Monday, September 12, 2016

Taiwan trip [15-22 April 2016]

10 years after my trip to Taiwan by tour agency, this round I went on free and easy. Main places of attraction include Tai Chung, Sun Moon Lake, Cing Jing Farm, Taipei. Scoot airfare on promo at $327 (return), meal not included. Hotel bookings were made on Expedia. Although the places covered were much fewer than on tour, at least I have got the flexibility to choose my routes and timings. Complex chinese characters are no daunt.

My detailed itinerary as follow:

Descriptions / Plans
Day 1
Fri 15/4/16
Taoyuan airport --> Tai Chung

Hotel in Xitun:
Le Parker

Check in to hotel then go Feng Jia night market

Buy a ticket from Ubus counter to take it to High speed rail (HSR) stn, Ubus #705
Book HSR pass online 8-28 days in advance to get early bird promo!

Get local SIM card (the 5-day package). Buy unlimited internet data prepaid card from Taoyuan Airport (at T1, exit arrival gate, turn right, walk down the hall). Counter opens from 8AM to 10PM. Pick a suitable plan from different telcos which provide the best value.
Buy Easycard (悠遊卡like our exlink) from 7-11 stores

Buy light dinner from 7-11 to eat on the HSR train.

Can take shuttle bus 160 from HSR TaiChung Station (高鐵臺中站) towards Chinese Overseas University (僑光科技大學), alight at Feng Chia University (逢甲大学). It is free for HSR passengers with HSR receipt, so do remember to keep your HSR receipts to enjoy the free service.

Walking distance from fengjia mkt in Taichung

16, Lane 234, Chih Shan Road, Taichung Taiwan
·                            (Itinerary #128014121204)
Day 2
Tai Chung to SML (Nantou county)

Stay at YuChi: Harbor elite hotel
Take南投客運 bus from Taichung / HSR railway stn to Sun-Moon lake
Bus every 20 mins from HSR. If want to drop by Puli, take nan tou ke yun either 7.50am (depart) - 9.45am (arrive) OR 8.50am - 10.45am
南投客運高鐵站位於第 5 出入口第 3 月台,請依序上車

Formosan operating hours 9.00-5.30:

Can take cable car or ferry across the lake to themepark if we want to.

No need package. Take bus tour Wenwu Temple (文武廟), Itashao (伊達邵), Chaowu Wharf (朝霧碼頭) , Dragon and Phoenix Temple – Matchmaker God(龍鳳宮月老廟) & Shuishe Pier (buy from Shuishe Visitor Centre, see timetable

Purchase at Shuishe visitor centre
Other attractions: 日月潭孔雀園

B/fast included next morning.
No.113, Jhongshan Rd., Yuchih Township, Nantou County 555
Day 3
Cing Jing

Green green grassland

Carton King
Swiss garden

Stayover at Ching jing homeland resort
From SML take NT bus to Cingjing (transfer at Puli)
Can get a bus + shuttle + discount to Green green grassland package from the Puli interchange 

Sheepshearing show at 2.30pm

Dine there and can get free admission to Small Swiss garden :)

 No.206-2, Renhe Rd, 南投縣 Taiwan 886 (49) 2803988
B/fast included. Can check out at 11am
Day 4
He Huan Shan - Taichung - Taipei

Check out from Cing Jing--> Tai Chung -> Taipei

Hotel TBC
Sunrise viewing (book with minsu or Okbus)

Take NT shuttle from Cingjing to Taichung. Timings: 9.10/9.55/10.40am
OR book bus

Beitou hotspring

Day 5-7
Tue to Thu
Alight at Xi Men stn

Diary of Taipei

No 152 Zhong Hua Road, Wanhua district, Taipei City 5th floor.
Check in to Diary of Taipei, Xi Men station exit 6.

Can go around via subway in Taipei.

Attractions to visit around Taipei:

  • Yehliu National Park
  • Viewing gallery @taipei 101
  • Sun Yat Sen Memorial, then walk to Taipei 101
  • Shopping at Xi Men Ding
  • Shihlin night mkt
  • Shida night mkt
  • Raohe night mkt
  • Shifen waterfall
  • Jiufen
  • Wufenpu clothes shopping

Day 8
Taipei--->Taoyuan airport --> Home
Check out of hotel in morning
Have lunch at Taoyuan airport before flying off

Day 1 - Taoyuan to Taichung, Fengjia night market
Day 2 - Nantou, Sun Moon Lake
Day 3 - Cingjing, He Huan Shan sunrise
Day 4 - Taipei, Shilin/ Jiantan, Fisherman's wharf
Day 5 - Taipei, Ximending, Jiu Fen, Shi Fen, Sun Yat Sun's memorial
Day 6 - Taipei, Yeh Liu, CKS memorial, Taipei 101, Yong Kang Street
Day 7 - Taipei main station underground shops, Wufenpu, Raohe night market
Day 8 - Ximending, Taoyuan Airport back to SG


My observations from this Taiwan trip:
  • Taiwanese love dogs and doggies are everywhere. Just that this time round I don't see people shopping around with pet digs in their handbag as compared to 10 years back.
  • Motorcycles are still driving all over the walkways, no difference from 10 years back.
  • Cannot throw toilet papers into the toilet bowls.
  • Temperatures at mountainous terrains are significantly different from Taipei. I have been to places as cold as below 10 deg and to places as hot as 30+ deg within my short stay last week.
  • You can get to almost anywhere on buses with a youyou card. Cabs are freakin expensive to take.
  • Taiwan chilli are not hot but Ah Zong mee sua's one is the chilli king.
  • Street stores shoes and clothes are relatively cheap. The clothes are mostly imported from Korea, shoes are made in Taiwan.

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