It’s my first time to travel abroad. Thanks to Taiwan-visa free perks for Filipinos. I am so excited and hyped about this trip. Thus, writing about this experience took me two weeks. So, let me share this unforgettable trip with you.
How do you plan your trip abroad?
I applied for my passport. I only got the chance to use it after two years. Then, we booked a flight going to Taipei-Manila, and Manila-Taipei via Airasia. I paid 6,200php for roundtrip fare. We booked a hotel near the Taipei Main Station (their version of MRT). After that, we planned for our itinerary. I searched for the places which we could possibly visit in three days. We based our activities on that itinerary. Most of our activities were booked on Klook. Lastly, we prepared for our money, wifi, and lots of prayers.
For our wifi, it is better to book it at Klook. For your currency, some blogs say that you may opt to use US dollars, then have it change for NTD. We had our own ways. We exchanged for foreign money at the airport.
What to do on the same day of your trip abroad?
I was so anxious days before our trip. It’s my first time. So, I searched lot of vlog about some questions asked at the immigration. I oversearched, I guessed, because when I was already there, the immigration officers, asked me tolerable questions.
The very first thing that we did upon our arrival is to proceed at the counter of Airasia. Then, the teller checked our passport, boarding pass, and told us to pay our travel tax. That time, we paid 1,620php for the tax. This could be paid through debit, credit, or in cash. After that, we checked-in our baggage. There, we were asked to fill-out the immigration card. We filled that out with the details about our trip. After answering that sheet, we went to the immigration officer. There was a long line. Hence, make sure you arrive at the airport ahead of time.
The immigration officer asked my two companions first. So, when it was my turn, she asked me about my companion’s names. She asked me about my job. I told her I am a teacher. Also, she asked me if I am really a teacher because I looked too young to be one. I responded with yes, questioning my choice of clothes that day.
Thank God, we passed those questions. We waited for our flight. We were two hours early for our flight. Take note. Waiting for our flight earlier is better than rushing up to the gates.
From Taiyoan International Airport to Taipei Main Station
We lined up, again, showed our passport, and gave our fingerprints. It was quite fast. Then, that’s it. It was about two in the morning when we arrived at Taiwan. We claimed our Klook wifi right there at the airport.
Guess what’s our next problem? The way to the Main Station. We only had 1,800NTD in our pocket. The fare going to the city cost 1,500NTD. Can we risk that money? Thank God because while strolling around the airport, we saw a bus outside. We only had to buy ticket from the booth nearby. That was about 75NTD (not accurate though). The thing was, this was way cheaper than a taxi. The MRT that time was still closed. So, we had to ride bus. It was an awesome experience by the way. We paid less.
At the Taipei Main Station
Friendly tip: Book your hostel near the Main Station. All forms of train pass there.
From the Main Station, we headed to our hostel. However, upon seeing a 7/11 store nearby, we decided to eat our dinner there first. We tried noodles, and their coffee (which is quite the same). Noodles was not salty. Hence, it’s a big YES for me.
After eating, we walked going to our hostel. That was nine minutes away from the main station (if you are familiar with the streets). Thanks to Google Maps for being so efficient. We found our hostel, left our baggage there, and got ready for day one.
Day 1 in Taiwan
Our Day 1 started at 6:00AM. We ate some breakfast sold at the street. My friend’s sister treated us with lots of food. Hence, the inner me was so delighted. Hehe.
We bought Easy Card for 100NTD and loaded it up with 500NTD. This was enough for us for three days. We even had excess fund before going home.
- Our first stop was at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.
- Then, we headed to Taipei Zoo.
- We rode the Maokong Gondola Cable Car.
- We ate stinky tofu and their Taiwanese chicken.
- We passed by at their National Museum.
- Of course, we took pictures at Taipei 101.
- We ate so much at Taiwan. That’s it. Too many to mention.
Day 2 in Taiwan
Our Day 2 was a bit calm. We booked our tour via Klook. This was convenient for us, since the tourist attractions at northern part Taiwan were far. Here’s what we did at Northern Taiwan.
1. We went to Yehliu Geopark.
2. We lit up Lanterns at Shifen Street.
3. We looked at the Shifen Waterfalls.
4. We took pictures at Jioufen Old Street.
What I loved about this trip was the streets of Jiofen. It felt like the old times! I was immersed with their culture by merely looking at the food stalls, souvenirs, and different artsy locations there.
Our Day 2 in Taiwan ended at Ximending Night Market. It was just a stree full of stores, milktea shops, and mostly souvenir shops.
Our Day 3 was quite peaceful because we only ate breakfast, and rode MRT going to the airport.
Here’s my favourite photo:
I would never forget this experience. I will forever treasure new learning from this journey. I am praying for more adventures because who knows? God may allow these future journeys to happen.