to stay in a tenement building in Ximending via Airbnb for P18,000 for 5 nights.

*All hotel prices below are in Philippine peso.

Hostel
P700 - P1500per night
  • Here There Hostel Taipei - P831
  • Ximen Wow Hostel - P804
  • Taipei Backpacker Hostel - P784
  • I Play Inn - P801
  • Work Inn TPE -P871
Budget Hotels
P1,500 - P4,000per night
  • Hotel Puri Ximen - P3,179
  • East Dragon Hotel - P3,184
  • Cho Hotel - P3,262
  • Green World Zhonghua - P3,641
  • Tomorrow Hotel -P2,979
Luxury Hotels
P4,500 -P9,000per night
  • Hotel Papa Whale - P4,524
  • Hotel Midtown Richardson - P6,524
  • Via Hotel Ximen - P5,373
  • Palais de Chine Hotel - P6,806
  • Citizen M Taipei - P4,045

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Taipei City guideIt is a famous landmark erected in memory of their first president General Chiang Kai-Shek
Open Hours: Mon-Sun, 9AM – 6PM
Entrance Fee: free

National Palace Museum 

Taipei City Guide

National Palace Museum of Taiwan holds one of the largest Chinese antiquities in history.
Open Hours: everyday, 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM
Entrance Fee: 350 NTD | P578 in Klook

Beitou Thermal Valley

Taipei City guideBeitou is a district in the northern part of Taipei which is famous for its hot springs. The small town is a nice place to walk around as well.
Open Hours: Tues- Sun, 9 AM – 5 PM
Entrance Fee: free

Maokong Gondola

Taipei City guide

Maokong is a village that sits in the mountain in the southern part of Taipei. Riding the gondola, especially the crystal cabin, gives you a scenic view above and below.
Open Hours: Tues – Sun, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Entrance Fee: 120NTD (one way) | P409 (RT) via Klook

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Taipei City guideSun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall is a memorial for the father of Taiwan. Sun Yat Sen. Tho it is not as famous as Chiang Kai-Shek, this place has a great view of Taipei 101.
Open Hours: every day, 9 AM – 6 PM
Entrance Fee: free

Longshan Temple

Taipei City guideLongshan Temple is the well known temple in Taiwan that has a mixture of Buddhist, Taoist and deities like Mazu.
Open Hours: Mon – Sun, 6AM – 10PM
Entrance Fee: free

Taipei 101

Taipei City Guide

Once the tallest building in the world, you can’t miss Taipei 101 when you go Taipei. You can go to the Obervatory to have a bird’s eye view of the city.
Open Hours: everyday, 9AM – 10PM
Entrance Fee: P511 via Klook

Bopilao Old Street

Taipei City guideA preserved street just near Longshan Temple that showcases different architectural styles of Taiwan as it is passed from one colonial to another. It is a cultural and historical district for tourists.
Open Hours: Mon-Sun, 8 AM – 9 PM, museums close at 5 PM
Entrance Fee: free

Elephant Moutain

Taipei City guide

Elephant Mountain or also known as Xiangshan is a mountain in Taipei near Taipei 101. It has a 1.5 km hiking trail that will give you a better view of Taipei 101.
Open Hours: 24 hours
Entrance Fee: free

Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Taipei City Guide

From lonelyplanet.com

A winery turned into a creative park that is famous to the young. It has coffee cafes, specialty shops, art exhibits, and art or musical events.
Open Hours: 24 hours
Entrance Fee: free

DAY TRIPS

Yehliu Geopark

Taipei DIY Itinerary

photo credits to www.guidetotaipei.com

Along the north coast of Taiwan is the Yehliu Geopark. It is famous for its rock formations with overlooking ocean views.
OPEN HOUR: 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Entrance fee: 80 NTD

SHIFEN TOWN

Taipei City guideShifen is a small town 2 hours (by commute) in the north of Taipei. It is famous for its flying lanterns and scenic views like Shifen Falls.
Open Hours: 24 hours but most of the attractions here closed at 5 PM

JIUFEN OLD STREET

Taipei City guideJiufen is a mountain town that is most famous for its Old Street. The Jiufen Old Street is known for its narrow alleyways with teahouses, hole in the walls, and shops
Open Hours: 8:00 AM – 10 PM

It is nice to spend an overnight stay in each of these towns to explore it more but if your time is limited, you can avail a day tour for these 3 places with Klook.

NIGHT MARKETS

Ximending Night Market

Taipei City guideMy favorite night market among all. It is also because this is where we stayed so I have more time to explore this place. There are numerous cute cafes, shopping stores, and famous food stalls to try here. At night, street food vendors dominate the streets.
Famous to try: Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodles, Hot Star Fried Chicken, Modern Toilet Restaurant, Dream Cool, Castella Cake

Ningxia Night Market

Taipei City Guide

credits to howshewanders.com

Ningxia Night Market is a small night market compared to others but it has numerous street food carts.
Famous to try: Check Howshewander.com blog about it!

SHILIN NIGHT MARKET

Taipei City guideOne of the most famous night markets in Taipei is the Shilin night market. The streets are narrow compared to Ximending so it tends to be crowded. There are more clothing shops here but the food is almost the same in Ximending.
Famous to try: Omelet Oyster

Raohe Night Market

Taipei City Guide

photo credits to iamaileen.com

Raohe Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei and shares the same situation and foods with the others.
Famous to try: Check iamaileen’s blog about it!

TAIPEI POSTS

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