Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

Taiwan Travel 2015 – Itinerary in Taiwan for 5 Days

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Here’s my second post for the Taiwan Travel 2015 series. The first one is about applying for a Taiwan tourist visa in the Philippines and this post is all about our itinerary for 5 days.

Let me share a few tips first.

We went to Taiwan last April 8-12 and the weather was really cold which was not what we expected. I’ve been monitoring the weather since January and I have been checking forecasts for April. A week prior to our departure, the weather in Taipei and Taichung were already hitting 27-30degrees (Manila at that time was at 34degrees). Who would’ve thought that it will be somewhere between 13-14degrees when we got there?

The highest temperature recorded while we were there was around 21-24degrees in Taichung but except for the first day when it was around 13-14degrees, the general temperature when we were there ranged from 17-18degrees.

As a tip for those of you who will be traveling to Taipei around the first to second week of April, while it may generally be reported to be sunny and warm, it is safer if you prepare a jacket that can keep you warm in case the weather turns out to be really cold. And there are also rains and/or showers during this month so bring a raincoat and/or umbrella with you.

Also, if you’ll notice in our itinerary below, we visited mostly locations in the countryside. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent with you and if you can afford not to wear anything white, do so. There are areas where geckos are abundant and we were informed that they are pretty much attracted to white.

You may also want to bring a flat-pin plug with you in case the hotel you’re staying at doesn’t provide an adaptor. A power bank is also very handy. We got a wifi/data plan from the airport that can serve up to four users for TWD795. The average useful time of the wifi gadget is approximately 4 hours. That means you will need to bring a power bank with you if you want to keep your wifi running all the time.

And finally, don’t forget to write the name of your hotel and all the places that you’re visiting in Chinese characters because it’s hard to find someone from there who speaks English. Taiwanese are friendly and helpful but it’s hard to communicate because only very few of them can speak the English language.

And that’s it! So much for my tips, I’m now ready to share our itinerary. Lezgow! 🙂

Day 1 – Manila/Taoyuan/Taichung

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We flew PAL because we felt that we’re at our age where if we can afford the extra convenience and comfort when traveling, we’d rather choose non-budget airline. At the time I booked our tickets, roundtrip airfare plus travel tax was about P11,000~ per person which was not bad.

I have contracted Jerry Travel to pick us up from the airport and to drive us around for 3 days where out of town trips are scheduled. The one who picked us up and drove us around Taichung was Uncle Jack and I highly recommend that you contact him when you are in Taiwan. His cellphone number is +886933179143. He’s kind, nice, helpful, thoughtful and while he doesn’t speak fluent English, he went the extra mile to download an English translator app so that we can communicate better. However, Uncle Jack was with us only for the Taichung leg of our trip. The other driver assigned to us in Taipei was not as nice and helpful as Uncle Jack.

So upon arrival at the airport, Uncle Jack picked us up and drove us all the way to Taichung. We first went to Lavender Cottage and that’s where we had our first lunch in Taiwan. After that, we went to Carton King in Taichung which is the largest of all branches around Taiwan. On our way to the hotel in Taichung City, we stopped for a short pictorial at the Rainbow Military Dependents’ Village.

Day 2 – Taichung/Miaoli County

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Uncle Jack picked us up from our hotel. We checked in at Holiday Inn Taichung Park which I also highly recommend because we got a room for only TWD2,200 a night and it already includes buffet breakfast.

Our first stop was at the Chungshe Tourism Flower Market. This is a place that you should not miss when you are in Taichung! We also dropped by Longteng Bridge on our way to Shengxing Station. Our last stop was at the Flying Cow Ranch which I initially thought would be appreciated only by my son but it turned out that all of us loved it. Another place that you should not miss when in Taichung.

Day 3 – Taichung/Taipei

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From Taichung, we transferred to Taipei on Day 3 via the High Speed Rail. We checked in at Amba Hotel in Ximending. After having a quick rest, we headed to Longshan Temple and reached Bopiliao Old Street a few minutes before it turned dark. We went to Taipei 101 for dinner and saved some space for Shilin Night Market.

Day 4 – Taipei

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We went out of Taipei again on Day 4 and we were picked up by one of the drivers of Jerry Travel. We went to Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen Old Street, Golden Waterfall and Shifen Waterfall. It was raining that day so we had to drop Shifen Old Street from our itinerary. At night, we explored Ximending and also bought last minute pasalubong from Carrefour, a 24-hour supermarket in Ximending.

Day 5 – Taipei/Manila

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Before flying back to Manila, we visited Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in the morning. After that, we headed to Yongkang Street for lunch. That’s where you can find the Michelin-star Din Tai Fung restaurant. However, Din Tai Fung can test your patience because the queue is very long. Just beside Din Tai Fung is Kao Chi which has long been overshadowed by Din Tai Fung but serves equally delicious or even tastier dishes.

More photos and details will be up next. Stay tuned! 🙂

*Photos in this post are a mix of my own photos and those of my friend’s. His name is Romy Bautista and he takes really good photos. All of his photos have been watermarked as such. If you want to see more beautiful photos from all of his travels, visit his Facebook Album here.

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