Friday, 21 February 2014

Taiwan trip – Prologue

Taiwan is a place which I always wanted to return as there are many places to explore and many variety of food. Moreover, hubby and I have never visit Taiwan together before. I came across Jetstar promotion which pays to go and comes home for free. The return fare including taxes is very tempting at $202 only. There are several travel periods and we decided to travel from 22 Feb to 2 Mar as it's harder for me to take leave at the beginning of every month.

I choose to depart at 1am as it doesn't make much difference to the 7am flight. I wouldn't be able to sleep much if I have to catch the 7am flight and I can also save on the midnight surcharge.

Typically it is recommended to spend at least a week in Taiwan as there are many places to visit. Well, this is my 3rd trip to Taiwan but I have yet to visit those attractions in Taipei. Hubby has visited some of the attractions in Taipei so I decided to visit Kaohsiung, Sun Moon Lake, Cingjing farm, Pingxi train line, Beitou and Danshui.

With the HSR, travelling from north to south in the western side of Taiwan is a breeze and time saving. There is early bird discount ranging from 10% to 35% for online booking of HSR ticket. The early bird discount is release exactly 28 days before at 12am sharp. I have managed to book 3 early bird discount tickets and saved almost S$40 per pax. It is stated on the website that if passengers with early bird ticket is unable to catch their train, they may take other available trains on the same day provided that they top up the difference between the original price and discounted ticket.

Taiwan Tourism Board is very nice to give out free gift for independent travellers who have purchase the air ticket and make hotel booking. The free gift which I have collected for this trip is NT100 night market voucher. Sometimes the free gift is not very good as it can range from MRT card to airport bus ticket to souvenir voucher.

Free WIFI access in Taipei can be registered online in selected countries instead of registering on the spot at the visitor tourism centres while registration for free WIFI in Taiwan cannot be done online and can be registered at various Tavel Services Centre in Taiwan.

As I'll be travelling to few places in Taiwan, I'll be staying in various hotels which I have indicated in the itinerary below. The rate for the hotels which I have booked range from S$70 - S$100 a night. Breakfast are provided at Legend Hotel, Tan Hui Hotel and Misty Villa.

Itinerary for this trip:
Day 1: Reach Taiwan @ 6am, The Dome of Light @ Formosa Boulevard Station, Cijin旗津, Liuho night market 六合夜市 & Nanhua Night Market 南華夜市
Accommodation: Legend hotel 秝芯旅店

Day 2: Singuang Ferry Wharf 新光码头, Ocean Star 海洋之星, Shopping @ Yujhu Shopping District 原宿玉竹商圈 & Sinjyuejiang Shopping District 新崛江商圈, The British Consulate At Takao 打狗英國領事馆, Rueifong night market 瑞丰夜市
Accommodation: Legend hotel 秝芯旅店

Day 3: HSR from Kaohsiung -> Taichung, 南投客運 from Taichung -> Shueishe, Sun Moon Lake
Accommodation: Tan Hui Hotel 潭暉旅店

Day 4: 南投客運 from 水社 -> 埔里 then 埔里 -> 清境农场, 小瑞士花园, 纸合王, 青青草原
Accommodation: Misty Villa 雲濛小屋

Day 5: Sunrise @ 合歡山, 南投客運 from 清境農場-> Taichung HSR, HSR from Taichung -> Taipei, Shopping @ 西門町
Accommodation: CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 1 新驿旅店台北站一

Day 6: Miniatures Museum of Taiwan 袖珍博物館, National Palace Museum 國立故宮博物院, Shilin Night Market士林夜市
Accommodation: CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 1 新驿旅店台北站一

Day 7: Beitou 北投, Tamsui 淡水
Accommodation: CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 1 新驿旅店台北站一

Day 8: Train from Taipei -> Ruifang, Shifen 十分, Pingxi 平溪, Jingtong 菁桐 & Shida Night Market 师大夜市
Accommodation: CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 1 新驿旅店台北车站一

Day 9: F&E at hotel, Depart Taiwan at 2.50pm

Budget for this trip is $1,000:
- S$350 for accommodation
- S$200 for transport
- S$50 for admission fee
- S$150 for food
- S$250 for shopping & souvenirs

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