Taipei September 2017: Budget Breakdown

Manila - September 4, 2017

Randomly booked a Taipei trip because Cebu Pacific went on sale, so we got our tickets for only P2200 each (without baggage)! Super great deal.

We were supposed to book an Airbnb, but I couldn't find any place that was in our budget + in the location that I wanted (Ximending), and also has clean and crisp white bed linens, and has a nice bathroom hahahahaha (sorry, big deal talaga yun). So, I checked, and luckily found Energy Inn!

It was around Php13000+ for 3 nights, for 6 people. It's a bunk bed room, but with a private bathroom. The hotel (or hostel, actually) also has a kitchen that serves free coffee all day long. There's also a public fridge, microwave, toaster, etc that you're free to use. The best thing about the hotel is the location — it's only 5-minutes away from the nearest MRT exit!

And their staff!!! SO NICE AND HELPFUL. I swear, they're some of the nicest (if not the nicest!) hotel staff, ever. As in, they really go through great lengths so they can help you. Seriously, I highly recommend Energy Inn. Go book a room, swear it's worth every penny.

DAY 1 - September 5, 2017

Our flight was delayed for a couple of hours, so we arrived in Taoyuan Airport at 2:30AM. The lines at the immigration were super long, so we were only able to get my tita and mom's baggages at around 3:10. We headed straight to the Hi-life convenience store to get some snacks, then rushed to the Kho Kuang Bus counter to buy tickets going to Taipei.

....only to find out that the bus will depart at 3:30! We missed the bus BY A SECOND. The board says the next bus will arrive after an hour, so we parked our butts on the chair, and resignedly ate our food hahaha But thankfully a bus arrived 30 minutes earlier! Small mercy, I guess lol.

(The 1819 Kho Kuang Bus is the only bus that operates from the airport to Taipei for 24 hours. If you're a passenger from Cebu Pacific, you would most likely ride this bus, or honestly, just sleep at the airport on your first night!)

I scheduled our trip outside Taipei on our first day (which was yes, a mistake haha). I bought our Yehliu-Jiufen-Shifen tour from Klook. :)

Jiufen Old Street was pretty magical, also: be sure to come there hungry haha. 

We didn't climb the super steep steps going to Jiufen Old Street (we took the bus!) so we didn't know where to locate the famous Ah Mei Tea House. I was adamant to see it though, so we asked the help of some locals, and after a few minutes of looking for it, we found it. It's as beautiful as I imagined! Hay ganda, medj gusto ko mag-marathon ng Studio Ghibli films after hahaha

Then we also visited the Yin Yang Sea, the 13 Layer Remains, and the Golden Waterfall before heading to Shifen for the Sky Lanterns!

I was very underwhelmed with the whole thing hahahaha it was a nice experience, but I would not do it again.

DAY 2 - September 6, 2017

We only had 2 hours of sleep, so we were knocked out after the tour hahaha. I was super hungry so I bought the best pineapple cake I've ever tasted (and a corn bread, which was no good) from the bakery near our hostel. We also had a late start on our 2nd day because the first thing on our itinerary was lunch at Mala YuanYang Hot Pot.

Omg. ANG SARAP. I had 3 trays of the lamb all for myself hahahaha lakompake. Unli everything — meat, veggies, cakes, fruits, Haagen Dazs & Movenpick ice cream, drinks, beer, etc! You only get to eat for 2 hours, though, but worth it na rin!

After lunch, we headed straight to Chiang Kai Shek, then Taipei 101 afterwards. 

At around 7pm, we went to Shilin Night Market! My faaaaaave night market ever. Those sweet potato balls on the upper right photo are the best. Try to find it when you're there, and buy some! Also: don't ever, ever, ever skip the fruits. I'm the most tita when I say this, but I don't care, everything is sweet and juicy!! I love their guava the most!

DAY 3 - September 7, 2017

On our last day, my cousin and I decided to push through our plans to eat at Addiction Aquatic Development in Zhongshan District. We arrived there at around 9am, they were already open, but the food section at the grocery won't open until 9:30. So we decided to kill time at the nearest Family Mart.

Went back to Ximending then. We were supposed to head to Wu Fen Pu then Raohe Night Market, but my titas didn't want to walk anymore, so we just stayed at Ximending since we weren't able to go around it yet anyway.

After a few hours, we went back to collect our luggage from Energy Inn, then took a taxi to Taipei Main Station where we bought our tickets for the train to the Taoyuan Airport. It took less than 40 minutes to get to the airport, so again, we had time to kill.

Went down to the food court and had late dinner; then checked in at the Cebu Pacific counter afterwards. 

I spent less than Php 15,000 all in for this trip. I would have spent more if I bought shit tons of stuff in Cosmed, but pigil na pigil because I have another trip coming up this month :P 

Day 0 Manila:

Airfare Manila to Taiwan - P2200
Travel Tax - P1620
Energy Inn for 3 nights - 1610TWD/Php2865 (8000TWD+ split into 5)

day 0 total: Php 6685

Day 1:

HiLife Convenience Store while waiting for the bus - 51TWD
1819 KhoKuang Bus to Taipei Main Station - 125TWD
Taxi to Energy Inn, Ximending - 30TWD (90TWD split into 3)

Klook (Yehliu, Jiufen & Shifen tour) - 680TWD (P1150, rough estimate)
Yehliu Geopark Entrance Fee - 80TWD (P136)
Coke - 40TWD

Bus Ride to Jiufen Old Street - 15TWD
Peanut Ice Cream Roll - 40TWD
Bottles of Water - 32TWD
Bus Ride back to Shuttle Parking Area - 30TWD (15TWD x 2, wrong had to go back)

Sky Lantern - 33TWD (200TWD split into 6)

day 1 total: 1156TWD / Php 2060

Day 2:

Pineapple Cake at Dobos Bakery - 35TWD (The best pineapple cake I've ever tasted!! The bakery is just 5 minutes away from Ximen exit 6 station! I have not tasted Chia Te's, but this is ALREADY SO GOOOOD. And cheaper, too!)
Corn Bread - 40TWD

Mala Yuanyang Hot Pot - 550TWD (498TWD + 10% service charge)

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall Station - 20TWD train
Taipei 101 Station - 25TWD train
Jason's Marketplace at Taipei 101 - 125TWD grocery
Jiantan Station - 30TWD train
Locker - 5TWD (30TWD split into 6)

Shilin Night Market - 145TWD
Ximen Station - 25TWD

day 2 total: 1000TWD / Php 1780

Day 3:

Xingtian Temple Station - 20TWD
Taxi to Addiction - 30TWD (90TWD split into 3)
Family Mart - 35TWD

Addiction Aquatic Development Food - 285TWD (570TWD split into 2)
Taxi Back to Xingtian Temple station - 45TWD (90TWD split into 2)
Ximending Station - 20TWD
Ximending Shopping - 250TWD
Yakult Green Tea - 55TWD
Taxi to Taipei Main Station Airport MRT - 40TWD (120TWD split into 3)
Airport Express - 160TWD
Food while waiting for boarding - 95TWD

day 3 total: 1035TWD / Php 1850

TOTAL: 12,375.


Have you money exchange for Taiwan Dollars in the Philippines. Bring US Dollars if you want extra spending money. Or bring your card so you can withdraw money through ATM.

We learned this the hard way. We went to sooooooo many banks in Ximending, but was turned away because they only exchange USD/CNY/SGD, etc.  A guard told us to go to Mega Bank, which was just a few minutes away from Ximen Station Exit 4. But they don't exchange pesos, too, luh. 

Turns out, only ONE bank in Ximending would exchange Philippine Pesos to Taiwan Dollars - Bank of Taiwan which is located around 10 minutes away from Ximen Exit 3 (the bank is near the Presidential Office).