Monday, April 14, 2014

9 Days 8 Nights Taiwan Trip: Summarised Itinerary for Cingjing (清境) - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) - Taichung (臺中) - Taipei (臺北)

From a high of over 5,000 photographs, i have finally managed to pare the number down to about 4,300 plus and this shall make it easier for me to sieve through the thousands of pictures taken in Taiwan for publication on this blog!

As with my last overseas journey, a summarised overview has been provided below and you are strongly recommended to click the links [specifically the ones like Day One (03 April 2014) etc as they would give you a whole lot more details]!

Singapore -> Taoyuan (桃園) -> Cingjing (清境)
[12.45am] Departed punctually for Taoyuan (Taiwan) via Scoot Airlines! It had been a while since Alex last took the plane and boy was he excited, especially after all the media hype on the missing MH370.

[5.30am] Reached Taoyuan without any delay! The plane actually landed ten minutes before the confirmed timing. I was so worried i wouldn't have sufficient buffer to take the 7.39am high speed rail (which i had already paid for) as i heard from friends that Scoot had a bad record in adhering to confirmed timings.

[6.00am] Bought the bus tickets for Taoyuan High Speed Rail Station (HSR). For those who are unaware, the airport is not seamlessly connected to the high speed rail and you would still require a 15-20 minute bus ride. Take into account waiting time, traffic condition etc and you can understand why i was jittery!

[7.35am] Arrival of the bullet train that departed at exactly 7.39am!

[8.16am] Over a distance of 134.9 kilometers, it took us only less than an hour to step off the train at Taichung HSR station! After a few minutes of consideration, we decided to take up an offer to share a cab with two other travellers to Cingjing!

[9.50am] Honestly, it makes better sense as the driver would send us directly to the door-step of our designated accommodation and the journey does not involve multiple stops along the way. Eighty minutes later (at 9.50am), we were already drinking coffee in the dining / reception area of Misty Villa (雲濛仙境民宿).

[10.40am] Since we could not check in to our room till noon (officially, it should be 3pm), we left our luggage with the villa and proceeded to our first true-blue attraction in Taiwan; the small swiss garden (小瑞士花園)!

[12.30pm] Greeted with a breathtaking scenery as i opened the door to the balcony of our pink room (you read it right; it was obscenely pink). Did i also mention that it was damn chilly in Cingjing?

[2.00pm] Free shuttle provided by the villa to the main attraction in Cingjing; the Green Green Grassland (青青草原) where we had a blast rollicking on the turd-filled turf!

[5.00pm] Dinner was tricky since the area was said to be reputable for Yunnan-style cuisine but we all know our Mr Chiu; he might be better off with Western cuisine; hence, the Western-Asian Carton King (紙箱王) would be a better option.

Cingjing -> Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)
[3.30am] Time to wake up to prepare for our sunrise tour to Hehuanshan (合歡山)! Couldn't see a darn thing as the weather was incredibly cloudy that day although we did manage to survive a low temperature of 2.6°C wearing only attire suitable for 15°C.

[8.00am] Breakfast first before taking the 9.00am shuttle (chargeable) to bring us to Sun Moon Lake! Bloody, i should have assigned one more night at Cingjing so that i can truly relax; it was so hectic to shuffle from one place to another!

[10.25am] Sun Moon Lake - Shueishe Pier; one of three main piers and definitely the one bustling with the most activities! We opted for a hotel on the opposite shore (Itashao Pier) where it was much quieter.

[11.30am] Dropped our luggage at the tea-house lookalike hotel; Cherng Yuan Hotel (澄園渡假旅店) before we trekked over to the Sun Moon Lake Cable Car Ropeway!

[12.15pm] Taking the ropeway; our aim was to explore the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村) and not just to enjoy a bird's eye view of the lake.

[12.50pm] Don't be mistaken; it wasn't your usual kind of village! In addition to educating visitors of the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan, it had a good sized theme park where Alex was damn impressed with the incredibly fun Caribbean Splash!

[4.45pm] We can finally rest our smelly feet in the comfort of our hotel room!

[6.00pm] Had a local meal at Fuyuan Restaurant which included the area's specialty; the pretty expensive President's fish that came with tonnes of bones!

[7.00pm] Roamed the Itashao market street where we snacked a bit and did a bit of window shopping before tucking in for an early night.

Sun Moon Lake -> Taichung (臺中)
[7.30am] Having a relaxing breakfast in the outdoor section facing the misty sun moon lake. If only life can be so comfortable every single day!

[8.15am] Did the touristy thing by taking a bus to Xuan Guang temple (玄光寺); we waited till 9.30am to try out the immensely popular Ah Po tea leaves eggs!

[11.00am] Time to board the ferry - we would be making our way to the third largest city in Taiwan this time; Taichung! Night markets, here we come!

[1.15pm] The iconic Taichung station which was super near to our choice of accommodation in the city; the four-star 53 Hotel. Ease of accessibility would be beneficial for our move the next day to Taichung HSR station.

[2.00pm] With the helpful directions from the hotel's reception, we got to Yizhong Shopping Street (一中商圈) in twenty minutes! My bad, it should have been faster if i didn't make a wrong turn.

[7.00pm] After checking in to the hotel and taking a much needed shower, it's time to hit the street again for one of the more popular night markets in Taiwan; Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市)!

Taichung -> Taipei (臺北)
[7.15am] Despite sleeping at close to 2.00am, we had to drag ourselves out of bed so that we could have enough buffer to have our breakfast, board the railway train and get to the HSR station in time. Hectic, hectic, hectic!

[11.00am] Safe and sound in Taipei; the capital of Taiwan! Typical of accommodations in Taiwan, we could not check in till after 3pm although you are free to leave your luggage with the reception staff who would take great care of them.

[11.30am] Accidentally barged in to the protest zone of the Sunflower Student Movement (太陽花學運) while searching for a shop i found from online reviews. The shop was not open for business but it was still an experience to see the differences in civic movements between Singapore and Taiwan.

[2.30pm] Reception staff of CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch I (新驛旅店) were kind enough to allow us an earlier check-in! Frankly, the level of customer service in Taiwan was generally so much better than Singapore and this was one of the many reasons that i am missing Taiwan so much now!

[4.30pm] Left for Ximending (西门町); a vibrant place filled with youngsters, activists, evangelists and tourists! Don't ask me about Ah Zhong Mian Xian (阿宗麵線); i didn't want to waste my time queuing and i have never really fancied mian xian. Had our dinner at a 68-year old Japanese restaurant instead; Mei Guan Yuan (美觀園).

[7.00pm] Patronised two night markets at one go; the Guangzhou Street Night Market (艋舺夜市) where Alex was beaming over his great buy, and the disappointing Huaxi Street Night Market (華西街觀光夜市).

Taipei
[8.30am] Rise and shine for our first pre-booked tour with a cab driver who sent us to notable landmarks like Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園)Jiufen (九份), Golden Waterfall (黄金瀑布)Yin-Yang Sea (陰陽海), Keelung Night Market (基隆廟口夜市) and of course, Shifen (十分).

Click the links in the previous paragraph for more details!

[9.30pm] A bit too late for Shida Night Market (師大夜市) and i guess our feet were also too tired to check the numerous shops catering to students studying in the nearby university.

Taipei
[9.30am] Stepped out of the hotel for a trip to Maokong (猫空) which used to be one of the largest tea growing area in Taipei! Riding in the crystal cable car was one of the highlights! 

[1.15pm] You wouldn't believe this. Alex literally teared apart my well-planned itinerary to accommodate a visit to the time-heavy Taipei Zoo

[4.45pm] The spot i have been waiting for since my arrival in Taiwan; Shenkeng (深坑) also known as the tofu capital of Taiwan! Time to indulge in the smelly tofu that this place is renowned for! 

[8.00pm] Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市)! There are so many night markets in Taipei; i could not finish visiting all of them even though i went to a new one every day!

Taipei
[9.30am] Left for Beitou where we had our very first hot spring - which wasn't that amazing as compared to the mesmerising Hell Valley (as shown in the above picture)!

[2.30pm] Strolled along Yongkang Street (永康街) as our planned late lunch at the original store of Din Tai Feng was unsuccessful due to pending renovation work on that day! Sad sad sad. 

[4.20pm] Life goes on! 
Let's take on the third tallest building in the world; Taipei 101

[7.05pm] Window shopped at Hankyu Department Store before we did actual shopping at the wholesale market; Wufenpu (五分埔)! Ended the night at the nearby Raohe Street Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市)

Taipei
[8.00am] Early morning out to Wulai (烏來)! Thought of soaking again in the hot spring by the side of the stream but the weather turned out to be too warm for us! We eventually spent more time in a dated resort theme park known as Yun hsien Resort (雲仙樂園) and the old street of Wulai

[5.30pm] The mother of all night markets in Taiwan; Shilin (士林夜市)! And it lives up to its reputation as there was so much to see, so much to eat and so much to shop! 

Taipei - Singapore
[8.20am] Since this would be our final day, I die die had to try the best luroufan in Taipei; Jin Feng (金峰魯肉飯). I am taking my cue from the great Kon as his professional opinion is that the best one in Taiwan doesn't reside in the capital. 

[9.15am] Checked out the expansive grounds of Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂) that was built in the same year i was born and caught the change-of-guards ceremony at 10am! 

[3.00pm] Packed our luggage, had our lunch at Dian Shui Lou (點水樓), collected my fruits and it would be time for us to take the transport to Taoyuan International Airport.

[5.55pm] With a heavy heart, we said our goodbye to Taiwan. It had been a fantastic holiday and you bet we would be back very soon!  

=====

Planned Itinerary
Quite a number of readers have started asking me for a soft copy of my planned itinerary and i thought it might be better to share with all of you! Download and read it from this link.

79 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:32 AM

    Informative!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous11:51 AM

    great writing with nice, vivid pictures!

    write on!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Hi, around how much had you spend for the trip (excludes all the buys and food) per pax? :) Thankyou in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question! However, i didn't quite do up the sums although i know in total, i spent around 2,000 - 2,500 which would include all food and buys. Scrap restaurant food; you can get your tummy filled in any of the pasar malam for Singapore hawker pricing.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous4:13 PM

    Great pictures. We have been in Taiwan for 2 times now, and seen the most af what your picture shows. We will come back. Great country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! Was thinking of another trip next year!! :)

      Delete
  5. Anonymous10:44 AM

    Do you think it is advisable to go to sunmoon lake and cingjing during the weekend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it is advisable; read somewhere that both are extremely crowded on weekends! I am not so sure about you but i sure dislike squeezing with a lot of people!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:35 PM

      How many days you hired drive?

      Delete
  6. Anonymous12:14 PM

    hire driver how many days?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only one day; for the day trip to Yeliu, Jiufen, Shifen and Keelung Night Market. Please visit http://cavinteo.blogspot.sg/2014/06/day-five-itinerary-for-taiwan-trip-2014.html for the details of Mr Jiang.

      Delete
  7. awesome blog! This gonna help me alot in my upcoming taiwan trip in December. Thanks! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no problem, Xueyen! have a great trip!

      Delete
  8. Anonymous11:20 PM

    Hi Cavin,

    Do you have any buffer time when you are travelling to Taoyuan HSR station? I want to buy the HSR tickets in advance like you to save up a bit, but I am not very sure of which timing to get. I will be taking scoot too, supposedly to land at 530.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! That would be the same timing as me then. i bought the HSR tickets for 7.39am and although that's quite a comfortable buffer (two hours), do keep in mind that my custom clearance was very smooth.

      Delete
    2. Hi Cavin, thanks for the informative post! I'll be heading there next year end Feb/early March too and your post is incredibly helpful!

      May I know if you bought sim cards there?

      I'm also landing at bout 5/6 am and is planning to head to taichung first. I read somewhere that the taiwan dageda only opens at 830 am for purchasing of sim cards. Was wondering if you knew of other places to purchase them. :)

      Thanks in advance!

      Delete
    3. Hi Shu Bing! I didn't manage to purchase SIM cards at Taoyuan Airport because it was a bit too rushed and as you mentioned, i don't think the shops were open then. I actually didn't have any mobile connection (save for roaming) until my 4th day!

      Delete
  9. Hi Cavin,
    I was wondering is Feng Jia market far from sun moon lake? Cause after reading through your blog, I have planned to visit Cingjing on my first day (except I won't be catching sunrise at he huan shan), sun moon lake on the second day and visit Feng Jia night market, Yi Zhong Jie and lavender farm on the third day. As I will be traveling with my parents, I'm worried that if I plan to stay at a different hotel on both second and third day it would be tiring for them. So could you advise me based on your experience whether do you think it's necessary ? Thank you (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mabel,

      Your intended route was exactly the same one i embarked on and i thought it was exhausting! My recommendation is to either allocate a longer time for each destination or at least for the second leg before going to Taichung.

      Alternatively, go Taichung, stay for two days before going up to Cingjing and then Sun Moon Lake. My experience travelling with my parents is that they enjoy better when they stay a minimal of two nights in the same hotel.

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  10. I just came back from Taiwan and was wondering how I should summarize my trip. Your post gives a very good way for me to summarize it before writing it in detail.Love the Taiwan trip that I went to as well....it's a very good place to chill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Billy, glad you enjoyed Taiwan as much as i did! This style of summarising was actually suggested by a friend and i have since adopted it for recent travelogues. :)

      Delete
  11. Hello Cavin Teo,

    Like your blog sharing and pics. Just one question, I might missed some details, but did you visit Yangmingshan from Beitou? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! no, i didn't manage to get to yangmingshan due to a severe lack of time in taipei! might consider doing so in my next trip to taipei! :)

      Delete
  12. Anonymous12:27 PM

    Thanks for your great posts Cavin, very informative for planning my trip to tw in Feb'15. Really like the different links for each section of your trips including phone numbers and all related websites. Was initially planning 1st day cingjing farm and sunmoon lake combined with hotel stay in taichung. Seems like it will be too rushed from what i seen in your post, maybe i will book misty villa to stay at cingjing for a night. Thanks again for the great blog, extremely helpful for fellow singaporeans!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! Glad you found the post informative! I would suggest a night in cingjing (for the sake of it), two nights maybe in sun moon lake and two nights in taichung! :P

      Delete
  13. Thanks for such a great post, Cavin! This is really going to help me a lot as I prepare for our group's trip to Taiwan. We're thinking of going there in April next year. How's the weather like in April? Is it still cold? Looking forward to hearing from you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jan! The weather was cold in Cingjing when we were there in April this year; Taipei was alright although it started getting real hot towards the end of our trip. Have a great trip!

      Delete
  14. Hi!

    Can I find out from you which attractions are good at CingJing? I am bringing my mother for a vacation, and planning to do a 1 day trip, will be setting off from Tai Chung. Are the attractions located near to each other and don't require bus or taxi?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alan!

      I have only been to a few but i guess the key attraction in Cingjing is the Green Green Grassland (http://cavinteo.blogspot.sg/2014/04/cingjing-farm-green-green-grasslands.html). I personally didn't find the Swiss Garden fascinating.The attractions are not near to one another and i had a hard time walking from places to places (didn't help that the accommodation i had no elevator)!

      There might be tours available which would make it easier for you to visit the attractions or you may consider engaging private / taxi drivers for a whole day.

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  15. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Hi Alan, how much did you pay for air ticket with scoot? :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey! I just planned an impromptu trip to taiwan with my friend. In less than a month time I'll be there & it's so great to read up your blog post!
    Makes me so excited to see what can I do there :))) Gonna start planning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Impromptu?!? I need impromptu trips; so many unknowns and the rush of getting things in order can be strangely fun! Haha. Hope you enjoy Taiwan as much as i did! Love smelly tofu? Do try the ones in Shenkeng!! I miss Taiwan!

      Delete
  17. Hi cavin

    Thanks for ur blog is really helpfull

    May i know the car rental fee that u mentioned is for how many standard hours? And how much for the extra hour if exceeded

    Thank you

    Regards
    Chen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chen,

      Thanks for your compliment!

      The car was rented for 12 hours and i didn't even ask for the fees for an extension as i thought half a day is more than sufficient to tire me out! Haha. Nevertheless, do check with the driver; rate might depends on them. :)

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:36 AM

    Thank you for sharing your i9tinerary with us :) it is really helpful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear you found the itinerary helpful. Please feel free to share with your friends. :)

      Delete
    2. Glad to hear you found the itinerary helpful. Please feel free to share with your friends. :)

      Delete
  19. Anonymous3:36 PM

    Did you stay in any minsu in Cingjing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes i did; misty villa; visit the following link for my stay and review. :) http://cavinteo.blogspot.sg/2014/04/cingjing-misty-villa-supposedly.html

      Delete
  20. Hi cavin, I see that you booked tickets for the hsr beforehand, do we actually have to do that? Or can we buy on the spot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! You can buy on the spot but there is a possibility, especially during holidays and weekends, that the tickets are sold out. In addition, buying online sometimes have early bird discounts. :)

      Delete
  21. Anonymous9:09 AM

    Hello Cavin!

    how much time should I allocate between arriving at Taoyuan Airport and boarding the HSR? Saw that you were jittery when you had about 1.5hrs! Should I book my HSR for 2 hours after my arrival or is 1 hour sufficient?

    Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! To prevent you from undergoing the same stress as i did, i thought 2 hours should be sufficient; i was lucky that immigration clearance was a breeze and that i didn't have a queue to collect my HSR tickets!

      Enjoy your trip!

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
    2. Anonymous9:43 AM

      Thank you!

      Delete
    3. You are most welcome! :)

      Delete
  22. Thanks sharing! Very informative for my up coming first family trip.

    -Did you do any star gazing in Cingjing?

    -How much was the cab from Tai Chung to Cing Jing?

    Cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo!

      Nope, i didn't manage to do star gazing in Cingjing; was too shacked and i needed to wake up very early the next morning to catch the sunrise. Cab from Taichung to Cingjing was NT$1,800 that can be shared among 4 persons.

      In case you are unaware, i actually provided more details for each day. You may check out Day One here.

      Have a great family trip!

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  23. Hi Cavin,

    I am planning to go to Taiwan from 1 Jan 16 to 10 Jan 16 (9D8N too) with 3 other friends. All of us have never gone to Taiwan before and your detailed blog has helped a lot in our itinerary planning! =D

    Based on your recommendation, we have a rough draft and some queries below:

    1 Jan 16: Cingjing (should be landing at Taoyuan Airport around 5pm)
    - do you think we should take a cab straight to Cingjing or take bus, train and cab like you did?
    2 Jan 16: Cingjing
    - is two nights in Cingjing enough?
    3 Jan 16: Sun Moon Lake
    4 Jan 16: Sun Moon Lake
    - better to visit the theme park on the second day at Sun Moon Lake because there will be more time?
    5 Jan 16: Taichung
    6 Jan 16: Taichung
    - should we just stay for one night in Taichung and spend more time in Taipei?
    7 Jan 16: Taipei
    8 Jan 16: Taipei
    9 Jan 16: Taipei
    10 Jan 16: Taipei

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Winston,

      Every time i hear from a reader on their upcoming trip to Taiwan, i always feel so excited as i just could not express how much i adore that country!

      On your queries:
      1 Jan 16 -> i thought 5pm is a bit late to go to cingjing; might as well stay a night at taichung (which is less than an hour away by HSR) and enjoy the night market before you go Cingjing the next day!

      2 Jan 16 -> personally, one night was sufficient for me unless u have the intention to do mountain climbing, hiking etc.

      4 Jan 16 -> totally agree with you although you have to note the checkout time for the hotel in Sun Moon Lake. If you are staying in taichung on 01 Jan, maybe you can leave most of your luggage there with just a few piece of clothing Cingjing and Sun Moon Lake?

      6 Jan 16 -> i regret not staying an additional night in Taichung! However, Taipei has tons to offer too!! It really depends on what you want to do; Taipei is well connected by MRT whereas Taichung is definitely not. Taipei is filled with night markets whereas Taichung had about two key ones.

      Hope you have a fun time! :)

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  24. Hi Cavin,

    Thanks a lot for your prompt response! Yes, we are all as excited as well since it will be our maiden trip to Taiwan and it is also the first time we are going overseas together, so we want to make it as memorable and enjoyable as possible!

    Sorry, I am a bit confused here. Based on your recommendation:

    1 Jan 16: Taichung -> we stay for one night here and leave our luggage at the concierge, and bring just a few pieces of clothing for Cingjing and Sun Moon Lake, then come back again on

    2 Jan 16: Cingjing

    3 Jan 16: Sun Moon Lake -> Oh yes the checkout time. Then is it possible to leave Cingjing early in the morning and reach Sun Moon Lake and quickly go to the theme park? So we don't need to worry about checkout time on the next day.

    4 Jan 16: Sun Moon Lake

    5 Jan 16: Taichung -> So essentially we are paying for one night on 1 Jan 16 and another night on 5 Jan 16? Do they allow us to keep our luggage there?

    6 Jan 16: Taipei -> We have contacted Mr Mickey Yang based on your recommendation and he has responded that he is free from 6 to 9 Jan 16! We have already soft booked his schedule. =D In your blog you mentioned many places to go to in Taipei but do you have a recommendation of must-go-to places within these 4 days?

    7 Jan 16: Taipei

    8 Jan 16: Taipei

    9 Jan 16: Taipei

    10 Jan 16: Taipei


    Sorry for asking so many questions. Really appreciate your taking time to respond to my queries!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Winston,

      No problem; i had the same confusion when i was planning for the trip! Haha.

      1 Jan 16 -> yes, you are right! Do remember to check out the night markets. I actually like feng chia night market a lot and regret not staying longer in taichung.

      3 Jan 16 -> you might have to arrange with a private cab as it took us about 1.5hr to reach sun moon lake and the theme park closed at about 5pm when we were there. Alternative is to arrange with the hotel to place your luggage there after you check out the next day.

      5 Jan 16 -> Yes, that's what i meant; check with the hotel if they allow you to keep the luggage there. Most do from what i understand.

      6 Jan 16 -> So lucky!!!! I didn't manage to get him but he recommended a friend who was good but can only speak Mandarin / hokkien. Haha.

      Hm..... i personally like wulai, maokong, taipei zoo, shenkeng, jiufen, yeliu; all of which i have separately blogged about. However, that's just me.... next round, i am so going to check out yangmingshan and spend more time at wufenpu.

      Delete
    2. Hi Cavin,

      Thanks a lot for your reply! After going through more research and your advice + itinerary, here’s my rough itinerary below. Appreciate your comments and please feel free to give me suggestions:

      1 Jan 16: Reach Taoyuan Airport around 5pm. Take HSR to Taichung and reach around 6.30pm – 7pm to check into hotel. Visit Feng Chia Night Market from 8pm onwards.

      2 Jan 16: Take cab to Cingjing and reach around 10am. Try to check-in to minsu, if not leave luggage there first. Visit Swiss Garden and Green Green Grassland.

      3 Jan 16: Take an early morning tour to Hehuanshan (3.30am?). After that, take cab down to Sun Moon Lake and reach probably around 9am. Leave luggage with hotel and go to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village and reach around 10am. Go for theme park until 5pm then go back to check-in. Visit Itashao Market Street after dinner around 7-8pm.

      4 Jan 16: If we manage to finish the theme park on 3 Jan 16, then I guess we don’t need to stay an additional night at Sun Moon Lake. Go to Xuan Guang Temple around 9am (also to grab the Ah Po tea leaf eggs). We might be planning a visit down to Alishan.

      5 Jan 16: From Alishan, go back to Taichung. Reach Taichung around 12pm. Check-in back to the same hotel as first day. Go to Yizhong Shopping Street and then go on to Feng Chia Night Market again.

      6 Jan 16: Reach Taipei around 12pm. Try to check-in, if not leave luggage at hotel. Go to Ximending, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, Sun Yat Sen Memorial, Guangzhou Street Night Market and Huaxi Street Night Market.

      7 Jan 16: Since we have soft-booked Mr Mickey Yang here from 6-9 Jan, we can ask him to bring us around to Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, Golden Waterfall, Yin-Yang Sea, Keelung Night Market and Shifen, according to your itinerary. However, would this be very rushed for time since there are so many places?

      8 Jan 16: Go to Maokong, Taipei Zoo, Shenkang, Ningxia Night Market and Shilin Night Market.

      9 Jan 16: Go to Beidou, Taipei 101, Wufenpu and Raohe Night Market.

      10 Jan 16: Any other places to go before leaving? Flight departure time is about 2pm.

      Delete
    3. Hi Winston,

      Please don't mention it! :)

      03 Jan 16 - > You are going for the sunrise tour? Hope you are able to catch the sunrise; we didn't manage to. :(

      04 Jan 16 -> Never been to Alishan so i cannot comment but would it be a long distance to cover from Alishan back to Taichung the next day? I always thought Cingjing is nearer to Alishan than Sun Moon Lake...

      06 Jan 16 -> do try the scholar's gao (abit like kueh tutu) at Guangzhou Street Night Market! You may wish to check out the palace museum; said to be amazing.

      7 Jan 16 -> Agree! I absolutely didn't have sufficient time at Shifen even though it was already night when we arrived and there wasn't much shops anyway. I wanted to check out Pingxi and the Shifen waterfall; no time...

      08 and 09 Jan 16 -> sounds good but do you need mickey as the area you are covering can be done easily via the fantastic mrt... And for me, i went Wulai which was quite out of the way.

      10 Jan 16 -> just rest and relax and do all the last minute shopping! Haha. if you have the chance, buy the custard pineapple (called shijia) which remained so memorably delicious in my memory!

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  25. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Hi i saw your picture quite clear and nice even in night. May i know which camera are you using. I am planning to buy one, not have no idea which brand should i buy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! I used Nikon D7100 but i would prefer you check out Canon too as there are always pros and cons to a camera and technology changes can really affect the quality. :)

      Delete
  26. peipeichun9808@yahoo.com.tw1:54 AM

    I really like the pictuers u took, those are really lively and clearly.
    Thank you for sharing awesome pictures, memories and experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your compliment! :)

      Delete
  27. Canti4:49 AM

    Hey Calvin! I understand your trip was in 2014 but may I enquire if there are any of the above places that you felt "renting a car" would be more appropriate/convenient? Thanks!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo Canti! When you mean "renting a car", are you thinking of renting one that comes with the chauffeur or simply self-driving? Looking forward to your reply before i advise further. :)

      Delete
  28. Hi Cavin, How much SGD is advisable to bring for 2? I'm considering a 10 days trip with my girlfriend, will it be possible to go around taichung, kaoshiung, kenting and taipei? Or will taichung, nantou and taipei only gives a better experience of taiwan instead of a hectic rushing-here-and-there kind? Please advise. Thank you ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      Bringing girlfriend? Take at least a few k! Okay, just kidding. Haha it's often difficult to gauge how much you need as it heavily depends on what you want to do!

      I suggest at least a thousand each just in case; do keep in mind that money changers were not easily available and we had to change our Sing dollars at official banks. Bring along your credit cards and net cards for that unfortunate moment when you need that extra cash.

      Personally, i like to stay longer at one place and till now, i wondered if it would be more relaxing should i have concentrated on either taipei alone or taichung / nantou.

      Have a good trip!

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  29. Hi,

    How did you travel from taoyuan to cing jing and to sun moon lake?

    i'm thinking of traveling this way too.

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      i would suggest you read the full posts on day one and two of my trip!

      Day One: http://cavinteo.blogspot.sg/2014/04/day-one-singapore-taoyuan-cingjing.html

      Day Two: http://cavinteo.blogspot.sg/2014/05/day-two-cingjing-sun-moon-lake-and-ita.html

      have a good trip!

      Delete
  30. Thank you for this post. It gives a lot of information to start my planning trip to Taiwan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome! Enjoy Taiwan! :)

      Delete
  31. YE Chen10:55 PM

    Hi, how much is the cab fare we need to pay from Taoyuan to Cingjing? Do you know if their cab has 6 seater?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! You should check out the post at http://cavinteo.blogspot.sg/2014/04/day-one-singapore-taoyuan-cingjing.html which would include a name card of the cab driver i engaged. We paid NT$900 for two persons and had to share the cab with a couple from China. There are seven seater cab but do note that once you include your luggage, the space would be severely reduced. :)

      Delete
  32. Great review and very nice pics! Would you say the theme park appeals more to kids or are there other more places to explore for adults? Thanks a bunch! Awesome blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kelly! There's actually a cultural village that would likely appeal to the adults. I am a kid at heart so i totally enjoyed the theme park!

      Delete
  33. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Cavin..tks for your informative blog on cingjing. Quick check..hw did U travel from Misty Villa back to HSR? Did U hire a driver or U took a cab or something? I plan to travel with old folks & kid so 5 of us so wana plan the logistics...pls advise..tks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! I actually traveled to sun moon lake after cingjing. As timing can be crucial, you may want to consider hiring a cab or check with your minsu / hotel on special arrangement.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Hi Cavin, thank you for such an amazing blog about Taiwan =)
    I'm planning to go with parents and aunts next year, will follow exactly as per your itinerary. Haha
    Are all places that you mentioned suitable for elderly? Cos, I scared there will be small hiking needed during the trip.

    I was just wondering, did you visit Taroko Gorge?
    And what do you thing about taroko gorge tour?

    Thanks before =)
    Indonesian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Indonesian Friend,

      Thanks for your compliment!

      With regards to your question, you may wish to think twice before following my itinerary if you have elderly members as i am the kind who walk a lot and Taiwan is not as elderly-friendly as tiny little Singapore.

      Unfortunately, i didn't visit Taroko Gorge due to the lack of time. If i am visiting Taiwan again, i would love to check out the eastern side of Taiwan which will include Taitung and Taroko Gorge!

      Have an enjoyable trip. :)

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  35. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Hello...I saw you reached Taoyuan Airport very early & arrived at Taichung via HSR. Is there food available at this HSR station? I have older folks & child travelling with us so need to make sure the group is well fed before e head to Cingjing. Pls advise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! There's definitely food available at HSR station and i remember a MOS burger. No matter what, there was a 7-11 store and unlike the ones we have in Singapore, the ones in Taiwan had a wide variety of food, bentos even!

      Delete
  36. Thank you very much for sharing information that will be much helpful for making coursework my effective.

    ReplyDelete

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