TAIPEI: Budget Breakdown, Itinerary, Filipino Tour/Driver!


*Some are just estimate because unlike the last time, I wasn't listing down my expenses hehe.
**Most, if not all, photos were taken by my friends Erwin & Apple, thank you!

Before the trip

We got our flight tickets for 2800 via Cebu Pacific (it was 3200 for my friends because I didn't have a checked-in baggage). Buuuut, a few weeks before our trip, my Mom asked me to buy her stuff that I can't hand-carry on the way back, so I had to book a 15kg checked in luggage for P690 anyway! 

For our accommodation, we booked Energy Inn via hotels.com. The last time I was in Taiwan, I also booked this hotel. (....and come Feb, will probably book this hotel again if our trip would push through haha). We initially only booked 2 nights, but since our flight back to Manila was changed to a much later time, we decided to book another night. This is so we can rest for a bit before we leave for the airport at around 11pm.





Supposedly, the room was going to be shared by 5 of us, but only 4 of us pushed through. Meanwhile, the other 2 in our group booked a deluxe room (we all shared the bunk room for our last night.)

By the way, I think it's much better if you pay upfront (as in online) instead of using the "pay to the hotel" option because to be honest, the value of our money is shit right now. Conversion sucks. We booked this last September, and the conversion rate then was only 1.80 to TWD. When we went to Taiwan, it was already 1.95.


DAY 1 - March 6, 2018


From the Taoyuan Airport, our driver picked us up at around 8am so we can go directly to Yehliu. Convenient because we didn't have to take the train/bus to Ximending so we can store our luggage in our hotel!

My friend booked our Yehliu/Jiufen/Shifen tour via a Filipino driver. We paid 6000TWD for (supposedly) 7 of us. The van looked new, plus it was spacious and pretty spotless.

FILIPINO DRIVER CONTACT #:


Our first stop was at Yehliu Geopark, and that's when we found out that the "t-shirt weather" that we were expecting was, most definitely, not true lol. It was cold and windy.


Paid the entrance fee of 80TWD.


Afterwards, we went to the market beside Yehliu, and my friends bought some pasalubongs (the kropek was so good, I wish I bought some 😭).



Then we went to Jiufen, where the weather promptly turned horribly rainy lol lol lol. Went directly to the Old Street where some of us bought more pasalubongs, then we ducked inside a random restaurant to hide from the rain, and ate lunch.


The rain wouldn't let up, and we only had two umbrellas with us, so most of us were wet. Medyo shoutout to my parka that I bought in Korea hahaha water-resistant siya, in all fairness.


Did a quick side trip to the Golden Waterfall, and because it was still raining, we decided to skip Shifen, and head directly to Neehu.

Neehu wasn't really included in our itinerary, but since we skipped Shifen, we just asked Kuya Benjie to take us to the outlet stores which were in the Neehu area.

Afterwards, Kuya Benjie dropped us at our hostel. We checked-in, refreshed for a bit, then headed out to find the best beef noodles in Ximending. When we got there, we found out that it was closed for renovations hahahaha so we just ate at another beef noodles restaurant. Pricier, but the food was okay (I loved the beef and the noodles; the broth not so much). Most of us could not finish the noodles because the serving was too big! Sulit na rin though if you're into noodles. Anlaki niya talaga, promise.

DAY 2 - March 7, 2018


We weren't expecting too much from the Like It Formosa Free Historic Walking Tour, but got more than we bargained for.

The meeting place was at Longshan Temple, so we took the MRT to go there, but only realized that we can actually walk from Ximending to Longshan! Parang Nathan Road (TST-Mongkok) in Hong Kong, I guess?

I did a review on a separate blog post for this.


After the walking tour, we were tired and famished, so we went to Taipei 101 to have our late lunch at the food court. I forgot the name of the shop my friend and I ordered at, but food was really good (big servings, too!) After lunch, we went outside to take some photos; and because the weather was pretty clear, we decided to push through with Elephant Mountain.


We took the train to Xiangshan, and when we got there, we were greeted by rain ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. We contemplated pushing through anyway, but the rain really wouldn't let up, so we just decided to head straight to Shilin Night Market instead.


It was still raining like heck, so I didn't have photos at Shilin. The rain made it harder to navigate through the night market, too. (Tip: buy the salted egg biscuit!! SOBRANG SARAP, WILD)

DAY 3 - March 8, 2018


On our third day, we ate at the hostel's cafeteria, and availed of their breakfast for 99TWD. There were only two choices, so we opted for the Chinese porridge (versus the Continental), and maybe we just don't know how to eat it, but it's super bland lol. Sayang the money, but their drinks were unlimited, so I took advantage of that instead. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


After breakfast, we walked to Carrefour (about 10 minutes walk from our hostel) to shop for  moooore pasalubongs. Some of us may have gotten carried away while shopping hehe I just hoarded my favorite Chun Cui He Rose milk tea and some Doritos. I was also supposed to buy some mangoes and sugar apple (atis), but they were super expensive! Sorry, Mother, wala kang pasalubong hahaha

We dragged our boxes back to the hostel, then we ate lunch at some random restaurant that we found in Ximending (food was great!). I'll link it here when I find it.


Then we headed to Huashan 1914 Creative Park which was located in the Zhongsheng District.


We were supposed to hang out at a cafe, but we just took shit tons of photos instead hahaha Can't blame us because the place was beautiful!!

After spending a couple of hours in Huashan, we went back to Ximending to hang out at a cafe, but we couldn't find one hahaha So we went to KFC so they could try the egg tart (which I don't eat), then lined up at Hotstar. We headed back to the hostel to pack and rest afterwards. Supposedly we were just going to rest for a bit, but it was still raining (!!!), so most of us got too lazy to go out again.

We were picked up by Kuya Benjie at the hostel around 11pm. We arrived at Taoyuan Airport at around 12 midnight.

DAY 4 - March 9, 2018


We arrived at the airport at around 12 midnight, we promptly lined up the check-in counter of Cebu Pacific, and it took sooooooo long. :| Afterwards, we had some leftover coins (which you can't exchange at money changers, btw), so we went to Hi-Life to buy food.

Amazingly, our flight was on time again! I was so tired I fell asleep before the plane could take off, and woke up when we were already landing at NAIA haha.


BUDGET BREAKDOWN:

Day 0 Manila:

Airfare Manila to Taiwan - P2800
Extra Baggage - P690
Travel Tax - P1620
Energy Inn for 3 nights - 1610TWD/Php2865 (8000TWD+ split into 5)
Hi-Life Convenience Store - 42TWD (for my bottled water GRABE, HIGHWAY ROBBERY hahaha)

day 0 total: Php 5110 + P3221.50 (1652TWD x 1.95) // Php 8331.50

Day 1:


Hi-Life Convenience Store - 25TWD (bought a bigger & cheaper bottled water to take with me to the tour)
Yehliu/Jiufen/Shifen Tour - 858TWD (6000TWD split into 7)
Yehliu Entrance Fee - 80TWD
Noodle Lunch - 130TWD

Japanese Custard Pancake - FREE (Thank you friends hahaha)
Beef Noodles Dinner - 280TWD + 25TWD (noodles + bottled water)
Cosmed - 188TWD

day 1 total: 1589TWD // Php 3099


Day 2:

Breakfast at Family Mart - 32TWD Onigiri + 20TWD Bottled Water

Longshan Temple Station - 20TWD
Likeitformosa Free Walking Tour - 20TWD (ice cream split into 2) + 100TWD (for the tip; it's mandatory though!)

Taipei 101 Station - 25TWD train
Lunch - 220TWD (food + bottled water)
Xiang Shan Station - 20TWD

Jiantan Station - 30TWD train
Shilin Night Market - estimate 100TWD (street food split into 2 or 3) 40TWD (fruits) + 100TWD (socks) + 100TWD (salted egg biscuit) + 190TWD (shoes)
Ximen Station - 25TWD

day 2 total: 1022TWD // Php 1993


Day 3:

Breakfast at Energy Inn - 99TWD
Carrefour Grocery - 480TWD
Coco Milk Tea - 40TWD
Lunch - 99TWD

Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station - 25TWD
Huashan 1914 Creative Park - 50TWD (pos illustration)
Ximending Station - 25TWD

Hot Star Chicken - 35TWD (70 split into 2)
Hi-Life Convenience Store Dinner - 35TWD + 20TWD (Onigiri (fave!) + water)

Private Van to Airport - 250TWD (1500TWD split into 6)
Hi-Life Convenience Store - 32TWD + 35TWD + 26TWD (using up all my coins)


day 3 total: 1251TWD // Php 2440


TOTAL: 15,862.50

....which is about 2500+ more than my last trip but!!! I think it's only because of the conversion rate, had it been the same (1.68 vs 1.95) I think it'll be more or less the same. Honestly, I bought so much more stuff (and spent more!) back in 2017 but meh, peso really is just a bitch right now. :(

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