Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Taiwan trip - Prologue

After 7 months, I'm finally travelling again. I'm going to Taiwan, a place which I wanted to visit since 2 years ago. Due to some reasons, I didn't have a chance to go. Almost most of my friends have been to Taiwan, now it's my turn!

My 1st trip to Taiwan is mainly to visit the places outside Taipei as I'm travelling wif my sis and she went to Taipei before. I'll definitely go to Taiwan in the future so probably I may even visit Taipei alone since it's quite easy to navigate.

My original plan was to visit Taiwan for 21 days. I even booked the ticket when the promo came out in Dec07. However due to some reasons, I have to amend my plan to a week. Well at the time of promotion, the airtix is $88 for one way trip and adds up to $365 after taxes. My sis went to Taiwan 2 years ago and the ticket was $79 for one way trip and $248 after taxes. Now it's $113 more expensive, all because of taxes. Due to amendment of my plan, I have to change the departure and arrival date. This cost a whopping $168 more and partly is due to $60 increase in taxes. My advice is try not to change your flight if you book with budget airline. That's definitely very expensive cos once you have change the flight date, you got to top up for the current tax price.

I have started to do my trip research since Dec last year. After researching for almost 4 mths, I have almost finalised most of itinerary. It's not that the itineraries are is difficult to plan but the logistic of travelling from one place to another. All my previous trips are much easier compared to this, probably the duration for all the previous trips are shorter except my HK trip. However HK is so much smaller than Taiwan. Well, if I were to plan a trip to Taipei only, it's definitely much much simple.

Here my itinerary goes:
Day 1: Arrived at Taipei @ 6pm, Shilin Night Market 士林夜市
Day 2: Yehliu 野柳, Jinguashih 金瓜石, Jiufen 九份, Keelung 基隆
Day 3: Wulai 乌来
Day 4: Taroko Gorge 太鲁阁,Chisingtan 七星潭 & Cingshui cliff 清水断崖 @ Hualien 花莲
Day 5: Taipei 台北 & Alishan 阿里山
Day 6: Alishan 阿里山
Day 7: Alishan 阿里山 & Taipei 台北, Raohe Night Market 饶河夜市
Day 8: Ximending 西门町,Depart for Airport @ 3.30pm

My accommodation in Taipei is Keysman Hotel 怀宁旅店. It's within 5 min walk from the Taipei main station. My sis and I choose a hotel which is near the Taipei main station cos we would be taking bus and train almost everyday. There are few hotels near the Taipei main station and the rate is higher than those at Ximending. Taipei main station is like our City Hall MRT station but there is also train station, high speed rail station and bus interchange which make it very accessible. The rate at Keysman hotel is NT$1,820 on weekday for twin beds n NT$2,040 on weekend including breakfast.

My accommodation in Alishan is Xin Xin Min Su 欣欣民宿 which is within 5 min walk from Alishan train station. As it's the sakura season, the rate is more expensive. It cost NT$1,500 for twin beds w/o breakfast.

For the day trip at Taroko, we book a private cab with Mr Lu Laifu's 吕来福 which cost NT$2,000 n to Cingshui cliff cost additional NT$500 more. Hp: +886-09-28569081 (Drop '0' when calling from Singapore).

My main concern is the train tix from Chiayi to Alishan cos train tix can only be bought at Chiayi train station. There is no online booking or telephone booking which makes it difficult for foreigner to purchase. Furthermore it's the peak period. Luckily Ms Lin from Xin Xin Min Su recommended Mr Li (Hp: +886 93287 9842) to me. He sell the Alishan train ticket at cost and charge a service charge. Since we managed to buy train ticket to Alishan, we decided to take bus on the return trip to experience a different scenery.

According to Mr Li, there are 2 type of bus from Alishan to Chiayi. One is the 'Da ba 大巴' n the other one is 'Xiao ba 小巴'. The difference is that for Xiao ba, it will stop at Fenchihu for about an hour and another place which I don't remember. We choose the Xiao ba cos we intend to visit Fenchihu and try the famous 铁路便当. We just have to pay him on the day that we collect the ticket from him at Chiayi train station which makes it very convenient for us. However, he did remind us to call him the day earlier to reconfirm.

In this trip, my sis and I would try different mode of transport - MRT, train, HSR (high speed train which similar to Japan's bullet train), bus, taxi, tram, cable car etc.

Almost 90% of my research is from this forum: Tons of very useful information.

All the accommodation and train ticket would be paid only when we are in Taipei. 

My budget is S$1,300 
- $300 for accommodation
- $300 for transport
- $200 for meals
- $500 for shopping


Connie said...


Do you still have Mr. Li contact number that help you to buy the Alisha Train Ticket? Is it possible that you can give me his contact? I hope to hear from you. Thank you!


Jerlin Tan said...

Hi Connie,

Mr Li contact no is +886 93287 9842.


Chris@Taiwan^^ said...

hey~informative details ya!^^likes~