Sunday, March 4, 2018

Surviving Two Days in Taiwan


Ever heard of bizarre travel plans, well that's probably how I roll with my family and the trip I had with my husband is no exemption.

We tend to create unconventional itineraries when we travel. It’s a little alarming at first as we worry about what we might miss out on. But in the end, we see the place in our own way, at our own pace and it doesn’t matter that we haven’t checked all the standard sights off our checklist. We have something to go back and see in our roundabout way on the next trip.

I've been so busy with a lot of things as of late but at the back of my mind, I've been thinking about how I could make my husband and I's anniversary less tacky, not boring and something we could say "glad we did it" or just "WE did it."
Thanks to some blogger friends, I was able to book a cheap flight with AirAsia to Taoyuan, Taipei, but you have to live with the drawback.

Let me begin this article by saying that somehow you'll regret traveling on the cheap side but it still doesn't mean that you won't enjoy traveling.

Before I move on to the photos my husband and I have collated during our two-day tiring Taiwan adventure, let me share you some of my thoughts on how to make the most of your cheapskate (okay, frugal) wayfaring.

Taoyuan Terminal 1 Airport at 1 AM


Aboared MRT Airport Express bound to Taipei Main Station

RED-EYE FLIGHTS:

Hovering over the “book” button, you think to yourself, “I’m saving $50! I’m so frugal! An 11:00 p.m. flight won’t be that bad!”  Think again!  Manila to Taoyuan is just two hours in flight, that means you will arrive at 1 to 2 a.m.  Taipei MRT's first train, the express train from Taoyuan Terminal 1 (A12) and Terminal 2 (A13) leave at 6:14.

Then you'll realize that you’re going to be spending the first day of your vacation sleep-deprived unless you don't mind sleeping in the airport lobby and lounges, which we did. Slept on a round couch barely feeling your toes and hearing the vending machine unload drinks from time to time.

Plus, if you have to be up before public transit is running, you may end up spending what you saved on the flight to take a taxi to the airport.  A taxi ride can be a bit expensive in Taiwan.

You have to get used to this lifestyle if you have less money but you want to be the shoes of a digital nomad.


TRAVELING WITHOUT AN ITINERARY:

Sun Yat Sen Memoral Hall

Shun the thoughts that you can get by going around Taipei on your own.  For one, it's hard to find someone (a Taiwanese even) who speaks English.  I thought there were around thousands of Filipinos working there, you won't find them on the streets.

However, it was really amazing walking in the streets of Taipei, it's not crowded, there are lots of trees and plants on the walkway, the buildings are interesting, such impeccable sceneries, a mix of the old tradition in the modern world, and it is very, very clean!

Before this flight, I read up on some blogs about where to go and what to do, but most of them didn't tell me how to go about it.  Our first three hours were meant for figuring out the transportation system, getting a bit lost, without google map, since we didn't have WIFI (figured, will just be two days anyway, and there were several WIFI spots).

TIP: Rent a portable WIFI, pick up at the airport, book ahead at KLOOK or at KKDAY.

TIP: GOOGLE MAP is so helpful especially when using the MRT and the buses.

TIP: Always check their weather and temperature is it can get quite peculiar, have a handy umbrella as well.  Our first day was sunny and the next was wet and rainy.

Shin Kong Life Tower and Taipei City Hall
on a bridge to Taipei 101 Mall

Taipei City Hall
Park along the streets leading to Taipei 101, Trade Center
TIP: Make sure to bring the most comfortable shoes as lots of walking is involved.

TIP: Taiwanese people are very courteous so at least learn to say HI and Thank You in Chinese.

1. Nĭ hăo/ Nĭn hăo -Hello
Pronunciation: Nee how / Neen how

2. Xièxie - Thank you
Pronunciation: hsieh hsieh


TAIPEI 101 OBSERVATORY

Taipei 101 
Make sure to BOOK your Taipei 101 visit at Klook or KKDAY.

Had a discount as this was my second Klook booking.  You don't need to line up to buy your ticket, the ticket is good for one day, from when you came in until the viewing deck is open.  Getting down can be disturbing, expect a long line down the elevator, there's only one.  So, if you have a schedule and needed to be on time, make sure to line up ahead.  Don't forget to use your discount vouchers when buying "pasalubong" and keepsakes.


View from the 89th floor conservatory.


There's WIFI here, so go on and have your IG and FACEBOOK stories on board.

Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower


Don't forget to try the mirrored floor and ceiling corner.


Besides giving you a bird’s eye view of the entire city, informative maps tell about the surrounding attractions, thus helping you to plan your itinerary.




At the 90th floor 


Go down to the 88f to learn about the marvelous wind damper. There is also a gallery of coral and gemstone creations.


This huge ball, made of pure metal is a wind damper, which stabilizes the building.



DON'T MISS THE COMMUNITY DINERS



Just around our hotel in Zhongxia Rd, RF Hotel are incomparable cafes, restaurants, and dining nooks.  A little walk from our hotel is this roasted duck and pork, when we came. a little early from 12, people have lined up.

Oogled at what the people were having, we queued and just pointed at what the others were having.  A huge slice of roast pork and roast duck, some slices of Taiwanese sausage, steamed rice and served with three kinds of stir-fried  veggie dishes, you could probably picture out what our plate would look like.


Jiufen Village & The Northeast Coast

Booked our afternoon Northeast coast at Klook.

Juifen Old Village




THE GOLDEN WATERFALL IN Jinguashi (金瓜石)






Nanya  Rock Formation




 




Jinguashi (金瓜石, Jin Gua Shih) 


Jinguashi is a old mining town adjacent to Jiufen 九份 in Ruifang District 瑞芳区, New Taipei City 新北市, famous for its gold and copper mines. Situated between the mountains and coastline, the town was once a famous prosperous mining town during Japanese Occupation.


Remains Of The Thirteen Levels 十三层遗址/Shuinandong Smelter 水湳洞精炼厂


Also known as Shuinandong Smelter, this iconic relic, during the Japanese Colonial Era,  was the largest in Asia at the time. It was built to treat gold and copper ores, which were abundant and of high grade in the area. The smelter structure is built into a hillside, whose tiered construction is what lends it the name “the Remains of the 13 Levels” (十三層遺址).


Yin Yang Sea (陰陽海)



Overlooking the mining town is the bay of two colors.  It's beside the northern coastal road in the Gold Ecological Park region, a curiously colored patch of water. The complimentary blue and yellow coloring of this bay brings to mind the ancient Chinese principle of yin and yang, the natural concept of duality

The yellow water actually comes from the mountain where it is believed to have high concentrations of copper ore.

Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall


Hailed as one of the most famous landmarks in all of Taiwan, located in the heart of Taipei city.  This memorial hall and square was built in the late 1970’s for the late Chiang Kai-Shek, who was the longtime leader of Taiwan since the communist take over of the China mainland until his death in the mid 1970’s.  He is one of the driving forces in the what has shaped Taiwan as it is today.






Spring in Taipei begins in March. we were blessed to spot this cherry blossom lined park inside Chang Kai Shek.





SHOPPING FOR STATIONERIES

10平方文具概念館
Address: 105, Taiwan, Taipei City, Songshan District




SONGSHAN DISTRICT

On footbridge over-looking the Police Station building



National 228 Memorial Museum


National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute Taipei Branch

Nanhai Theater


National Taiwan Arts Education Center 國立台灣藝術教育館






Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School
台北市立建國高級中學



National Museum of History
國立歷史博物館





Inside this museum is a cozy, narrow coffee shop where you can also buy museum merchandise from.


Be seated comfortably overlooking the Botanical garden of the premise which you can also visit.








Aside for sight-seeing, chasing landmarks and museums, you can also visit cute and themed coffee shops, teahouses, and stationery shops.

But make sure to highlight NIGHT MARKET food-stalking.

Next article will all be about Taiwan cuisine and what you need to try while in Taipei.

We also had a great hotel interlude at RF Hotel in Dunhua Station.


RF HOTEL






This tour was one that we could place on our memory bank, one that we could speak of greatly with much fervor, a quick yet romantic escape, we gifted ourselves on our 22nd year of marriage and 27th year of togetherness.

Would we come back? With our kids? I say yes, yes! With eagerness...


2 comments:

  1. Amazing photos and tips! <3
    Thanks for sharing!

    www.luciagallegoblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's inspiring, I want to go there too!

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear your thoughts on my post, care for a comment?