Taipei, Taiwan : Budget Travel Guide
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Taipei, Taiwan : Budget Travel Guide

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Taipei, Taiwan was never on top of my list to visit this year but when the VISA requirement was waived for Filipino tourists, I thought I might have to check it as well. After traveling to Japan last summer, I have pledged to be very picky with my travel dates. Doing urban travels on a summer will definitely kill your vibe so when it was fall season in Taiwan I knew it was the perfect time to go.

Just more than an hour away by air from the Philippines, I flew to Taiwan with CEBU PACIFIC AIR! I arrived at around 2am in the morning but good thing there’s like a lounge or an area at the airport where travelers can take a rest until the sun starts to rise. I actually headed to Alishan, Taiwan during my first day but for this blog post, let’s assume that I kicked it off in Taipei.

Yung sa abroad ko lang talaga nagagawa mag-OOTD ng ganito. Subukan mo mag ganito sa probinsya if gusto mo ma-judge. Hahaha!

VISA-FREE

Grab the opportunity and travel to Taiwan now while it is still visa-free for Filipinos! All you need would have to be a valid Philippine passport, round-trip airline tickets and your accommodation vouchers to prove that you are coming back. I noticed that those who seem like overseas workers took a little more time in the immigration so please ready yourself to be questioned about your purpose in visiting Taiwan. There were a lot of reported cases about Filipinos doing TNT in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I didn’t have problems in the immigration for my record shows that I’m a frequent traveler.

CURRENCY

For easy computation, I multiply the NT$ to ₱1.65 or round it off to ₱1.5 for quick estimates. Hahaha! Also, never have your money exchanged at the airports! It’s a no-no. Look for changers in the metro where rates are good. I’d normally bring US Dollars as well instead of ₱ whenever I travel abroad to maximize conversion.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS TO TAIPEI

Taoyuan Airport is an hour away from Taipei. You can either choose to take the Taoyuan Airport MRT or the bus. For convenience, I’d suggest that you take the train going to Taipei. The train system operates at 6am to 11pm and the express train will take you around 40 minutes to get to Taipei from the airport. Book your discounted airport transfers with KLOOK HERE.

Even their subways could look this good.
Alone but not lonely.

WHERE TO STAY?

I always make it a point that whenever I travel, I should be staying somewhere near train stations. Believe me, you’ll run out of energy as soon as your day tour ends and you wouldn’t want to walk for another mile just to get to your room. LOL! So if you ever go to Taipei, book your accommodation somewhere near Taipei Main Station.

For budget travelers, I would highly recommend HOMEY HOSTEL TAIPEI. It’s located just a few blocks away from Taipei Main Station and the price is reasonable at only ₱900++ per night. They have private rooms and also dorm-type rooms to fit your need. What I loved about HOMEY HOSTEL is the communal feel of the place which remained true to its name. I’ll create a separate blog post for this hostel next.




Use the search engine below to book discounted rooms.

Book your discounted rooms in Taipei, Taiwan now before it gets full. Use the search engine to BOOK NOW!

TOP ATTRACTIONS IN TAIPEI

ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN
Xiangshan Station (Red Line 2)
Entrance: FREE

I found a great spot to frame the Taipei 101 building from the Elephant Mountain side.

TAIPEI 101
Station: Taipei 101 Station (Red Line 2)
Entrance: NT$600
Skip the long lines and get discounts if you book with KLOOK HERE.
klook-book-now-banner

CHIANG-KAI SHEK MEMORIAL HALL
Station: Chiang Kai-shek (CKS) Memorial Hall (Red Line 2 or Green Line 3)
Entrance: FREE

Go as early as you can to get away with photobombers.
It still looked good even under rehabilitation.

TOURS OUTSIDE TAIPEI

YEHLIU GEOPARK

Situated at the coastal area, this park is known for its unique rock formations. I didn’t get the chance to explore this massive natural wonder as the weather was bad during our time of visit.

How to get there?
There is an organized shuttle service that will bring you to top attractions such as Yehliu, Golden Waterfall, Jiufen and Shifen all in a day. It leaves at 9am and ends at 5:45pm. If you want a hassle-free tour, I suggest you take this one.

Book with discounted rates at KLOOK HERE.
klook-book-now-banner

If you want to pull a DIY, look for the North Coast Bus at MRT Tamsui Station or Keelung Station. Fare is at NT$200. Your concern here is if you miss the bus, you’ll have to wait for the next schedule and it might ruin your itinerary for the day.

The day the Earth stood still.
I was in awe with this natural wonder in Taiwan!
Thank you OSAH for my keeping my stuff dry at all times!

JIUFEN

Jiufen is a mountain town in Taiwan known for its narrow alleys packed with teahouses, street-food shacks and souvenir shops.

How to get there?
There is an organized shuttle service that will bring you to top attractions such as Golden Waterfall, Jiufen and Shifen all in a day. It leaves at 9am and ends at 5:45pm. If you want a hassle-free tour, I suggest you take this one as you’ll SAVE A LOT!

Book with discounted rates at KLOOK HERE.
klook-book-now-banner




If you want to pull a DIY, take exit 1 at MRT Zhongxia Fuxing. Get on a Keelung Bus Route 1062 to Jinguashi. Ask to be dropped off at Jiufen. It will take an hour to get there and fare is at NT$102.

Shot by instagram.com/jm.sabariaga
Follow instagram.com/jm.sabariaga

SHIFEN

Located in Pingxi area, Shifen is known for its old streets and is filled with rich traditions, interesting attractions such as the Shifen Waterfall.

How to get there?
There is an organized shuttle service that will bring you to top attractions such as Golden Waterfall, Jiufen and Shifen all in a day. It leaves at 9am and ends at 5:45pm. If you want a hassle-free tour, I suggest you take this one as you’ll SAVE A LOT!

Book with discounted rates at KLOOK HERE.
klook-book-now-banner
If you want to pull a DIY, go to MRT Muzha Station and take the BUS 1076 going to Pingxi.

ALISHAN

This is A MUST!!! While Taiwan is more popular for its capital city, Taipei, it is in Alishan where I enjoyed a lot. Here you’ll see gigantic and towering cypress trees concealed in mist (if you go during cold months), take a ride at the old-school train to the Alishan mountain and enjoy the panoramic views of massive tea plantations.

How to get there?
It can get a little tricky to pull a DIY here, so I recommend that you book an organized tour with a private driver. This will save you from all the hassle and missed train and bus rides to get to Alishan. You may choose between a 1-day or 2-day tour to Alishan. As for us, we availed of the 2-day tour for we wanted to see the sunrise and sea of clouds in Alishan Mountain.

Get huge discounts if you book a tour with KLOOK HERE.
klook-book-now-banner

The towering trees in Alishan Mountain.
The Forks in Twilight feels.

HOULI FLOWER FARM

Take a breather and have fun in this vast land of wildflowers in Taiwan. This spot is sure to fire up your Instagram gaming!

How to get there?
Take the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) from Taipei to Taichung. If you plan to explore the rest of Taichung and you’re in a group, it’s better that you rent a car with a personal driver.

By Ms. Che Billones

SNOW MOUNTAIN

This is the second highest mountain in Taiwan and tourists go here to check the ice-capped mountains. Snow is real in Taiwan!

How to get there?




I haven’t been here yet but normally, tourists would rather get a private car to bring them to Yilan which is the closer entry to the Snow Mountain. You may also get on a train from Taipei to Hsinchu (pick-up place). Then meet your private driver there to bring you to Nantou.

Snow Mountain is love!
Let it snow! Let it snow!

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 1- Yehliu, Shifen and Jiufen

2AM Arrival at Taoyuan Airport
6AM Airport Transfer to Taipei Station – ₱265
– Walk or take a taxi to Homey Hostel
7AM Check in at Homey Hostel – ₱900
– Breakfast
9AM Start of Yehliu, Shifen and Jiufen Tour – ₱1,137
* Book here with KLOOK now for huge savings!
6PM End of Tour

Food – ₱500
* 500/day is just a suggested budget and you can either go lower or higher than this. Taiwan could get cheap when it comes to food if you know where to look. There are 100php meals enough to fill you in. If you eat at restaurants, expect the price to shoot up of course. Personally, I never liked Taiwanese food at all. Haha! Food at restaurants and even those served during our tours weren’t that good for its price. Sorry that’s just me though.
Total – ₱2,802

Day 2-Taipei Tour

7AM Wake-up call and breakfast
9AM Start of city tour
*Purchase a 24-hour Easy Card for convenience since you’ll be taking lots of train transfers on this day. – ₱300
– Visit Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
There are 2 options via MRT. From Taipei Main Station, choose Tamsui line (red line) to Xindian. From Ximen MRT station, choose green light line, both of lines will directly to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall MRT Station.
– Visit Sun Yat Sen Memorial
From CKS Memorial Hall, take the train to Xinyi Rd & Xinsheng Rd. Intersection. Walk 80 meters to cross and take another train to MRT Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station. Once arrived, walk 210 meters to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall.
– Visit Elephant Mountain
From SYS Memorial Hall, get to the station and take the train from Kuanghua Market to Wu Xing Elementary (Zhuang Jing). Once arrived, walk 850 meters to the Elephant Mountain jump-off.

Food- ₱500
Total – ₱800

Cebu Pacific Air flight from Taipei to Manila is scheduled at 4am. So if you wish to save some cash, you may do the following on Day 2.

1. Check out and leave your things at the hostel before starting your Day 2 itinerary.
2. Make the most out of your time in every tourist spot and as soon as your done for the day, go back to your hostel and pick up your stuff.
3. You may then proceed to the airport and just wait for your flight there. There are areas in the airport where you can take a rest. 🙂

Day 3- Departure

Taipei Station to Airport- ₱265
Total – ₱265

TOTAL 3 Days / 2 Nights EXPENSES: ₱3867

  • Please note that this budget expectation is only to give you an overview of the possible expenses when in Taipei. Again it all boils down on how YOU spend you money in there.

OTHER EXPENSES

ALISHAN TOUR

– If you have more days to spend in Taiwan, this is a MUST VISIT! It’s best to go here during spring or fall season. Price: ₱2,831.

Get huge discounts if you book with KLOOK HERE.klook-book-now-banner




POCKET WIFI

– I loved the speedy internet connection all over Taipei. Stay connected 24/7 by picking up your pocket wifi right at the airport. Get unlimited text messages, incoming calls and internet access and turn your phone into a hotspot and share the connection with your travel buddies to cut down on cost. Price: ₱792.

Get huge discounts if you book with KLOOK HERE.
klook-book-now-banner

TAIPEI 101

– If you’re into observatory decks, then you should check this out as Taipei 101 offers one of the best panoramic views of Taipei. Price ₱859.

Get huge discounts if you book with KLOOK HERE.
klook-book-now-banner

SHIFEN LANTERN

– Flying a lantern in the old streets of Shifen costs ₱300.

SHOPPING

– Taipei is a great place to shop; I was so drawn with their men’s fashion sense!

TAIPEI, TAIWAN just #gotMARKed!

Don’t forget to follow my adventures on INSTAGRAM!

Thank you so much to my sponsors OSAH for keeping my stuff dry at all times and GLOBAL GEARS for my action cam accessories. Get yours now!

Also, check out my budget travel guide on how to BACKPACK INDOCHINA for 7 days with ₱12,000+ budget!

For DISCOUNTED Taiwan attractions and convenience, book your tours with KLOOK!
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05 Comments

  1. Angel

    What camera did you use po?

    March 8, 2018 Reply
    • Mark Roa

      Fuji XE1, Sony RX10, iPhone and Gopro. 🙂

      March 16, 2018 Reply
  2. Hail

    Hi, your blog is very informative and so far one of the best blogs I’ve read about Taiwan. We are planning to visit Taiwan this coming first week of April and wanted to ask more details if possible about the alishan mountain. We tried to check on Klook but it seems that their pick up is on limited areas. Looking forward for your response and thank you in advance.😊

    March 12, 2018 Reply
    • Mark Roa

      Thank you so much for appreciating. 🙂 I think it will be more difficult if you do Alishan ala DIY though that’s why we opted with Klook for convenience. Just learn the part going to their pick up area and you’ll be fine after that. Sorry I got no time to go over this on detail ha since I’m currently on a trip. 🙁 I hope you book with Klook through my link. hehe THANK YOUUU!!! <3 Safe travels!

      March 16, 2018 Reply
  3. Angelique

    Awesome blog Mr. Mark. Wish we had booked on a fall or spring season. Your photographs are incredibly insane. My bestfriend and I will be visiting Taiwan this July, (humabol kami sa visa free opportunity.) any tips to do on a summer day in Taiwan? Thank you again for this post.

    May 13, 2018 Reply

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