Thursday, February 14, 2019

Taiwan Travel Guide - 2 Weeks Itinerary Family Trip

Planning for a 2 weeks family trip to Taiwan is a big challenge for me. From accommodation, places of interests, to transport and travel routes. It took me months to research on the internet, read various travel blogs, brochures, and hotel reviews and even checked out the google maps before I pieced out all the information together.

It is not an easy feet to tailor to everyone's needs, but a well-planned itinerary is helpful to manage everyone's expectations and we are able to keep ourselves occupied through the day with the flexibility to modify our schedule as well.

Air Tickets
Air tickets to Taiwan were booked via Scoot which costs about SGD2322 for our family (~SGD580 per pax). Pricing is higher during the December holiday period, but we like the flight timings (i.e Midnight flight to Taiwan, afternoon return flight to Singapore)

Getting Around
There are many modes of transport to take you to different parts of Taiwan. Depending on your itinerary plans, budget, time and special considerations if you have older folks/younger children travelling along. Here are some of the useful links to help you getting around in Taiwan.
For our 16 days trip, we took HSR, Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus, Public Bus, Metro, hired a car to take us around for 5 days and also had bike ride in Taipei and Sun Moon Lake.

To save time, we engaged Mr Liu's service once again to take our family in between destinations and sight-seeing. 

Name: 刘先生 
Contact: +886 927 888 032 
Vehicle Type: Toyota Wish / Private Car (Depending on drivers engaged)

As usual, Mr Liu is very prompt in his response via Whatsapp. I communicated with him in Chinese and Mr Liu helped to review the destinations that we wish to visit and gave us some advice. Our assigned driver(s) are very responsible and contacted us prior to our pick up date. 

Prepaid SIM Card
Getting connected has become an essential part of travelling. Not only for adults but also for our growing teens! Hence, upon touching down at Taoyuan International Airport, purchasing the prepaid cards to keep us connected for the next 2 weeks is utmost important. There are several telecommunication service providers with sales counters at the airport and we decided to go for Chunghwa.

Upon exit from the Arrival Hall at Terminal 1, turn right and walk ahead and you can see some sales counters selling data sim cards. We took the midnight flight and arrived in Taiwan in the early hours. Thankfully, Chunghwa sales counters were opened when we arrived at 7:15am. We purchase 3 prepaid cards (15 days unlimited data x 2 cards - NTD700 each and 30 days unlimited data x 1 card - NTD1000). Since we are spending 2 weeks in Taiwan, Hubby decided to spend more money for the children to enjoy unlimited data connection.

Here is our DIY 16 days 15 nights itinerary covering Taichung,  Changhua, Sun Moon Lake, Alishan, Tainan, Kaoshiung and Taipei. Going for holidays is about spending time with your love ones and enjoying yourselves. While we try to follow the itinerary, we also had the flexibility to change it accordingly.

Taoyuan International Airport > Taichung Rail Station > Mini Hotel Taichung Station Branch > Walking Trail around Taichung (Taichung 3rd Market, 85°C Daily Cafe, Miyahara, Fourth Credit Union, Calligraphy Greenway) > Taroko Mall > Zhong Xiao Night Market


(Chartered Car)
Fangyuan Oyster Plucking (芳苑潮間採蚵) > Fangyuan Lighthouse > Changhua Fangyuan Wind Turbines > Lukang Old Street (鹿港老街) > Taiwan Glass Museum (玻璃博物館) > Glass Temple > Yizhong Street Night Market > Taichung Park Pavilion
(Chartered Car)
Totoro Bus Stop (大里龍貓車站) > Ginkgo Forest (銀杏森林) > Monster Village (妖怪村) > Master of Mushroom (菇神鹿谷) - Lunch > Jiji Train Station (集集火车站) to Checheng Train Station (车程火车站) > The Grove (林班道) > Blue Sky Bay BnB (藍天水灣民宿) > 茶老爸麵館 - Dinner

DAY 3 (Part 1) -
DAY 3 (Part 2) -

Sun Rise Watching (涵碧步道) > Bicycle Ride between Shuishe & Xiangshan (Xiangshan Visitor Center) > Boat Ride to XuanGuang Pier (玄光码头) > Walking Trail to Ci'En Pagoda (慈恩塔) > Boat Ride to Ita Thao Pier (伊达邵码头) > Ita Thao Shopping Street > Sun Moon Lake Ropeway > Wenwu Temple (日月潭文武庙)

DAY 4 (Part 1) -
DAY 4 (Part 2) -
(Chartered Car)
Toushe Reservoir (頭社水厙) > 嘉义火鸡肉饭 - Lunch >  天长地久吊桥 > XiDing Lookout Point > Fenchihu (奋起湖) > David's House (茶米屋) > Eryanping Trail (二延平步道) > 云瀑谷 - Dinner > Aiyu Jelly Making @ David's House

DAY 5 (Part 1) -
DAY 5 (Part 2) -

Sun Rise Watching (隙頂國小) > Alishan Walking Trail (沼平公园 - 天空步道, 姐妹潭 - 三兄弟 - 四姐妹 - 金猪报喜 - 永结同心 - 象鼻木 - 三代木 - 樹靈塔 - 香林神木 - 阿里山神木遗迹 - 神木車站) > Alishan Post Office > Eryanping Trail (二延平步道)

DAY 6 -

(Chartered Car)
钱来也杂货店 > Beimen Visitor Center > Beimen Crystal Church (北門水晶教堂) > Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields (井仔腳鹽田) >  Qigu Salt Mountain (七股鹽山) > Sicao Green Tunnel (四草綠色隧道) > Anping Fort (安平古堡) > Anping Street (安平老街) > Anping Treehouse (安平树屋) > Fushin Hotel Tainan (台南富信大饭店) > Dadong Night Market (大东夜市)

DAY 7 (Part 1) -
DAY 7 (Part 2) -
DAY 7 (Part 3) -
DAY 7 (Part 4) -
DAY 7 (Part 5) -

Yongle Market (永樂市場) > Shennong Street (神农街) > 水仙宫市场 > Blueprint Culture & Creative Park (藍曬圖) > Hayashi Department (林百货) > 衛民街巨大扭蛋機貨櫃市集 > Sosee Coffee (首璽咖啡) > Chihkan Tower (赤崁楼) > Flowers Night Market (花園夜市)

DAY 8 (Part 1) -
DAY 8 (Part 2) -
DAY 8 (Part 3) -
DAY 8 (Part 4) -

(Chartered Car)
Fo Guang Shan (佛光山) > Cijin Island (旗津島) >  The British Consulate at Takao (打狗英国领事馆文化园区) > Jia's Inn (佳适旅舍)  > Liuhe Night Market (六合夜市)

DAY 9 (Part 1) -
DAY 9 (Part 2) -
DAY 9 (Part 3) -
DAY 9 (Part 4) -

The Pier-2 Art Centre (駁二藝術特區) > Dream Mall (梦时代购物中心) > Dragon Tiger Pagoda (龍虎塔) > Lotus Pond (蓮池潭) > Habour Restaurant (漢來海港) - Dinner > Formosa Boulevard Station (美丽岛站)

DAY 10 (Part 1) -
DAY 10 (Part 2) -
DAY 10 (Part 3) -
DAY 10 (Part 4) -
DAY 10 (Part 5) -

Movie @ FE21 Megal Mall (高雄大遠百) > Taroko Park (大鲁阁草衙道) > Ruifeng Night Market (瑞丰夜市) - Dinner

DAY 11 (Part 1) -
DAY 11 (Part 2) -

Taipei City Mall - Anime/Manga > Ximending (西门町) > Taipei H Imperial Hotel (台北大亚帝国) >  Chien-Yen Hot Pot (千叶火锅) - Dinner
Wulai (烏來) > Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂) > Elephant Mountain (象山)
Xinbeitou (新北投) > Beitou Thermal Valley (地热谷) > Quanyuan Park Foot Bath (泉源公园温泉泡脚池园区) > Cycling @ Tamsui (淡水) > Raohe Night Market (饶河夜市)

DAY 14 (Part 1) -
DAY 14 (Part 2) -
DAY 14 (Part 3) -

Huashan 1914 Creative Park (华山1914文创园区) > Syntrend (三创生活园区) > Shin Yeh Japanese Restaurant (欣叶日本料理)

DAY 15 (Part 2) -

Free & Easy (Packing, Last minute shopping) > Home Sweet Home

Out of the 16D15N trip in Taiwan, we hired car to take our family around for 5 days. The rest of the days we traveled on our own by bus, MRT or HSR.

It has been an extremely fruitful and enjoyable trip and I actually felt it was one of the best that I ever had with lots of beautiful memories to take away.  No doubt there were disappointments with us not able to catch a clear view of Taipei 101 at Elephant Mountain and the sea of clouds at Alishan due to weather conditions, we explored many places, ate a lot, cycled, and tried so many fun and new things together.

TAIWAN - We will be BACK!

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