ended up being my only time to check out Taipei.
The original plan was I had a full 48 hours to explore Taipei but that got changed when I saw a brochure of Taroko Gorge National Park. I was so mesmerized by the pictures so I couldn’t help it but booked a day trip there. This means I was left with one day to explore Taipei and it was not nearly enough.
The best way for me to maximize my one day in Taipei was to explore it with a tour group. I joined a morning tour that took me to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Martyr’s Shrine, National Palace Museum and some Traditional Taiwanese Temple. These places are perfect to check out with a tour group since I wasn’t planning to spend hours at each and they didn’t take long to explore the important/interesting parts. 🙂
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Martyr’s Shrine, these soldiers were soaked in sweat standing in that heat! I felt bad for them.
Temple – forgot the name. um…
National Palace Museum
I got back to the hotel at noon and decided to take an hour break. I was up at 6am and only slept for three hours. It was hard for me to fall asleep and stay asleep with the jet lag. I had a full afternoon of plans ahead of me. First I needed to get lunch, then check out the famous Taipei 101 tower and explore the surrounding area of Dong Men which is very well known for its eateries.
DIN TAI FUNG, I finally got to visit the original location and it was so fast to get seated for one! Perk of traveling alone! 🙂 How could I not have over ordered when I wanted to eat/try everything on the menu? Let’s just say I left with a food baby in my belly! XD
The belly got spoiled and I decided to continue with the pampering with a hair blowout which consists of wash/massage/hair styling. It is so cheap in Taiwan. The whole experience lasted about an hour and it only cost me $300+$100 tip TWD! (~$13 USD) I loved how my hair looked afterwards but that put me a little behind schedule on my other plans.
There was a huge line at Taipei 101 and I had to wait for an hour to be able to go up. I decided to explore the mall area downstairs that had all the high end brands. I really wanted to check out this high tea place but my poor stomach had absolutely no space. 😦 I wish I ate less at DTF (first world problem!).
Finally made it up to Taipei 101 by 6:30pm and I told myself I had an hour before I have to leave to explore elsewhere. Once again, I didn’t go according to my schedule and also got greedy with the food court downstairs. I didn’t know most of the restaurants close by 9pm and I ended up missing this one beef noodle place (YongKong Beef Noodles) that I really wanted to try in DongMen! 😥 I will have to save it for next time when I come back. However, I did cheer myself up with this amazing, fantastic, delicious shaved ice place I found! It was so good! Who needs beef when you can have green tea shaved ice with red bean topped off with Panna Cotta right? 🙂
By now, it was 10:30pm and I was getting really exhausted running on three hours rest. So I decided to head back and hoped that I could sleep a little more than I did the previous night. Adrenaline does wonders when you are excited and I was a bit too excited!
Let’s see how much I spent for one day :
Tour : 1100 + Lunch : 580 + Hair : 400 + Taipei 101 : 500 + Food Court : 185 + Shaved Ice : 180 = 2945 TWD = ~100 USD
THIS IS PRETTY DARN GOOD! A whole day of fun only cost me 100 USD and I wasn’t even being cautious with my spending either. 😀
If you were to use my one day expense to calculate how much money you would need to exchange when you are in Taipei, then you shouldn’t need more than $100 USD per day minus shopping that is! 🙂
Taroko Gorge, that will need to be saved for another post! Stay tuned… 🙂