For our day 1 we purchased Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass Card. This includes unlimited rides for MRT, buses and free access to 16 attractions. We bought it through Klook though these link. We only bought the one-day pass version for only P1948.00. It also has two and three-day unlimited version.
These are the 16 attractions included in the card. I highlighted those we intend to visit with our pass
- A one-time visit to each attraction during the validity period
- Taipei 101 Observatory
- National Palace Museum
- Main Building of Chiang Kai-Shek Shilin Residence
- Miramar Entertainment Park Ferris Wheel
- Taipei Children’s Amusement Park
- Tamsui Historical Museum
- Tamsui to Fisherman’s Wharf round trip ticket
- Gold Museum
- Yeliu Geopark
- Juming Museum
- Sky Lantern Police Station Electric Sky Lantern ticket
- National Museum of Marine Science and Technology
- Taipei Zoo
- Maokong Gondola
- Miniatures Museum of Taiwan
- Heping Island Park
We also found out that Taipei unlimited fun-pass card comes with a booklet that contains the MRT train station map, introduction on the free 16 attractions and sample itineraries so you can maximize the card. It also comes with a book of coupons for freebies and discounts for several restaurants. That was really amazing. This unlimited fun pass card was really designed for tourist to have a hassle-free tour and added it with surprises.
Opening a page of the booklet guide.
Scanning through pages of the guide, these pages are my favorite. They have suggestion itineraries you can follow so you can maximize the Fun Pass Card!
THE BEST THING: KLOOK HAS BUY 1 GET 1 at 50% Off for AVAILING the TAIPEI FUN PASS CARD.
Because of this our expenses shrink further. Supposed to be, we should be paying a total of 5778 PHP. But because of the promo, we only paid 4920 PHP. Imagine the savings if your group is in even number.
Once you bought this through klook, you will have a choice where to claim the card, either in NAIA , Taoyuan Airport or Taipei Main Station. We claimed ours in Taoyuan Airport Klook kiosk upon landing and I must tell that Klook kiosk has a very long line! We spent almost an hour waiting for our fun pass card.
Later I will do a computation on how much we saved using our 1 Day Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass Card in our Day 1 in Taiwan.
OUR TEMPORARY HOME in TAIWAN
By the way this is our temporary home in Taiwan. I am pretty proud on booking this one. It felt like an achievement so I am sharing this with you.
I chose this because it’s near Ximen MRT Station where our Klook meet-up were also located for the next days. By near, I mean it’s 3-5 minutes walking distance away. It looks stylish with it’s French-inspired interior. It has wifi! It has refrigerator, free toiletries, towels, complimentary coffee and tea. And most of all, it is affordable, almost as same as the price of capsule hotel if not cheaper. If you’re interested to book this , this is the link in AIRBNB. The only cons that I could think of is there was no elevator and this is on third floor. But I could say that only a minor issue since we seldom took the stairs anyway since we were out most of the time. To watch my tour in our airbnb, watch it here in this link:
By the way this day 1 happened on November 14, 2019. It was Autumn in Taiwan. It was really cold but not so on the level that you will need a thick jacket or coat. The temperature only played around 18 degrees Celsius. It was like hanging around in the usual air-conditioned room in the Philippines.
Destination 1: Breakfast at JSP
Breakfast at JSP
Exact location: No. 150號, Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Google map reference at number 2 of this link here.
We started the day a bit late because we arrived at our Airbnb at around 4 am and managed to sleep at around 5 am. In our ideal itinerary, we should wake-up at around 6 am. Yikes! But of course, it’s better to be recharged so we allow ourselves more time to doze-off.
Our Airbnb was conveniently located neart Ximending MRT and Shopping district. So it won’t be hard to find a restaurant to spend our first meal. With that we chose this orangy restaurant called JSP.
I have read about JSP when I was still researching on the good place to eat around Ximending. This is one of the recommendation as they offer Taiwanese breakfast staples.
As you can see above, their menu is in Chinese characters and we were overwhelmed at first. But JSP is tourist friendly. They offered us English menu and a marker so we can mark our choices. They have a wider range of choices from sandwiches, burgers and set meals.
We chose set-meals. My personal choice was the Black Pepper set which comprises of noodles,porkchop, egg and milk tea. Milk tea could be hot, ice or warm. I would have chosen hot coffee but there was no coffee in the menu. That was a real surprise! Milk tea is indeed the more popular choice here. It’s proven as we spent next days only tasting coffee through sachet packs we bought from 7-11.
I liked it my breakfast and find it really delicious. At one point though, I surrendered in spiciness (entirely my fault). My friend who was with me find the meal weird. He said it was like having spaghetti for breakfast. While eating, there was a Taiwanese who asked to share our table. Of course, we didn’t mind. He sat across me which then I saw that he was handsome. Hahaha! Such a good morning
Destination 2: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Entrance fee: Free
How to get here: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall has it’s own MRT station. So from MRT Ximen station, ride Songshan-Xindian-Line and drop-off exactly to Chiang Kai Shek Station. Journey would only take 4 minutes since they are just two stations away from each other.
I have seen this place quite a lot of times already but I was utterly surprised when I visited this personally. It’s so big and majestic! It made me feel like I visited an old kingdom. Something that you won’t appreciate just looking at the photos and videos. There are a lot of Taiwanese in yellow when we visited this place. It looks like they are preparing for a big event or something.
There are three palace-like structure in this memorial hall. I had thought of doing levitation in front of it. So the following is the usual photo gallery. Enjoy!
Destination 3: Crystal Cabin Gondola Round-Trip Ride
Entrance Fee: NT$ 240 (PHP 402.00) , paid through Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass Card
How did we get there: It’s with MRT station only and a little bit of walking. The journey may take around 30-40 minutes.
- From Chiang Kai Shek MRT station, ride the Tamsui-Xinyi line and drop to Daan Station.
- From Daan Station, transfer to the train going to Taipei Zoo Station.
- From Taipei Zoo Station, take a short walk to Maokong Gondola Station.
This ride is one of the free attractions inclusive of Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass card. You just have to go to the gift shop name “CHANCE” beside the Gondola Station. Show the card and they will give you the round trip tickets.
Here we made sure we went for Crystal Cabin where the floor was glass.It’s a good way to enjoy panoramic views of Taipei before reaching Maokong station where a string of tea houses awaits. There is a separate line for it from the regular cabin so I made sure to follow the signs. There was this sign on the wall to remind everyone to assess themselves before riding the crystal cabin gondola.
You can even see the tip of Taipei 101 from here.
I did not take much photos that time because I took videos instead. But I was able to capture this one scenery. The turquoise water looks awesome and beautiful.
The only downside of this ride was we got to share the cabin with other group of strangers. So we did not take loads of pictures. Although I didn’t mind actually. I still made sure I have pictures. If you are traveling in a group of five , you’ll surely occupy one crystal gondola by yourselves. We did not anticipate this. I thought each group would have their own cabin like in Ferris wheels.
This was not my first gondola ride. I have one also during our Malaysian trip. It was one of my favorite activities because it was really exciting going up with clouds. So I made sure that I won’t miss this in Taiwan as well. I hope Philippines would have one as well because it’s not only a fun ride but a means of transportation as well. A gondola ride along Edsa? Hmm one can only dream!!
Destination 4: Lunch at Maokong
The gondola has four stopover stations. The farthest is Maokong where several tea plantation is located.
Just below Maokong station there was a string of teahouses and food stalls. We opt for food stall for our lunch. We ate the popular stinky tofu which smells fairly normal to us, stir fried chicken and meatball soup. We are not that impressed with our lunch. If we have more time in Maokong, we would have visited a tea plantation and tea museum. Also eat in a legit tea house. But that would require a day and we were running out of time.
We did not stay much at Maokong as we only intended to ride the Gondola and eat it our lunch there. Nevertheless, Maokong offers greenery sights. It seems far already from the busy Taipei city.
Destination 5: Shilin Official Residence
Entrance Fee: Free but there is a special area which has payment which is included in the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass
How did we get here: It’s essentially going back to Gondola ride then MRT again with short walks.
- Go back to Maokong Station for Gondola ride back to Taipei Zoo Gondola station.
- Walk going to Taipei Zoo MRT , Daan station bound
- From Daan Station, transfer to red line Shilin MRT station bound.
- Get-off Shilin MRT station then take a 10-minute walk going to Shilin Official Residence
This is the place where Chiang Kai Shek and her wife spent the last days of their lives. Aside from being a home, this is a horticulture ground as Mrs. Chiang Kai Shek adore flowers, roses being her favorite. To celebrate autumn season, they are having Chryantheum flower festival. Sadly, it was still not starting when we came here. They were celebrating it around Nov 18 if I remember that correctly. We were days earlier from the festival but at least we saw some of the attractions they were preparing. I also love the tranquility and lush greeneries of this place.
Destination 6: Elephant Mountain
Entrance fee: None
How did we get here: Through MRT again with a lot of walking this time.
- From Shilin Official Residence, walk going back to Shilin MRT Station
- From Shilin MRT station, ride the red line going to Xiangshan MRT Station
- From Xiangshan MRT, take a 5 minute walk to the foot of Elephant Mountain trail.
Elephant Mountain is a popular mountain which you can ascend easily for 15-20 minutes through flight of stairs. This is popular because you can catch the beautiful cityscapes view including Taipei 101. But be ready to have endurance. If you hate climbing stairs, this is not for you.
We were supposed to catch the sunset here but arrived too late.
Had fun editing stars in my captured photo using Snapseed double exposure tool. Swipe left to see the original. Meanwhile, this is Taipei101. Once the tallest skyscraper in the world until 2010. Now it falls to eleventh place. Still, it is beautiful tower to look at specially at night. Ascending the top of the tower with its super fast elevator (reached the top of the tower in less than a minute) is one of the unforgettable experiences I had in Taipei
Destination 7: Taipei 101
Destination 8: Taipei 101 Observatory
Entrance Fee: Regular price is 600 NTD or 1006.63 Pesos. W e did not pay onsite anymore as part of Taipei Fun Pass Card. All we did was to go straight in Klook kiosk. which has no line at all when we arrived. Feeling VIP in a way.
How did we get here? It’s just one MRT away from Elephant Mountain.
Alternatively, Elephant Mountain is already walking distance with Taipei 101. But because we were tired, we went back to Xiangshan MRT station to ride Taipei101 bound line. Taipei 101 has it’s own MRT station and it would just take 2-3 minutes to reach.
Once the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 is the ultimate landmark of Taipei. Some says that you never really gone to Taipei if you did not climb your way up to Taipei 101 observatory. If you’re wondering what’s inside this skyscraper, The first few floors was an ordinary mall. Din Tai Fung restaurant is also there. The line of people there was CRAZY! I have eaten in Din Tai Fung branch here in Manila,Philippines . I think the food was great but it seems not memorable to me. I can’t help but to wonder what the original Din Tai Fung here in Taiwan has to offer. Anyway, the entrance in Taipei 101 is free. It’s just the observatory deck which is not free.
What I love about visiting Taipei 101
1. Mini-show in the elevator ceiling. The ascend would only take less than a minute and within that time, we were entertained in a magical presentation about stars in it’s ceiling . I was not able to understand the Taiwanese voiceover at all but I did not expect that elevators could be magical.
2. The 360 view of the city. Although honestly, I liked the view in Elephant Mountain more because there were no glass doors and you can still see the shape and architecture of the buildings rather than just vein of lights.
3. But my most favorite of all was when I got to see and learn about dampers. Damper like the one in our back stabilizes high structures like Taipei 101 for it to withstand earthquakes, typhoon and other natural disasters. The floor has an audio visual presentation that includes a cctv of real earthquake footage and showed how the damper moved to make sure Taipei 101 will be alright. The calculation of the mass and size of the damper are critical for the safety engineering of the building. It was amazing. That’s Science. Bitch!
4. The surprises did not end there. As we go to the elevator going to the ground floor, you will pass through a jewel and stone shop. EVERYTHING IS SPARKLING in glass cages! It was just wow!
Destination 7: Ximending Shopping District
Entrance Fee: None
How did we get here:
- from Taipe1 101 MRT Station, ride red line and get-off Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
- from Chiang Kai Chek Memorial Hall station, transfer to green line.
- from Chiang Kai Chek Memorial Hall stat m Chiang Kai Chek Memorial Hall station, transfer to green line.
They called Ximending “the Harajuku of Taipei” because of the heavy influence of Japanese fashion culture in this area. It’s not ordinary you’ll see a girl casually wearing a full lolita outfit here. Just like in Japan!
Spending our first night in Ximending Shopping District. This pedestrian lane is popular with the tourists itself. In a way, it’s a sign government’s support for LGBT community. Taiwan already open its doors for same sex marriage. So it’s endearing to witness two men holding hands while walking in public. Although I didn’t see outright PDA.
At this point we were super exhausted with all the walking and climbing we had to with MRT and Elephant Mountain. On top of that, we were really hungry too. We came across this humble restaurant in yellow. We didn’t know how to call this restaurant but it has a partner milk-tea stand called Bubble Lee.
They only have one staff who knows a little English and he’s the one communicating with the customers.
But of course, they have English version menu for tourist like us. All we have to do is point or look out for any delicious looking food being prepared.
Dinner for tonight, noodles with sort of Egg Salad.
Best partnered with Bubble Lee’s milk tea. I love it. I am satisfied with this dinner.
We roam a bit more and there we see public performers. I’ve actually like this guy below. His perfomance was amazing.
Also here in Ximending you will see the 4-storey WATSONS branch. What more amazing, it is open in 24-hours. I bought a bottle of contact solutions here because my supply was confiscated in the airport. I forgot the rule of the size of the bottles for hand-carry. Yikes!
There were lot of souvenir shops, food , clothing and several known store. It was indeed a shopping district. But because our bodies were screaming for sleep and rest, we did not do much shopping. From Ximending , we walked our way back to our temporary AirBNB room. This is the end of our Day 1 in Taiwan Adventure.
THE BIG QUESTION. DID WE BEAT THE TOTAL PRICE of BUYING THE FUN PASS CARD?
This is the itinirary we plan for day 1. But due to unforeseen circumstances (aka we woke up late), we were not able to visit National Palace Museum.
Day 1 Theme: City Attractions and Historical sites
- Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
- Maokong Gondola
- National Palace Museum
- Shilin Official Residence
- Elephant Mountain
- Ximending Shopping District
06:30 AM-8:00 AM (PREP-TIME) get-up, prepare, breakfast
08:00 AM-8:15 AM (WALK) going to MRT Ximen station, then head to Chiang Kai Shek (Ride Songshan-Xindian-Line)
08:15 AM-9:00 AM CHIANG KAI SHEK MEMORIAL HALL (45 mins)
09:00AM-09:30 AM Ride MRT from Chiang Kai Shek Station (Tamsui-Xinyi line) going to Daan Station)
09:30AM-10:30 AM Daan Station to Taipei Zoo for Mongola ride
10:30AM-11:00 AM MONGOLA RIDE to MAOKONG (one way)
11:00AM-12:00 PM LUNCH at MAOKONG.
12:00PM- 1:00 PM GONDOLA RIDE back to TAIPEI ZOO then back to Daan MRT Station. Ride Red line.
1:00-1:30 PM DAAN MRT station (red line) to National Palace Museum
1:30-2:45 PM NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM TOUR
2:45-3:00 PM Ride R30 Bus going to Shilin Official Residence
3:00-4:00 PM SHILIN OFFICIAL RESIDENCE TOUR
4:00-4:30 PM SHILIN MRT Station to Xiangshan station (ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN)
4:30-6:30 PM Elephant Mountain climb and Dinner near the area
6:30-7:00 PM Go to Taipei 101 (can walk or via MRT)
7:00-8:30 PM TAIPEI 101 TOUR
8:30-9:00 PM TAIPEI 101 MRT station to Chiang Kai Shek hall MRT (Green line) to MRT Ximen
9:00-11:00 PM Ximending Shopping District Tour, food trip, chill
11:00 PM-11:15 PM GO BACK to Hotel by walking from Ximending
11:15 Back to airbnb, Rest
HOW MUCH DID WE SAVE with TAIPEI FUN PASS CARD ?
So I created a simple calculation on how much one can save following my original itinerary and the real expenses we had that day. Please note that I used the pricing from http://www.rome2rio.com and klook. The price is in Philippine Pesos.
As you can see, if we followed the original itinerary, we would have saved a staggering 2406 PHP (in blue highlight). But due to lack of time (aka we woke up late because we slept at 5 am :P), we did not visit the National Palace Museum and the Main Building of Shilin Residence. Even so, we still beat the total price of three Fun Pass Card. We saved a total of P132.00 (in yellow highlight)!
I recommend everyone to purchase Unlimited Fun Pass Card for great savings and convenience. But only if you plan and stick to it. Otherwise, this card will be more expensive. Follow the steps below.
TIPS on USING TAIPEI FUN PASS CARD
- Check the location of the free attractions so you can plan your itinerary. You can look at the suggestion of the Taipei Fun Pass booklet.
- I am not sure how long the line is for NAIA terminal and Taipei Main Station KLOOK kiosk but maybe you can try these two. The line in Taoyuan was really long.
- Most important! Start early so you can follow your plan and beat the price of Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass
- You can also take a look at the 2-day and 3-day Version of Fun Pass. Maybe you can get more savings. It was difficult to beat the card in just one day. I would like to try this option next time.
I hope you enjoy my write-up about my experience in Taipei and in a way help you in planning your itinerary. Taipei is really nice and easy to get around with their transportation. Taiwanese are really friendly and welcoming. Their immigration is also not that strict. And most of all, it’s budget friendly. I recommend this trip to everyone who want out of the country experience without breaking a bank.
Before closing this post, I would like to share with you my OOTD’s for day 1. Just like planning for itinerary, it’s a joy to plan the outfits. Would you agree?
YOU MAY ALSO WATCH MY VLOG about our Day 1 Adventure here:
Remember, You are awesome!