Enjoy Taipei like a local!

This one’s perfect for backpackers or budget travelers who want to experience the best of Taipei!

Briefly, Taipei is the capital of Taiwan, a municipality of the Republic of China. It’s interesting to note that if you discuss this history topic with the locals you’ll realize how strongly they differentiate their culture with mainland China. For history buffs, this is surely right up your alley. Go find out why!

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Snapshot of Taipei Metro  c/o Meander Hostel

Aside from its rich history and culture, Taipei is known for shopping and amazing food delicacies. It’s actually known to be one of the best food destinations in the world! They also have diving areas and surf spots, though I haven’t explored this part of Taipei.

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Ximending Shopping Area just beside the Ximending Metro

To get started – For Filipinos, we are required to get a visa but no worries you now have 3 options.

VISA APPLICATION

  1. Manual application – Bring all your requirements and submit to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Makati. For the requirements check the TECO website.
  2. E-Visa (Online Application) – Skip the traffic and the hassle and submit the requirements online. Click on the link for more details.
  3. Visa-Free Certificate– For those who already have the following visas: UK, Schengen, US, Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand you are eligible to travel to Taipei visa free! Just get the Visa-free certificate online and print it. This is applicable to expired visa or resident card from any of the abovementioned countries provided that it had expired less than ten years before the date of arrival in Taiwan. The other requirements that you need are a valid passport for at least 6 months and a roundtrip airfare or ferry ticket. More details on the link!

Now that the visa’s out of the way let’s get to your accommodation and itinerary!

Taipei City is 45-50 minutes away from the airport. If you’re going by bus you can buy the ticket at the arrival hall or via Taxi just outside the arrival area too.

ACCOMMODATION

There are a lot of hotels and hostels in Taipei but find one that is within your budget. My personal favorite is Meander Hostel. It’s located near the Ximending Shopping area and the train station, just 10 minutes away by foot.

They have both private and shared rooms with Wi-Fi and air-conditioning and free breakfast, tea, coffee and water! That’s a major plus for any traveler! The room rates range from TWD550 (Php881) per pax to TWD3280 (Php 5254) for 4 pax.

They also have a common space (a huge one at that)  where you can hangout, play board games or darts and make new friends with both locals and tourists. Meander Hostel also organizes tours and events so it’s a one-stop shop. This is perfect for solo, group, and family travelers.

But what actually got my attention is they also have a volunteer program (I’m not sure how they call it!) where travelers can volunteer and work in the hostel. It’s a great way to explore Taipei, and meet different kinds of people. Something I’d like to do in the future for fun!

You can find more details in the Meander website. Shameless plug: If you book your flights to Taipei with AirAsia from January 9 to March 25, 2017 you get 15% discount from Meander!

ITINERARY

Do you know that free walking tours are getting more popular now? You can find one in Korea, HongKong, and even Amsterdam! Most tours are either by donation or just for a minimal fee. In Taipei, we have the TourMeAway walking tours! You’ll learn more about the city and discover hidden city gems from your fun local tour guide!

So aside from your DIY itinerary, go and try the Tourmeaway tours. Each tour has a certain schedule so make sure you sign up beforehand!

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Got lost trying to find our TourMeAway tour guide so decided to take a group photo!
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Temple near Ximending, part of the Old Town Taipei Tour

Old Town Taipei Tour:  A walking tour that will take you around the old town of Taipei. You’ll learn about the neighborhood’s history and explore memorable landmarks around the city. Fee: By Donation

Taipei Chill Out Tour: This tour will take you to the hipster areas in the city from cafes, restaurants, shops and alleys! Fee: By Donation

Longshan Temple Tour: A tour of the ancient neighborhood that will end in a food trip in the night market! Fee: By Donation (Food not included)

Hunger Game: For those who are up for a challenge, for as low as TWD500, you get to taste 12 local dishes Taipei is known for. I’m talking about stinky tofu, pork bun and intestines to name some but don’t let me spoil it for you. This one’s definitely a must try! Fee: TWD 500

Pub Crawl: This is another must try, for only TWD700! Party like a local and dance your way till sunrise! Here’s a preview of how fun it was for us!

Video by Jolo Luarca

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Time to go to Triangle Bar!

Shameless plug: If you book a flight to Taipei from the Philippines to AirAsia and traveling within January 9 to March 25, 2017, you can get 15% off discount on the Hunger Game and Pub Crawl when you present your boarding pass.

More tips!

  • Just around the Meander neighborhood you will see a lot of murals and old preserved alleys perfect for photos!

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  • Try the local breakfast! Drink the Taiwan Beer with lunch or dinner!
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Taiwan Beer and  Salted Egg squid – my favorite!
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Caramelized Strawberries!
  • Get the Easy Card for faster and more convenient way of traveling via the metro. You can reload it in Metro stations or selected convenience stores!
  • There are a lot of 7-eleven stores in Taipei. I think you’ll see one in every street corner!
  • Try the bike share program to get around the city! You can rent a bike for a minimal fee and you can leave it in the next bike stop available.
  • The best view of Taipei and Taipei 101 is on top of Elephant Mountain. Take a 20-30minute hike and enjoy the view! It’s also for free!

Follow me in IG @travelanyway for random trips and daily musings!

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