Taipei Part I: Overview
III. Sights and Attractions
Always book early! Unfortunately for us, we booked our Taipei accommodation in mid-May (approx 1 month in advance), and most of the popular spots had already been snagged up. We eventually chose Mudan House for its positive reviews on Tripdvisor and HostelWorld. For the sake of completeness, we were also looking at other options such as I love Apple, Fun Taipei Backpackers (about SGD29/night/pax; near Shilin Night Market) and Parachute Hostel (about SGD25/night/pax, near Shida Night Market).
Mudan House (牡丹居)
Official Website: http://www.mudanhouse.com/en/ (Tripadvisor)
Address: 台北市大同區昌吉街196號 ；No.196 Changji Street, Taipei 103, Taiwan (Map)
Tel: +886 920 889 202
Price: NT1980/night OR about SGD48/pax/night
Booking: HostelWorld or email@example.com
Directions from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport
1. Take ‘Ever Green Bus’ （长荣）from airport terminal bus platform, alight at ‘MRT Minquan W Rd’ (捷运 – 民权西路站) Station (2nd stop after 啟聰學校(酒泉街) Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired): link for bus stops
2. Take 5 min taxi to Mudan House (recommended, about NT100), or take MRT to nearest station, Daqiaotou Station (Orange Line, 捷运 – 大桥头站), Exit 3 and walk for about 5-10 minutes.
Despite its less than stellar location, Mudan House actually exceeded our expectations. Doris (the owner) and her family members were extremely welcoming; they took the initiative to interact with travellers and readily provided us with many tips with regard to the places to visit. The rooms were also clean and spacious, and I felt like I was at home the whole time. Most importantly, Doris’ aunt makes the MOST AMAZING BREAKFAST ever, with new dishes being freshly prepared for us every morning. In fact, I looked forward to breakfast everyday during our stay there and continued craving for it even after leaving Taipei.
City Suites Taoyuan Gateway （城市商旅）
Official Website: http://www.citysuites.com.tw (Tripadvisor)
Address: 桃園縣大園鄉中正東路 442號; No.442 Jhong Jheng East Road, Dayuan Town, Taoyuan 337, Taiwan (Map) [5 min cab drive from Taoyuan Airport]
Price: NT2088/night OR about SGD48/pax/night
Booking: Website or firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
For our transit stay before our early morning flight to Tokyo, we chose City Suites Taoyuan Gateway (NT2088/night/room) due to limited options. If you’re on a budget and wouldn’t mind exploring Taoyuan, you may want to take a look at Huayue Hotel (NT1000/night/room).
To be honest, we felt that City Suites was a decent transit hotel for the price we were paying. The counter staff kindly upgraded our room to a twin-double bedroom which could easily accommodate at least 4 people. Shower facilities were impeccable and we were able to obtain packed breakfast at the counter upon our early check-out. Wifi is also available in the rooms. Most importantly, despite having to crawl out of bed at the unearthly hour of 5am, I was greeted by this beautiful sight on my last morning in Taiwan:
Absolutely gorgeous (though this photo did not sufficiently capture the beauty of the rising sun). NT2088 might be a little hefty for a short transit stay, but we were effectively paying for comfort and its vicinity to Taoyuan airport. City Suites is definitely suitable for travellers who are willing to pay the price.
From Airport to Airport or to City Centre
The Freego Bus（飞狗）trawls between Songshan（松山） and Taoyuan （桃园）Airport, with stops in Taipei city centre. Fares vary from NT70 (half fare i.e. children and senior citizens) to NT140 (full fare). Bus services operates in intervals of 15-20min, from 0550 – 0100 (Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei City) and 0400-1130 (Taipei City to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport). The trip from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei city centre is approx 1hr.
Taipei Metro and Taxis
Taipei Metro is both affordable and convenient. It is advisable to obtain an Ez Pass (优游卡), which is very much similar to the Singaporean Ez-Link. We obtained our copy at the Taiwan Tourism Organisation at Chevron House, as they give out freebies from time to time. Prices for travel start from NT20 per entry and they operate from 0600 to 2400 hrs.
Taipei Taxis start at NT70 and range from NT100-250 for short drives. If you’re travelling in a group or pressed for time, taxis are a comfortable and convenient mode of transport.
III. Sights and Visits
The following is a list of recommended sights:
Sightseeing and Cultural Sights
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial （中正纪念堂）
Confucius Temple (if you live in the Datong/Shihlin Area)
Day trip to Beitou/Danshui OR Jiufen/Shifen OR Pingxi
Beitou Hot Springs and Danshui Fisherman’s Wharf
Ferris Wheel at Miramar Entertainment Complex (filming site for Taiwanese dramas like 惡作劇之吻, 我的億萬麵包 etc)
Xi Men Ding (shopping)
Zhongxiao East Road (for shopping)
Night Markets (aka Eating and Shopping)
Raohe Street Night Market (饒河夜市)
Shi Da Night Market (師大夜市)
Shihlin Night Market (士林夜市)
Smaller Night Markets: 延三夜市, located near Mudan House (only food)
Continue on to Taipei Part II: Itinerary (Day 1)