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Sunday, October 26, 2014 Taiwan, Taipei | Day One

Taiwan was never in my travel bucket list but after some positive influences from my friends, Weixiong & I went ahead with their idea and booked our air tickets via Scoot for SGD$300 per person which was a pretty good deal. 

3G Prepaid Card
Prepaid card with 3G can be purchased from Taoyuan International airport or convenience stores (family mart / 7-11 etc..) Popular service providers would be Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and Far Eastone and these service providers come in 1 Day / 3 Days / 5 Days / 7 Days / 10 Days / 25 Days / 30 Days plan. As we will be in Taiwan for 7 days, we picked the 7 Days plan via Chunghwa Telecom for NT$450.

If you would like to save extra money, here's a useful tip. For example, you are travelling in a group of 4 - Just get any 2 person to purchase the prepaid cards and the other 2 person can borrow their hotspot whenever they need 3G.

As we were to trying to save as much money as we can on accommodation, we booked an entire apartment located in Ximending via Airbnb for 4 people including myself. If you are interested, this is the apartment -, we stayed in. It costed SGD$868 in total and each of us only had to pay SGD$217 = SGD$36+ per night which is really affordable. 

Travelling out of Taipei couldn't be any easier with Taiwan's High Speed Rail - and you can check the rates online for your convenience. Tickets can be purchased online but it would be safer to purchase your tickets when you're in Taiwan. From Taipei to Taichung, it cost NT$740 per person for non reserved seats and it only takes about 50 minutes to reach which is faster than car.

When we arrived at Taichung, a private driver I had arranged online before this trip was waiting to pick us up. To make your life easier, do hire a private driver to drive you around instead of taking taxis or public transportation. 

The private driver I found online was Mr Zhao and you may find his contact details below:

Name: Mr Zhao
Contact: +886-936994558
Email Address:
Rates Offered In Taichung: NT$4000 for 8 hours | +NT$400 for every subsequent hour

Do note that Mr Zhao may not be the one driving you around as he might not be free on the dates requested but in such cases, another driver will take over recommended by him and it is reliable. No deposits are required which also means that mutual trust is needed. Please be considerate and be on time and if cancellations have to be made, kindly inform him.

Cingjing Farm was in our itinerary and before we headed to Cingjing, our private driver brought us to Bi Hu (碧湖) for lunch at a restaurant and we were greeted with this amazing view of the river. Dining outdoor in the nature, check!

From Bi Hu (碧湖), we took about 15 minutes to reach Cingjing Farm Green Green Grasslands and ticket costs NT$160 during weekdays. If you have motion sickness, do have your motion sickness pills with you. Else, travelling up the mountains will be a total nightmare. 

It was such a lovely experience at the Green Green Grasslands and can't believe I fed the sheeps! You have to include this place in your itinerary if you are planning a visit to Cingjing. Even though it took us two hours to get here, it was worth it. 

When the night falls, we found ourselves at the famous Feng Jia night market. This place is huge and you would need a few hours to explore the entire night market. There are so many food stalls (be spoilt for choice!) and there's also a lot of shopping too. Unfortunately, we only had 1.5 hours to explore the night market before heading back to Taipei.

  • If you are planning your first trip to Taiwan, I highly recommend you to stay for at least a week if you are intending to visit most of the tourist attractions in Taipei and travelling out of Taipei to Taichung or Kaohsiung. There's really a lot of places to explore!
  • Plan your route first before you book your accommodation because one mistake I did was to book my accommodation first before planning my route. If I were to cancel my accommodation, only 50% will be refunded so we had to spend our 6 nights in Taipei.
  • If you choose to stay in Cingjing overnight, check out the pretty minsu available
A lot of our time were spent travelling since Cingjing is quite far up in Taichung and if I had planned my route first, I will choose to stay in Taichung for at least a night. Conclusion - don't make the same mistake like I did.

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