Thursday, April 26, 2018

Taiwan Day 1: Manila to Taipei + Ximending Night Market

Taiwan is geographically located off the north of the Philippines. 

I love to go here when I was young because I was hook on the Taiwanese dramas, Meteor Garden and It Started with a Kiss. In fact, it was part of my bucket list countries.

But, I was off-guard because of the expensive visa fee. If I'm not mistaken, it costs Php 2,400 to get a visitor visa. 

Good thing this time, Philippine nationals are now eligible to travel Taiwan and it's completely visa-free for 14 days. It's effective starting November 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018 (9-month trial period). Thank you Taiwan government because it's now within our reach to travel to your country. 💖

Without further ado, my family of 10 booked our flight from Manila (Philippines) to Taipei (Taiwan). We travelled last April 22, 2018 at 7:25 am - 10:00 am via Cebu Pacific Air. Our flight back to Manila was April 26, 2018 at 3:15 am - 5:35 am via Cebu Pacific Air as well.

We only had 4 days to spare and enjoy the country...

A few reminders before the trip: 

  • For Filipino nationals, please do pay your Philippine Travel Tax, which costs Php 1,600.00 when you booked a flight or add it on your add-ons. We experienced a very long queue in the morning. Not sure if it's because its peak season. But we didn't experience this long queue when we travelled to Hong Kong last February.
  • For faster queue in immigration, fill-up your immigration cards while waiting on check-in counters.
  • Travel light if you're traveling in less than a week trip (let us say 3-5 days). I really hate to drop and check-in our travel bags. I had an incident that my bag's wheel was torn out.

» Arrival + Taipei Taoyuan Airport + MRT «

After we reached Taipei Taoyuan Airport, we passed by the immigration and walked going to Taoyuan Airport MRT. By the way, it took us 35 minutes to travel from Airport Terminal 1 station to Taipei Main Station.


Photo taken from Taipei Taoyuan Airport website


Because we're family of 10, we're eligible in a group ticket with a discount of 20%. Instead of paying TWD 160 each, we only paid TWD 128 each. That's a great deal, right? Take note that it's only a one-way ticket and you need to enter and exit together through the service gate by the Information Counter.

Photo taken from Taipei Taoyuan Airport website

For more information about Taoyuan Airport MRT, you can check this website.

What I love about this Taoyuan Airport MRT is they have spacious and comfortable seats. They also have designated racks for travel bags.



But there's more! They offer free WiFi internet for 30 minutes.



After we reached Taipei Main Station, we headed to MRT Bannan line or Blue line (BL) going to Ximen MRT Station. We only bought a single-journey ticket for this route for only TWD 20.

We arrived at our hotel, Via Hotel Ximen at around 1 pm. I tackled it on my next blog post.


» Ximending Night Market «


After resting for a few hours, we strolled around Ximending area. Here are the few street foods that we tried:


  • 1978 J&G Fried Chicken / Ji Guang Xiang Xian Ji - Taiwan's best grab-and-go fried chicken.




  • Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodles (阿宗麵線) - The famous food street in Ximending. Take note that there's a long queue and crowds of people standing around the area. We only ordered a small bowl of noodles, which costs TWD 55. The bowl consists rice noodles, pig intestines and cilantro in a streaming hot broth.





  • Hot Star Fried Chicken (豪大大雞排) - It's popular because of its unusual large fried chicken.



How about you? Have you been to Taiwan? How's your trip? Share it here. :)

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