Last 2017, Taiwan had a trial visa-free entry for Filipinos for a year and is extended for another year. So, there is no better time to visit this wonderful country than now. The “Heart of Asia” as it is dubbed, Taiwan boasts its rich culture and technological advancements to tourists.
Taiwan was not really part of our family’s to-visit-countries. But since it is now on trial visa-free entry, then off we tour this nice country.
Now, let me share to you our 4 days and 4 nights itinerary in Taiwan.
730AM – Flight from Manila to Taipei
1030AM – Arrival at Taipei Taoyuan Airport; Taiwan Immigration; claiming of luggage; and get portable pocket Wifi
12PM – Travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei Airbnb
2PM – Check-in at Airbnb and late lunch
3PM – Buy Easy Card and tour Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
5PM – Hike Elephant Mountain
7PM – Shuangcheng Street Night Market / Dinner
8PM – End of the Day
830AM – Travel by bus to Yehliu Geopark
10AM – Yehliu Geopark
12AM – Lunch
1PM – Travel from Yehlui to Jiufen Old Street (bus)
2PM – Jiufen Old Street
3PM – Travel from Jiufen Old Street to Shifen (bus)
4PM – Shifen Old Street; Release a sky lantern
6PM – Travel from Shifen to Taipei (train)
8PM – Raohe Night Market / Dinner
9PM – End of the Day
8AM – Travel to Taichung by train (TRA)
11AM – Arrive at Taián Station
1130AM – Houli Flower Farm
1PM – Travel from Taián to Taichung
130PM – Late lunch
230PM – Miyahara
4PM – Travel to Taipei by train (TRA)
7PM – Shilin Night Market / Dinner
9PM – End of Day
9AM – Check out at Airbnb
10AM – Leave luggage at Taipei Main Station lockers
11AM – Taipei 101
12PM – Lunch at Din Tai Fung
3PM – Ximending
6PM – Taipei Main Station
7PM – Travel to Taoyuan Airport
8PM – Taoyuan Airport
2AM – Flight back to Manila
Just like our Singapore-Malaysia itinerary, this Taiwan itinerary is very laid back. We were not in a haste in going after every tourist attractions just like when we were in Japan. To be fair, Taiwan has very few tourist attractions compared to the other countries we’ve visited so far.
So how was our budget?
Below is our budget for our Taiwan trip last October 2018. Note that all costs are in Philippine peso. Exchange rates used were 1 TWD = 1.78 PHP, as that was the conversion when we traveled.
Airfare. As with all our travels, we book our airfare during promo period. We booked this flight almost a year ago via Cebu Pacific’s seat sale. Airfare for one person is Php 5,331.21.
Accommodation. One of our favorite places to stay during our travels is Airbnb. We shy away from hotels as it cost a lot. We also don’t stay at backpackers or sharing type as we have a little kid and we do want privacy too. Therefore, Airbnb flats and apartments are the best for us. We stayed at a small flat in Zhongshan area which is close to the MRT. It has its own bathroom, it is clean, and with semi-complete amenities. This place is already affordable, and Airbnb gave us discounts too. Accommodation cost for 4 days and 3 nights for one person is Php 1,180.68.
Transportation. Just like Singapore and Japan, Taiwan’s transportation is quite expensive but very efficient. You can travel around Taipei using the MRT and the city buses. If you are going out of Taipei, you have options like local THSR (Taiwan High Speed Rail) which is very fast but expensive, TRA (Taiwan Railways Administration) which is fast and not so expensive, and local buses which are cheap but will take you longer to get to your destination. Easy card can be used in several transport in Taiwan. It will give you 20% discount on MRTs. Kids Neo’s age are free if they are sitting on the adult’s lap, otherwise they pay half fare for buses and full fare for MRT. Transportation cost for one person for 4 days is Php 2,185.84.
Food. Taiwan is a food haven. The street night markets sell various food selections that would make your mouth water. Food doesn’t come cheap though. You can get a delicious and cheap meal in the night markets or expensive foods at a restaurant. 7/11 also offers meals which is nice for Neo as they offer Filipino-tasting food and is not foreign to the little boy’s taste buds. We ate mostly in the street markets and buy meals at 7/11. We were thankful that a friend of the hubby treated us at Din Tai Fung. Food cost for one person for 4 days is Php 1,200.83.
Passes and Entrance Fees. For our Taiwan travel, we didn’t spend so much on passes and entrance fees as we did not spend a day at a theme park. The only places we visited that we paid for entrance fees are Yehliu Geopark (TWD80) and Houli Flower Farm (TWD120). Passes and Entrance Fee for one person cost Php 356.00.
Miscellaneous. The only miscellaneous items we spent were the lockers were we stored our luggage when we toured Taipei before going to the airport and the Philippine travel tax we paid before leaving for Taiwan. The cost for one person is Php 1993.80.
Overall, we spent ~ Php12,500 per person for 4 days in Taiwan. Do note that pasalubong expenses are excluded.