Summary of Taiwan Experiences
Tour Taiwan – 8 Days 7 Nights
Summary of Our Experiences
Date of Tour : 30 October – 6 November 2012
Days Spent : 8 Days (Tuesday to Tuesday)
Airlines: Scoot (Budget Airlines)
Flight Hours: About 5 hrs (Direct)
No. of Travellers : 2 adults & 1 child (4 yr-old)
No. of Counties Visited : 4 ( Chiayi, Nantou, Taipei, Hualien)
No. of Places Visited : 25
No. of Homestay B&B / Hotel Stayed in : 5
Train Stations Visited: Taoyuan High-Speed Rail / Chiayi HSR / Taichung HSR/ Taipei Metro / Taipei Railway/ Ruifang Railway / Pingxi Line Railway / Hualien Railway
Where We’ve Been
(For Detailed Itineraries, Scroll Below)
- Day 1 – Arrival Taoyuan Airport / Chiayi – Alishan National Forest Recreation / Fenchihu Old Town / Homestay B&B – Alishan Tea Garden
- Day 2 – Morning Tea Garden / Shueishe Pier / Itashao / Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village / Sun Moon Lake Restaurant / Homestay B&B – Doris Home
- Day 3 – Cycling Around Sun Moon Lake / Aowanda National Forest Recreation / Cingjing Little Swiss / Homestay B&B – Misty Villa
- Day 4 – Cingjing Farm Green Green Grassland / Taichung HSR to Taipei HSR / Shin Shih Hotel / Miramar Entertainment Park / Shilin Night Market
- Day 5 – Pingxi Railway Line Tour ( Houtong, Shifen Old Town, Shifen Waterfall, Pingxi Old Town) / Taipei 101
- Day 6 – Jiufen Old Town / Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park / Ximending
- Day 7 – Arrival in Hualien – Taroko Gorge / Qi Xin Tan /Hualien City Food and Explore / Fireworks & Sky Lantern in Homestay B&B – Hualien Bay
- Day 8 – Morning Sea / Farm Animals in Hualien Bay / Back to Taipei / Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall / Departure
- All accommodation reviews summarised in this post.
- Our collection of Taiwan souvenirs
Our Top 5 Favourite Places
How We Got From One Place to Another
- Public Transport – High-Speed Rail (HSR) / Normal Taiwan Railway (TRA) / Shuttle Bus (To Miramar) / Flag a Taxi on the road/ Boat-ride / Cable-car Ropeway
- Booked Transport – Hired Taxi Drivers via email communication while we were in Singapore. Met up when in Taiwan by calling them. Booked them for at least 1 DAY to get to places we decided. We did our own tour with our own itinerary, not arranged by them but on the road, they offer suggestions too. Their contact is available in our trip report posts.
- High-Speed Rail Time-table & Fares 台灣高鐵: http://www.thsrc.com.tw/index_en.html
- Easy-Card ( 悠遊卡 ) for travelling on Taipei Metro : http://www.tscc.com.tw/english/index.asp
FREE – For children below 115cm and below 6 years old. (Was free for Dar)
Concession Cards – Senior citizens aged over 65 or people with disabilities; Children with a height between 115cm and 150cm or who are aged between 6 and 12 years old.
- Good Metro Map to use.
- Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Buses for travelling between major tourist attractions & train stations: http://www.taiwantrip.com.tw/Profile/
- Ubus: 10-minute interval starting from 6:30am at Terminal 1
Fare：Adult NT$30、Children/Senior/Disabled NT$15 / Bought at U-BUS counter in Arrival Greeting Hall.
Tips on Travel In Taiwan
- Book the Taroko Express Train to Hualien in advance. We specially booked it two weeks before our day in Hualien through online transaction and collected the tickets when we reached Taiwan. This is to guarantee us a seat as the train is very popular for morning timings.
- Do the Pingxi Line Tour on a weekday. We had other natural places to go which we wanted to do on a weekday so we had no choice but use a Saturday to tour. We had to stand all the way on the crowded train and almost couldn’t get on once. The intervals between the train is quite long. Missing the arrival results in a long wait.
- Visit Alishan / Aowanda / Taroko or any recreational forest in the early morning. That’s when you do not see tour buses of tourists. They usually come near afternoon.
- Taxis or cabs are abundant and one can also hire on-the-go but we prefer to book reliable drivers for a particular place for a day to do our own tour. Some normal taxi drivers on the road might not be familiar with place you are sight-seeing and might drive a longer way or get lost. Taxi drivers around scenic places have a different license than those who drive around the city. The ones who drive in the city area goes by the meter and doesn’t do whole day tours. Taxi drivers that do whole day tour can discuss the rate according to the hours spent and the distances between the places. Different rates apply as it is customized.
- An adaptor is needed for electricity as Taiwan uses electric current of 110 volts at 60 cycles. (For things originating from Europe, Australia or South-East Asia)
- Food is sold onboard the High-Speed Rail but only in the afternoon and night. We bought our food bentos from the convenience store in the station and ate them in our train journey. Small foldable table is available behind each seat.
- 7-eleven convenience stores sell hot drinks & some hot food, staff would help to microwave packaged food and washrooms are available inside the stores.
- We bought a pre-paid unlimited 3G Sim card to use with our phone for the eight days. NRIC and Passport is needed for proof and microsim version is available for iphone.
The most popular telco service is 台灣大哥大. Unlimited SIM Cards3G fun心預付卡(售價$345)
Cost of Transport
- U-Bus Shuttle to Taoyuan HSR: 2 Adult Tickets – NT$60 (abt SGD$2.60)
- Taoyuan HSR to Chiayi HSR : 2 Adult Tickets – NT$1840 (abt SGD $78)
- Taichung HSR to Taipei HSR: 2 Adults – NT1400 (abt SGD$60)
- Shuanglien Metro Station to Taipei Metro: 2 Adults – NT$32 (abt SGD$1.36)
- Taipei Metro to Ximen Metro Station: 2 Adults – NT$40
- Taxi up to Jiufen from outside Ruifang Station: Fixed Rate- NT$180 (abt SGD$7.60) Could also take bus at NT22/Adult but we didn’t
- Taipei TRA (自強) to Ruifang Station (to go Jiufen or do Pingxi line tour): Single Trip: 2 Adults – NT$152 (SGD$6.50) | Return Trip: 2 Adults – NT$272 (abt SGD$11.60)
- Pingxi Line 1-Day Rail Ticket: 2 Adults – NT$108 (abt SGD$4.60)
- Taroko Express TRA from Taipei to Hualien – 2 Adult Return Tickets – NT$1584 (abt SGD$67.50)
- Some other miscellaneous taxi fares not recorded as we don’t remember: Miramar to Shilin / Taipei 101 back to hotel.
- Booked Mr Zheng for 4-days ( Customised specifically, some discount since 4 days ) with child-seat :
Chiayi to Homestay/ Alishan / Fenchihu – NT$3500 (abt SGD$149)
Alishan to Sun Moon Lake – NT$4000 (abt SGD$170)
Sun Moon Lake to Aowanda/Cingjing – NT$3000(abt SGD$127.8)
Cingjing to Taichung HSR – NT$2000 (abt SGD$85.2)
- Booked Mr Li for 1-day Taroko Tour – NT$2200 (abt SGD$94)
- Hired Mr Tu from Jinguashi to Taipei hotel – NT$1000 (abt SGD$42.60)
- Hired Mr Tu from Taipei to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to Airport- NT$1100 (abt $47)
Cost of Accommodation
- Alishan Tea-Garden Homestay: NT$3000 (1N)
- Doris Home: NT$2800 (1N)
- Misty Villa: NT$2660 (1N)
- Shin Shih Hotel: NT$8040 (3N)
- Hualien Bay: NT$2200 (1N)
- Total: NT$18700 (abt SGD$797)
Our Detailed Itinerary
- People were asking for our itinerary…so decided to post it here. We planned it to the dot with timings so we don’t miss our transport. 🙂
- These itineraries are a record of actual places we visited and we managed to visit ALL that we had planned before the trip with slight deviations in timing. Only a few eateries were unplanned. I had also included the actual timings in these itineraries during our trip. (timing data from the photographs we took)
PLEASE DOWNLOAD FROM GOOGLE DOC: TRAVEL SNAP STORIES – TAIWAN DETAILED ITINERARY