Taiwan : A Short Side Trip

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

On our way back to the US from the Philippines, we had an 8 hour layover in Taiwan. Instead of draining our batteries at Taoyuan International Airport watching youtube videos or browsing various social media sites, we've decided to get out there and sightsee Taiwan. We are blessed enough to be able to avail of the Online Application for Entry permit to Taiwan because we possessed a valid US visa. If not, we may have to go through the normal processing at the Embassy of Taiwan because we are Philippine passport holders. If you are planning to visit Taiwan soon, you might want to check out their website to see your passport's/visa's eligibility for the Online Application for Entry permit at https://niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/nia_southeast/. I love the straightforwardness of their online visa application, you'll immediately get your visa after submitting your form. 

Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan

Because we only had 8 hours or less to sightsee Taiwan, I've decided to make this trip an adventure. I didn't do any detailed plan whatsoever. My friend, who happens to live in Taiwan, told me that only a handful of locals speak English and if they do it'll be hard to understand. I thought, great! It would be another fun and memorable trip for me and my hubby.

Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan

After we've cleared our documents at the immigration counter, we've aimlessly wandered at the airport looking for a bus to get us to the city. Thank God, we immediately came to our senses and visited the Airport's Tourist Information counter. At first, we've decided to visit 2 spots: the National Palace Museum and then Taipei 101. So we we're given the directions to get to National Palace Museum first and then to Taipei 101 however, we've changed our minds when we boarded the bus. We've decided to only visit Taipei 101 to save time.

GETTING THERE

We took the airport bus #1819 from Taoyuan International Airport to Kulun Street. From Kulun Street we walked for a few minutes to find Yuanshan MRT Station to get us to Taipei 101.

Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan

I am so thankful that Taiwan's train system is the same as that in Singapore. Because we're already familiar with how it works, we journeyed through the city with ease.

TAIPEI 101

When we saw Taipei 101, we we're overwhelmed with how tall it is. Afterall, it's the 8th tallest building in the world as of May 2016. That might change you know! We walked a few minutes away from the MRT station to get a good view of Taipei 101 and took lots of pictures. Because that's what tourists do. :D

Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan
Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan
Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan
Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan
Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan

DIN TAI FUNG

Afterwards, we went back to the building to check out what restaurants are in there. We we're so elated to find out Din Tai Fung restaurant. They specialized in xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings) which is a must when you get to visit Taiwan as it originated from there. The queue wasn't that long when we came in which, I found out later,  is usually a long wait given the number of visitors around the area. Ah, talk about being at the right place, right time eh?!

Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan

BACK TO T.I.A

We took the train ride back to Yuanshan MRT station from Taipei 101/World Trade Center MRT station and then took the taxi ride back to T.I.A (Taoyuan International Airport) because bus #1819 is a one-route-only-bus. It doesn't have a route that goes back to Taoyuan International Airport from Kulun Street, where we've first alighted to get to the city.

THE MISUNDERSTANDING

When we told the taxi driver we we're going to T.IA., he got confused because he doesn't understand what we are saying. Some locals nearby tried to helped us however they don't understand what we are saying as well. They told the taxi driver to get us to Songshan Airport instead, which is the other airport opposite where we are suppose to go. I'm really thankful for the locals kindness though. Thank God, we carried with us a brochure from the tourist information center that has the chinese characters besides the english characters for 'Taoyuan International Airport'. And so our language barrier problem is solved. :D

Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan

HOW MUCH DID WE SPEND?

Here's a breakdown.

Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan

We spent NT$3,930 all in all. That's $120USD. Not bad, eh?

Things To Do During a Layover in Taipei, Taiwan

It was indeed a quick trip to the heart of Taipei but never short of fun memories with my hubby. Ah, that's one bucket list down baby!



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