28 July 2012

Summer Vacation in Taiwan 2012 | Taiwan Itinerary Blog

The following is the ambitious Taiwan trip itinerary I had planned for our fourth time in Taiwan during 14 to 22 July 2012. We did not managed to visit some of the places, but overall we achieved most of what we wanted to do and had a great time :) We hope that by sharing this itinerary online, it helps fellow travelers with your planning!

Taiwan Travel Itinerary 

Travel period: 14 to 22 July 2012
Covered Taichung, Xinshe, Chiayi, Nantou, Cingjing, Hehuanshan, Alishan, Fenqihu, Kaohsiung, Cijin Island, Taipei North Coast

14 Jul Sat – Day 1 – Travel to Taichung 

Leave house for Changi Airport @ 6am

Flight to Taipei @ 8.55am – 1.35pm (Tiger Airways TR2995)

Airport Bus to Taichung @ United Highway 1623 (TW$240/pax, 2 hours ride, alight at last stop) (other services: Kuo Kuang 1860, Free Go 5503 – same price but more stops and less frequency)

台中哈密瓜時尚旅館 Honeydew Hotel – reach approx 5pm. 11 ZhongZheng Road中正路(7 min from TRA) Tel: 86 (04)2224-5577. Economy Room x 2 nights – include breakfast & free LAN internet access

一中街商圈 Yichung Shopping Street (Taichung’s Youth Street!). From 台中車站(中正路): Bus 6 towards 國軍清泉崗副食品供應站 (7 stops) OR take Bus 21 towards 貴城山莊 (5 stops). Stop at台中技術學院, turn right to育才街, turn left onto一中街
香蕉新樂園Xiang Jiao Xin Le Yuan (Retro restaurant with blue train at entrance, have a drink & take photos) 雙十路二段111號 (雙十路與興進路交叉口)

逢甲夜市 Fengchia Night Market (西屯區 文華路) Front & left of Feng Chia University. More than 1000 stalls along文華路, 福星路 and Hsian Road. EAT: Grilled Shrimp烤活蝦/ Fried Chicken雞排/ Grilled Corn烤玉米/ Braised Snacks滷味/ Stinky Tofu臭豆腐/ Spring Roll 潤餅. From 香蕉新樂園, walk to 一心市場 (head west to 锦南街toward 锦新街90巷, turn left onto 三民路三段) Take 仁友客运 Bus 25 towards 僑光科技大學 (about 28 mins, 28 stops). 3-min walk to Fengjia Night Market  (head south on 福星路toward 逢甲路, turn left onto 逢甲路)

Back to Hotel by bus/taxi. Bus 22 or 25 towards友客運綠川東站 33 stops – alight at  綠川東街 (opposite U2 电影馆- 台中馆), walk southwest on 綠川東街, turn left onto中正路/台12线

15 Jul Sun – Day 2 – Cingjing & Hehuanshan with Grant Lee

Grant Lee (RoundTaiwanRound) to pick us up @ 9am from Honeydew Hotel

11:00 – Carton King & Little Swiss Garden 
12:30 – Lunch 
13:30 – Green Green Grasslands 

15:30 Wuling
16:00 Hehuanshan Main Peak
17:00 Sea of Clouds & Sunset

7.30pm drop-off at Fengchia Night Market

16 Jul Mon – Day 3 – Taichung (Shinshe)


新社 Shinshe (1 hour ride)
豐原客運 Bus 270台中火車站--東勢(經大南)(TW$70/pax)
Go towards Dongshi: 0740 (reach 8.40am, Shinshe bus starts at 9am) / 0900 / 0930
新社 Shinshe INTERNAL Guided Tour Bus 
TW$250/pax  for one day unlimited rides (9am – 5.30pm) / Tel: +886-4-2582-1058 (call them from nearby 7-11 when reach)
Pick up at 9.30am『新社-新二村』(由台中市區來訪之遊客,經中興嶺下2站新二村下車之遊客可在此等侯)
新社古堡莊園Xinshe Castle (SHINSHE BUS BROWN)
TW$250/pax (TW$100 redeemable with food from 11am-6.30pm) / Open 9am-6pm
薰衣草森林Lavender Garden (SHINSHE BUS PURPLE)  
TW$200/pax (also redeemable with products or food) / Open 10.30am – 6.30pm 
Lunch at 百菇莊 Mushroom Garden (SHINSHE BUS BROWN)
9am – 5pm / mushroom-picking, mushroom cookies, mushroom gift boxes…
Take bus back to Taichung (1 hour ride)
豐原客運 Bus 270台中火車站--東勢(經大南)(TW$70/pax)
Return to Taichung: 1010 / 1120 / 1320 / 1510 / 1540 (LATEST for us!! reach Taichung 4.40pm, TRA leaves at 6pm)
OPTIONAL: Traveler’s Kitchen  德國 秘密旅行
412-1華美街 Tel: 886-4-2326-6469 / Open 11.30am – 10pm

Dawn Cake   20中山路20號, Level 2 / 10am-10pm
Cheese cake & traditional snacks packed in CD boxes @ TW$99-120 (approx SG$4.20-5.10)


6.17pm Taichung TRA Station to Chiayi TRA Station 
Tze Chiang Ltd Express 175 – depart 18:17, reach 19:30 (1hr 13min, 5 stops) (TW$426/pax)

16 Jul Mon– Day 3 (Night) – Chiayi

581 中山路 / Tel: 866-9-8500-4698 / 886-05-227-2252 / check-out time 12pm
Chiayi TRA Station exit 5, underpass, arrive on the right on the street of the hotel. Can see hotel’s blue billboard at side of building

Wenhua Night Market 
文華路, 10 min walk from hotel / buy food for bus trip to Alishan
148文華路 / Eat火雞肉飯 TW$30, 糯米大腸 TW$50 for small)

420民族路, walk 5 mins along Wenhua Road, turn left into Minzu Road / Open 5pm to 1.30am

17 Jul Tue – Day 4 – Chiayi (Fenchihu)

Take bus from Chiayi Bus Station to Alishan (bus station is on the right when exiting front of Chiayi TRA Station)
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) / TW$221 per pax per way / 2 hr 30 min ride / Alight at final stop
06:10 / 07:40 /08:10 (reach Alishan around 10.30am) / 9:10 /09:40/ 10:10 /10:40 /11:10 /11:40 / 12:10 /13:10 /14:10 

Leave luggage at 欣欣民宿 Shinshin Homestay (Check in 1pm)
24中正村 / Tel: +886 5-2679748   Email: shin.hj@msa.hinet.net
二人套房 – NT1400 Check out 11am

Go to Carpark to book bus tour for Zhushan sunrise, sacred tree, etc…
If not go buy train tickets for Zhushan the next day

奮起湖Fenchihu Old Town (1 hour train ride, check train schedule back to Alishan!)
Famous for Old Street, bamboo trees, bento-lunch 便當, wasabi (can buy wasabi nuts)
Visit奋起湖车库Fenchihu Train Garage (2 old steam locomotives)
Note: Fenchihu to Chiayi City at 9am or 5pm only (嘉義縣公共汽車Bus 7302)

Take train back to Alishan (1 hour), check-in minsu
Steamboat dinner at restaurant nearby the minsu

18 Jul Wed – Day 5 – Chiayi – Alishan (Zhushan, Sacred Tree)


Sunrise @ 祝山線 Zhushan Route
Train runs once a day at 6am or adjusted, note: summer sunrise is 5am (30 mins ride) 
(Train schedule may be adjusted without prior notices)

神木線 Sacred Tree Route
The Sacred Tree & 20m tall Formosan red cypress trees / The wooden plan trail leads to Zhaoping Station

沼平線 Zhaoping RouteSisters Pond, Magnolia Garden, Shou Cheng Temple

Take bus from Alishan Railway Station to Chiayi Bus Station 
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) / TW$221 per pax per way / 2 hr 30 min ride / Alight at final stop
9.10 / 11.10 / 11.40 / 12.10 / 13.10 / 13.40 / 14.10 / 14.40 / 15.10 / 15.40 / 16.10 / 16.40 / 17.10 / 17.40 (last bus to catch train) 

18 Jul Wed – Day 5 (Night) – Kaohsiung

8.32pm Take TRA from Chiayi TRA Station to Kaohsiung TRA Station
Tze Chiang Ltd Express 137 / depart 20:32, arrive 21:45 (1hr 15min, 3 stops) / TW$466 for 2 pax 

241 建國二路 / 15 min walk from Kaohsiung TRA Station 
Business Double Room / breakfast included 7am-10.30am

Anning Street (the street behind Kaohsiung Main Station)  
Wholesaler market, similar to Wufenpu

六合夜市Liouhe Tourist Night Market
11 min walk from hotel / stretches from Zili 2nd Road to Liouhe 2nd Road / open 6pm-2am daily
Must eat: grilled squid, fried pepper crab leg, Wang’s Tofu Pudding, Zheng’s Papaya Milk, Kao Rou Zhi Jia (BBQ House)

Formosa Boulevard MRT Station / 光之穹頂The Dome of Light
Largest stained glass installation in the world

Optional: Nanhua Night Market nearby (Women’s fashion)
Nanhua Road from Jhongjhen 3rd Road to Minsheng 1st Road

19 Jul Thu – Day 6 – KaoHsiung (Cijin Island, Gangshan Mutton)

西子灣 捷運站KRT Sizihwan 
Exit 2

Former British Consulate at Takao (good view of Kaohsiung City & Sizihwan)
Free Admission / 9am-9pm / 15mins journey from 西子灣 捷運站KRT Sizihwan, Exit 2, take Bus 99 (7am-6pm) towards 慈德堂, alight 6 stops later at 海水浴場, head south on 蓮海路 Lian Hai Road, walk about 60 meters 

Gushan Ferry Station to Cijin旗津 Ferry Station
Take bus back to KRT Sizihwan, Exit 1, walk to Gushan Harbour/Ferry Station 
Ferry operates daily 5am-2am / 10 min ferry ride / TW$15 per pax per way

Seafood Lunch at Cijin Seafood Street
Many seafood restaurants clusted along Maoqian Street by Cijin Ferry Station, as well as the beach area

Cihou Lighthouse
Walk or take tricycle there / Open 9am-4pm / cannot enter military base at back of lighthouse 

Cihou Fort
Follow path from lighthouse to fort / top of fort is open, good place to view scenery of the bay

Mazu Temple / Tianhou Temple / Goddess of the Sea
Since Qing Dynasty / wide range of stalls selling souvenirs, fresh seafood dishes and snacks along Cijin Street near the temple

Back to Gushan Ferry Station

Optional: Kaohsiung Observation Deck @ 75F
TW$150 per adult (TW$50 redeemable at 74F) / Open 9am-12am daily
三多商圈站(R8) KRT Sanduo Shopping District Station, Exit 2, walk towards新光路 to高雄85大樓 Turntex Sky Tower @ 1 Ziqiang 3rd Road (20 min total). Shuttle bus may be available at KRT station


Mutton Hot Pot dinner @ 大新羊肉創始店 Da Shin Mutton
岡山Gangshan South MR, 158壽華路 (岡山農工側門旁、壽華路與河華路口)

10:12pm HSR back to Taipei. Go to KRT Zuoying Station, walk to HSR Zuoying, take to HSR Taipei. HSR Train ID 334 – Departure 22:12, Arrival 23:59 (1.5 hours) – Early bird TW$1340 per pax. REMEMBER TO COLLECT TICKETS IN ADVANCE (can collect from 7-11, Family Mart, HSR Stations) 

19 Jul Thu – Day 6 (Night) – Taipei

Taipei Main Station Hostel (Exit Y9 of Taipei City Underground Mall)
Double Room Ensuite, Private Bathroom / TW$4300 for 3 nights 19-22 Jul 
Check in 1.30pm, Check out 11am / Bring own towel, toothbrush and toothpaste
- From Taipei Railway Station: Exit ‘North 3’ at Taipei Railway Station Lobby. Walk diagonal across the overpass. You’ll see the Exit Y7 of Taipei City Mall (underground) and a 7-11 shop. [if walk through underground mall, take Exit Y9 out] Enter in the lane beside the 7-11 shop for less than 50 meters. Hostel is on 2nd floor at left side 
- From Taipei Bus Station: Walk across to the opposite corner of Chengde Road and Civic Boulevard. You will see Exit Y7 of the Taipei City Mall (underground) first, then walk further more to a 7-11 shop at Exit Y9. Turn right into the lane beside the 7-11 shop. Hostel is on 2nd floor at left side.

Taipei Main Station Underground Shopping:
Y – Taipei City mall
Z – Station Front Metro Mall (Z3 is nearest to bus station to Taoyuan airport)
K – Taipei New World Mall 
R with a junction with Y – Zhongshan Metro Mall

Optional: Late Night Supper Feast@ 天外天火锅
Approx SGD 23 per pax. Dinner at NT$479 + 10% charge. Eat within 2 hours.
8 soup bases including tomato soup; free flow Angus beef and Haagen Daz ice cream
76昆明, Level 2 / Open 11am-4am / Tel: 02-2314-0018 Ximending: Along Kun Ming St; pass by Taipei City Hospital; in between Wuchang St and Hankou St

20 Jul Fri – Day 7 – Taipei (North Coast Tour)

Taxi NT$3500/ approx SGD148 for 10 hour trip
Pick up from hostel at 9am

【北海岸花海季  North Coast Flower Festival 】
June to August (Drive along Provincial Highway No 2)  花海地點含括整個台灣北海岸各地的淡水,三芝,石 門,金山和萬里各區.  富德水車園區:就在三芝遊客中心的對面. 屯山國小園區: 淡金過淺水灣后不遠處. 三芝橫山梯田:基金交流道金山→石門→三芝-於2號省道20公里處左轉忠孝街左轉鄉道北 18線直行.

Yehliu Geopark 野柳 (8am-6pm, Adult ticket NTD50)

Jinbaoli Old Street 金包里老街
o Famous Duck Store 金山鴨肉in front of Guangan Temple 廣安宮
o Yam cake, baked yam, red-heart sweet potato 紅心蕃薯
Shitou Mountain
Twin Candlestick Islets “Husband and Wife Rocks” 燭臺雙嶼「夫妻石」

Shimen Windmill Park 石門風力發電站(風車公園)- restrooms avail
Shimen Stone Arch 石門洞
Laomei Stone Ditches 老梅綠石槽 (wave-cut volcanic lava reefs) 
Fuji Harbour富基漁港 (can buy fresh seafood from Seafood Market and bring to restaurants to cook for a small fee)
Fuguei Cape富貴角(octagonal landmark lighthouse marking the northern-most tip of Taiwan)
Shimen Wedding Plaza石門婚紗廣場
White Sand Bay白沙灣水域遊憩區
Linshanbi麟山鼻遊憩區 (wave-cut volcanic lava reefs) 

Hengshan Terrace Fields橫山梯田

【淡水区Danshui District】
Red Castle aka Fort San Domingo 紅毛城 (the first Spanish settlement on Taiwan) open 11am-10pm
Light Dinner at Danshui Old Street or Promenade

32 Zhongshan Rd, Beitou, Taipei Taiwan (Xinbeitou MRT station)
Tel: +886 2 6611 8888 Fax: +886 2 6611 3000 Email: info@villa32.com   Open 10am-11pm
Private Hot Spring Room – 90 mins use - NT$3000 (SGD127)

Optional: Shilin Night Market
Jiantan MRT (Red line) / Buy TW$200 shoes, 天蓝小铺Sky Blue Bags (Open 4pm-12am)

Optional: Gongguan Night Market
Gongguan MRT Station /陳三鼎 Milk Pearl Tea, 車輪餅, 龙潭豆,猪血糕

Optional: 乐华夜市 Le Hua Night Market (1 stop after Guting)
丁溪接运站 Exit 1 Turn left into 永和路, walk straight along 永和路 for 6 mins (錢櫃KTV端)
Or take 永和區民免費接駁公車A線 from Exit 1 at永平路口(1)站(中山路口端)

Optional: 熊一頂級燒肉專賣 Bear-1 Yakiniku
Ximen MRT / 155 Xining South Road, Level 2 / Tel: 02-2370-8468
Yakiniku + Hot Pot : NT$399 per pax @ lunch hours 11.30am-4pm; NT$499 per pax @ dinner 4pm-3am and weekends 11.30am to 3am. +NT$100 for premium yakiniku. (Dining for 2 hours only, 10% cleaning fee will be charged separately)

21 Jul Sat – Day 8 – Taipei (Ximen, Maokong, Ruth’s Chris)

Jiuda Stationery Shop 久大文具店 (28 Xuchang St 9.30am to 10.30pm)

Guangnan Wholesaler 光南大批发(40 Xuchang St 许昌街 Behind 新光三越 10am to 10.30pm (3 storeys – 1F CD, DVD, Watches; 2F Stationery, Games, Computer Accessories; 3F Household Goods)

Buy EasyCard’s Taipei Pass (One Day with MaoKong Gondola)
Info counter at MRT Stations / TW$250 per pax / unlimited rides on Taipei Metro and associated bus services / allows 3 trips on Maokong Gondola / card expires at midnight

Breakfast & Shopping at Ximending
KFC Egg Tarts
Mister Donut
Bubble Tea – Ding Cha / 50 LAN
Ah Zong Mian Xian (峨嵋街8號之1 Mon-Thu 11am-10.30pm, Fri-Sun 11am-11pm)
Beef Noodle Soup Street @ Taoyuan Street (Walk towards Hengyang Street, then turn into Taoyuan Street)
Modern Toilet Restaurant (7 Xining South Road, Lane 50, Level 2)
Somebody Café (131 Xining South Road, Level 2&3) – artsy cafe
Wang Ji Fu Cheng Rou Zong (Xining Road) 
COSMED My Beauty Diary Masks, Watsons ZA foundation, Liese Hair Spray
Red House – artsy shops and cafe inside (Open 11am to 9.30pm daily)
Hubby’s ABC Shoe Store
Daiso NT39 – 11.30am-10.30pm台北市萬華區漢中街116號 -- 誠品116, 5樓
  Taipei City Hall Station
万年排骨老店pork chop & chicken drumstick (新光三越  basement foodcourt beside Eslite)
小南门豆腐花 @ Eslite 诚品basement /  Taipei 101 basement 

Tea @ Maokong Mountain - Maokong Gondola
Taipei Zoo MRT Station (Brown line), walk to Maokong Gondola Taipei Zoo Station (350 meters)
8.30am-10pm / Choose the Crystal Gondola – same price, but can see underneath / Tea Promotion Center open 9am-5pm
EAT: noodles with tea oil, glutinous rice with bamboo shoots
BUY: Glass teapot with burner, Muzha Tieguanyin or Nangang Paochung tea

佳德糕餅有限公司 Chia Te Bakery Co (near Raohe night market)
Nanjing East Road MRT (Brown Line) / 南京東路5段88號 / near Raohe Night Market / Open 7.30am-9.30pm
• 鳳黃酥 PINEAPPLE &EGG YOLK PASTRY – 12pc/box NT384 (S$16.20), 20pc/box NT640 (S$27)
• 太陽餅 (奶素) SUN CAKES – 6pc/box NT162 (S$7), 12pc/box NT324 (S$13.70), 20pc/box NT540 (S$23)

Birthday Dinner @ 茹絲葵經典牛排之家Ruth’s Chris Steak House http://www.ruthschris.com/Steak-House/10037/Taipei
135 Minsheng East Road, Section 3, Level 2 / Tel: 8862-2545-8888   Email: taipei70@ruthschris.com / Dinner 5.30pm-11pm

Return to hotel for packing
Buy beef bowl instant noodles from Family Mart

22 Jul Sun – Day 9 – Departure


Breakfast - Buy Mister Donut (hand-carry), bubble tea (bus journey to airport)

11.30am Bus to airport (1 hour ride)
12.35pm Check-in

Buy beef jerky from airport duty-free shop (SG$9) 

Flight to Singapore @ 2.35pm-7.15pm (Tiger Airways TR2993)