Travel Itinerary: 4 days in Taiwan (Kaohsiung and Taipei) July 2018

July 22, 2018

It was a short but great trip to return back to Taiwan after a few years. Even though it was just 4 days, me and my two friends really covered quite a lot of ground! Anyway, I thought I'll share with you a few tips on getting around and where to check out this time around!


Data and getting around

Pro-tip: We used the Klook app to pre-buy unlimited data SIM card for S$13.30 for pick up at the International Terminal 1. This was really useful for us since WIFI is not available everywhere, unlike Korea. The process and pick up at the airport was really fast and easy!

From the airport, you can take the airport MRT line straight into Taipei Main Station, which was only 35 mins express ride from Terminal 1 to town. Either this, or you could take the HSR after taking a train from the airport to the Taoyuan Station OR take the bus. I would recommend the first option, which is the most straightforward!

I'll also recommend buying a MRT card at the stations to tap in and out of trains instead of buying any single trip tickets. It's 100 TWD for the card, and you can top up however much you want at stations or even 7-11 (min. 100 TWD top up there). Here's the subway MRT map. As you can see, Main Station is where everything happens, but you'll be good to stay anywhere near the Zhongxiao Fuxing or Ximen area as well.


Accommodation

I used to stay in a hostel that was super near the Main station called Mr Lobster's Secret Den Design Hostel, which is a budget option for solo travellers!

Otherwise we also stayed in a 4-star hotel called Home Hotel in the Da An area, which is 8 mins walk away from Zhongxiao Fuxing station and very near a lot of boutiques.

If your budget is more mid-range, I'll recommend Cho Hotel, which is at Ximen area and has a hostel feel, but with individual rooms that are clean and neat!

Where to eat and drink

It was quite late when we all met up in Taipei Main Station after spending the day before at different parts of Taiwan. There's a LINE shop in the Main Station to walk around at, and you could buy a Train Bento if you wish to go out elsewhere (its basic, but a nice experience), but most restaurants and shops in the main station don't open until 10.30am, it seems, except McDonalds, KFC and Starbucks! Perhaps everyone is sleeping in after clubbing or going out to night markets.

Before dinner, we walked to a cafe called Belle Epoque and tried out some fries and a creme brulee fluffy pancake, which is what they are famous for, other than the tapioca pearl pancake (made for the gram!)


For dinner, we had made reservations at Rosemary Pasta, which is my go-to pasta restaurant every time I am in Taipei! Their specialty is the pink pasta, and desserts come free with the mains. Everyone must try the Lava Cake, which is super duper good.





We ended the day with cocktails at Fourplay, which had 2 bars just down the same street. One is a little bit more Asian-fusion, which was the one we went, while the other had more Western style classic cocktails, apparently.




The next morning, we did a coffee run and got a latte from FOMO Coffee. It was super smooth and creamy, though my friend preferred if they used half the amount of milk for a stronger coffee taste. Taipei had so many hipster coffee shops!



We then did an epic trip to go to Comida Charcoal Toast - we had to take a bus and change to another, but the 2nd bus was taken in the wrong direction so we had to cross over and do it again, then walked for a good 10 minutes in the hot hot sun. By the time we got there, I was perspiring immensely. I was also very surprised to see that the shop only had 2 folding tables at the corridor, which means they can only accommodate 8 people - no air con or actual shop. Still, it was freaking worth it. The double cheese was FANTASTIC and looked as good as the photo.


For lunch, we decided to go for the famous Master Spicy Noodle. It's basically mala soup with beef chunks and noodles and its also available as an instant noodle packet. I thought it was decent - not too spicy - and the shop was really cool, but my Kaohsiung beef noodles was yummier.


We walked around the outdoor boutique shops a little (it's a bit like our Haji Lane) at the Dunhua / Zhongxiao area.



I was asked to check out the competition coffee at Hotel V's Simply Kaffa. The thing was, they require every pax to order something - no sharing, which was really inflexible since we were not hungry. In the end, I tried their Matcha swiss roll cake and latte, both of which are undeniably good, but still...



It was then back to the hotel, having made reservations for hotpot at 930pm at the nearest Wulaoguo to us (they are a hotpot chain that's famous in Taipei). It turned out to be around 33 SGD per pax for the double-flavoured hot pot, but I would say its really money well spent. It is not a hotpot buffet, but ala carte system where you order via a paper chit, but the quality of ingredients and the soups were both top notch. We had wanted to go to Woo bar after for drinks but we were simply too full and caught the bus back!



The next morning, we decided to take a leisurely morning and had a really late breakfast at this "healthy" cafe called Tamed Fox. The cinnamon roll was really yummy, and the coffee definitely passable!


Lunch was at another chain shop called Ba Fang Yun Ji Dumplings near us - a place famous for their kimchi gyozas. I tried their pork and chive dumplings as well as some gyozas and they were both really yummy!



We then walked around and had lunch part 2 at Luke's Lobster at Breeze Center, sharing 1 lobster roll among 3 of us. It was delish and actually the ingredients were quite generous!


We then took an Uber (yes they still exist there) from Home Hotel to Ximending where our next hotel Cho Hotel is at. Our driver was very amused by our accents and what we knew of Taipei. He recommended for us to check out the Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 bubble tea shop if we have time, because that's a legit one. From there, we went to a bar called Driftwood for a super delicious and fresh craft beer and I bought some pineapple cakes from Ruyi Sunny Cake shop.


Had the customary Ah Zhong Mee Sua (which does not contain oysters, but intestines instead!) and we returned to Cho Hotel.


From then on, we had to pack and shower and took an Uber to the Main Station instead since we had luggages. Be sure to grab/pack some food because the restaurants in the airport would have been closed after 930pm. Definitely check out the onigiris from 7-11, they are so yummy! And you can use up the rest of your MRT card's balance on it to pay.

That's about it, really! Hope you guys found this itinerary useful. I've also blogged about Taipei 2 other times, here in 2016 and here in 2014.

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