Friday, November 18, 2016

Taiwan Itinerary & Budget


August was ending. It was almost two months after my trip to Central Europe and I was feeling restless. I had no planned trip for the rest of the year. Well I had plans of exploring Turkey with a friend but with the airport incident that happened in June, we got scared.

So no plans. But I wanted an adventure.

It came down to Taiwan. I flushed round-trip tickets that I got for Php 3K back in 2014 because I wasn't up for temples and siomai after my two-week trip in China. So bye bye Taiwan and tickets.

But this was two years after China, so I think I get have another dose of China, or its territory (Ooops not! *prickly point of contention*). Moving on.

I booked tickets with EVA air. Airfare costs $102 which includes meals and 20kg baggage allowance. That is a deal! That rate is not even a promo rate.

I decided to be a "kinda-maintenance" passenger and ordered vegetarian meals for my flights. The flight attendants take note of your seat number. You get served first before they roll out the food card for everyone else. Really good if you are someone like me who gets on a kinda-beast-mode when hungry. 
 
Pretty tasty

EVA Air flies out of Terminal 1. I Uber-ed (yeah that's a verb now, just like Googled) going to Terminal and it was a pretty quick ride with the now-open airport Skyway. I was very pleasantly surprised that I saw the facelift they've given Terminal 1.


The last time I was here was 2013 and this waiting area was poorly lit. I am extremely happy they fixed that. *applause*

There's the iconic Jollibee with a waiting area.

I didn't get any sleep in the flight. I was pretty "jet-lagged" when I landed in Taiwan Taoyuan Internation Airport. I presented the Travel Certificate I secured online using my multiple-entry Japan visa.




 I withdrew TWD in the first ATM I found.



Unfortunately, my flight arrived really early (just pas 6AM) so most of the simcard shops in the airport were closed. They open at 8AM. I didn't want to wait for two more hours just to get a simcard for wifi for the next four days so I just hopped on the bus to the city (it was fine, I survived without mobile wifi for the next four days).

Just like any modern city, Taiwan's transportation system was easy to learn.
 

Purchasing a ticket is a bit easier compared to my China experience

Taroko Gorge is my main agenda for my Taiwan trip. I knew that it was far from the city and the journey would be an effort but I really wanted to do it. I got tickets the day before my trip and all the fast trains going back were sold out. Secure your tickets ASAP!


This photo shows an iconic view in Taroko Gorge National Park. I learned about this from a friend in FB (the power of social media!) and I immediately wanted to see those blue waters flowing over the rocks. If I come back to Taiwan, I want to spend a week exploring this park.

Taroko Gorge

Xiao long bao tutorial

I am not in the running for having the "cheapest itinerary/budget for Taiwan". If you just look at the total, I spent quite a lot for this trip compared to other 4D3N itineraries in Taiwan. That's because of Day 2 - Taroko Gorge. I had to hire a car all to myself (but I was really determined to do this).


Itinerary and Budget Breakdown



ACTIVITY
 TWD
 PHP

Forex Rate
1.58


Roundtrip ticket - EVA Air (with food and 20 kg baggage)



USD 102.60

     4,781.63
DAY 1
Uber to airport

      320.00

1-pc Chickenjoy ala carte

 83.00

Hot Chocolate at Illy terminal 1

     162.75

Purchase of transportation card at airport
     400.00


Roundtrip tickets to Hualien
     867.00


Accommodation: Star Hostel Taipei
  2,110.00


Bottled water
       20.00


Bun for breakfast
       32.00


Ice cream during tour
       40.00


Tip in Historical tour
     100.00


Lunch in Sukiya
       99.00


Coffee in 7-11
       30.00


Milk tea in Eslite
       60.00


Tip in Modern Tour
     200.00


7-11: 2 bananas and Ovaltine
       69.00


Dinner
       35.00





DAY 2
Coffee in 7-11
       40.00


Triangle in 7-11 Hualien
       25.00


Car rental for 8 hours around Taroko Gorge
  3,000.00


7-11 in  Taroko Gorge - spaghetti lunch
       65.00


Lay's and yogurt drink
       45.00


Ticket adjustment refund
     (87.00)


Dinner in KFC
     165.00





DAY 3
Bus to Yehliu (actual is 96)
     100.00


Yehliu to Taipei
     100.00


Lunch - clam and fried rice
     220.00


Yehliu entrance fee
       80.00


Starbucks
     200.00


2 pcs. Chicken barbecue in Shi Lin
       24.00


Beef in Ninxia
     100.00


Cheese potato
       65.00


Large wintermelon milk tee
       30.00


Oyster omellete
       40.00


Tart
       35.00





DAY 4
Bottled water
       20.00


Din Tai fung lunch
     324.00


Ice Monster
     250.00


Ticket to airport
     100.00


Tea latte
       50.00

TOTAL

 9,053.00
5,347.38
In PHP

14,303.74
 5,347.38
Total, PHP

19,651.12
 

So Let's 

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