“Being underestimated is one of Taiwan’s beauties”, a line I read from a travel article which I only believed the moment I stepped outside the Taipei Main station exit.
My trip to Taiwan will probably be my most unforgettable trip in my lifetime. I traveled solo, lost my phone, and shamelessly swam a lake inside a nature park. Such a crazy girl on an unexpectedly crazy adventure!
Keep a copy of the Metro Train Map to know how many stops it will take and know you’re heading on the right direction to your intended destination.
Starbox Hostel is just a short walk from Zhongshan Station, which is along both the Red Line and Green Line and just one station away from Taipei Main Station on the Red Line. I hope you easily see that in the middle of the map.
Navigate around Taiwan with the help of Google elaborated here as I confidently navigated around Japan where “everyone gets lost”.
Read my detailed daily itinerary and expenses at the end of this article.
Day 1. Taoyuan International Airport Arrival, Tian Yuan Chery Blossoms, Yangmingshan National Park / Datun Nature Park, Shilin Night Market
Day 2. Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Yehliu Geopark, Yinyang Sea, 13 Layer Remains, Golden Waterfalls, Jiufen, Shifen Waterfalls, and Shifen Old Street, Ximending Night Market
Day 3. Taipei 101, Daan Park, Xiangshan Park, Elephant Mountain, Raohe Night Market
Day 4. National Palace Museum, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Taoyuan Airport
You may notice that my photos are limited. Well, this is because I lost my phone at that beautiful lake at Datun Nature Park while I was at Yangmingshan National Park.
Wait, there’s more, I swam that lake to try to retrieve my phone. Did I shamelessly swim in vain? Yes. It was such an epic and humbling experience. What a trip-starter for someone who is traveling abroad alone for the first time.
These photos are even shot from the cheapest smartphone I found and bought on my second day in Taipei.
So, you see, this 4-day itinerary with details below is my ideal itinerary. I just modified it a bit during my visit as I had to go back to Yangmingshan National Park to at least have a remembrance of my walking-turned-swimming adventure in Taipei.
This was a crazy solo trip for me. My epic first day was just the unexpected cherry on top of the icing on the already beautiful cake called Taiwan.
I was smiling from the moment I arrived to the moment I had to go back home, with quite a roller coaster of emotions in between.
Enjoy Taiwan! I know you will. 🙂
|Taiwan Itinerary for 4 Days|
|On Conversion: NTD100 ~ Php165|
|On Time Zone: GMT + 8 (Same with Philippine Time)|
|Day 1||Taoyuan International Airport Arrival, Tian Yuan Chery Blossoms, Yangmingshan National Park / Datun Nature Park, Shilin Night Market|
|1:00 AM||Check in at NAIA.|
|3:00 AM||ETD to Taouyan Airport (Taipei) from NAIA. EVA Air provides breakfast for all passengers.|
|5:30 AM||ETA at Taoyuan Airport. Get free maps at the airport. Claim Easy Card (P164 in Klook and load (NTD1200 ~ Php2000 is already enough for 4 days for this itinerary) and Pocket Wifi (~PHP82 per day x 4 days = 328 in Klook) at Unite Traveler Counter 1, International Arrival|
|6:00 AM||Take the Airport MRT to Taipei Main Station. No transfers. Fare: NTD140 ~ Php230, Travel time: 35 minutes.|
|6:45 AM||From Taipei Main Station, walk to Starbox Hostel (1.2 km, 8 – 15 minutes walk, Free) or transfer to the Red Line for the train from Taipei Main Station to Zhongshan Station (1 stop, 2 minutes, NTD20 ~ Php33). Use Google Maps for real time navigation.|
|I recommend walking. It’s your first Taipei exploration as you roll your luggage on the streets.|
|7:00 AM||Check in at Starbox Hostel and leave bags at lobby area (Rooms are available after standard check in at 2 to 3 pm)|
|You can already use the hostel comfort rooms to freshen up before starting your day in Taipei.|
|7:30 AM||Walk to Zhongshan Station (550 m, 3 – 5 minutes walk).|
|Take the Red Line train from Zhongshan station to Tamsui station (17 stops, No transfers, Travel time: 53 minutes, Fare: NTD50 ~ Php 82)|
|8:30 AM||Take Tamsui Station Exit 2 and follow the signs for the cherry blossoms near Tian Yuan Gong (the best place to see cherry blossoms) which will lead you to not miss the very long queue to take Bus No. 875 towards Beixinzhuang. Alight at Tian Yuan.|
|Travel time: 30 minutes, Fare: NTD 15 ~ Php25|
|9:00 AM||Enjoy the cherry blossoms! (Spring Season for Taipei is late January to early April, make sure to check before booking.)|
|10:00 AM||Make your way to Yangmingshan National Park. Buses at the parking area of Tian Yuan arrive every 30 minutes to take you to Tamsui station. (Travel time: 30 minutes, Fare: NTD 15 ~ Php25)|
|10:30 AM||Take the train from Tamsui Station to Jiantan Station (13 stops, Travel time: 44 minutes, Fare: NTD40 ~ Php65)|
|11:15 AM||Lunch at Jiantan Station (NTD100 ~ Php164). You can buy good food at Jiantan Station and eat while queuing for the bus to Yangmingshan National Park. The queue and waiting time can take long.|
|Take Bus R5, or Bus S15 or S17 to Yangmingshan Bus Terminal. (Travel time: 37 minutes, Fare: NTD15 ~ Php25)|
|12:30 PM||Enjoy Yangmingshan National Park.|
|Take Bus 108 to Erziping / Datun Nature Park or take Bus 125 for the flower clock. You can do both, just manage your time. Make sure to confirm the last bus trips to Yangmingshan bus terminal from where you are within the park and to Jiantan station from Yangmingshan Main Bus Terminal.|
|5:00 PM||Take Bus 111, or Bus R5, or Bus S15 or S17 to Jiantan station. (Travel time: 37 minutes, Fare: NTD15 ~ Php25)|
|5:45 PM||Walk from Jiantan station to Shilin night market. (350 m, 2 – 5 minutes walk).|
|Enjoy Shilin. Stroll around. Dinner (NTD100 ~ Php165)|
|Take train from Jiantan station to Zhongshan station. (4 stops, Travel time: 9 minutes, Fare: NTD20 ~ Php33).|
|Settle things at Starbox Hostel.|
|Estimated Expenses: PHP1,350.00 (including Pocket Wifi for 4 days)|
|Day 2||Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Yehliu Geopark, Yinyang Sea, 13 Layer Remains, Golden Waterfalls, Jiufen, Shifen Waterfalls, and Shifen Old Street, Ximending Night Market|
|7:00 AM||Eat free breakfast at Starbox Hostel|
|7:30 AM||Take the Red Line train from Zhongshan station to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall station (3 stops, Travel time: 6 minutes, Fare: NTD20 ~ Php33)|
|7:45 AM||Enjoy Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. Stroll around.|
|8:30 AM||Take the Green Line train from Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall station to Ximen station (2 stops, Travel time: 4 minutes, Fare: NTD20 ~ Php33)|
Take Ximen Station Exit 4. Walk 10 – 15 meters to GaKuDen Bakery and board shuttle bus with Klook logo for Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, Shifen, Northeast Coast Day Tour. (Php838 in Klook)
Alternate Tour Packages: (Click the links to book or view the details)
|Jiufen Shuttle Bus from Ximen (Php838 in Klook)|
|Remarks: No visit to a nature park and the coast|
|Jiufen Village & The Northeast Coast (Php1960 in Klook)|
|Pros: Convenient hotel pickup and drop-off within central Taipei, Afternoon tour only, can visit other places in the morning|
|Con: Relatively more expensive|
|Yehliu, Jiufen, and Shifen Day Tour with Taiwanese Pastry Making (Php1050 in Klook)|
|Remarks: With additional activity (pastry making), No visit to the waterfalls|
|Choose the tour package that suits you and your budget.|
|9:00 AM||Depart to Yehliu Geopark|
|10:00 AM||Enjoy Yehliu Geopark. Walk around.|
|11:10 AM||Depart to Yinyang Sea|
|11:55 AM||Enjoy Yinyang Sea and 13 Layer Remains|
|12:10 PM||Depart to Golden Waterfalls|
|12:20 PM||Enjoy the Golden Waterfalls|
|12:30 PM||Depart to Jiufen|
|12:40 PM||Enjoy Jiufen. Walk the Jiufen old street which is full of really good food. Lunch (NTD100 ~ Php165)|
|The best place to buy goods for folks back home. They offer deals like Buy 5, Take 2 or Buy 3, Take 1 for mochi, nougats, etc.|
|2:40 PM||Depart to Shifen Waterfalls.|
|3:20 PM||Enjoy Shifen Waterfalls. Walk around.|
|4:10 PM||Depart to Shifen Old Street.|
|4:20 PM||Explore Shifen Old Street. Stroll around.|
|5:30 PM||Depart to GaKuDen Bakery (near Ximen Station Exit 4)|
|6:30 PM||Arrive at GaKuDen Bakery.|
|Walk to Ximending Night Market (300 m from Ximen station).|
|Explore Ximending Night Market. Dinner (NTD100 ~ Php165).|
|Ximending Night Market also offers good deals. Best place to buy stuff for folks back home. Good quality shirts and jackets are sold at NTD100 ~ Php165.|
|Possible Hindrance: If the goods you bought from Jiufen are too heavy, you can go back to Starbox Hostel (Green Line Ximen station to Zhongshan station, 2 stops, Travel time: 5 minutes, Fare: NTD20 ~ Php33) and just go back to conveniently roam around Ximending Night Market.|
|Estimated Expenses: PHP1,300.00|
|Day 3||Taipei 101, Daan Park, Xiangshan Park, Elephant Mountain, Raohe Night Market|
|7:00 AM||Eat free breakfast at Starbox Hostel|
|8:00 AM||Take the Red Line train from Zhongshan station to Daan Park station (4 stops, Travel time: 17 minutes, Fare: NTD25 ~ Php41)|
|8:30 AM||Enjoy Daan Park. Stroll around. Walk around. Enjoy the trees and the forest.|
|10:00 AM||Take the Red Line train from Daan Park station to Taipei 101 station (3 stops, Travel time: 9 minutes, Fare: NTD20 ~ Php33)|
|10:15 AM||Walk around the city outside Taipei 101.|
|Walk far from the iconic building called Taipei 101 to get a good shot with it.|
|Enjoy the urban vibe and the city.|
|12:00 PM||Visit the Taipei 101 Mall. Lunch (NTD100 ~ Php165)|
|You can purchase the Taipei 101 Observatory E-ticket here (Php822 in Klook) to climb up to the observatory in the 89th floor with the “world’s fastest elevator” and take in the amazing 360 degree views of Taipei.|
|2:00 PM||Take the train from Taipei 101 station to Xiangshan station. (1 stop, Travel time: 3 minutes, Fare: NTD15 ~ Php25|
|Take Exit 2. Enjoy Xiangshan Park before walking to the start of the trail to Elephant Mountain.|
|3:00 PM||Follow the signs to Elephant Mountain. Walk up the trail. Best time to visit is at sunset. Best view of the Taipei 101 building for me is from the Elephant mountain. 🙂|
|3:30 PM||Enjoy the view (and the good exercise!). The rock view takes 500 stair steps.|
|5:00 PM||Start to go down the trail.|
|Take the Red Line train from Xiangshan station to Zhongshan station (10 stops)|
|Transfer to the Green Line from Zhongshan station to Songshan station (5 stops, Total travel time: 45 minutes, Fare: NTD50 ~ Php82)|
|6:00 PM||Raohe Night Market is right outside the Songshan station exit.|
|Dinner (NTD100 ~ Php165).|
|Stroll around Raohe Night Market|
|Take the Green Line train from Songshan station to Zhongshan station (5 stops, Travel time: 14 minutes, Fare: NTD25 ~ Php41)|
|Estimated Expenses: PHP560.00 (excluding Taipei 101 Observatory admission)|
|Day 4||National Palace Museum, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Taoyuan Airport|
|7:00 AM||Eat free breakfast at Starbox Hostel.|
|7:30 AM||Take the Red Line train from Zhongshan station to Shilin Station (5 stops, Travel time: 11 minutes, Fare: NTD20 ~ Php33)|
|Take Shilin Station Exit 1.|
|Ride Bus R30 or other buses that will take you to the National Palace Museum. Ask around to make sure you ride the right bus to the National Palace Museum (Travel time: 15 – 30 minutes, Fare: NTD15 ~ Php25)|
|8:30 AM||Enjoy National Palace Museum. Stroll around.|
|You can purchase the National Palace Musem E-Ticket here (Php578 in Klook).|
|9:00 AM||Ride Bus R30 or other buses that will take you to Shilin station. Ask around to make sure you ride the right bus to Shilin Station (Travel time: 15 – 30 minutes, Fare: NTD15 ~ Php25)|
|9:30 AM||Make your way to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall.|
|Take the Red Line train from Shilin Station to Taipei Main station (6 stops)|
|Transfer to the Blue Line from Taipei Main station to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall station. (5 stops)|
|Travel time: 36 minutes, Total Fare: NTD45 ~ Php74)|
|10:15 AM||Stroll around Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall.|
|You can take a good shot with the iconic Taipei 101 and the Taiwan flag on the grounds.|
|10:45 AM||Take the Blue Line train from Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station to Ximen Station. (6 stops)|
|Transfer to the Green Line from Ximen station to Zhongshan station. (2 stops)|
|Travel time: 31 minutes, Total Fare: NTD45 ~ Php74)|
|11:30 AM||Check out.|
|Walk to Taipei Main station and take the Airport MRT. OR|
|Recommended (Tip: The Airport MRT Line is nearer to Beimen station):|
|Take the Green Line train from Zhongshan station to Beimen station (1 stop, Travel time: 3 minutes, Fare: NTD20 ~ Php 33)|
|Transfer to the Airport MRT Line from Beimen station to Taouyan International Airport (Travel time: 35 minutes, Fare: NTD140 ~ Php230)|
|12:30 PM||Check in at Taoyuan Airport.|
|Lunch (NTD100 ~ Php165)|
|3:30 PM||ETD from Taoyuan Airport|
|6:30 PM||ETA NAIA, Mania|
|Estimated Expenses: PHP660.00 (excluding National Palace Museum admission)|
|Estimated Expenses for 4 Days: Php3,870.00|
Estimated expenses exclude my actual booking on promotional prices and travel tax:
- Accommodation in Starbox Hostel (P500/night x 3 nights): Php1,500 (with free breakfast)
- Manila to Taipei Roundtrip: USD125 ~ Php6400 (with full course meal and 30kg check in baggage) via EVA Air
- Travel tax: Php1620
- This excludes all other expenses not specified in this itinerary.
- Expenses on food is also just an estimate and will vary depending on what and where you choose to eat.
- Actual prices may also have changed.
- Spend frugally!
Taiwan Trip Notes
The Taiwan Metro Train Map is the simplest train map I’ve encountered so far. It is enough to easily navigate around Taiwan. Just research beforehand where to board and where to alight.
Google provides real-time navigation and real-time train and bus schedules from your specific destination. Just encode your specific departure and arrival stations on the search bar.
My air fare, accommodation, pocket Wifi and tour package were already booked before this trip. See complete list below. Click each highlighted item to book or know the details.
Easycard (For trains, buses, and store payments)
3 nights near Zhongshan Station, Taipei Main Station, and Beimen Station with free breakfast at Starbox Hostel
More convenient with a tour bus and tour guide due to the distance from Taipei and number of destinations to visit:
Other destinations like the ones listed below can be reached easily by train and/or bus but if you want convenience, you can click on the links below and book. Read the detailed itinerary below on how to visit the places by commuting.
1) Taipei Double Decker Sightseeing Bus 24-Hour Ticket and Maokong Gondola Combo Tickets (For Taipei 101 Tower, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Ximending, Maokong Gondola etc.)
Manila to Taipei Roundtrip via EVA Air (With breakfast and 30 kg checked in baggage for all passengers)
- Visit the night markets for dinner and lots of good food and good deals every night! (Shilin Night Market, Raohe Night Market, and Ximending Night Market)
- Researching how to go to your intended destination pays.
- Ask around if you get lost or aren’t sure.
- I found walking around Taipei safe and clean. Enjoy! 🙂
Travel Tips From Yours Truly
Natasha is a full-time banker who gets to take a breather when she travels. She loves being challenged. Adventures and whatever engages her logic get her excited.