Taipei Travel Tips

By Angel Macaraig - Thursday, November 01, 2018

I started preparing for our Taiwan trip two months before our flight schedule. From the planning of our itinerary to deciding which hotel to book, restaurants and night markets to try and activities to pre-book. It can be time-consuming, but I always prefer to be well-prepared for a trip.

Update: Since we went back to Taiwan last November 2019 for the 2nd time, I've added some additional tips in this article.

Thanks to the Internet, it's now very easy to plan a travel. Personally, I don't like package tours because you'll be limited with their itinerary and schedule (ugh, I hate rushing!). Also, a DIY trip is usually cheaper than package tours. 

Anyway, let me share with you some tips I learned while exploring Taipei ❤️❤️❤️.


We were supposed to avail Unite Traveler 4G SIM Card via Klook, but our friends from Cherry Mobile gave us Cherry Roam, including Php 3000 voucher. Thank you, Cherry Mobile! 

The Cherry Roam was pretty reliable in Taipei, we didn't encounter any problems with connectivity. We availed the Php 350 unlimited plan good for 1 day. However, fair usage policy is applicable — after 1GB usage, the Internet connection will be slower.

If you don't have your own roaming pocket wifi, you may avail 4G SIM card or rent pocket wifi thru Klook or KKDay.


Taipei has a very reliable transportation system. Most of the time, we used the MRT to get from one place to another since most tourist destinations are situated near the MRT stations. Please make sure to download the Taipei MRT app to easily navigate from one MRT station to another. I highly recommend Metro Taipei Subway app by Wu Quiping. It works even when offline. 

Google Maps will also be a big help in locating a specific place when you get off the MRT. If you're not confident with your Internet's reliability, download the Taipei map from Google Maps, and navigate offline. 

It is also convenient to take the bus, however, I'm more comfortable with the MRT. 

Riding a taxi can be expensive especially when the destination is far. For popular tourist destinations, there are also carpool taxis available. For example, in Maokong, instead of riding the Maokong Gondola again back to Taipei Zoo station which costs around 120 NTD, we rode a carpool taxi instead. It costs 70 NTD per head - 50 NTD cheaper than the latter option.

You may avail EasyCard at any MRT stations or convenience stores. We availed ours at 711 inside Taoyuan International Airport. This prepaid card can be used for both bus and MRT fares, and for paying entrance fees (e.g., Taipei Zoo entrance fee, Yehliu Geopark entrance fee, etc.). For a 5-day trip, we consumed around 700 NTD for transportation expenses. This includes fare for airport express train already.


Taipei's train system is very efficient. Some say that it doesn't matter where you stay in Taipei, as long as it's walking distance from the MRT station. True enough, we didn't encounter any problems commuting from our hotel to different tourist destinations as most of them are accessible via MRT and bus. I would recommend staying at Ximending — a neighborhood and shopping district in Wanhua District of Taipei. 

One Plus One Hotel
Price per night: Around Php 1369.00

The first time we traveled to Taipei, we booked One Plus One Hotel via Agoda. The nearest MRT stations from this hotel are Beimen and Ximen.

Airbnb: Cozy-Day 9F -3@Ximen Mrt, Hosted by Isaac (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
Price per night: Around Php 1700

Stayed here the 2nd time we traveled to Taipei...

My review (same review I posted via Airbnb app):

"Location of the unit is very accessible — just a few minutes walk to Ximen/ Beimen station. The place is very clean... We were comfortable during our stay. The unit owners were also responsive — we didn't encounter any problems, communication-wise. We arrived late in Taipei. Good thing self check-in is possible. Highly recommend this place."


1. Night Markets
- Night markets can be very crowded in Taipei, so make sure to take care of your belongings.
- Mostly, food in Taipei comes in huge servings. If you want to try a variety of food, a single order can be shared by two. That's what PJ and I did!
- According to a Taiwanese friend, you don't need to visit all night markets in Taiwan, as it mostly offers the same kind of food. On our first night, we went to Shilin Night Market - the most popular night market in Taipei. For the rest of the days, we tried different restaurants for dinner.

2. Utensils - If you're not that good at using chopsticks (like me), you may bring your own spoon and fork with you. Most restaurants we've tried don't have spoons and forks, I had no choice but to practice my chopsticks skills (Sorry, I'm working on it haha!).

3. Hotpot - We originally wanted to try Mala Hotpot as it is highly recommended according to several posts I found online. A Taiwanese friend took us out for dinner, and we told her that we wanted hotpot. We initially mentioned Mala, but she told us that she'll bring us somewhere else way more special.

Ding Wang Hotpot is HEAVEN!! I'm glad we went there instead! Maybe next time, we can try Mala! ❤️

Money Exchange

When it comes to exchanging peso to another third currency, I am also confused TBH. Some of my friends would recommend me to exchange my peso to USD first, then exchange it to NTD. Some would say that straight conversion is better. 

I opted for straight conversion because I find it less hassle. Also, BDO offers competitive exchange rates. Just make sure to make a reservation to your branch of account ahead of time. Reservation can be done conveniently via a phone call. Upon claiming of NTD, you'll be required to present your passport and ticket.

Update: You can just withdraw cash via ATMs at Taoyuan International Airport. The conversion rate is also good, and it's SUPER convenient! This is what I did last time!

Pre-booking Activities

1. If you want to pre-book some of your activities, go ahead and check Klook or Kkday. For example, the Taipei 101 Observatory Ticket in Klook costs Php 879. Its original price in Taipei is 600 NTD (around Php 1,037). That's 158 pesos difference.

One of the cons of pre-booking via Klook or KKday is that the ticket can only be used for a specific date. It's likely that your planned itinerary will not be strictly followed due to unforeseen circumstances. It will be less hassle to re-organize your plans and re-schedule when you don't have anything pre-booked.

Pros - rates are usually cheaper!

2. For Northern Coast Tour (Yehliu Geopark, Juifen and Shifen), I think it's more convenient to avail a package tour. We availed one from Klook, check out this link. A lot of my friends told me that it's difficult to commute to and from these places, so I guess this is the best and most cost-efficient option.  

My review: The shuttle bus and tour guide were okay, but the time allotted for each destination is too tight. We wanted to enjoy each destination for a longer time, but due to time constraints, we weren't able to do so. That's the only sad part.

Take time to plan your itinerary!

There's so much to do in Taipei. With the limited time you have, it's best to plan out your itinerary carefully so that you'll be able to maximize your stay in Taipei. Check out my 5D4N Taiwan Itinerary and Budget & Taiwan Itinerary for 2nd-Timers.

Other tips:

1. Bring an umbrella. During our stay in Taipei, it was mostly sunny or cloudy, but we also experienced occasional rain showers.

2. Bring moisturizer and lotion especially during cold seasons. Dry skin can cause breakouts, you don't want that right? haha!

3. Bring sunblock.

If you have other tips, let us know in the comment section below.

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