Taiwandering 2018

Detailed itinerary of our Taiwan Trip.

August 30, 2018

Took a red eye flight to Taiwan to maximize our weekend.

August 31, 2018

Arrived and passed through the immigration in a swift. Got our WIFI in the Unite Traveler Kiosk and we’re good to go.

Portable WIFI Rental by KKday

Good thing a friend’s mom arranged for a car to pick us up. We were surprised that it was actually a Benz. 😀

What a nice ride! Thank you to our sponsor auntie. 😘

If you do not have an auntie who can sponsor your ride, you can either take the airport taxi – a few taxis were waiting in the taxi stand. There are also fixers who offer you a ride, but this is scary. I think the best thing is to book a Klook Pick Up Car Service. I have checked and it’s about Php1400.00. This is both convenient and safe.

We arrived in our hotel way earlier than expected. We can’t check in yet so we just deposited our luggages and off we went to explore the area – at 3am!

Tomorrow Hotel – Ximending

Most of the shops are already closed. The only shops open are the Watsons outside the hotel and the 7-11 beside the hotel.

Out front there is a Toy Catcher Shop that I think never closes. And you can see these kind of shops all over Taipei.

We didn’t know that Carrefour is open 24 hours. If we did, we might have stayed there and browse the aisles slowly. It’s only a 15 minute walk from the hotel.

We managed to find a restaurant that is open. It closes at 4am. So we have an hour to relax and to eat. It’s a quaint Japanese restaurant with a 3 man team.

Their menu is limited since it’s almost closing time when we arrived. So we just settled for these.

It’s a little cold so we ordered a clam soup.

Clam Soup

I love Gyoza and theirs had a thin buttery and crispy flake.

Gyoza

We also ordered a Beef Rice Toppings

Beef Rice Toppings

This was our super early breakfast. Tasted great especially the beef.

We again roamed around to check the area if there are still shops open, turned out Ximending closes at 1 or 2am.

We eventually found ourselves in a 24 hour Mcdonald’s nearby. Just like in Hong Kong, food order must be in their kiosk. This Mcdonald’s is pretty nice.

Thank you to to Mcdo for letting us stay for 3 hours. We stayed here until the night 🌚 turned into day.🌞

This was the first time we did it and it’s not highly recommended! Better catch an earlier flight and just book a hotel so you could have rest before charging on to your itinerary.

After preparing ourselves, we head on to our tour. I booked this with Klook – Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen Shuttle Bus Tour from Ximen. The bus will take you to Northern Taiwan and back, particularly Yehliu, Jiufen and Shifen. You can enjoy these places without having to worry about getting there. The bus meet up point is just walking distance from our hotel. GaKuDen Bakery is located at Exit 4 of Ximen Station.

For an 8:30am bus, we need to be there by 8:15am. The tour guide, York, checked on our vouchers and let us in on the bus. York is an English speaking tour guide so it’s very easy communicating with him. He is knowledgeable and he gives out advices on the best things to try out, the best food to eat and the best places to go to! He is the best!

Toured Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen from 8:30am to 6:00pm. This was a long hot and wet day for us.

Super hot when we were in Yehliu. A little humid when we were in Jiufen. Rain fell down when we were in Shifen.

To read more about this tour, check Klook: Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen Daytour

We were back at Ximending by 6pm. Decided to check in our hotel first before having dinner.

Tomorrow Hotel Taiwan

After resting, this was about 9pm already, we went down to enjoy Ximending. It’s the weekend so the place was packed! People walking down the streets, chattering, eating, and laughing. I love the vibe!

Here are some of the sights that night!

September 1, 2018

Woke up late to recharge. First on our list today is to have a meal at the Original Din Tai Fung Branch. But before anything else, we bought a 24 hour Taipei Metro Pass. This is only NTD180.00 or about Php 320.00. You get unlimited train and bus rides within the Metro line.

Din Tai Fung’s First Branch can be found in Zhongzheng District. To get here, take the train and alight at Dongmen Station (Red Line), then take Exit 5. Go straight and you’ll find Din Tai Fung in Xinyi Road.

Original Din Tai Fung – A Review

While waiting, we managed to discover the pastry shop called Red Sakura. Aside from yummy pastries, they also have a lot of Hello Kitty themed pastries and cookies, plus some merchandise.

After eating the best xiao long baos (steamed dumplings), we took the train and went to visit Taipei 101.

Taipei 101 used to be the tallest skyscraper until Burj Khalifa snatched the title. However, in 2011, it was awarded the tallest and largest green building in the world.

We alighted at the Taipei 101 Station

There is a high end mall and they have an exhibit that day. Take a look at some of the artsy Marvin the Martian displayed.

A few minutes in the outdoors and a few more minutes inside the mall, off we go to our next destination.

Back to the train and off to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. Take the Exit 5 and you will be greeted by the magnificent structure that is the National Theatre.

Exploring Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

The rain poured yet again while we were there, got so drenched – shoes wet, clothes wet – no choice but to go back to the hotel and change.

Someone informed us to drop by the Taipei Underground Mall, which can be reached through the Taipei Main Station. Except for the extensive food selection, there’s not much to do here.

Back on the train again to head to Raohe Street Night Market – known to be the oldest night market.

Literally a stretch of food kiosks of a variety of yummy treats. It’s a bit out of the way to get here. At the end of the Green Line, Songshan Station is where you can find Raohe Street Night Market. Take Exit 5 and walk a few steps, once you see the temple, Raohe is on the left.

After eating at Raohe, went back to the train station again, to the Red Line, to Jiantan Station. Take Exit 1 to get to the biggest night market, Shilin Market.

Shilin Market has a lot of these balloon games, where you could win a stuffed toy for your bae.

Check out what we ate at Our Taiwan Food Trip.

September 2, 2018

Went to visit my uncle in the morning. Checked out of the hotel already so that we don’t have to be back by 11:00am check out time. Unless we want to be charged NTD 200.00 per hour of excess.

Back at Ximen Station by 10:59am, this is the end of our 24 hour Metro Pass. Went straight to the place where we have been buying our pork floss since we were kids.

Learned that Carrefour (the 24 hour grocery) was just around the corner. Bought biscuits and rolls for our kids. Took the taxi cab for NTD 80.00 to get back to the hotel in just 3 minutes!

Bought some more pastries at Red Sakura. Repacked our luggages to stuff the things we bought.

Walked around Ximending for the last time. Chilled at this Jap Resto by the alley of the hotel.

Until the driver picked us up to send us to the airport.

The end of our trip! Hope you enjoyed and learned a thing or two from our trip.

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Airbnb booking!

Instead of the usual expensive hotel, we booked an Airbnb home. It’s still not cheaper compared to a guest house in Korea but I think the house we chose will suit us!

When you search airbnb, there’s a wide selection of houses and units available for rent for travelers and tourists alike.  It’s so hard to choose.  You have to take into consideration a lot of things. 
1) length of stay – knowing how long you will stay there actually helps.   The hosts usually give discounts depending on your length of stay. You could also check the availability of the unit on their calendar.
2) number of persons traveling – be careful when you’re booking because some hosts charge extra in excess of stated number of persons.
3) accommodating host – while you are searching for the perfect place, you could always ask additional info from the hosts.  Some are very nonchalant, but some could be very nice and accommodating. You should choose a host like that, so if any problem arises when you are already there, you can be sure that he/she will help you.
4) location – knowing where you are going is important. That way, you will be choosing a home that’s within the area or at least, near a subway station so it will be very convenient to go to and fro.
5) amenities – the home we chose has a washing machine, a huge fridge, an oven toaster, a big tv and an electric cooking stove. It’s your home away from home.
6) Egg – portable wifi – the host will lend you an egg, which is a portable wifi, so you could use it for your travel needs.

Our total accommodation expense is Eur 544 converted by my credit card company at Php 28542.02. That’s good enough for 6 days stay with 4 adults and 2 kids.

Here are some pictures from our host.

image

Just a preview.  So nice right?  Can’t wait to live here!

To check for an Airbnb home, go to http://airbnb.com

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