Sunday, September 1, 2013

My 8 days Taiwan trip all under $800

I did blog before that i liked travelling. Most people would say that travelling requires a lot of money. However, the good news is that with airlines competing for customers and the SGD staying strong, travelling is by far getting cheaper and cheaper.

I calculated my total expenses for my 8 days Taiwan trip. Not just slightly below $800 but way below it. It came out to be $705/pax inclusive of airfares. I don't know if you think that this is expensive or cheap but i have many friends who say that they would never be able to achieve that. Is it because i spend little when i'm overseas and still save on food and shopping? No, you're absolutely wrong. I did not even think of saving money when i was overseas. I just spend and spend. I have included my hotel list and 8 days itinerary below. So read to the end to find out more. 
Well, the secret is to keep your initial travelling cost low. By that i mean cheap flights and cheap hotels. Most people travel on budget airlines but how many people get the flights on discount? I got my tickets at 50% discount during a 4 day promotion period at only $212. This is inclusive of both ways. I travelled by Scoot Airlines.

Hotel wise, i asked around for cheap and good hotels to stay in. It was through recommendations by friends and family that i got the cheapest deal. My hotel in Taipei cost only $35 per night per room shared by 2 person. This works out to only $17.50 per person per night. Well, its not exactly a hotel by an apartment or what they call min su in chinese. The location was near to the MRT line so it was not bad at all.

The break down of cost for my whole trip:

Airfare: $212/pax
Hotel: $156/pax
Transport within Taiwan: $202/pax
Meals: $62/pax
Buying stuff and miscellaneous: $73/pax

Total: $705/pax

For my meals, i'm surprise to have only spent $62 for the whole of 8 days. I had 2 days of breakfast and dinner provided by the hotel in Cingjing farm somewhere in central of Taiwan. I had another 2 days where breakfast was provided by the hotel in Hualien and Taipei. Maybe that's why i didn't spend much on meals. But i do know that every meal was good and i was very very full.

Transportation wise, i took trains and buses with occasional taxi rides because we were too tired to walk.

Places covered in Taiwan for 8 days:

Taipei (Ximending, wufenpu, shilin night market, rao he night market)
Taichung
Cingjing Farm
Hualien and Taroko Gorge
Yehliu
Jiufen
Jingguashi
Keelung
Beitou hotspring area
Wulai hotspring area
Danshui


This is my itinerary for the 8 days:

Day 1
Arrived at taipei at 6am. Proceed to hotel and spend one day in taipei. Went to wu lai hotsprings area and also bought the necessary train tickets for the next day to Cing Jing. Spend the night in taipei at Chen Tai minsu.
Wu Lai Hotspring 

Wu Lai Hotspring 


Day 2
Travel to cing jing farm. Took a train to taichung then a bus from taichung straight to cing jing farm. Tour the grassland at cing jing farm before proceeding to hotel to check in. Stay the night at cing jing farm at Winlu vacation farm.

See how comfortable the train seats are. This is the newest additional to the express trains in Taiwan. It's called Puyuma 

Qing Qing Grassland where the sheeps roam around freely

It was really foggy and raining on that day


Day 3
Continue tour at cing jing farm. Can tour the small swiss garden or just enjoy the scenery at the mountains. I was stuck at the mountains due to the typhoon. Stayed another night at cing jing farm at the same resort.

This was the view taken just outside Win Lu Vacation farm

Day 4
Hired a private taxi to pick us up from cing jing farm to Hualien. Tour package includes famous spots like hehuanshan and also taroko gorge. Lucky still could tour these places right after the typhoon pass. The water streams at Taroko Gorge were quite scary due to the rain but road conditions were still good though. After tour, proceed to hua lien to check into hotel around 6pm. Same taxi took us to night market in hualien and back to hotel again for the night. Stay the night in hualien at lien jian hostel.

Taroko Gorge

Qi Mu Bridge

Yan Zi Kou






Day 5
Had a half day tour of hualien with the same private taxi and toured various places including the famous qixintan beach area. Went to local famous mo chi place to buy some mo chi and pineapple tarts. After that, took a train back to taipei at 3pm. Upon arrival at taipei, went back to same minsu to put our stuff before heading to shi lin night market. Spend the night at chen tai minsu.

Yun San Shui, which literally means cloud, mountain and water. This was a private residential area bought by a very rich person

Yun San Shui

Qi Xing Tan, a beach at Hualien

Qi Xing Tan, a beach at Hualien

Day 6
Travel to yeh liu geo park by bus. Took a bus at taipei main bus station. After that, went to kee long for lunch before heading to jing gua shi and jiu fen. From jiu fen, took a taxi straight back to taipei minsu. Rest for awhile before heading to wu fen pu and rao he night market. Spend the night at chen tai minsu.

Famous Queen Head at Yeh Liu Geopark

Unique rock formations at Yeh Liu Geopark

Jing gua shi, a gold mine area near Jiu Fen

View of Jiu Fen
Rao He Night Market

Apparently, we met this young band called Beyond 5 at the night market. They were trying to eat smelly Tou Fu



Day 7
Transfer to another hotel near ximending. Hotel name is chair man hotel.  Went to ximending for shopping before going to the beitou hotspring around 3pm. After hotspring,  went to dan shui area for the old street and night market. Didn't manage to visit fishermen wharf area near dan shui. Stayed the night at taipei chair man hotel.
Ximending, a shopping district in Taipei. Similiar to Bugis or Orchard road in Singapore

Entrance to Ximending

The famous Ah Zhong Mian Xian at Ximending

Night view of Danshui

Night market in Danshui

Day 8
Had breakfast at hotel. After breakfast, went to ximending again for shopping before going back to hotel and check out. Proceed to airport for flight back to Singapore at 4pm.

These are the hotels that i stayed in:


Chen tai minsu : http://taipeichenhouse.blogspot.sg/2011/06/blog-post_4606.html
This is a cheap minsu. Place is quite small and no lifts inside. If your room is on level 4 you'll have to climb the stairs which is quite cramp. Room is quite small also with bathroom inside. It'll be a good place if you're on a budget. Location is good as its quite near the MRT station and one stop away from taipei main station. Many eateries around the area and minsu lady is very friendly. If its your first time staying there, do let them know so they can meet you on that day. No service reception in the minsu itself. Do note you'll have to book the minsu in chinese communicated by email.

Chair Man hotel
This hotel i booked in www.agoda.com. Got a family room for 4 person at S$90 plus. This is a simple hotel with breakfast included. Room is not bad considering the price and the location. Only 5 mins walk to ximending and taipei main station.

Lien Jan Hostel
This is the hotel i booked in hua lien through www.agoda.com also. Got 2 double room for S$80 plus. This is sort of a backpacker's hostel. There are lifts in it and room is quite comfy. I'm not sure about the location because i booked a private taxi throughout so location doesn't really matter to me.

Winlu vacation farm :http://www.winlu.com.tw/
This is the place i stayed in cing jing farm. Room is very spacious and environment is very nice like a resort. The owner of the place is very nice and they will pick you up anywhere at cing jing farm area to the resort. The location is quite secluded and is not accessible by public transport. Just make arrangements with the owner to travel around. Really breathtaking sceneries at the farm itself. Kids will love the qing qing grassland with sheeps roaming around freely.


It was an enjoyable holiday. A good time for me to relax. Now back to work and my part time studies :)
Travelling can be done in a budgeted way. If you'll like to know more information on transportation, hotels and other stuff on Taiwan, you can send me an email at sgyounginvestment@gmail.com. I'll be willing to share the information with you. 

P.S: Do like my Facebook page. I'll be posting frequent updates on the page itself. Click here to go to my page. Remember to LIKE it. 

Other travel escapades:
1. 8 days Hanoi, Halong bay Sapa trip for $600

34 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures.

    I miss Taiwan already and you are right... there's no way I can spend so little on Taiwan. I remember spending about $1K in 6 days Taiwan.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi B,

    I'm missing Taiwan too. haha. It was really fun. The food there is really awesome! If next year the flights have sale again i'm definitely getting it.

    My colleague told me his friend got the flight at an even cheaper rate than mine. I think its was $150 only for 2 way. That is even better!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey there! sounded like you had an awesome trip!
    Im just wondering if you'd mind sharing the places you stayed in while at Taipei? less than SGD 50 per night is a really good deal!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Anonymous,

    Yup, its a good trip. I really can't wait to go there again. You can email me at sgyounginvestment@gmail.com and I'll share with you the places I stayed in. Looking forward to your email. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi how did you manage to get such a fantastic rate for airfare? What website/airline did you use, and how early in advance did you book? Thanks! :D Your blog post is so extremely helpful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      The airline is Scoot. It was a promotion for a free return ticket. Scoot have promotions quite often. Just follow their facebook page and you'll know it everytime they have promotions. I booked about 2 months in advance.

      Delete
  6. Hi! I love your itinerary, able to share the places you stayed in? Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Candy,

      I did include the places I stayed in at the end of my blog post. You can read it again. :)

      Delete
  7. Hi,

    Can share the taxi driver from cing jing farm to hua lian? How much did u spend on that

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I think i spent NT5000 for that. I have the taxi driver's name card. You can email me at sgyounginvestment@gmail.com and i can send it to you.

      Delete
  8. hey! when did you go to taiwan? thinking of going in july but afraid it is going to be hot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I went to Taiwan in August. It was really hot and its the typhoon season. But if you're just intending to visit the Taipei city area it shouldn't be that bad. However, I think its still better to visit during the cooler seasons from nov onwards. When Taiwan is hot, its hotter than Singapore.

      Delete
  9. Hello, Im from sg too! ;) I was wondering it is difficult for non mandarin speaking traveler to get to the places you've mentioned. the little Chinese dialects I do know are better off not used in communication?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do speak dialects but not sure whether your dialect is suitable or not. Primarily language is still mandarin. Everything is in chinese there. It would be confusing if you don't know mandarin esp when booking the train tickets.

      Delete
  10. Hi,

    Singaporean here..

    I just returned from Taipei and spent 4 days there going to Ye Liu, yang Ming mountain and Elephant mountain (Xiang shan).. also walked Shilin and Danshui old street and night markets , also visited Di RE gu and $40 hot spring bath at XinBeitou..

    Missed out on sky lantern at Pingxi...

    I'm more into scenic places and places where u can do some activities .. where wud u recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Hope you enjoyed your trip. I still loved the night markets in Taiwan. They are just too much good food.

      For scenic places, Taroko Gorge at Hua Lien is definitely the place to visit. I heard kenting has some nice beaches for water sports activities. You can consider it too.

      Delete
  11. Hi Hi,
    Wow, you have a fun and exciting trip to Taiwan. I had booked ticket for 2 to Taiwan in May for 8days. Would appreciate if you send me your planning for this trip, like renting of cars or local tour, public transport and hotel stay. A budget trip for me. Need your recommendation. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi ts t,

      I did state the hotels that I stayed in. You can read my post again. As for thr contact for the private driver, you can email me at sgyounginvestment@gmail.com and I'll give you his details.

      Delete
  12. Hi, just wonder the taxi fare you paid from Cing Jin to Hualien, 5000, include the half day next day in Hualien before you travel back to Taipei?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      The 5000 does not include the half day in hualien. I paid another 3000 for the half day tour.

      Delete
  13. Hi there, Would like to ask for guidance from you about going on a trip like you for 8 days. How much in total did you actually prepare for the trip? Is there any pre - checklist that you could actually guide me along before the heading for the trip?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      My itinerary is already listed on my post above. It depends on the season you'll be going for. If its winter, do prepare some warmer clothes. I went in summer so could travel light.

      Delete
  14. Thanks for sharing.
    I'm Very impressed with your budget !!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi,

    Can you share how did you moved around between the destination in cingjing? like from the minsu to green grassland, to carton box restaurant etc. Is it walking distance?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I went to Cingjing again just last week and stayed at Star Villa. Its walking distance to carton box and small swiss garden. The mingsu has got free transport to green grassland then can walk back to mingsu. Hope this helps :)

      Delete
  16. Congrats. I was workng there for one year. Even the locals will be proud.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow! You must share which hotels you used. I believe you have visited many good places but you had also "left out" many places you would have discovered if you cycled or walked. There's always opportunities in future to visit Taiwan again! I am visiting in Dec so wish me luck! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly,

      Yes i did share the hotels which i stayed in at the end of my post. Enjoy your trip!

      Delete
  18. Hi! Is there any way to look for minsu with apps or sites or look on the go while you are there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Trisha,

      For minsu, you can try out airbnb. I tried it once in Taiwan and it was quite good. Its better to book in advance though as the good ones will get booked off

      Delete
  19. Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing informative details of your trip. It gave me ideas for planning my itinerary.
    May I ask if how long will it take to go to Hualien from Cing Jing farm via taxi?

    Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Est,

      I departed from cing jing at 11am and reach hualien around 6pm plus. This includes lunch and sightseeing around taroko gorge on the way to hualien.

      Delete
  20. Hey, thanks for this really informative post. How many people did you split the cost of taxi with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I travelled in a group of 4

      Delete