Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Exploring Taiwan

After dreaming for nearly a year, last December 2016, I finally went to Taiwan.
Special THANKS to my FEU student Ms. Nicol Afundar for my itinerary and  for almost all the things and information in this travel blog! =)

Day 1

Travel Essentials: EasyCard (Yoyo card) QR code reader 

Budget hotels to consider in Taipei: Star Hostel Taipei MUIU Capsule Inn 

Taipei Attractions: Taipei 101 Elephant mountain Yehliu Geopark (Rock formations) Jiufen old district (*Mango shaved ice) Chang Kain Shek Park Sun Yat Sen Park Taipei Zoo Maokong Gondola Yangming Shan Beitou Hotsprings Tamsui 

Kaoshiung Attractions: Love River Liuhe night market or Reuifeng Kenting National Park (Beach) Buddha Memorial Center (Fo Guang Shan/ Giant Golden Buddha) 

Shopping Districts: Taipei Shilin Night Market Raohe Market (Clothes) Ximending Market (Branded/gadgets) 

Food to try
Ximending – Misua 
Jiufen – Mango Shaved Ice 
Taipei Sanbao Fan/ Asado Rice 
Taipei 101 - Din Tai Fung Dumplings

The Travel:

I was supposed to have the City Tour in the morning but I decided to have the afternoon tour in the itinerary prepared by Ms. Nicol Afundar.

From TamSui Line. I took the MRT Red Line to Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf Boat.

Arriving at the wharf, I transferred to the opposite side via the round trip boat transfer.

I explored the other side of the spot using the bike that I rented.

Then, I went back to Taipei for my City Tour.

First Stop: National Palace Museum

I'm in Taiwan!

Second Stop: Traditional Taiwanese Temple.

Third stop: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

This is one of the best spots to visit in Taipei. 

The structures are simply fascinating!

A place to explore, wander and get lost!

Picturesque  view!

Fourth stop: Presidential Building

Day 2
Kaoshiung Tour

From Taipei, Keelung City,  I took the high speed rail (bullet train) to Kaohsiung, Gushan District. The price of the fare is more or less PhP5,000. It took me 1 hour and 36 minutes to reach the city. Fastest speed was 330 km/hr.

Shouzan Zoo 
How to get there:
Upon arrival in Kaoshiung main station, Formosa Boulevard, switch MRT lanes from Red to Orange. Alight at Yangchengpu Station (Orange Line) and proceeed to Shoushan National Park. Hike or ride the Bus 56 to Shoushan National Park Shoushan Zoo.

After the zoo, I proceeded to Pier 2 Art Center (Southwest from station) and tried to have the Love River Cruise (30 mins via solar-powered boats). Unfortunately, the tour was available only at night. 

Later, I proceeded to the Lotus Pond. I took the MRT ride back to Formosa Boulevard and switch to RED lane. Then, alighted 5 stops to Ecological District Station. From that stop, I took a 20-minute walk to Lotus Pond.

Places to explore:
Tiger and Dragon Pagodas
Spring and Autumn Pavilion
Shrines and temples

Last stop for the day was the Ruifeng Night Market.

How to get there

Ride MRT from ecological District to Kaoshiung Arena.  Head west to night market.

Unfortunately, there are days when the night market was open and it was closed during that day.

Day 3
CHIUFEN Chiufen Village and Northeast Coast Tour 

How to get there
Take Railway to Ruifang Station (roughly 40-50 min ride). 

Tour stops: 
Chiufen Village Pitou Cape 
Nanya Rock Formations
Bay of Two Colors

Jiufen Old Street

After my 4 hour tour, I went back to Taipei and proceeded to Maokong Gondola.

Last stop of the day,  the most famous attraction in Taiwan - Taipei 101

During my stay in Taiwan, I made it a point to visit the famous night markets in Taiwan, namely: Shilin Night Market,  Raohe Market,  and Ximending Market. My personal favorite is Raohe for its various street foods.

Day 4 

I did not finish all the spots in my itinerary. Instead, I went back to some my favorite spots. My reason - I intend to go back to Taiwan and continue my journey at a later date.

I will surely miss the street foods in Taipei.
Till my next visit!

Again, special thanks to Ms. Nicol Afundar!

The Itinerary

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