Taiwan

1 month in Taiwan : itinerary and budget

Taiwan or the Republic of China, is my 4th country of Asia on my list after visiting Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

I stayed for almost 40 days, in June/July. The weather is already hot and humid : in June temperature is around 30 degres with humidity above 50%; in July, temperature is easily above 35 degres still humidity above 50%. If you have ever been to Singapore, Taiwan is more manageable in term of humidity. If you go higher in mountains, temperatures are around 20-25 degres but more favorable to rain. I had such good weather overall : sunny for the most of my trip. Rain mainly occured in the east coast (Hualien and Taitung) and few showers in the late afternoon in Taipei, Alishan was rainy the whole afternoon.

Taiwan is a mix of developed yet rural, contrasting landscapes between lush mountains and empty beaches. You will love it if you are seeking culture choc, local cuisine and diversity. The country has known many occupations and still keep heritage of the past colonizations : japanese, portuguese, chinese etc…

Taiwan
Dagouxi Park – Taipei

ITINERARY

Here is my clockwise itinerary for almost 40 days in Taiwan. I sorted it to avoid east coast in July and possible typhoons. But it went fine.

This itinerary was made withour a car as a solo traveler.

D1-D6 (5 nights) : Taipei
D6 (1 night) : Jiufen
D7 (1 night) : Yilan
D8-D12 (4 nights) : Hualien
D12-D15 (3 nights) : Taitung
D15-D17 (2 nights) : Kenting
D17-D21 (4 nights) : Kaohsiung
D21-D23 (2 nights) : Tainan
D23-D25 (2 nights) : Chiayi
D25 (1 night) : Alishan
D26-D28 (2 nights) : Sun Moon Lake
D28-D31 (3 nights) : Taichung
D31 (1 night) : Taipei
D32 (1 night) : Keelung
D33-D38 (5 nights) : Taipei

Some afterthoughts : 

  • I would have spent less time in Hualien
  • I would have spent 1 more night in Alishan
  • I would have visited Keelung at the beginning before Yilan
  • With the extra days, I would have visited one of the many islands nearby

My favorite city goes to Kaohsiung ! It is smaller, at human size with something I didn’t found somewhere else. Maybe because it is under redevelopment, this is the only city that has a tramway !

Alishan was a true gem ! Whatever weather you might have, it adds some atmosphere and a unique ambiance. Admire sunrise is not to miss ! I advise you to stay in the park because transportation is relatively difficult. The majority of the hotels are not on Booking nor Agoda… you need some mandarin to book them or ask a local to help you. The few accommodations available on Booking and Agoda were already sold out at least 1 month and a half in advance. However, if you master mandarin, there are plenty more accommodations and had vacancies. I met some travelers who booked theirs only 1 week before.

Taiwan
Dongao Bay – Yilan

BUDGET

Now onto the money ! 

Airplane : 1300 
Flight with Air France-KLM : stopover in Seoul to go and Amsterdam on my way back.
Travels to Asia have becomed extremely expensive, probably because of the Russia situation.
Accommodation : 834 
I stayed mainly in hostels. Alishan doesn’t have any hostels within the park, only hotels. And I get an extra private room for 1 night in Taipei and my 4 nights in Kaohsiung.
Food : 830 €
I ate in night markets or local stores. But also treated myself with some higher end restaurants (about 20 €). I went 3 times to Din Tai Fung but prefer branches outside of Taipei where waiting can reach 2 hours ! In Taichung, I only waited 30 minutes.
Transports : 215 €
I highly suggest you buy an EasyCard. It is used everywhere except for semi-express trains and High Speed Rail (HSR) trains.
To move from cities to cities, I took local trains, semi-express trains and buses. I tried HSR one time (too expensive according to me compared to semi-express trains).

Warning : Don’t get fooled ! Pay your fare in the long distance buses WITH you EasyCard, you will save 50% of the price ! For example : Chiayi – Alishan route costs 240 NTD if you buy your ticket at the convenient store or train station but it costs you only 105 NTD if you directly pay with your EasyCard onboard. Apparently available only for selected timeslots.

Within town, I took buses and metros.

Activities : 138 €
It includes Taroko Gorge Tour and park entry fees. I highly suggest to book a Taroko Gorge tour if you can for comfort if you don’t want to do long hikes or if you don’t have a car. Buses are too unreliable and you will waste time from one place to another.
I rent bikes in Chisang, Taitung and Sun Moon Lake. It is inexpensive, 3 hours for 100 NTD (around 3 €), except for Sun Moon Lake.
Miscellanous : 90 €
For SIM card and laundries. 
For SIM card, buy it at the airport ! If you travel more than 30 days but less than 60, know that the SIM card cannot be recharged. However, you can buy 2 SIM cards : one for 30 day and one for the remaining days. Unfortunately, you cannot buy 2 SIM cards with the same provider. It worked well for me. You also receive a SMS to warn you about the expiration of your SIM card. I bought both my SIM cards (30 days + 10 days) at the 2 provider counters at the exit of luggage pick up.

TOTAL : 3407 €
My budget went high because of the flight. Compared to a year before, my flight for South Korea was only 500 €.

Taiwan
Kenting Night Market

There you go for this new travel summary ! I hope it will help you organize your upcoming trip to Taiwan !

See you,
So

One comment

  1. dave

    thank you for sharing your experience online

    Reply

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