Love for Places
This is my first ever Travel Blog post! If you wish to get a glimpse of Taipei but do not have the budget yet, let me then take you there through my words instead. 😉 Inside includes my (edited) itinerary, preparations and bookings, special remarks on places, lots of photos, detailed expenses, and my impression on Taipei as a whole. Hope you guys find this helpful! Enjoy reading!
Before leaving Philippines, I already planned for a solo trip to Sagada (it is a mountainous province in the north region). But circumstances did not allow me to push through. When I arrived in Taiwan, it never really occurred to me to travel alone in this foreign land. For one, I am the worst person you’ll ever meet when it comes to directions. Second, well of course, it sounds scary. Third, I am the worst person you’ll ever meet when it comes to directions. Haha.
Throughout my stay here in Tainan, Taiwan, I have always traveled with a group or at least with a partner. But my longing for a solo trip that should have happened a long time ago kept on resurfacing. One day, I decided to go. Just go. I considered hiking alone, but made peace with Taipei since is sounds safer for a first time solo traveler.
And so I booked the Hostel at www.booking.com for two nights on the 24th to 26th of June for only 1438 TWD. It was a capsule hotel, available both for men and women. Here is how it looks in their page if you search for it:
It looks very enticing, right? Plus it’s a CAPSULE ROOM!!! On earlier years, these cuties are only in Japan. I dreamt of sleeping there, so when I saw it, I knew I’d have one. So much for first times eh. 😉
Since reading directions is one of my super duper bestest skills ever, I have to put an extra effort not to get lost in my escapade and to try to go back to Tainan alive and whole.
It’s a good thing that I believe that everything can be learned. 😉 And so I did learn reading directions. It took me some energy, but hey! No pain, no gain right? Reading directions is a skill to be learned, so energy used is not really wasted. 😉
Here’s a map of MRT lines in Taipei (photo not mine).
Here’s a link where you can get almost every detail you need: https://guidetotaipei.com/article/taipei-mrt-rapid-transit-subway-%E5%8F%B0%E5%8C%97%E6%8D%B7%E9%81%8B
For my itinerary, I made it in a way that I could cover most of the top places of Taipei. It is advisable to use Easy Card if you travel Taipei. Life in MRT is more convenient with it. But if you do not have it, it should be fine too. Line for ticket purchasing is not that long too.
Below is not my original itinerary. The first one I made is more packed than the one below. I woke up late each day (haha lazy ass), so my schedule pushed back too. Also, there were some heavy rains some time during Saturday and Sunday which forced me to stay in one place more than I should. Maokong Gondola should have been in the 2nd day, but as I said, thunderstorms rules. So the rides were suspended.
DAY 1: Friday RED LINE
1:00 am – 6:00 am: Travel to Taipei (Taipei Main Station)
6:00 am – 7:00 am: Travel to Beitou (Take Tamsui MRT, go down Beitou MRT Station)
7:00 am – 8:30 am: Breakfast at Beitou Park
8:30 am – 9:00 am: Beitou Library
9:00 am – 10:00 am: Museums (Ketagalan Cultural Center and Beitou Hot Spring Museum)
12:00 nn – 1:00 pm: Lunch!!
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Travel to Shilin MRT, take R30 bus to National Palace Museum
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Check in at Inn Cube (MRT Minquan) and Rest
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Taipei Confucius Temple (Yuanshan Station – closest MRT stop)
and Baoan Temple (across TCT)
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm: Taipei Exo Park
10:00 pm – 12:00 am: Dinner at Ningxia Night Market (near Inn Cube)
12:00 am – 10:00 am: Go home and rest
Day 2: Saturday
10:00 am – 11:30 am: Preparation, Breakfast and travel
11:30 am – 1:30 pm: Walk around Taipei 101 and Lunch
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Travel to Taipei Zoo (Transit at Daan MRT to BROWN LINE)
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Taipei Zoo (Taipei Zoo Station: Open 9:00 am – 5:00pm)
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Longshan Temple (Transit at Daan MRT to RED LINE
(Transit at Taipei Main Station to BLUE LINE)
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Travel to Ximen and Walk around Ximending
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm Dinner at Modern Toilet
9:00 pm – 11:30 pm Walk around Ximen; Visit Red House; Chill at Café Dalida
11:30 pm – 10: am Go home and rest (MRT Minquan)
Day 3: Sunday RED LINE
9:00 am – 11:00 am: Preparation, Breakfast and travel
11:00 am – 2:00 pm: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial MRT)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Lunch and travel to NTU hospital MRT
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: 2/28 Peace Park (NTU Hospital MRT)
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm: National Taiwan Museum
5:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Presidential Palace
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Travel to Taipei Main Station
7:00 pm – 12:00 am: Travel back to Tainan!
Initially, I planned to spend my morning in one of the hot springs in Xinbeitou, but as the weather is hot enough, I decided just not to take a dip. Or even just to go near it. I suggest you guys visit the hot spring when it is somehow cold. I would be perfect. 🙂
All the museums I went to for Day 1 is free, the temples too. I just spent money for food and transportation. The National Palace Museum, I was supposed to pay 250NTD but got the admission for free! Yey! I used my dorm key card which says NCKU (my school here in Taiwan) and showed them my invalid student ID from PH, too. Haha. Thank god it worked!
I also went to Taipei Confucius Temple and Bao-an Temple, as well. Bao-an is my personal favorite. It is simple but to me, also the one that looked the most glamorous.
In Taipei Exo Park, a lot of people are show-casing their talents. It’s like a ground for harnessing one’s skill and passion. You can see all over the place that people were practicing their moves and strings.
I woke up late, as expected. Haha. The first thing I did is go visit Taipei 101 and decided to eat my “brunch”. Honestly, when I went out of the MRT station and saw the Taipei 101 building, I was like “This is it?”. I guess I expected a bit more. But hey! It’s still one list off my bucket list! 😉 The inside is nothing more than a glamorous mall for very rich people. So I’m very glad when I saw HAPPY LEMON inside!! It’s my favorite drink way back in PH. Yeeeey!! Haha
I then went to Taipei Zoo. Planned to enjoy the view with Maokong Gondola, but the rain ruined my plan :/ Haha. I hope I have the time to go back and try the Gondola. I am very happy though that I’ve seen a freaking Pandaaaaa!! Dream come true!! I wasn’t able to cover all the Zoo’s ground. You may be able to if you ride a train. 🙂
Dropped by Longshan Temple first then went to Ximen afterwards. I had my dinner in Modern Toilet. They have weird plates. I have the photos but it seem not appropriate to include them here. Haha. Go check it out in google 😉
Walked around Ximending for a bit and spent a few hours hanging out in Cafe Dalida. Had that longed Margarita in a peaceful corner.
My third day was kind of a chill day. I ended my day early (7:00pm). I went first to CKS then spent my day mostly in the places near the NTU Hospital like National Taiwan Museum (NTU) (this is my favorite Museum), Presidential Palace, and also to 2/28 Peace Park. NTU is not a free admission but fee is cheap (only 30 NTD). The inside is soooo simple and cool. It is my favorite museum 🙂
(A) The Damage
This section is for the total expenses incurred all throughout the Taipei trip.
DAY 1 FARE (NTD)
U-bus from Tainan to Taipei Main Station = 220
From Taipei Main Station to Beitou = 30
From Beitou to Xinbeitou = 16
From Xinbeitou to Shilin = 15
From Shilin to National Palace Museum NPM) = 15
From NPM to Shilin = 15
From Shilin to Minquan = 8
From Minquan to Yuanshan = 16
From Yuanshan to Zhongshan = 16
Subtotal = 351
Note: You can go buy a ticket directly yo Xinbeitou. Only 35 from Taipei Main Station.
Day 2 FARE
From Minquan to Taipei 101 = 16
From Taipei 101 to Taipei Zoo = 24
From Taipei Zoo to Longshan = 28
From Longshan to Ximen = 16
From Ximen to Minquan = 20
Subtotal = 104
DAY 3 FARE
From Minquan to Chiang Kai-Shek (CKS) = 16
From CKS to NTU Hospital = 16
From NTU to Taipei Main Station = 20
U-bus from Tapei Main Station to Tainan = 400
Subtotal = 452
Bread and two bananas = 83
KFC = 165
Night market foods = 50 + 50 + 130
Food from Taipei 101 = 205
Happy Lemon = 70
Modern Toilet dish = 250
Ice Cream = 80 + 30
Margarita = 250
Pringles = 65
McDonald’s = 209
Subtotal = 1637
(3) Hostel (2 nights stay) = 1438
Socks = 50
Entertainment = 60
Subtotal = 110
GRAND TOTAL = 4092 NTD
Remarks: You can lessen your expenses in the food section. I eat a lot 🙂
(B) EXHAUSTION LEVEL
I felt really really exhausted because of the heat and the weight of my backpack. Too bad for me, I just knew about the lockers in the MRT stations when I came back to Tainan from Taipei. Haha. It would have a great help! Imagine a baggage-less trip! That would be more enjoyable and less tiring 😉 I was planning to spend my last few hours in H&M near Taipei Main Station (yes, there! Stop judging haha I love H&M and their sale!), buuuuut as I said, I was already too exhausted. I decided to cap off the trip at 7pm and go home to my bed to Tainan.
It was a good thing too, though. I was not that exhausted the following day because I had enough rest 🙂
(C) THE EXPERIENCE
It was totally worth it! Taipei has a lot of secrets to unravel. A very interesting place, indeed 🙂 The hustle and bustle of the people itself is a beauty to my eyes. There is something in it, to the busyness of the world around me. I enjoyed the way they ignore my existence just to keep up with their own. Well, not that I was asking for their attention 😉
I am glad that my first solo travel experience is not traumatizing. It made me want for more, actually. 🙂
Also, I gained something that will resound forever. Something I felt and traveled through. More of it in this link: https://dreamkatcherblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/traversing-the-universe-within/
I hope you guys enjoyed reading! And I hope this blog helped you in some way 😉 If you need anything, anything at all, contact me here: firstname.lastname@example.org