Around this time last year, I went to a trip to Taiwan with my siblings and cousin. I got reminded of all the fun that was as I’m cleaning up my files kasi nagmamabagal na phone ko. So before my phone totally crash because of the thousand of photos that just kept on piling up without me posting them, I thought of just blogging about them instead.

my sister at the Red House in Ximending

It was my second trip with my siblings and my cousin’s first time abroad so we really thought of making it worthwhile for her. Thanks to seat sale and free hotel stay, it was quite a cheap but super worth it kind of trip.

We took the midnight flight so we pretty much just slept throughout. I forgot if these photos were taken before or after immigration but it doesnt matter kasi we were all granted access. So Filipinos can already enter Taiwan visa-free by the way. There are lots of information about it on the internet.

We took the bus to Taipei Main Station because it’s the nearest station to the hostel we were staying at. We arrived at the Taipei Main Station bus stop I think before 3am in the morning and just walked to the hostel.

We were clueless that the hostel closes at a certain time and we couldn’t enter the building. Completely unprepared, I tried to contact the hostel but no one was answering. There was also a tourist couple who were with us that time and we were just waiting and even go around the building to look for other entrance to no avail. After how many years, we were able to go inside the building. There were still a lot of figuring out which keys and which rooms we’re staying until we finally were able to settle down. We just rested for a few hours and checked out early to head to Nangang District where we’re actually planning to stay for the rest of our trip.

Courtyard by Marriott Taipei is about 20mins away from Taipei Main Station, by train. It is easily accessible and just outside the Nangang Train Station. I actually used my hotel points for our whole stay and I couldnt be more thankful for my previous business trip for this.

We quickly settled down after check-in and rested for a couple of hours before starting our day. Walang kapaguran ang mga kasama ko kasi ang rest ay naging photoshoot!

The Red House in Ximending in Wanhua District they say is a historic theater but when we visited it, it kind of houses novelty stores, for souvenirs and food shops on the other side. The Ximending area is actually a shopping district, like Myeongdong of Seoul. I know I should never compare pero like the vibes lang…

2/28 Peace Park is a historic and municipal park which walkable from the Ximending area. The park was named in commemoration of the Feb 28 1947 masscare in Taiwan history. The park is also where the National Taiwan Museum is located.

National Chiang Kai Shek Memorial is a national monument and one of the famous tourist attractions in Taipei, in memorial of Chiang Kai Shek. It’s pretty accessible coz it’s just outside the train station. The whole block includes the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, the National Concert Hall and the National Thearter. So I learned that the square is is officially named as “Liberty Square” but most people would just refer to it as CKS Memorial Hall.

I would usually DIY my trips coz it’s my way of knowing about the place. I would plot the tourist spots in my notes and figure out options on how to get there and the best sequence for more chances of checking the list. Before this trip however, I was too busy at work so I didnt really have the time to prepare. Good thing there is klook! We got this pretty good deal to join a day-tour by bus for our Day 2 and I would say it was one of our the best decisions ever, hassle free and chill lang….

We took the usual train from Nangang Station to Ximending where our tour bus awaits.

Yehliu Geopark which is famous for its scenic rock formations, was our first stop. I think it was already almost 11am then so it was kind of hot, like sobrang init mga besh! It was quite a walk from the parking to the actual park, nakakapagod na lakad. I think it was worth it kasi nakapag photo-op kami sa mermaid. Seriously, they call it “Queen’s head”. There are also other formations there like Princess Head, Sea Candles, etc pero di na namin inaral, haha!

After an hour of exploring the park, we were sprinting back to the parking area coz we thought we were late already, di naman pala. The downside of joining group tours is not being able to have all the time the world, nakakapressure sya minsan. In our case, I think it was really what we needed because we wanted to visit as many places as possible. The organizers really did a great job in planning the itinerary and managing the time for the group.

We did two quick stops to the Golden Waterfall and Yin Yang Sea just for photo op. It’s just now that I realized that the only photos we have together was during this trip and thanks to the generosity of our tour guide. For the rest, it was mostly sariling sikap.

Jiufen Village is like my must-see, must-do and must-everything in Taiwan. It just has its own mysterious vibe to it. It feel like a real old chinese village feels. I should mention it is usually used as reference for the japanese anime “Spirited Away” though I think it was never proven that this place really was the writer’s inspiration. Still it’s a beauty!

We also had quite a hike to the Shifen Waterfall but somehow I can’t find those photos anymore. I think I didnt take them kasi mababasa ang camera ko. hihi!

Shifen Old Street is famous as one of the spots to fly sky lanterns. We did take advantage of the opportunity and wrote our hopes and wishes and fly them. It’s probably just a way to lure tourists (ang nega ko) but I think we just need things or activities like this to realize what really it is that we want and sometimes, that realization can really fuel our inner desires and maybe we can start working for those dreams. charot lang! I think basta wag masyadong imposible like mananalo-ako-sa-lotto, push mo yan besh….for the experience. I also did fly a lantern from two years back sa Pingxi station naman with my friend, Narlyn. It was really intended for my family’s health.

Shifen was our last stop and before we knew it, we were back in Ximending. We then eenie-meeny-miny-mo-ed the list of Night Markets, again for the experience.

Rahoe Night Market is where we ended up because it’s accessibility from Ximending and to our hotel given it’s already late. We ended up having xiao long bao for dinner and mango crepe for dessert. Yummy-nessssss!

Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world before it got overthrown by Burj Khalifa in 2010. I think one of the most interesting features of the building is the ability to withstand earthquake. The tuned mass damper (check wiki mga besh) and how it helps stabilize the structure against violent motion is repeteadly explained throughout the tour.

Taipei Main Station and its surrounding area is where we pretty much spent the rest of the day until it’s time to head back to the airport. I think it has everything. Aside from being the main transportation hub, it also has malls of all kinds from high end to divisoria levels na maganda pa rin. It is easy to get lost in here so I thank google map for being always on the rescue.

We still had a couple of hours to spare and we didnt want to go to the airport yet so we did a lot of walking and found Dihua Street which apparently is like famous old street din in the area. We visited a small temple in the area as well and because it’s Taiwan, we tried another local milk tea shop.

Thank you to Courtyard for our wonderful stay! ❤