By: iamAldonLopez | February 17, 2018
You will be welcomed with the seclusion and solitude of the exceptional beauty of Taipei, Taiwan to rekindle the fire of your passion, the ardor of love and the peace of your soul.
Taiwan is known for its dramatic landscapes because it is a continent on one green island and a sweet-potato shaped island. It is also famed for centuries Ilha Formasa (Beautiful Isle). You will be amazed of how much this wondrous can be packed in this island. From the fascinating history, interesting culture to the energy of urban cities and bustling of the famed night markets. Taiwanese people are authentic, honest-to-goodness and absolutely friendly.
Taiwan has four seasons such as Spring (March – May), Summer (June – September), Autumn (October – November), and Winter (December – February). We went there during winter, so it was raining foggy and raining most of the time. If you are planning to visit there during winter season, make sure you bring bubble jacket. However, temperature will vary depending on where you are in the country.
Shandao – Lungshan Temple
Shandao is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Taipei. Shandao Temple was built-in Japanese rule period. It was called Jōdo-shū Taihoku Betsu-in (浄土宗台北別院), which was a branch temple of Jōdo-shū. (cited: wiki) This was our first stop after we arrived in Taipei as it was too early to check in. So, we exploit our time instead and visited some temples nearby.
Lungshan Temple is the most well-known temple in Taiwan. This is located in the old village part of Taipei, Wanhua District, take the MRT blue line to lungshan temple at exit 1. This temple has stood the test of time and last through several natural disasters and wars. This is one of the largest and old temples in Taiwan. Entrance fee here is free, but donations are accepted to maintain the conservation of the temple.
Chiang Kai – Shek Memorial hall
This place is located in Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan. This monument is surrounded by a park. This is the most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan. You can take the MRT Red Line or Green Line to CKS Memorial Hall.
This is formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center. It was classified as the world’s tallest from 2004 until 2010. Inside, it has a multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of stores, clubs and restaurants. It offers observation deck at 88th, 89th and 91st floor. Both offer 360-degree views and attract visitors from around the world.
National Taiwan University
This is the most prestigious comprehensive university in Taiwan. However, we didn’t go there for that reason. We visited there because my plastic friend was a die-hard-fan of Meteor Garden. She said that this school was used as filming location of Meteor Garden. And so, we even did throwback pose. It was fun though!
If you are planning to include this in your itinerary and do the same thing. NTU (Ying De University) is located at No. 1, Section 4, Roosevelt Rd., Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10617 near Exit 3 of Subway (Green) Line 3, Goungguan Station.
Shilin – Huaxi – Ningxia Night Market
Night markets around the island serve countless banquet of snacks including stinky tofu, shrimp rolls, oyster omelets, steamed dumplings, etc. They even have different types of juices from the freshest local fruits and of course, their local craft beers, aromatic teas and Asia’s best gourmet coffee.
Ningxia Night market is the first night market in the country to separate the pedestrian traffic and car traffic and can be found just a few steps away from Zhongshan MRT Station.
If you are looking for more exotic food. Huaxi market is identified with slithering reptiles which also known as the snake Alley night market. Huaxi market offers snake wine, goose, eel and squid soup and Taiwanese noodles.
Shilin Night Market on the other hand, is one of the Taiwan’s most famous night market because this area is used for trading a spot where agriculture products were exported to other port cities like Dadaocheng or Banka. This become a must-visit destination. You can try their local specialty here which are stinky tofu, stinky bean curd – a fermented snack that smells strongly of blue cheese.
Rainbow village is the new tourist attraction in Taichung, Taiwan. This village has vibrant colors and various of objects like people, animals and auspicious wordings. This colorful compound of old military houses was made 2 years ago. The whole place was painted by Mr. Wong, a very old KMT veteran who can be seen at the village on most days. This place is located at Lane 56, Chun An Road, Nantun District. To get there, take Bus number 27 from Taichung Train Station.
Taichung is well worth to visit during your travels to Taiwan. It is situated in the center of Taiwan and it also the third largest city in Taiwan. They have famous Taiwanese icons such as the bubble tea and sun cakes. Basically, there are lots of tourist spots in Taichung. To be honest we got lost during our visit there, we ended up grabbing a cab going to Rainbow village and we only had limited time to go to another destination. I’m looking forward though to visiting those tourist attractions next time when I visit Taiwan.
Chiufen village also known as Jiufen. This place is located in the northeast of Taiwan. This striking area of the villages of Jiufen were once centers of gold mining in Taiwan. The old villages were originally built by the Japanese and now a maze of lanes with closely packed houses clinging to steep mountainsides, continue to offer scenery and enchanting glimpses into the lifestyles of the past. After the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history and culture. This is now considered a profitable shopping district in Taiwan because of the numerous visitors of the village. There are hundreds of shops along the street and offers the most famous country snack, yummy dishes, and various of historical items. If you want to stay longer here, you can find a very inexpensive Inn and enjoy fishing lights at night.
Currency: The Taiwanese Currency is New Taiwan Dollar (NT$). Coins comes in dominations of 1, 5, 10, and 50 NT$ and notes in 100, 500 and 1,000 NT$.
Free Public Wi-Fi: Taiwan offers multiple Wi-Fi across the country open to visitors from abroad. In our case, we rented a pocket Wi-Fi at the Portable Wi-Fi booth in Taoyan International Airport (TPE). It costs like around 1.65 USD/day. After your trip, make sure to return the portable Wi-Fi at Taoyan. Unite Traveler Service counter #3 (Opening Hours: 5:30 AM – 1:00 AM).
Sim Card: If you would like to have more than basic Wi-Fi basic connection. You can buy 4G SIM Card. They also offer 3, 5, 7 and 10-days unlimited usage of internet and local calls.
- NT$50 for 3 days
- NT$100 for 5 days
- NT$150 for 7 days
Easy Card: You need this!!! You can buy this card at any convenient stores like 7-11, Family mart or at the MRT Stations. This is your access to MRT and other buses who accept Easy Card.
Grab App: You can use your Grab App here as well if you don’t like to use the MRT or Bus for your transport.
Visa: There are number of visa regulations that depends on your nationality. Good thing, they now allowed Philippine passport holders to enter Taiwan for 30-days free visa upon arrival. And so, we got a chance to visit Taiwan.
Where to stay: We stayed at Mini Inn situated at the heart of Taiwan near MRT in the Zhongzheng District, district in Taipei, 400-meters from Taipei Bus Station and 900-meters from Taipei Film House. There are lots of cheap hotels to choose from though. Just visit booking.com.