My 2013 Taiwan Trip Itinerary


Counting down the days to my impromptu 5-day trip to Taipei~~

Don't remind me that I am going to break my piggy bank again this year. I did turn down a few invitations, remind myself to keep travel at minimal and had only had New Zealand at the end of the year in mind, but situation leaves me with no choice - I need a break and that is, to go on a short trip lol. Besides, I have got the perfect travel companion, Sheryl this time round. I can't possibly miss this once-in-a-lifetime (okay, a bit exaggerated but still..) opportunity for a super duper meaningful and fulfilling trip before she becomes a Mrs in less than three months.

Since we are planning our itinerary for this upcoming trip, I dug out my 2013 Taiwan trip itinerary to recap on the places I have been to and thought I should share it on my blog too like how I did for my 2012 Korea trip itinerary that is also available here since it is rather often people I know are going Taiwan and are asking me for my itinerary or recommendations. I hope you guys won't mind the fact that this is very brief, kind of outdated and far from being the best itinerary one can find since it was my first time to Taiwan and there were too many things I was unfamiliar with. I promise the upcoming trip is going to be so much better, especially since I am bringing the travel expert along with me ^.^

- Take THSR from Taoyuan to Taichung Station (39 min/ NT$540)
- Take Nantou bus to Sun Moon Lake - Shuishe Visitor Centre (1.5hr/ NT$200)
- Check in at Harbor Elite Hotel
- Exploring Sun Moon Lake and Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

Sun Moon Lake is divided into three main areas that are served by the Shuishe Pier, where we were staying, Xuanguang Pier, where you can find the famous tea eggs, and Ita Thao Pier, where the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is located. If you are uncomfortable with taking the ferries, you can take the bus to get you to the various attractions around the lake too. There really isn't much around Sun Moon Lake late in the evening, so you might want to consider hitting the sack early to catch the sunrise the next day.

View from our room at Cing Jing ^.^

- Take Nantou bus from Shuishe Visitor Centre to Puli (35min/ NT$55)
- Take Nantou bus from Puli to Cing Jing Farm (50min/ NT$150)
- Check in at Star Villa
- Explore Green Green Grassland and Small Swiss Garden
- Dinner at Carton King

The owners of Star Villa took us up the hill to Green Green Grassland where we bought our tickets to enter the farm, feed the sheep, watch the horses, and took various long trails which included a 500-steps staircase back down to our accommodation. After which, we set off again on the 1000m sunset trail to Cing Jing Recreation Centre to have dinner at Carton King, where we then received complimentary tickets to the Small Swiss Garden. If you are visiting Cing Jing, I will recommend one to go up from Taichung and go down on the other side which leads to Hualian. Not knowing this beforehand and went down via the same direction up was one of my biggest regrets for this trip T.T

- Take bus from Cing Jing to THSR Taichung Station (2hr 20min/ NT$300)
- Visit Doraemon Exhibition
- Check in City Inn Taichung Hotel
- Play baseball at 大魯閣棒球打击场
- Shopping at Banana New Paradise and Yizhong Street
- Shopping at Fengjia Night Market

Since I am not a very shopping person, I didn't exactly enjoy my time in Taichung, which is mostly shopping at Yizhong Street and Fengjia Night Market although the items for sale here are really cheaper than in Taipei. Most of the time, I was just holding on to a street snack I got from a particular stall, slowly eating and strolling down the crowded alleys aimlessly. I think the highlight of my short stay in Taichung will be my visit to the Doraemon 100th Anniversary Exhibition. It was really quite interesting and impressive even though I am not a fan of Doraemon.

- Take rail to Ruifang Station
- Explore Jiufen Old Street
- Explore Shifen Waterfall and launch sky lanterns
- Take rail to Songshan and check in Hau Shuang Hotel
- Shopping at Raohe Night Market

We were constantly on-the-go, moving from one hotel to the next to save time on travelling although it can be a little tiring to pack everyday. Fortunately, most railway stations such as Ruifang have a Luggage Deposit Area, so we didn't have to stop at Songshan to check-in our luggage and board the rail to Ruifang again. What we did was to take the rail directly from Taichung to Ruifang, an interchange where we left our luggage and head to both Jiufen Old Street and Shifen for its famous waterfall and sky lanterns before returning and continuing our journey back to Songshan, where one of my favourite night markets, Raohe Night Market is situated.

- Lunch at Formosa Chang 胡须张
- Shopping at Wufenpu
- Check in Star Hotel at Ximending
- Performance at Somebody Cafe
- Shopping at Ningxia Night Market

We checked out early, left our luggage at the counter and dived straight into Wufenpu which is just opposite the hotel so we can spend all the time we want at Wufenpu before we return to the hotel to unload our shopping haul and head to our final accommodation in Ximending where (former) bf and I have a performance at Somebody Cafe that night. Immediately after the performance we rushed off to Ningxia Night Market, the third one in three consecutive nights. It was as if we were targeting to cover as many night markets as we can, although they are generally very similar.

Last minute practice in another performer's room =x

- Visit Danshui Old Street and Fisherman's Wharf
- Cafe-hopping at Zhongxiao Fuxing
- Performance at A House Cafe
- Shopping at Shilin Night Market

Danshui was a must-go place of mine because I absolutely love iron eggs and that is the place where they are in abundance. After I stocked up on my iron eggs supply and dropped them off at our hotel, we went down to visit some cafes at Zhongxiao Fuxing where our initial plan was to go to Mr Cat Cafe and then Hello Kitty Sweets. Unfortunately, the latter was closed for renovation so we just went to a random cafe Manor 2013 opposite A House Cafe, where (former) bf was performing later in the night. Once again, we scurried off to Shilin Night Market after celebrating a teammate's birthday.

- Shopping at Ximending
- Performance at Riverside Music Cafe
- Take cab to Taoyuan International Airport

Come to think of it, I didn't exactly "shopped" at Ximending because there was too much shopping going on in the earlier part of the trip that I practically lost all interest. Most of the time was actually spent eating, for instance breakfast at 永和豆漿大王 and lunch at 阿宗面线 or Sushi Express which my former boyfriend is in love with. It was very soon before we had to pack up and head to Riverside Music Cafe, where my final performance was, and sprint off to the airport right after the last note was played. We even arranged for a driver via a friend to pick us up to avoid missing our flight =p

So this concludes my first visit to Taiwan back in 2013!

Sorry to disappoint if you are expecting something novel, exciting and so much more than what I actually accomplished. I know for a fact that my itinerary was quite normal since I didn't exactly had time to do much research on a country I know naughts about =x But if you happen to be here to look out for some interesting places for your Taiwan itinerary, do return again next month when I'd be back and sharing about my upcoming Taiwan trip. I can almost guarantee there will be some unique finds and if not, a display of a whole lot of awesomely mouth-watering food right here ^.^

2 more weeks to go!

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