A First Timer’s Taipei DIY Itinerary and Travel Guide for Filipino Families

Itineraries
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“There’s nothing much to see in Taiwan.”

I used to think the same way before too so, yes, like other Filipinos who’ll travel out of the country for the first time, I have Hong Kong in my mind. Who wouldn’t want to experience some legit skyscrapers and Disneyland? But thank you to social media, Filipino travel enthusiasts are starting to see that Taiwan is not just Taipei 101 but it is also rich in culture, food, and most of all, nature trails. Plus, it is really cheap and is STILL VISA-FREE for us Filipino until July 31, 2019.

P.S. This Taipei DIY Itinerary is suitable for big Filipino families especially those with parents 50s above and kids.

Airfare

Taipei Taiwan

There are 5 airlines that offer direct flight to Taipei from Manila. Taipei, like Hong Kong, is only less than 2 hours away and because of that expect airfare tickets as low as P2,000 ($40) round trip. Just keep your eyes on those seat sales.

I got our tickets in Cebu Pacific sale for only P3,000 with the Holy Week travel dates. The only downside of this sale is that it is a red-eye flight. We left Manila at 11PM and arrived Taipei already at past midnight.

Visa Processing

UPDATE: Dec. 16, 2019

Taiwan government has already confirmed expanding their visa-free entry to the Philippines until July 31, 2020. This no-visa extension is a way of “building closer people-to-people exchange between the Philippines and Taiwan.” This means Taiwan, like Hong Kong and Singapore, requires no visa to all Filipinos in the said time frame.

Taipei DIY Itinerary (w/ budget)

DAY 1

8:00 AM – Breakfast

9:30 AM –  LONGSHAN TEMPLE

Taipei City guideLongshan is a famous temple in Taiwan. It is just less than 15 minutes away from Ximending via train. Since it is still a temple, tourists are encouraged to be quiet and respectful to the praying locals. Train ride costs 16 NTD.

10:30 AM – Bopilao Old Street

Taipei City guideJust a walking distance from Longshan Temple is the Bopilao Old Street. It is a whole street preserved by the government to remind locals and tourists of the history and culture of this street during Qing dynasty.

11:30 AM – Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Taipei City guideAnd of course, the famous memorial hall in Taipei – Chiang Kai Shek. From Longshan station (blue line), we transferred to green line in Ximen station then alight at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Station. Train ride costs 16 NTD. The place is huge and beautiful but never miss the changing of guards at 12NN.

2:00 PM – Lunch in Yongkang Street

Taipei DIY Itinerary

Yongkang Street is a street full of restaurants, cafes and cute shops. It is also the home of the original Din Tai Fung. Other famous food shops here are Kao Chi, Smoothie House, 50 Lan and the spring onion pancake vendor.

From Chiang Kai Shek Station, ride a train (16 NTD) to Domen Station in red line.

4:00 PM – Elephant Mountain

Taipei City guideStill in red line, from Domen Station travel to Xiangshan Station (16 NTD). The jump off point to the Elephant Mountain trail is a long walk from the train station. Even the trail is a little hard if you’re not into cardio but the view of the Taipei 101 above is worth it.

Read my ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN, TAIWAN: MY FIRST HIKE ABROAD

6:00 PM – Dinner at Taipei 101 MALL

After dinner, you can try to go up on the top of Taipei 101. Purchase your ticket beforehand with Klook.

DAY 1 EXPENSES: 364 NTD
Breakfast at convenience store – 50 NTD
Train Rides – 64 NTD
Lunch & Snacks & Dinner – 250 NTD

DAY 2

8:00 AM – Breakfast

We tried this famous (as in there’s long lines) flour rice noodle in front of our airbnb in Ximen and we all don’t like it.

10:30 AM – Arrival to Beitou Station

Taipei DIY Itinerary

Beitou is a mountainous district in north of Taipei. We transferred two lines before we reached the MRT Xin Beitou Station (28 NTD). Just outside the station, we were lucky to witness the last cherry blossom trees in bloom.

11:00 AM – Beitou Thermal Valley

Taipei DIY Itinerary

It was my first time to see a thermal valley / hot spring. The steam was so hot but with the cold weather it is just perfect. There’s nothing must to do here but just take photos.

P.S. It is a long walk from the station but the views along are great.

12:30 PM – Lunch outside the Thermal Valley

Taipei DIY Itinerary

There are a lot of restaurants and food shops around Beitou Thermal Valley. And of course, milktea every meal.

1:30 PM – Beitou Public Library

Taipei DIY Itinerary

This is a gorgeous library! I would love to go inside, shoot and appreciate it but my travel buddies are not fans of it.

2:30 PM – Beitou Hot Spring Museum

Taipei DIY Itinerary

Entrance fee is only 40 NTD so go ahead and give it a try to learn more about hot springs and Beitou.

4:00 PM – National Palace Museum

 

Taipei City GuideJust like our national museum in Luneta, this museum holds their history, arts, and culture of the city. The museum itself is picturesque. You can purchase your ticket in Klook for only P578.

From MRT Red Line 2 Shilin station, walk outside the station and board Bus R30 (紅30), fare is 15 NTD. Remember: Do not cross the street. Just stay in the side of Shilin Station.

6:30 PM – Shilin Night Market

Taipei City guideJust eat until you can. There are also some cheap clothes, but not so good quality.

DAY 2 EXPENSES: 574 NTD + 578 PHP
Breakfast – 55 NTD
Train & Bus Rides – 79 NTD
Lunch – 150 NTD
Beitou Hot Spring Museum – 40 NTD
National Palace Museum – 578 PHP
Shilin Night Market food – 250 NTD

DAY 3

8:30 AM – Breakfast

Have breakfast at Taipei Main Station.

11:00 AM – Yehliu Geopark

Taipei DIY Itinerary

photo credits to www.guidetotaipei.com

One of the famous tourist destination in the northern Taiwan is this gorgeous geological formation of Yehliu Geopark. Entrance fee is 80 NTD but with the long queue, it is better to purchase it ahead in Klook.

If you’re commuting, go to the KuoKuang (國光) window in Taipei West Bus Station – Terminal A and purchase a ticket for NT$96 to Yehliu Geopark. Travel time is 96 NTD.

12:30 PM – Lunch

3:00 PM – Yangmingshan National Park

Taipei DIY Itinerary
Taipei DIY Itinerary

Yangmingshan Park is one of the national park in Taiwan. It is the most beautiful during the cherry blossom season.

You can opt to skip this if its not spring. The commute is quite an adventure. From Yehliu Park, ride a Keelung bus #790 (15 NTD) and alight at Jinshan stop. From Jinshan stop, take the royal bus #1717 (105 NTD) next and alight at Yangmingshan stop.

5:00 PM – Ximending Night Market

Taipei City guideThis is my favorite night market. This is said to be the Shibuya of Taipei, with all its street foods and good shops here.

DAY 3 EXPENSES: 633 NTD + 130 PHP
Breakfast – 70 NTD
Yehliu Geopark Entrance – 130 PHP
Transportation – 263 NTD
Lunch & Dinner – 300 NTD

DAY 4

8:00 AM – Breakfast

9:00 AM – Ruifang Station

Taipei DIY Itinerary

From Taipei Main Station, we rode Keelung-bound trains and alight at Ruifang Station (49 NTD). Then from Ruifang, we have to wait for a Pingxi line train (20 NTD) bound to Shifen. While waiting, we roamed around the very provincial train station and this cute ice cream parlor got our attention.

11:00 AM – Shifen Old District

Taipei DIY Itinerary
Taipei DIY Itinerary

Shifen is a lovely old town with a train in the middle of the town. The famous activities to do here is to fly a sky lantern (150 NTD) with your wishes. There are a lot of shops to check and cats to pet too.

12:30 PM – Shifen Waterfall

Taipei DIY Itinerary

You can try to walk your way to Shifen Waterfall but I have to warn you it is a 30 minutes walk away. My family rented a taxi (200 NTD) instead to save time and our feet. There’s a little hike from the road but it is manageable. We also ate our lunch here.

3:00 PM – Train back to Ruifang Station

Taipei DIY Itinerary

Since the Pingxi line trains are just operating every hour, we waited along the Shifen station and took some photos.

4:30 PM – Jiufen Old Street

Taipei City guideJiufen Old Street is famous for its food stalls, narrow streets with red lanterns, mountainous view and the movie “Spirited Away”.

From Ruifang Station, ride a bus to Jiufen for 15 NTD.

6:30 PM – Ride Bus#1062 back to Taipei

Since everyone is tired already, we decided to skip the trains and ride bus#1062 (102 NTD) instead. This bus is a direct ride from Jiufen Old Street to Taipei.

DAY 4 EXPENSES: 782 NTD
Breakfast – 50 NTD
Transportation – 302 NTD
Shifen Lantern – 150 NTD / 5 = 30 NTD
Lunch + Dinner – 250 NTD
Snacks (ice cream + Jiufen snacks) – 150 NTD

** This is the most tiring day of our Taipei trip and it is better to just get a tour with Klook.

Klook.com

Day 5

9:30 AM – Breakfast

Slept in a little longer than usual

10:30 AM – Rent a Youbike in Ximending

Taipei DIY Itinerary

We discovered this late but this is the best way to go around the city. You just need your Easycard and local sim card. One sim card can register up to 5 Easycards. YouBike is priced at NT$10 per 30 minutes of usage, with Easycard users getting 30 minutes of each trip for FREE. There are multiple of kiosk where you can rent and return your bikes.

10:45 AM – Presidential Office

Taipei DIY Itinerary11:30 AM – Huashan 1914 Creative Park

This is a park where all the Instagram lovers will go gaga over.

12:30 PM – Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Taipei DIY Itinerary
Taipei DIY Itinerary

There’s nothing much to see and do in Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. It just a good location to have photos with Taipei 101. We also returned our Youbikes here.

2:30 PM – Maokong Gondola Crystal cabin

Taipei DIY Itinerary

Taipei DIY Itinerary

From Sun Yat Sen Memorial MRT Station, we rode a train to Taipei Zoo Station, which is just beside the Maokong Gondola. We bought a one-way ticket for 120 NTD. The crystal cabin in Maokong Gondola is the same price with the regular one. For my strong adventurers, this is worth a try. The experience is nice but Hong Kong’s Ngong Ping 360 is a lot better.

From the top of Maokong Terminal, we just bought some drinks and went down via bus to Taipei Zoo MRT Station.

4:30 PM – Taoyuan Airport mrt

After we got our luggges in our airbnb, we rode the MRT again to Taipei Main Station then transfer to the Taoyuan Airport MRT. This costs P223 in Klook.

5:30 PM – Taoyuan Airport

DAY 5 EXPENSES: 560 NTD + 223 PHP
Breakfast – 70 NTD
Youbike – 10 NTD
Maokong Gondola – 120NTD
Transportation – 110 NTD
Airport MRT – 223 PHP
Foods – 250 NTD

TOTAL EXPENSES: 14,064 PHP

Airfare – 3,000 PHP
Travel Tax – 1,620 PHP
Airbnb – P18,000 / 5 = 3,600 PHP
Day 1 (City Tour) – 615 PHP (364 NTD)
Day 2 (Beitou) – 965 PHP (574 NTD) + 578 PHP
Day 3 (Yehliu) – 1,073 (633 NTD) + 130 PHP
Day 4 ( Shifen & Jiufen) – 1320 PHP (782 NTD)
Day 5 (City Tour Pt. 2) – 940 PHP (560 NTD) + 223 PHP

 

My family and I can’t believe how cheap we did our 5 days Taipei DIY Itinerary. I didn’t do some shopping since most of the clothes, make-ups and shoes are pricier here than in Manila. Most of our money actually went to food. This is the best thing to do here. So if you wanted to do some cheap family travel, Taipei is the key! If you’re going to Taipei soon, we can talk in the comment section below!

HEADING TO TAIPEI SOON?

Click the image on the left for a detailed island travel guide that will help you more.

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32 Comments. Leave new

  • You always provide the best travel information!
    I really want to go back to Taiwan 🙂

    Reply
  • Very timely post! And I love that you cleared that if people are flying to Taiwan before October or November 2017 they still need the ROC. Though, I haven’t been to Taiwan in person but base on your photos and insights I do agree, it’s a laid back version of Hong Kong. Hoping to visit Taiwan soon!

    Reply
  • I couldn’t wait for the day or time comes that they will already declare it visa-free! Those prices for the hotels are also quite a shock! I mean, their luxury hotel accommodations are so affordable than the ones we have here, right? But anyway, it’s the first time that I encounter that expired visas from other countries or continents are considered. I do wish to witness those cherry blossoms soon!

    Reply
  • Ive been seeing a lot of friends going to Taiwan and ive been wanting to see the place myself. I like the cleanliness of the place. Been to Hong Kong already so more or less I get a picture of Taiwan in my imagination, though a little laidback.

    Reply
  • Seeing your post is a fresh air to me. I miss traveling and I also miss my cmera. Your post made me feel the urge to get a new camera or just let my old one be fixed so that I can prepare it for future photos. Especially when travelling. My friend went there few months ago and until now, he would talk about it. I guess the place is really unforgettable which makes him to decide on going back again.

    Reply
  • Taiwan is truly an underestimated traveling location but that makes it a bit mysterious. I have always wondered how different Taiwan is from China. Unfortunately. it is quite difficult to reach Taiwan from my country but my desire to visit it is higher. Thanks for such a detailed and useful review though.

    Reply
  • I can use this! I am traveling in oct 5. Yey thanks much

    Reply
  • This post is really packed with all the information needed to plan a Taiwan trip.It is nice that Filipinos don’t need visa to enter into Taiwan.Our most trip planning are affected by visa requirements.Some embassies need more details and in person visits for visa applications.So,we cannot arrange last minute tours.It seems you enjoyed your Taiwan tour much!

    Reply
  • I would actually love to visit Taiwan one day soon. I have been to Hong Kong before and I can imagine it doesn’t compare but hearing that there are more nature trails and that the people are friendlier make me want to go and visit. I would like to explore Taipei by bike, I think that cycling is a great way of seeing a city.

    Reply
  • Bf and I are planning to visit Taiwan since it’s now VISA free for us. Haha! Knowing that hotels and airfares are pretty affordable, we might go next year! Do you have suggestions for shopping destinations? Thank you!

    Reply
  • What many people don’t know is that Taiwan can be so much better than the overpriced HongKong. This guide and itinerary you did are truly helpful for first-timers. I hope more Filipinos will be encouraged to visit the country. It’s the first country I’ve stayed at for a month away from my parents and I loved it. It’s also the first country I stayed the longest with Lloyd because we stayed for almost two weeks. I feel like it’s my second home. We did’t really wander too much. Just stayed there to enjoy the food and their culture.

    Reply
  • Oh my gosh Bookmarked!!! This guide is really comprehensive and this is exactly what i need. Honestly I have never traveled outside the country yet (i just wish I have enough courage haha) but I am planning very soon.. I don’t know which country yet but Taiwan is a great place to consider.
    I love to see how you guys managed to utilized your 5 days and explore all great places in this country!
    Thank you for this detailed guide! I’m pretty sure you had a blast here and hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit Taiwan too

    Reply
  • I’m showing this one to my husband! We’ve prepared a bit for our family trip to baguio but I think with your itenerary and everything need to know about visiting taiwan… I can make kulit to him about going to taiwan instead.

    After all, this is where the F4 madness started and I’m a big fan of them.???

    Reply
  • Beaa!! I really love how informative your blogs are. Thanks for sharing the details, and will definitely take note all of these haha! And, ang ganda ng pics!! Thumbs up! ???

    Reply
  • Hi Bea,
    I have my Korean and Japanese Visa, but my husband and mother don’t have? We have a round trip ticket to Taiwan May of 2018. Do I need to get them a certificate in TECO office? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Mylene,

      NOT ANYMORE. Starting Nov 1 until July 31 2018, Taiwan is totally visa free like HK and Singapore. 🙂 Will update this post.

      Reply
  • I want to go back to Taiwan! I just realized how much more it has to offer when we were already back in Manila. Haha. This is an informative guide, Bea! Funny thing is we never used an EasyCard on our trip.

    Reply
  • Hi! Any recommendations where to exchange PhP to NTD here in the Philippines? Like money changers or banks? Some money changers don’t accept as they said that it is quite hard to find NTD. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Cams, I changed my money in the airport money changers since I also can’t find money changers outside the airport who sells. You can try on your bank dahil you can only change sa bank na may savings account ka. 🙂

      Reply
  • I’ve stumbled upon this post right on time! My parents and I will be going to Taipei next year and I’m soooo glad you added a sample itinerary that’s suited for families. It’s perfect fo rmy parents kasi for sure, they can’t walk more than 15,000 steps a day haha

    Reply
  • Hi Bea! Do you think I can pull off a 4-day itinerary and include Taichung? I really want to visit the Zhong She Flower Market. ?

    Reply
  • Hi we are planning to visit Taipei on this coming April 26-29, How many hours travel from Taoyuan Airport to Linsen North Rd. No. 131 4F?

    Reply
  • Thanx Bea! you have posted such a nice blog thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • Thank you for sharing such a nice blog, keep sharing

    Reply
  • Hi! did you reserve your sim card online? Or you just went straight to chungwa kiosk at the airport?

    Reply
    • Chungwa kiosk is already closed when we arrived in the airport. I just went to their store in Taipei City (using google maps). I didn’t reserve anything online.

      Reply
  • What a fun time and fascinating place. We laid over for a day but Taiwan is on my travel radar, for a longer term trip. Excellent post.

    Reply
  • Great blog Bea. Btw, when did you visit Taiwan? Around what month? We’ll visit kasi on March next year. Sana maabutan namin ang cherry blossoms. Hehe 😊

    Reply

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