TAIWAN | 7-DAY (Do-IT-Yourself) Itinerary from NORTH to SOUTH of Taiwan (Taipei-Chiayi-Kaoshiung)

If you are planning to explore Taiwan from the North in Taipei all the way to the South in Kaoshiung, we’d like to share our 7-day itinerary and expenses exactly as what we had experienced when we visited Taiwan. 

We’ve tried to fit everything in, all the places we’ve wanted to visit and we’ve initially planned, there were however inevitable minor changes along the way when we were already exploring Taiwan. 

Firstly, we’ve planned a North to South adventure in Taiwan to experience High Speed Rail. Taiwan is one of the only four countries in East Asia  that has High Speed Train namely; China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Bullet Train is not a new thingy for us, however we wanted to experience to be on board via High Speed Rail again. This time in Asia. We’ve found Taiwan on the net as the cheapest alternative to rejuvenate our High Speed Train experience. If there is one in my beloved country, the Philippines, I don’t think I would be excited of the HSR experience. 

Secondly, we wanted to explore the entire country, to get to experience its cultures and traditions and how it differs from other Chinese States or Special Administrative Regions.

Lastly, we wanted to experience its cold climate, definitely not the freezing point cold but the tolerable one. We may have visited Taiwan during winter but our researched told us that it was not going to have snow in the key cities, a temperature that something we could tolerate. We wanted to explore the country certainly not to be frozen. 😊 Overall, Taiwan gave us an experience that has gone beyond our expectations.

Does it require VISA to visit Taiwan?

  • NO, you do not need a tourist visa to visit Taiwan, you are good to go with your Philippine Passport, tt least up until July of 2019.

Is it expensive to Travel to Taiwan?

  • NO, it is not as expensive as the 1st world country or OECD Member countries

Will we go back to Taiwan again?

  • Absolutely YES! Particularly in Taipei

What are the other places we’d like to visit if we are going to go back to Taiwan outside Taipei?

  • Sun Moon Lake and Orchid Island

When is the best time for us to travel to Taiwan?

  • WINTER, we are from oriental country, the Philippines. We do not have Winter season. We only have summer. It is hot all year round.

Let us get to our 7-Day Itinerary & Budget in Taiwan

DAY 1: Lost in TAIPEI

  • 02-24-19 Sunday: Arrived at Taipei International Airport aka Taoyuan International Airport
  • Changed PHP to NTD at Bank of Taiwan (inside the airport)
  • Rented Pocket Wifi via Klook (claimed inside the airport)
  • Express Train Ride from the Tayouan International Airport to Taipei Main Station
  • Headed to our accommodation (Neosoho Hostel), it is situated just 3 minutes away from Taipei Main Station. We were lost on our way to our hostel, it was raining cats and dogs, so we first ate at Mc Donalds and then took a taxi ride to Neosoho Hostel 
  • We took a rest at the hostel. While we were in the our hostel, we figured out our next activity for Day 2. We actually disregarded our planned itinerary for Day 1. The weather was not good and  cold, it was raining hard on  Day 1. We agreed to book Taipei Sightseeing Bus for our Day 2 activities. We could not afford to DIY for each tourist destination if the weather was unfavorable.

DAY 2: TAIPEI SIGHTSEEING DOUBLE DECKER BUS-the weather is perfect!

  • 02-25-19 Monday: Looked for our breakfast near Neosoho Hostel. We tried noodles on the sidewalk, we were shocked of the undesirable taste, we went to Family Mart and had some Japanese rice and coffee instead.
  • Headed to Taipei Main Station where the waiting area of Taipei Sightseeing Double Decker Bus stops. It is located outside Taipei Main Station M4
  • TAIPEI SIGHTSEEING DOUBLE DECKER BUS is highly recommended in visiting Taipei metropolitan’s top tourist destinations, you can get away from the hassle of finding each and every top destination of Taipei by yourself. For a more detailed information about TAIPEI SIGHTSEEING DOUBLE DECKER BUS, please visit TRAVEL GUIDE | Affordable Taipei Double Decker Sightseeing Bus | Hop On-Hop Off

    Taipei Top Landmarks Lines

    • Blue Line – bus route heading to National Palace Museum, you can hop on and hop off to any attractions/landmarks, bus arrives every 40 mins
    • Red Line – bus route heading to Taipei101, you can hop on and hop off to any attractions/landmarks, bus arrives every 40 mins
  • We basically spent our day and night visiting Taipei Metropolitan’s Top destinations and landmarks. Do not forget to get inside Taipei 101 to dine.  You really don’t have to go all the way up on top of the building, just get inside. The building view from the outside is magnificent and stunning! 
  • You can also go to each landmark by Metro or MRT, you can DIY all you can, Taipei’s landmarks  are very accessible by Metro trains.

Taipei City’s Top Landmarks

Taipei 101
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
National Palace Museum
Presidential Office Building
Taipei Main Station
Taipei Old North Gate
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

DAY 3: Historical trip to SHIFEN OLD STREET

DAY 4: Be awed of GONDOLA RIDE & Finding Maria-The PANDA

  • 02-27-19 Wednesday: AM-Since we booked our Taipei Sightseeing Double Decker Bus with free Gondola ride, we took a Metro Train ride from Taipei Main Station to Taipei Zoo where Gondola Ride is located. The Gondola Lift/Cable Car Ride surprised us big time. We initially thought it was just an orrdinary cable car ride. Well, it was a 4.3 kms. long cable car ride with four stations all the way to Maokong Peak.  We also went inside Taipei Zoo. It is situated on the same site. We searched for Panda. We’ve found her but she was sleeping that day. 🙂 We spent our half day in this place. For a more detailed Travel Guide about Gondola Ride, please visit TRAVEL GUIDE | How to get to Maokong Gondola in Taipei, Taiwan
  • PM: We headed back to our Hostel in the afternoon. We chilled a bit, then we booked our Train ticket to Chiayi City, it is 261 kms down south of Taiwan. Interestingly, our intention was to take HSR (High Speed Rail) but we booked the train ticket at the wrong window and so we ended up on board on a regular train  “no seat“, we were almost standing for 3 long hours all the way to Chiayi City. We could only sit if someone left their seat. So make sure if you are going to buy a ticket, advise the ticket counter that you want to get a reserved sit. Also ask them if it is HSR or Regular Train. Regular train’s speed is fast but it is not as fast as the HSR. Bullet Train  has its own dedicated railways.
  • We arrived at night in Chiayi Main Station, we’ve met our friend,  we headed to our hotel first at Gene Long Att Hotel to leave our bags, and then our friend strolled us around at Chiayi Night Market.

DAY 5: CHIAYI TOWER, HIGH SPEED RAILWAY, SKIPPED ALISHAN

  • 02-28-29 Thursday: We were supposed to visit Alishan but we changed our itinerary in an instant for Day 5. Although Alishan is the main attraction in this region, we skipped visiting the place due to travel time. We realized that we had had enough of nature park adventures when we explored Shifen Old Street in the Northern region of Taipei.
  • AM: We decided to just go to CHIAYI TOWER in the morning instead. Chiyai Tower was just 5 mins away by taxi cab from our hotel (Gene Long Att Hotel). We went all the way up the tower for a 360 degree overlooking view of the city of Chiayi. We are based in Makati so nothing is spectacular as far as skyscrapers are concerned. 
  • PM: We decided to head to the Southernmost part of Taiwan to Kaoshiung City via High Speed Rail. I asserted to my friend that  one of the reasons why we visited Taiwan was to experience the High Speed Rail. We had luckily booked the correct HSR ticket this time. Always take note that High Speed Railway is different from Taiwan’s regular railway. Due to lack of research,  we never expected that Chiayi HSR Station was several miles way from Chiayi downtown, and as a result, we paid hefty taxi fare of NTD 480. If we did our homework and research, we should have taken a bus ride from Chiayi downtown to Chiayi HSR Station instead. HSR is a must-experience in visiting Taiwan, it has top speed of 310 kmh
  • HSR Train from Chiayi HSR Station to Zouying District HSR Station (25 mins travel time), then train transfer from Zouying Station to Kaoshihung Main Station
  • Took a taxi ride from Kaoshuing Main Station to our accommodation at Home Lane Busniess Hotel, left our bag anf strolled around the vicinity to Love River. We also had Starbucks Coffee along the love river in Carefour
  • Liuhe NIght Market, delight your eyes with all sorts of Taiwanese foods, full your stomach with the variety of Taiwanese cuisines. For a more detailed information about Liuhe NIght Market, please visit TRAVEL GUIDE | Night Markets in Taiwan: It is a way of Life!

DAY 6: Chillin at CIGIN  & Make a wish at LOTUS LAKE

DAY 7: Walking by the LOVE RIVER, Buy “Pasalbong ” & Souvernir Items, Kaoshiung International Airport

  • 03-02-19, Saturday: We just walk all morning to Love River and went to Carefour to buy “Pasalubong and Souvenir. For a more detailed information about LOVER RIVER, please visit TRAVEL GUIDE | Love River & Ta Kang Creek of Kaoshiung, Taiwan
  • In the afternoon, we headed to Kaoshiung International Airport, it was our exit point to the Philippines

DETAILS OF TOTAL EXPENSES

  • AIRFARE & PRE-DEPARTURE EXPENSES |  PHP 10322
    Airfare RT = P8500 (the aifare booked from Air Asia is low cost but not on promo, still considered as expensive, you can get it for as low as P2000 to P3500 RT if on Promotions)
    Travel Tax = P1620
    Grab from Makati to NAIA III = P90
    Grab NAIA III to Makati = P112
  • ACCOMMODATIONS | PHP 3750
    TAIPE CITY: Neosoho Hostel (3 Nights) = P1500
    CHIAYI CITY: Gene Long Att Hotel (1 Night )= P750
    KAOUSHIUNG CITY: Home Lane Busniess Hotel (2 NIGHTS) = P1500
    **We booked these hostels and hotels via agoda while we were still in the PH

  • TRANSPORTATION, TRAINS, & ENTRANCE FEES IN TAIWAN | PHP 5056
    Express Train from Tayouan International Aiport to Taipei Main Station = P250
    Pocket Wifi (7 Days) = P250
    Taipei Sightseeing Double Decker Bus booked via Klook (24 hrs) = P1015
    TMS Local Train to Chiayi City Station (The local train will pass city to city as you head south) = P1010
    Shinkansen BULLET TRAIN HSR with Top Speed of 281 Kmh from Chiayi to Kaoshiung = P693
    Total Taxi Expenses (Taipei, Chiyai, & Kaoshiung) = P1149
    PingXI Line DIY North of Taipei – Shifen Old Street Lantern Flying, Shifen Warerfall Xing PI, Jungtong 
    *Taipei Main Station to Ruifang (Regular Train) – P72
    *Transfer to PingXi Line (One Day Pass for PingXi Line & Sheniao Line) – P135+
    *Taruko Express Train from Ruifang to TMS = P128
    *Lantern Flying = P253
    GONDALA RIDE, CHERRY BLOSSOMS, & TAIPEE ZOO (Panda and Koahla Hunting) at Maokong Peak*Gondola (3 Mountains Ride RT) = Free from Klook 🙂 
    Walk-in for Gandola would cost you P405 RT 🙂
    *Taipei Zoo Entrance = P101

  • FOOD & DINING | PHP 7000
    Average of P 1000/day – you can cut it down, it depends on where you will eat & DINE 🙂

  • “PASALUBONG” & SOUVENIRS | PHP 2502
    Pistacio & Alician Tea = P 1014
    Souvenir = P 474
    Souvenir Bag for myself = P 1014

SUMMARY OF TOTAL EXPENSES
AIRFARE & PRE-DEPARTURE EXPENSES – P 10322
ACCOMMODATIONS – P 3750
TRANSPORTATION, TRAINS & ENTRANCE FEES IN TAIWAN – P 5056
FOOD & DINING – P 7000
PASALUBONG & SOUVENIRS – P 2502
TOTAL = P 28630

You can always trim down your expenses as short as your military haircut, it is all up to you, whether you are in Taiwan or Manila 🙂  However, you have to take note that you are on Holiday Vacations, I just learned that from an American friend that If you are on Holiday, try to live like it is your retirement already. My travels though in the past 10 years were mostly budget meals 🙂

TAIWAN HIGH SPEED RAIL
TAIPEI 101
MAOKONG PEAK
NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
SHIFEN WATERFALLS
Ta Kang Creek
CIGIN ISLAND
LOTUS LAKE