TEAM UY TRAVELS TO TAIWANTaiwan is a massive island miles away from the northern part of the Philippines. With more than just two hours travel via plane from Manila, you can already peek into the bustling city and vast greenery of this independent region of Republic of China (ROC). Travelers have two options for their arrival destination: Taoyuan (Taipe) & Kaohshiung (the southern part of Taiwan).
If you are a first timer, I suggest you to land in Taoyuan Airport and explore the city of Taipe for it offers free cultural sites and beautiful tourist destinations. And for our neighboring Asian countries, you may want to take this opportunity to visit Taiwan as it has relaxed its visa rules for individuals from ASEAN countries such as Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and as of this writing, Filipinos can enjoy entering the island visa-free for 14 days until July 31, 2018. Details about visa-free entry to Taiwan can be found here. After this period, travelers might need to secure “Travel Authorization Certificate” or E-visa before traveling to Taiwan.
Filipinos may book their flights to Taiwan thru Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Round-trip tickets to Taipe are quite cheaper compared to Japan and South Korea. It will only cost you P1000 to P4,000 for early booking.
For 5 days trip to Taiwan, I certainly suggest to focus in Taipe City and the northern part. And if you are traveling with your little ones, then these top sites will make their tummy happy and fall in love with Taiwan. Taipe travel with a kid is just a piece of cake.
4 HOT SPOTS IN TAIPE CITY
If you want to food crawl, night markets in Taipe are best places to go to. These are numerous so you really need to plan well and choose the night markets you want to visit. Top night markets are Shilin, Raohe, Ximending and Ningxia. Almost all Metrorail stations have its night market which offers delectable foods ranging from street food style to cuisine style. For the prices, the cheapest night market is the one in Shilin. On the other hand, Ximending is like the Myeongdong of Seoul or Divisioria of Manila. I’ll write another article about guide to street night markets in Taipe.
Taipe 101 is formerly known as Taipei World Financial Center. Boasting its height of 509.2 m, this iconic feat of engineering was once the highest structure in the world. This is similar to the Skytree of Tokyo, Japan and Namsan Seoul Tower of Seoul, South Korea. You may buy discounted tickets at Klook to visit its outdoor observatory on the 91st floor on a clear day. Take note that if weather permits and not cloudy, the staff will allow the visitors to go to its highest level but in case of bad weather or cloudy sky, the 91st floor will be closed and viewing area will be on the 89th floor only.
Upon entering the elevator, I suggest you to stand near the door so you can see clearly and video record how the world’s fastest elevators arrive at the top in just 37 seconds. Photos and souvenirs are available in the observatory areas. If you can’t spend splurge on this tour, you can still visit Taipe 101 building while being frugal. The 1st floor to 5th floor are open to public and no any entrance fee. You can shop until you drop or window shopping in the extensive shops, restaurant and grocery mart.
How to get there: (MRT) Take the Red Line 2 (Xiangshan train) going to Taipei 101 station (台北101). After entering Taipei 101, head up to the 5TH floor to purchase a ticket for the observatory
Entrance Fee: P1067 (Klook price is P907)
Taipe zoo is home to around 300 animals including those from tropical, rainforest and zafari. For only P300, you’ll get to see panda, tiger, camel, hippopotamus, elephant, fox, monkeys, etc. Before going to zoo, wear comfortable shoes or sneaker because the trails are long and bring some bottles of water to hydrate yourself.
Aside from visiting the zoo animals, you can also ride the Maokong Gondola from the Taipe zoo station up the mountain and be mesmerized with the aerial view of the beautiful forest side by side the city. Take note that this is not for the fainted hearts and those with fear of heights. The ride may last 10 to 15 minutes and wind disturbance may cause the cable car shakes. If you’re looking for adventure, wait for the Crystal Cabins, the glass-bottom cars so you can vividly see the breathtaking views of Maokong, a quaint village in the mountain where you can drink tea.
From Taipe Zoo, you can hop to another sightseeing area, the Elephant Mountain where you can see the full view of the city and the Taipe 101.
How to get there: (MRT) At Nanjing Fuxing Station (green line), transfer to Wenshan-Neihu (brown) line going to Taipei Zoo
Entrance Fee: P300
NATIONAL CHIANG KAI SHEK MEMORIAL HALL
Never leave Taiwan without paying respect to its late leader of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai Shek. Visit the most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan, the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and be amazed with its magnificent landscape and monumental palace halls such as the National Concert Hall and the National Theater. The good thing is you can enter and stay there as much as you want for free!
The highlight of the tour is to witness the march of The Honor Guards in the morning or afternoon. I suggest to visit the place in the afternoon and watch them exit the memorial hall. At night, the palace ground looks vibrant and majestic.
How to get there: (MRT) Walk to Longshan Temple Station Blue Line. Alight at Ximen Station Green Line. Arrive at Chiang Kai Shek Mem’l Hall
Entrance Fee: FREE