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Monday, 24 November 2014

Taiwanderful. Our 10-Days Trip Itinerary in Taipei (Part 1)

Taipei, here I come again! Well, in late August 2014 we traveled to Taipei, Taiwan. For this trip, I had the fun and hubby had to work. The last time we both visited Taiwan was back in 2008, and that was our first overseas trip together.

Hubby at a very last minute asked if I wanted to re-visit Taiwan and of course, I answered "XXX"! That's a great thing being a wanderlust wife...hehe!

So, on 29 August 2014, I had my solo-travel and took Malaysia Airlines from Penang – Kuala Lumpur – Taipei. My flight was in the midnight and I arrived Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport the next morning at 6.00a.m. on 30 August 2014 while hubby greeted me at the hotel lobby. I spent 10 days, 9 nights in Taiwan (29 August 2014 – 7 September 2014) and it was entirely a free & easy trip for me.
Decorated archway of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei
Taipei City
Day 1: 29 August 2014  
Depart from Penang – Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)

Day 2: 30 August 2014  
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall – National Palace Museum – Damsui Fisherman Wharf – Damsui Old Street – Shilin Night Market

Day 3: 31 August 2014  
JINGTONG – Jingtong Train Station (Japanese wood constructed station) – Jingtong Old Street – Jingtong Railway Story Museum – Coal Mining Memorial Park
PINGXI – Pingxi Old Street
SHIFEN – Shifen Old Street – Shifen Waterfall – Yanjingdong Waterfall – Shifen Bridge –Jingan Suspension Bridge
JIUFEN – Jiufen Old Street – Jiufen Village - Shuqi Street

Day 4: 1 September 2014  
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (Changing of Guards Ceremony at 10.00a.m.) – 228 Peace Park – Presidential Office – Taipei 101 & Taipei World Trade Center – Longshan Temple & Longshan Temple Underground Shopping Bazaar – Ximen Red House – Ximending Commercial /Pedestrian Area – Sogo Departmental Store (Fuxing Branch)

Day 5: 2 September 2014  
Taipei Confucius Temple – Dalongdong Bao’an Temple – the 44th Kan Street – Sogo Departmental Store (Fuxing Branch) -  Wufenpu Garment Wholesale Area 

Day 6: 3 September 2014  
Taipei 101 – Xinyi Shopping District Skywalks – Hankyu – Eslite Xinyi Bookstore – Shin Kong Mitsukoshi - Xinyi Place

Day 7: 4 September 2014  
National Museum of History – Damsui Fisherman Wharf – Damsui Old Street - Sogo Departmental Store (Fuxing Branch) – Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market

Day 8: 5 September 2014  
The Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate – Yonglian Temple - Luzhou Miaokou Market

Day 9: 6 September 2014  
Yehliu Geopark – Taipei Songshan Airport Plane Observation Deck – Pinglin Old Town & Old Street – Bao Ping Temple – Night Markets near Longshan Temple (Guangzhou Street Night Market, Huaxi Street Night Market, Xichang Street Night Market, Wuzhou Street Night Market)

Day 10: 7 September 2014  
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) - Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) - Penang 

On 30 August 2014, we headed off to our first destination, the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall and followed by the National Palace Museum. The National Palace Museum is definitely one of the must-see spot when you’re here in Taiwan. The museum stored a lot of valuable treasures which was brought from the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Instead of touring the museum, which we already did in 2008, we spent time admiring the religious artifacts and memento in the souvenir store. Later on, we moved on to Damsui Fisherman Wharf, one of the must visit attraction in Northern Taiwan. Located at the end of the Damsui MRT Line, this place is famous for 2 things, (i) gorgeous street along the fisherman’s wharf and (ii) the famous lover’s bridge.  
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum
On our way to Shilin Night Market, probably the biggest, and definitely the most famous night market in Taiwan
On the 31st August 2014, we took the public bus to Jingtong, Pingxi, Shifen, Jiufen   (stories later, stay tuned for Small World’s next episode: Sending Wishes to the Sky <Part 2>)
On the 4th – 8th day of our trip, I continued to explore Taipei city solo. As usual, Taipei continued to amaze me. 

The next day (1st Sept 2014), I headed to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. The memorial hall made of marbles and concrete was completed 4 years after the death of Chiang Kai-Shek in the year 1975 is built inside a 240,000 square meter park, with the Liberty Square as its main entrance and surrounded by the National Theater and National Concert Hall. I arrived there at about 9.40a.m., just in time for the changing of guards’ ceremony which took place at 10.00a.m. Next, I continued my journey to 228 Peace Park and the Presidential Office, an exit from NTU Hospital Station and then to Taipei’s signature building and the 3rd tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 (1,671 feet tall to be exact). 
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei
One for the album : Taipei National Theatre
One of the must see sights in Taiwan - The Presidential Office
Modern Architecture in Taipei - Taipei 101
Taipei World Trade Center like Lego bricks
I then moved on to Longshan Temple, one of the most popular and famous historic site in Taipei. This temple was built in 1738 by Fujianese settlers. After spending some time in the temple, I explored the outside area, famous for traditional Taiwanese eateries and market (just to recall back the memories we had back in 2008, to lookout for a traditional Taiwanese dessert store located right opposite Longshan Temple which he used to bring me there). From Longshan Temple, I went on to my next destination, Ximending Commercial /Pedestrian Area, a popular shopping district and went shopping-by-accident while visiting the Red House, used to be a famous theater and now a museum of Taiwan movies history.
Longshan Temple in Taipei
Ximending Commercial /Pedestrian Area
"The Red House Theater" in Ximending, Taipei
On the 5th day (2nd Sept 2014) of my trip, I continued to explore the Datong district, also known as Dalongdong. I took the train (Damsui Line) and exit at Yuanshan Station. Taipei Confucius Temple and  Dalongdong Bao’an Temple was just 10 minutes walk from the train station. The Taipei Confucius Temple is one of the famous temple in Taipei. Unlike many other temples in Taipei, this Confucius Temple is more solemn and quiet. Indeed truly a great piece of architecture.  After a quick lunch at Sogo Departmental Store, I then moved on to Wufenpu Garment Wholesale Area, located in the Xinyi district. I arrived there around 1.00p.m., the crowd was thin and some shops appeared to be closed (I think the actual opening hours depends on the shopkeepers, so, arriving at 3 or 4 p.m. is a safer bet). Majority of goods offered at Wufenpu are for women. Most of the clothes/fashion items here are locally manufactured with a small percentage being imported from Korea. Here in Wufenpu, bulk buying generally yields a discount. Being a shopaholic, I spent nearly 3-4 hours there before I headed back to the hotel. Thanks to Wufenpu for unleashing the flurry.  I am officially broke!

** Wufenpu Garment Wholesale Area is open every day of the week, but some stores limit sales to wholesalers on Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly.
Taipei Confucius Temple
Taipei Confucius Temple Wall of Supreme Knowledge

Koji tableau at the Yi Gate of Taipei Confucius Temple. The figure is holding a flag, pronounced as “qi”, and a ball, pronounced as “qiu”; when spoken in tandem as “qiqiu” these sound like the verb “to pray”
Classical Officer at Dalongdong Bao’an Temple
Beautifully carved dragon pillar at Bao’an Temple

The following day (3rd Sept 2014), it was a free & easy day for me. I spent the whole day touring Taipei 101 and its surrounding area. I then had my lunch at a global dumpling icon restaurant, Din Tai Fung, which was originated from Taiwan. Steamed shrimp and pork dumpling, Steamed mini pork dumplings with soup, Fried rice with eggs and shrimp were served! Blurps! And I went back with satisfied stomach! Later in the evening, I continued to explore the East District, with plenty of shopping malls, restaurants and bookstores (hubby’s favourite!). Of course, the Eslite Xinyi Bookstore was top on the list.  We then had our meals at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi and toured the surrounding pedestrian area. 
Learning how to eat dumplings at  Din Tai Fung, Taiwan
Shin Kong Mitsukoshi
On the 7th day (4th Sept 2014), I headed to the National Museum of History, built in 1917 with priceless cultural artifacts in there. Later in the afternoon, I moved on to Damsui (my second time visit) for this trip. Damsui was pretty accessible through the metro system and easily alighted at Damsui Station. As usual, I continued to explore the old street, packed with lots of delicious authentic foodstuffs and souvenirs! It was a sunny weekday, and the crowd was thin compared to last Saturday (30 August 2014). This port village of Damsui was indeed a very charming river district with the strong sea winds gushing towards your face. The view along the boardwalk was breathtaking. I spent my solo-moments at Mcdonald’s Damsui, watched small fishing boats float by before I headed back to the hotel.
National Museum of History, which was under construction when I was there
Damsui Train Station
Damsui Old Street
On the 8th day (5th Sept 2014), I explored the Luzhou District. To get there, I took the MRT (Luzhou Line) and alighted at Sanmin Senior High School Station, and walked for 10-15 minutes to the Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate, located in a rather uninspiring part of Taipei. Here’s a bit of a history & background of it. The house, built in 1857, was made of bamboos and concrete wall. It was shaped as a Chinese Quadrangle with three entrances and inner and outside dragons. There are fifty-six rooms, nine halls, and one hundred and thirty doors in total. The main gate of the house has a banner stating "Wai Han" which was inscribed by Sho-hui Lo, the chujen of the Qing Dynasty. There is a half moon lotus pond and a small canal that leads directly to the Damsui River. Each of its parts tells something about the building’s past, from the various hallways and lofts to smaller touches such as stoves and wells. The Li Family Abode is a typical family settlement in a Taiwanese traditional agricultural village and it is still well-protected until today. However, this restored estate is now surrounded by multi-story buildings. My visit to this historic estate was filled with meaning, as I gained understanding of what life was like for early settlers in Taiwan. After spending 2 hours there, I later proceeded to the Luzhou Forbidden City Museum. However, I was told the museum has been shut down. And so, I moved on to Yonglian Temple along Luzhou Miaokou Market, just 10-15 minutes’ walk from Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate. Located at the corner of Desheng Street and Chenggong Road, Yonglian Temple was built in 1872 and has played an important spriritual and cultural role for the people of Luzhou. Along the way, I passed by the Luzhou Miaokou Market, home to authentic local snacks.
Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate
Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate
Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate
Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate
Lanterns at Yonglian Temple in Taipei
Yonglian Temple
**To get to Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate:
Take Luzhou Line, Stop at Sanmin Senior High School Station (Exit 1), walk along Fuxing Road. From Zhongxiao Road, turn left then walk straight. Then from Zhongzheng Road, turn right and walk straight for a while. When you reach the National Open University, turn left into a small lane and walk for another 5 minutes before you reach the estate. 

On my second day last in Taipei (6th Sept 2014), we went to Yehliu Geopark. (stories later, stay tuned for Small World’s next episode: Nature’s Wonders at Yehliu Geopark <Part 3>)

After our trip to Yehliu Geopark, hubby’s colleague picked us up at the hotel and toured around Pinglin Old Town. Along the way, we stopped by Taipei Songshan Airport Plane Observation Deck to experience how aircraft land from above.  Later in the evening, hubby and I took a cab to Longshan Temple night market area. The cab driver dropped us in front of Longshan Temple, and on our left was the entrance of Guangzhou Street night market. The whole area is consists of four traditional Taiwanese night markets; Guangzhou Street Night Market, Huaxi Street Night Market, Xichang Street Night Market and Wuzhou Street Night Market. There were many sellers and buyers occupying the street. There is nothing particularly interesting to purchase, nonetheless it was a great venue to savor Taipei street food. Of course, we ate a lot of classic Taiwanese street-eats and desserts that you can find at most night markets such as the wrapped ice-cream with shaved peanut rolls, hot desserts, such as red bean soup, and the famous large fried chicken. There were also a wide array of pornographic films openly sold in the night market and prices were dirt cheap!  Besides the night market, there were also shop houses along the street. And that was my last stop for my Taiwan trip this round!
Pinglin Old Town
Pinglin Old Town
Pinglin Old Town
Thank you for unleashing my flurry. Taiwanderful! 

Air Itinerary Details: 
Malaysia Airlines (MH): Penang - Kuala Lumpur International Airport  (KLIA) – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) / Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) - Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) - Penang

Taipei Fullerton East
(nearest MRT station: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station via Bannan Line)
Address: No.32, Section 5, Nanjing East Road , Songshan District, 105 Taipei
Website: http://www.taipeifullerton.com.tw/
e-mail: service@ taipeifullerton.com.tw

The Sherwood Taipei
(nearest MRT station: Zhongshan Junior High School Station via MRT Muzha-Neihu Line)
Address: No.111, Sec.3,Min Sheng East Road, Taipei
Website: http://www.sherwood.com.tw/
e-mail: sherwood@sherwood.com.tw

Places of Interest / Entrance Tickets: 
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall – FOC
Damsui Fisherman Wharf – FOC
National Palace Museum - NT$250
Presidential Office –FOC
Taipei 101 - NT$500
Taipei World Trade Center - FOC
Longshan Temple – FOC
Ximen Red House – FOC
Taipei Confucius Temple – FOC
Dalongdong Bao’an Temple – FOC
National Museum of History – FOC
The Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate – NT$60
Yonglian Temple – FOC
Yehliu Geopark - NT$80

Must Try / Eat:  
  • Jingtong Chicken Rolls
  • Fried Squid (Damsui Fisherman Wharf)
  • Deep Fried Chicken Cutlets (Shilin Night Market)
  • Lime Juice
  • Xiaolongbao (Din Tai Fung at Taipei 101)
  • Wrapped Ice-Cream with Shaved Peanut Rolls (Longshan Temple Night Markets)
  • Ke Kou Fish Balls (Damsui Fisherman Wharf)
  • Ice-Monster Shaved Ice Desserts
  • Chia Te Pineapple Cake
  • Formosa Chang Braised Minced Pork Rice
Street food in Taipei
Street food in Taipei
Street food in Taipei
Local Transportation: 
  • Easy Card NT$200 (Deposit NT$100) 
  • Taxi fares from Taoyuan International Airport – city – NT$900  
  • National Palace Museum  (Take Damsui Line, stop at Shilin Station and take bus no. 30, 255, 304)  
  • Yehliu Geopark (Taipei – Yehliu via Kuo-Kuang Bus no.1815 for approx. 1 hour 20 minutes) NT$96
  • Wufenpu Garment Wholesale Area (Take Nangang Line, Stop at Houshanpi Station)
  • Sogo Departmental Store (Fuxing Branch) (Take Nangang Line, Stop at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station)
  • Taipei Confucius Temple & Dalongdong Bao’an Temple (Take Damsui Line, Stop at Yuanshan Station)
  • Ximen Red House &  Ximending Commercial /Pedestrian Area (Take Banqiao Line, Stop at Ximen Station)
  • Taipei 101, Taipei World Trade Center, Xinyi Shopping District Skywalks, Hankyu – Eslite Xinyi Bookstore, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (Take Xinyi Line, Stop at Taipei 101 or World Trade Center Station)
  • 228 Peace Park & Presidential Office – (Take Xinyi Line, Stop at NTU Hospital)
  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall – (Take Xinyi Line, Stop at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall)
  • Taipei – Jingtong, Pingxi, Shifen, Jiufen – (Take bus no.1062 at Kee Lung bus station to Ruifang train station) (approx.1 hour)
  • Damsui Fisherman Wharf - (Take Damsui Line, Stop at Damsui Station)
  • Shilin Night Market (Take Damsui Line, Stop at Shilin Station)
  • Longshan Temple (Take Banqiao Line, Stop at Longshan Temple Station)
  • Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall (Take Nangang Line, Stop at Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall Station)
  • The Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate &  Yonglian Temple (Take Luzhou Line, Stop at Sanmin Senior High School Station, walk from  Fuxing Road towards National Open University)
Travel throughout Taipei with only one card
“Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation” – Elizabeth Drew

Welcome to Small World! This blog is not a travel agency, but rather a personal site which allows me to share my past travel experiences in a straightforward and far-reaching way. I often made great use of other peoples travel blogs and sites every time I plan for my travel itinerary as they often contained most updated information and invaluable resources from their past travel experiences.  I hope that you will find every piece of information & images contained within my blog handy and useful. Thank you very much for reading my post(s) and feel free to leave a comment/testimonial or click "Like/Share" if you love reading them all. xoxo The writer is a passionate traveler who enjoys speaking to young keen travelers about the freedom to get cultured and to taste the fullness of life. Feel free to contact the writer if you need any travel advice, guidance or tips or if you have any burning questions with regards to your upcoming trip(s)/ journey 
- Be inspired but more importantly be inspiring -   


  1. Looking forward for the next post! I love your blog ;)
    I'm also a wanderlust but I haven't had chance to travel around.


    1. Hi Mei, thanks for dropping by and for the great feedback comment. Hope you enjoyed reading it. You do not need to be rich to travel. Can consider traveling in an affordable way like staying in youth hostels. Take it as an opportunity to see the world better, get cultured. Can try to explore neighboring countries in Southeast Asia first :)

      Your blog is awesome too! Very informative and I enjoyed viewing them.

      Feel free to like / share my blog if you love reading them :) cheers

    2. Please support our humble blog if you find it informative / worth a read by casting a vote in the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2015/category/editors-choice-finalist.php
      Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the post. People who really wanna make their travelling experience may take help from the detailed road map to plan everything well. Suppose if you are planning to visit China then you must have China Road Map along with you to find your ways with ease.

  3. This is really great news. Thank you for sharing it with us!
    Organizational Culture