If you haven’t made the trip, the approval of visa-free entry for Filipinos should finally get you going. From the moment you arrive in Taiwan, you’ll be greeted by noise, colors, a mix of historic and modern, traditional and fusion.
If you’re there for a short while though, here’s a 3D2N Taiwan itinerary for you:
- Start your trip with Xiao Long Bao (P400) – Have your first taste of the famous dimsum as soon as you set foot in Taipei. For the best experience, have it at Hangzhou Xiao Long Bao, one of the city’s most beloved restaurants
- Visit the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall (free) – This national monument was built in honor of Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek. Notable features of the popular landmark include: its octagonal shape for good-fortune, two sets of 89 steps to represent the age of CKS upon death, and a bronze statue of the former leader complete with two guards.
- Hike up Elephant Mountain & catch the sunset (free) – Elephant mountain is easily one of the best spots to capture views of the city. The hike is a total of 600 steps long, which in a fairly slow pace, you can accomplish in an hour.
- Head to the night market for dinner (P600) – The Shi Lin Night Market is one of the largest markets in Taiwan, and is composed of a network of alleyways filled with cheap goods, clothing, and of course, all the popular street food items.
Estimated Total: P1,000
Read Top Taiwan Tourist Spots All Travelers Should Visit
- Feast on a traditional Taiwanese Breakfast (P50) – Try the savory soy milk (Doujiang), which is best paired with You Tiao, the local version of a deep-fried cruller.
- Taipei 101 Observatory (P880) – Visiting Taipei without seeing Taipei 101 is like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Appreciate the city from a different angle at the skyscraper’s viewing deck — it’s a must.
- Have a 2nd taste of Xiao Long Bao (P700) – Though we already have Din Tai Fung in the Philippines, there’s really nothing like the original.
- Explore Jiufen Old Street (P400 roundtrip) – This centuries-old town up in the hills of Keelung, Taiwan, is a picturesque village famous for its similarity to the one in Spirited Away. Whether true or not, the quaint little shops and secret alleyways will transport you to a world far from ordinary.
- Street food for dinner (P300) – Make the most out of your Jiufen trip by stuffing yourself with things like deep-fried seafood, glutinous rice cakes, ice cream puffs, and more!
Estimated Total: P2,330
Check 7 Best Things to Do in Taiwan
- Milk tea for breakfast (P200) – We’re sure you’ll be binging on all kinds of milk tea during your trip, but make sure to reserve the best for your last day. You can’t leave the city without trying out its place of birth, Chun Shui Tang Milk Tea.
- Hop on, Hop off Bus Tour (P500) – For your last day, take in as much of the city as you can by riding the extremely convenient double-decker bus.
- Late Lunch at Modern Toilet Restaurant (P500) – It’s never a good sign when your food resembles fecal matter, not unless you’re in Taiwan. Modern Toilet Restaurant is a toilet-themed restaurant where dishes, chairs, and serving plates resemble all things toilet-related. For a memorable last meal, this is the place to go.
Estimated Total: P1,200
Accommodations in Taipei
Taipei has everything from top choices of hotels to cozy bed and breakfast for all kinds of travelers. If you still haven’t decided where to stay during your trip, here’s a list of our top picks:
1. We Come Hostel
2. UINN Travel Hostel
3. NK Hostel
4. CU Hotel Taipei
5. Cosmos Hotel
6. City Suites Taipei Nandong
7. Cho Hotel
8. citizenM Taipei North Gate
9. Dandy Hotel Dann Park Branch
10. Palais de Chine Hotel
Taiwan Food to Try
If you’re looking for a reason to make the one hour and 40-minute flight, then the promise of food alone should convince you. Imagine rows and rows of streetside specialities, sweet pastries, savory noodles, and so much more.
Taiwan is a foodie’s dream come true, and if we have to narrow it down, here are six things you can’t leave without trying:
1. Stinky Tofu – Just as its name so boldly declares, this dish smells. And while the odor will take a lot to get used to, stinky tofu is actually one of the most nutritious street-side dishes you will ever find.
- Price: P120
- Where to Get: Dai’s House of Stink also known as Dai’s House of Unique Stink
2. Baozi – Baozis are basically stuffed buns filled with anything from pork to veggies, and soup.
- Price: P300
- Where to Get: Hangzhou Xiao Long Bao
3. Salty Soy Breakfast – The traditional breakfast dish is composed of lots of carbs and a strangely delicious lactose-intolerant-friendly bowl of savory soy milk.
- Price: P50
- Where to Get: Yong He Soy Milk King
4. Milk tea – Taiwan has hundreds, if not thousands of varieties, flavors and brands of milk teas to choose from. And while the “boba” craze has spread across the world, and even if it’s not your thing ordering a glass (or ten) during your trip is a must.
- Price: P200
- Where to Get: Chun Shui Tang Milk Tea
5. Giant Chicken Chops – Who doesn’t enjoy eating crispy fried chicken bigger than your face? These huge fillets are filling on-the-go snacks best enjoyed in the middle of shopping breaks at night markets.
- Price: P120
- Where to Get: Hot Star
6. Beef Noodle Soup – Like any other noodle soup in the world, this bowl was made to cure anything. The comforting bowl of steaming beef broth and wheat noodles is so popular that it’s often considered as Taiwan’s national dish.
- Price: P300
- Where to Get: Tao Yuan
Read What to Eat in Taiwan: 10 Taiwanese Food to Try
Breakdown of expenses
A trip to Taiwan is fairly affordable especially if you avoid the sit-down restaurants and make do with the delicious choices found along the street. If you want to save even more, you can go on a DIY walking tour — a lot of temples and tourist spots are free or they charge very minimal admission fees.
This breakdown could go a lot lower or higher, depending on the places you want to visit.
- Hotels – P7,000
- Attractions & Activities – P1,780
- Transportation (include Taipei Fun Pass) – P700
- Food – P2,750
- Shopping – P3,000
Know Before You Go
- Call 0800-024-111 to know how to commute – It’s a toll free 24 hour tourist hotline that’ll let you know which bus to take to go around. The service is available in Chinese, Japanese and English.
- Invest in a Taipei Fun Pass – The pass will get you unlimited MRT rides. It’ll also save you time and money!
- Do not tip – Tipping is not a part of Taiwanese culture. In fact, if you try to do so, the receiving party may feel offended.
- Practice your Mandarin – Not everyone speaks English, so make sure you’ve written down basic travel phrases so that you can communicate with the locals.
- Stay connected – Buy a local sim or rent a WiFi device! This will help you get around easily as you can use map apps and translators.
That’s it – you’re all set! While three days might seem like a short time to explore a foreign country, there’s still a lot you can squeeze in in that short period. Just make sure to do your research, plan your routes, and enjoy!
Ready for your Taiwan trip? Know more things to do in Taiwan that only locals know and do as the locals do!