3 Days in Taiwan: Travel Essentials, Itinerary and Expenses | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

May 12, 2019

3 Days in Taiwan: Travel Essentials, Itinerary and Expenses

Taiwan was not on my 20 before 2020 wish list, let alone in my travel radar before the visa-free access for Filipinos was granted and before I stumbled on (and got addicted) to Din Tai Fung. Hahah! 

With only a few months left in Taiwan's visa-free program, the perfect opportunity for me to visit came last March! My vacation leave got approved just in time for Spring! I've been longing to witness those delicate pink blossoms for a couple of years already, so, together with my favorite travel buddies - Ed and my parents, I excitedly flew to Taipei despite the rainy weather forecast.     

Taiwan Travel Itinerary

Here are the things to know before you go:

Philippine passport holders are eligible to travel to Taiwan visa-free for 14 days until July 31, 2019.

Taiwan currency is NTD or New Taiwan Dollar. As of writing, 1 USD is equivalent to  30.95 NTD. For my UAE-based readers, 1 AED is 8.43 NTD. 

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Taiwan. English is a popular foreign language and signs usually have English translations, yet it is not widely spoken. We simply used hand gestures to ease the language barrier. For convenience, it is advisable to book an English-speaking driver for the tours. We did through OwnRides, and I have to say it was a brilliant decision!

Flag Lowering Ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan
Flag Lowering Ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan
Ed and Lady in Taipei Taiwan
19th country with this one!

Because of its topography, Taiwan has a varied climate. December to February is Winter. The weather is mildly cold. It doesn't snow in Taipei, but you can head up to the mountains if you want to experience a winter wonderland. March to May is Spring. It is cherry blossoms season yet it can be very rainy. June to August is the hot and humid summer, but you have to watch out for typhoons during this time as well. September to November is Autumn. The breeze gets cooler, yet the weather is generally sunny. 

What to Pack for Spring

  • Clothes that you can layer
  • Jacket and beanies
  • Umbrella
  • Leggings 
  • Comfortable closed shoes
  • Reminder: Taiwan is only a few hours from the Philippines by airplane, but never ever underestimate the weather! Monitor the weather forecast and plan your outfit accordingly.

spring trip in Taiwan
Vibrant spring colors scatter around the country!
Lady in rainy Taipei
But do watch out for non-stop rain showers!

From the airport
Taoyuan Airport is located an hour away from the city. Public transportation (MRT and Bus) are available and affordable for solo travelers. However, for our family of four, we opted to take Uber as it is more convenient and reasonably priced at 942 NTD (115 AED) from the airport to our accommodation in Sanchong District.

Getting around
Most attractions we wanted to see are situated outside Taipei, hence we booked a customized private trip at OwnRides. For attractions within the city, we reached them via Uber. If it wasn't raining cats and dogs, we could have done a walking tour and traveled by MRT as most sights are near the train stations.

English speaking driver in Taipei Taiwan
Meet Rock. He drove us around Taipei and beyond for 2 days.

Where we stayed?
We called Walker Hotel in Sanchong District our home for 4 days. Although it looks sketchy and worn-out on the outside, the family room is clean and sleek. It is very spacious; can even accommodate 4 double beds if they allow. With the free buffet breakfast, the quad room rate of less than 200 AED/night is an awesome deal. I didn't get to take photos but rest assured that what you see in booking websites is what you'll get.

What to eat in Taiwan?
If you're a foodie like me, you would definitely adore Taiwan's culinary offerings! Here are three that you shouldn't miss:
  • Xiao Long Bao: steamed soup dumplings
  • Stinky Tofu: a popular smelly snack in night markets
  • Bubble Milk Tea: a global phenomenon that originated in Taiwan 

What to eat in Taiwan
XLB in Din Tai Fung is a must! :)

Taiwan Travel Itinerary and Expenses
Warning: This is a go-with-the-flow itinerary. We made it in such a way that it can accommodate delays or cancellations due to bad weather and last minute requests from the parents - like taking it slow or calling it a day earlier than usual.

Day 1
Arrival in Taoyuan Airport

Breakfast in the airport food court
288 NTD for 4

Uber ride to Walker Hotel in Sanchong
115 AED

Hotel check-in,
pre-booked and paid through Booking.com

700 AED for 4 nights


Uber ride to Din Tai Fung in Xinyi Road
25 AED

Late Lunch/Early Dinner in Din Tai Fung original store

1067 NTD for 4
Uber ride to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

11 AED
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

 Free Entrance
Watch the Changing of Guards

We were supposed to proceed to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, and then Ed and I would climb up Elephant Mountain at sunset, but then it rained and we didn’t have umbrellas. 

As there was no chance of getting a better weather that night, we booked an Uber back to our hotel.

Uber ride to Walker Hotel in Sanchong
33 AED

Visit a 7 Eleven near the hotel to buy umbrella and snacks
178 NTD 
(60 NTD for a cute clear umbrella)

original Din Tai Fung in Taiwan
At the first-ever Din Tai Fung! Expect to queue if you come at peak hours.
We arrived at 3 PM and had to wait 5 minutes to be seated.
family feast at Din Tai Fung Taipei
We feasted on Xiao Long Bao, Schezuan Wontons, Vegan Dumplings, and Fried Rice.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
The first attraction on our itinerary: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Cherry Blossoms in Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
First sighting of Cherry Blossoms in the garden of the memorial hall
Changing of the Guards ceremony in Taipei
Changing of the Guards ceremony
Chiang Kai Shek entrance
The massive gates of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall on a cold and rainy evening.

Day 2
Breakfast in hotel

Pick up for Taichung Day Trip via OwnRides Customize trip

669 NTD advance deposit, 4760 NTD cash

Zhong She Guan Guang Flower Market
150 NTD/adult

Tai’an Police Station (Cherry Blossoms)
Free Entrance

Lunch at Chun Shui Tang Original Store: The birthplace of bubble milk tea!

1069 NTD for 4
Dessert at Miyahara
170 NTD for 1 ice cream sundae

Rainbow Village
Free Entrance

Travel back to Taipei. Drop off at W Taipei.

Pre-dinner drinks at Yen Bar at W Taipei
This bar has an excellent view of Taipei 101. Too bad we missed the sunset!

2200 NTD for 4
Uber ride to Taipei 101

Dinner in Taipei 101 food court

I forgot what exactly we had for dinner, but I remember the Chicken Rice meal at Hawker Chan (a Michelin-star hawker stall originally from Singapore) was at 120 NTD.

Around 500 NTD for 4
Uber ride to Walker Hotel in Sanchong
51 AED

Spring is also tulip season in Houli Flower Farm!
Spring is also tulip season in Houli Flower Farm!
Ed and Lady in Houli Flower Farm
Such a colorful place for fun shots! If only the weather cooperated. :p
lane of cherry blossoms in Tai'an Police Station
A lovely lane of cherry blossoms in Tai'an Police Station
Chun Shui Tang bubble milk tea
The original Bubble Milk Tea!
lunch in Chun Shui Tang
Bubble Milk Tea at Chun Shui Tang is definitely one of the bests I've had.
However, food is so-so. Portions are really huge though. 
Too pretty to eat sundae at Miyahara
Too pretty to eat sundae at Miyahara
Rainbow Village in Taichung
Rainbow Village: another must-see in Taichung
Lady in Rainbow Village in Taichung
Happy place!
Yen Bar Taipei
Nightcap: Drinks and light bites with a view

Day 3
Breakfast in hotel

Pick up for Northern Coast Tour (which I tweaked the last minute due to bad weather) via OwnRides Customize trip

588 NTD advance deposit, 4220 NTD cash
Wuji Tianyuan Temple: a popular spot for Cherry Blossoms viewing. Unfortunately, we visited at the wrong time.

Free Entrance
Yehliu Geopark
80 NTD / person

Lunch at Golden Emerald Seafood Restaurant

1890 NTD

We canceled our afternoon trip to Jiufen and Shifen, and opted to travel back to Taipei due to heavy rain and cold winds. We visited the attractions we didn’t get to see on our first day instead.  

Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
Free Entrance

Longshan Temple
Free Entrance

Shilin Night Market

approx 500 NTD for pasalubong and whatnots

Uber ride to Modern Toilet Shilin  

Dinner at Modern Toilet
900 NTD


Uber ride to Walker Hotel in Sanchong
20 AED

at the entrance of Wuji Tianyuan Temple
at the entrance of Wuji Tianyuan Temple
Lady at Wuji Tianyuan Temple
This 5-tiered pagoda is a sight to behold.
Yehliu Geopark
Yehliu Geopark
Lady in Yehliu Geopark
Yehliu features bizarre geological formations. This one looks like a mermaid's tail!
seafood lunch in Yehliu
There are a lot of seafood restaurants near Yehliu Geopark.
Our driver, Rock, took us to Golden Emerald where we had this succulent oysters and shrimps! 
family in Taipei 101
Taipei 101 played peek-a-boo in the thick clouds!
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
Cherry Blossoms in Sun Yat-Sen park
Cherry Blossoms in Sun Yat-Sen park
Quick stop at Longshan Temple
Quick stop at Longshan Temple
Pasalubong Shopping at Shilin Night Market
Pasalubong Shopping at Shilin Night Market
Modern Toilet Taipei
Dinner at Modern Toilet: Pasta in a tub, Poop ice cream, not in the photo is Hot Pot in a toilet bowl! 

Day 4
Breakfast in hotel

Uber ride to Taoyuan Airport
191 AED

So long, Taiwan! Xie Xie!

Estimated Budget for this 3-day Itinerary


Expenses in Philippine Peso and UAE Dirhams per person


Approximately 800 AED or 11,000 PHP/person roundtrip if you’re coming from Manila or a SE Asian country, so you gotta watch out for seat sales if you want to save on flights!


175 AED or 2,500 PHP/person 

4 nights in a quad room in a hotel outside the prime tourist area


Tours, Entrance Fees, Pasalubong: 380 AED or 5,300 PHP/person

Uber rides: 116 AED or 1,600 PHP/person based on 4 people sharing

Food and Drinks

250 AED or 3,500 PHP/person

Most of our meals were taken in popular restaurants and we splurged on drinks at Yen Bar, that's why our expenses shoot up beyond the food budget. But it's my Papa's birthday, so that's ok! :)

Approximately 1,700 AED or 24,000 PHP/ person

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