Taiwan next Jan - what to do? need help!


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Mar 17, 2010
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#1
hi all.

likely to make a trip to Taiwan in Jan next year, together with 2 other friends, all are photography enthusiasts :D

we are considering to plan our own trip, perhaps a 7 day trip. would like to hear suggestions or recommendations from anyone who has gone or will be going on a similar trip. is it better if we can plan ourselves? will there be significant cost differences if we plan and travel ourselves? or should just follow tour agency (free and easy package), will it be cheaper / more worth?

also, hope to hear about places we should visit, good food to eat etc. likely we will be bringing quite alot of equipment down to shoot and enjoy :D

many thanks!
 

jwanderer

New Member
Jun 19, 2009
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Go West
#2
hi all.

likely to make a trip to Taiwan in Jan next year, together with 2 other friends, all are photography enthusiasts :D

we are considering to plan our own trip, perhaps a 7 day trip. would like to hear suggestions or recommendations from anyone who has gone or will be going on a similar trip. is it better if we can plan ourselves? will there be significant cost differences if we plan and travel ourselves? or should just follow tour agency (free and easy package), will it be cheaper / more worth?

also, hope to hear about places we should visit, good food to eat etc. likely we will be bringing quite alot of equipment down to shoot and enjoy :D

many thanks!
Hi,

I will also be planning a similar trip in March, perhaps about 10 days or so but we will be planning it ourselves, including where to stay, which airline to fly as well as where to go and have fun around the city.

Going for free and easy would be much cheaper since you have the option of choosing cheaper accomodations and airlines. Of course there is planning of itineraries to do but that is part of the fun. I won't go for travel packages since all they want to do is earn your money, even for free and easy. Some F & E have half day trips organized by the agency and it is up to you to join and even though it is half a day, they still try to sell you souvenirs and take you for meals, part of the package. Sometimes even though it wasn't mentioned beforehand that there are meals included, the guide will start asking you if you want to join in the lunch or dinner etc. That's why i won't go for packages, still prefer the option of planning everything ourselves.

My first time going to Taiwan, so can't offer any suggestions. ;p
 

blurfoto

New Member
Sep 16, 2010
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#3
imho, if u go for budget accommodation, of coz better to plan yourself
4 ~5 star hotel accommodation, go thru tour agent better.

taiwan is not a small country, so i guess for starter perhaps just start with Taipei will do
go library borrow books on travel with taipei MRT, it easy to reach most of the attraction

Search for 台北捷运
http://catalogue.nlb.gov.sg/cgi-bin/cw_cgi?resultsScreen+8946+1+7+3

hope that helps ...

hi all.

likely to make a trip to Taiwan in Jan next year, together with 2 other friends, all are photography enthusiasts :D

we are considering to plan our own trip, perhaps a 7 day trip. would like to hear suggestions or recommendations from anyone who has gone or will be going on a similar trip. is it better if we can plan ourselves? will there be significant cost differences if we plan and travel ourselves? or should just follow tour agency (free and easy package), will it be cheaper / more worth?

also, hope to hear about places we should visit, good food to eat etc. likely we will be bringing quite alot of equipment down to shoot and enjoy :D

many thanks!
 

Last edited:

tanwji87

New Member
Apr 21, 2010
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Taman Jurong
#4
some nice places i would recommend..

1) Yehliu 野柳
2) Jiu Fen 九分
3) Shi Fen waterfall 十分瀑布
4) Beitou Thermal Valley 地热谷
5) Lover’s Bridge in Danshui Fishermen's Wharf 淡水情人橋
6) and of coz the several popular night markets..
 

Jun 14, 2010
973
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Admiralty
#5
Anyone knows of any great deals @ HanKou Street a.k.a photography street?
 

Prismatic

Senior Member
Feb 25, 2003
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#6
all my previous trips has been self-planned. You can get quite comfortable accommodation from around $70 (For a double room) in the city and probably even less in the smaller cities. For your itinerary, usually at major city railway stations, there will be a travel bureau office nearby, so you can ask them for help to get to any places. In jan, the weather will be quite cool though, expect gloomy cloudy weather.
 

EADGBe

New Member
Nov 8, 2010
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#7
That's right. You can get small (shophouse-style) stays for less. It's like what you see in the Monga (Taiwanese) movie. I spent 5 days in Taichung doing that and you could easily travel away from Taichung to some pretty interesting spots.

Do watch out for the street stalls and the food variety sold - that's one of the draws of Taiwan.

The rail system is pretty good, too. I like the combination of traditional rail and mass (like our MRT) - I got mixed up once. Also, Singaporean Hokkien is good enough for the folks there. Did not use the taxis at all as the rails and public bus system were much better and friendlier with my pocket.

Enjoy!

all my previous trips has been self-planned. You can get quite comfortable accommodation from around $70 (For a double room) in the city and probably even less in the smaller cities. For your itinerary, usually at major city railway stations, there will be a travel bureau office nearby, so you can ask them for help to get to any places. In jan, the weather will be quite cool though, expect gloomy cloudy weather.
 

EADGBe

New Member
Nov 8, 2010
25
0
0
#8
Oh, I took China Airlines. But it was China Airlines crew manning a Garuda carrier. That was June this year.

hi all.

likely to make a trip to Taiwan in Jan next year, together with 2 other friends, all are photography enthusiasts :D

we are considering to plan our own trip, perhaps a 7 day trip. would like to hear suggestions or recommendations from anyone who has gone or will be going on a similar trip. is it better if we can plan ourselves? will there be significant cost differences if we plan and travel ourselves? or should just follow tour agency (free and easy package), will it be cheaper / more worth?

also, hope to hear about places we should visit, good food to eat etc. likely we will be bringing quite alot of equipment down to shoot and enjoy :D

many thanks!
 

Mar 17, 2010
1,388
0
0
#9
some nice places i would recommend..

1) Yehliu 野柳
2) Jiu Fen 九分
3) Shi Fen waterfall 十分瀑布
4) Beitou Thermal Valley 地热谷
5) Lover’s Bridge in Danshui Fishermen's Wharf 淡水情人橋
6) and of coz the several popular night markets..
hey tanwji87, thanks for the recommendations! will take note of this list and check them out when planning my trip. rather busy now, so will start planning probably in about 3 weeks from now or so. so my guess is these places are good for landscape photography? any tips and advice? :)

Anyone knows of any great deals @ HanKou Street a.k.a photography street?
hey ismokeweed79, thanks for asking! I'm keen to find out about this too. are there any places with good deals in Taiwan? or would be better to purchase in Singapore? thanks! :)

all my previous trips has been self-planned. You can get quite comfortable accommodation from around $70 (For a double room) in the city and probably even less in the smaller cities. For your itinerary, usually at major city railway stations, there will be a travel bureau office nearby, so you can ask them for help to get to any places. In jan, the weather will be quite cool though, expect gloomy cloudy weather.
hey Prismatic, thanks for the reply! hmm I'm not very fussy so I'm pretty alright with accomodation. but thing is my friends are rather worried because they're thinking of leaving some equipment in the hotel when we head outdoors. they're worried of trusting 'small' hotels. what do you think? thanks! :)

That's right. You can get small (shophouse-style) stays for less. It's like what you see in the Monga (Taiwanese) movie. I spent 5 days in Taichung doing that and you could easily travel away from Taichung to some pretty interesting spots.

Do watch out for the street stalls and the food variety sold - that's one of the draws of Taiwan.

The rail system is pretty good, too. I like the combination of traditional rail and mass (like our MRT) - I got mixed up once. Also, Singaporean Hokkien is good enough for the folks there. Did not use the taxis at all as the rails and public bus system were much better and friendlier with my pocket.

Enjoy!
hey EADGBe, thanks for the reply! yeah I'm looking forward to the food stalls, heard they're really good! milk tea, papaya milk shake, what else to look out for? :D

alright thanks for the advice and information! most likely we'll travel by train when we're there too. hmm but do we need to know hokkien? thought chinese is enough? :eek:

Oh, I took China Airlines. But it was China Airlines crew manning a Garuda carrier. That was June this year.
hmm okay will check out the prices when I start planning for the trip, thanks!
 

Mar 17, 2010
1,388
0
0
#10
Hi,

I will also be planning a similar trip in March, perhaps about 10 days or so but we will be planning it ourselves, including where to stay, which airline to fly as well as where to go and have fun around the city.

Going for free and easy would be much cheaper since you have the option of choosing cheaper accomodations and airlines. Of course there is planning of itineraries to do but that is part of the fun. I won't go for travel packages since all they want to do is earn your money, even for free and easy. Some F & E have half day trips organized by the agency and it is up to you to join and even though it is half a day, they still try to sell you souvenirs and take you for meals, part of the package. Sometimes even though it wasn't mentioned beforehand that there are meals included, the guide will start asking you if you want to join in the lunch or dinner etc. That's why i won't go for packages, still prefer the option of planning everything ourselves.

My first time going to Taiwan, so can't offer any suggestions. ;p
yeah I do have some of those worries/concerns which you raised as well.

thanks for the reply wanderer! hope you have fun planning and have a great trip too! :D

imho, if u go for budget accommodation, of coz better to plan yourself
4 ~5 star hotel accommodation, go thru tour agent better.

taiwan is not a small country, so i guess for starter perhaps just start with Taipei will do
go library borrow books on travel with taipei MRT, it easy to reach most of the attraction

Search for 台北捷运
http://catalogue.nlb.gov.sg/cgi-bin/cw_cgi?resultsScreen+8946+1+7+3

hope that helps ...
thanks for the help! it was really useful. hmm I'll bear that in mind when planning. cheers! :D
 

Jun 14, 2010
973
0
0
Admiralty
#11
Leaving for Taipei in several more hours, will check out if there is any lobang there. :bsmilie:
 

blurfoto

New Member
Sep 16, 2010
69
0
0
#12
2) Jiu Fen 九分
Nice day trip, staying a night there will be great!

4) Beitou Thermal Valley 地热谷
smallish hotspring town, @ 新北投 station

5) Lover’s Bridge in Danshui Fishermen's Wharf 淡水情人橋
alight @ 淡水 station ... erhhh eat eat eat. also good for sunset watching

of coz everybody know 市林, go during the night ... like pasar malam :)
Good day trip also
阳明山 ~ one of their national park, nice scenery
http://www.ymsnp.gov.tw/HTML/ENG/INDEX.ASP

乌来 ~ hotspring, taiwan ethical folks, eat mountain veggies, wild boar, river fish + prawns
 

Last edited:
Mar 17, 2010
1,388
0
0
#13
Leaving for Taipei in several more hours, will check out if there is any lobang there. :bsmilie:
if possible share when you're back alright! have fun! :D

2) Jiu Fen 九分
Nice day trip, staying a night there will be great!

4) Beitou Thermal Valley 地热谷
smallish hotspring town, @ 新北投 station

5) Lover’s Bridge in Danshui Fishermen's Wharf 淡水情人橋
alight @ 淡水 station ... erhhh eat eat eat. also good for sunset watching

of coz everybody know 市林, go during the night ... like pasar malam :)
Good day trip also
阳明山 ~ one of their national park, nice scenery
http://www.ymsnp.gov.tw/HTML/ENG/INDEX.ASP

乌来 ~ hotspring, taiwan ethical folks, eat mountain veggies, wild boar, river fish + prawns
thanks! :)
 

Oct 9, 2010
132
0
0
#14
Easy. I just did a 10D9N F&E last Dec and been to a great place sure to make any photographer ultra-happy! More on that magical place...

Forget about any package tour. They will bring you to the typical places which you can go anytime on your own.

Just book a ticket way in advance from zuji.com.sg, Jetstar return ticket around $550-$600 (I paid around $500 last Dec). From the airport, take the shutter bus to Taipei Train Station. Check into YMCA (Y-Hotel in Taipei) just opposite Taipei Train Station which is a short 5 minutes walk. Taipei Train Station is the best place as a base to branch out into various parts of Taipei or Taiwan because it is very central and it is the main terminal for MRT, bullet trains, buses, or whatever transportation. YMCA taipei is really good and affordable: http://www.ymcataipei.org.tw/room_en.php?room_id=313 - Only S$119/- per room per night for all 3 of you!!!

Here comes my most recommended place to visit in Taiwan - Qing Jing Nong Chang 清境農場 in Nantou near Taichung. I hesitated to recommend because I don't really hope to see this gem swamped by tourists (not many people from Singapore knew about it yet) but oh well... Just google and you will see the images of that wonderful place. Every single building on this snow capped mountain (it will be snow capped between Dec-Feb) is built according to European theme. Castles, cottages, makes you instantly forget you are in Asia! The last time I was there, I stayed in a double floor Shangrila Music Villa - a castle-looking hotel with music all around.


Click this and take a look and be wowed:
http://www.google.com.sg/images?um=...sch:1&sa=1&q=清境農場&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
Many great to photograph hotels including this die die must photograph 'Shangrila Old England':
http://www.google.com.sg/images?hl=...e=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=862&bih=635


Weather is cool and you will be able to see all types of flowers including sakura (Spring) or red orange maple leaves (Autumn). Beautiful multi-layers of mountains - exactly what you see in great photos of mountains and valleys right in front of your doorstep. At any time of the day, the magnificient sea of cloud sweeps pass before your eyes. See:
http://www.google.com.sg/images?hl=...=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1419&bih=651
Spectacular sunrise and sunset. Sometimes, misty fog. see this:
http://www.google.com.sg/images?um=...h:1&sa=1&q=清境日出日落&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

青青草原、成群牛羊、山嵐雲海、瑰麗山峰、蔚藍穹蒼、璀璨星空、歐式庭園、空中城堡…
清境農場位於南投縣中橫霧社支線,海拔1,700~2,000公尺,年均溫在15~23度,綠草如茵空氣清新,牛羊成群,具有濃厚的歐洲田園風光,素有「霧上桃源」之稱,是台灣最負盛名的避暑勝地。
農場內的高山花卉、高冷蔬果、牧場風光與全牛大餐等,均為其特色。每年3-10月滿山桃李花開,5月下旬開始則為桃、李、梨等水果盛產期,最適合前往休閒渡假。

At the same time, you also get good sunlight for beautiful 'New Zealand like scenery' of lambs gazing against marvellous mountainous backdrop. In fact, around Dec-Feb, you get very good 'sunset' type of low angle light for hours! Hard not to have good photos taken...no kidding! Weather is around 18C in the day, dipping to around 10C at night and when you move higher up into the mountain, it can dip to 2C or 0C! It ever snowed before!!!

I booked my hotel and tour bus from http://www.eztravel.com.tw/package1/index.htm?fr=tb4

To be more precise, I booked the 3D2N here: http://www.eztravel.com.tw/package1/index.htm?fr=tb4 (choose any hotel you want)

And I booked Shangila Music Villa inclusive of transport to and fro from Taipei Train Station, accommodation for 2N, most meals (fabulous!) plus wine at night, half day trip to the peak of the mountain! http://www.eztravel.com.tw/ezec/pkgtw/grp_begdate.jsp?LINE_CD=103&prod_no=GRT0000001606

There are many different types of fabulous accommodations, I recommend any of the 3 hotels under Shangrila brand - 'Hanging Garden' (at the heart of Qing Jing and very country log wood style - low price with excellent food and view too), 'Music Villa' (Mid price - double storey castle style rooms) or the ultra luxuorious 'Old England' (Highest price - very expensive but must go and eat high tea or just take photo there). The price range for 'Hanging Garden' (inclusive of all things I mentioned above) can be as low as only S$250/- (3D2N) per person for the whole trip!

They have many different types of F&E or semi F&E. All other places mentioned by others in the forum can be booked from this website. If staying more than 2 nights, you can separately book hotel here:
http://www.eztravel.com.tw/ezec/htl...t=0&htl_htltw=&checkInDt=&checkOutDt=&htl=hpg
Take the bullet train from taipei Train Station and change to shutter:
http://www.cingjing.com.tw/traffic/04_high.asp
Or walk into ezTravel office at Taipei Train Station and book whatever you want after you arrive in Taipei...very easy if you aren't going during the Lunar New Year holidays. I much prefer to book everything online these days...fairly safe and easy without any worries.

Great food, great weather, great scenery, great lights, easy to reach - less than 4 hours max per trip from Taipei Train Station by coach. And so affordable! By the way, it is also situated just next to the beautiful Sun Moon Lake...so you can kill two birds in one stone.

I been to Alishan and I personally think 清境農場 is much better! With this in your 7D trip, I guarantee you and your pals won't be disappointed. You may add other places within Taipei like what others suggested above. :cheergal:
 

Last edited:
Mar 17, 2010
1,388
0
0
#15
Easy. I just did a 10D9N F&E last Dec and been to a great place sure to make any photographer ultra-happy! More on that magical place...

Forget about any package tour. They will bring you to the typical places which you can go anytime on your own.

Just book a ticket way in advance from zuji.com.sg, Jetstar return ticket around $550-$600 (I paid around $500 last Dec). From the airport, take the shutter bus to Taipei Train Station. Check into YMCA (Y-Hotel in Taipei) just opposite Taipei Train Station which is a short 5 minutes walk. Taipei Train Station is the best place as a base to branch out into various parts of Taipei or Taiwan because it is very central and it is the main terminal for MRT, bullet trains, buses, or whatever transportation. YMCA taipei is really good and affordable: http://www.ymcataipei.org.tw/room_en.php?room_id=313 - Only S$119/- per room per night for all 3 of you!!!

Here comes my most recommended place to visit in Taiwan - Qing Jing Nong Chang 清境農場 in Nantou near Taichung. I hesitated to recommend because I don't really hope to see this gem swamped by tourists (not many people from Singapore knew about it yet) but oh well... Just google and you will see the images of that wonderful place. Every single building on this snow capped mountain (it will be snow capped between Dec-Feb) is built according to European theme. Castles, cottages, makes you instantly forget you are in Asia! The last time I was there, I stayed in a double floor Shangrila Music Villa - a castle-looking hotel with music all around.


Click this and take a look and be wowed:
http://www.google.com.sg/images?um=...sch:1&sa=1&q=清境農場&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
Many great to photograph hotels including this die die must photograph 'Shangrila Old England':
http://www.google.com.sg/images?hl=...e=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=862&bih=635


Weather is cool and you will be able to see all types of flowers including sakura (Spring) or red orange maple leaves (Autumn). Beautiful multi-layers of mountains - exactly what you see in great photos of mountains and valleys right in front of your doorstep. At any time of the day, the magnificient sea of cloud sweeps pass before your eyes. See:
http://www.google.com.sg/images?hl=...=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1419&bih=651
Spectacular sunrise and sunset. Sometimes, misty fog. see this:
http://www.google.com.sg/images?um=...h:1&sa=1&q=清境日出日落&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

青青草原、成群牛羊、山嵐雲海、瑰麗山峰、蔚藍穹蒼、璀璨星空、歐式庭園、空中城堡…
清境農場位於南投縣中橫霧社支線,海拔1,700~2,000公尺,年均溫在15~23度,綠草如茵空氣清新,牛羊成群,具有濃厚的歐洲田園風光,素有「霧上桃源」之稱,是台灣最負盛名的避暑勝地。
農場內的高山花卉、高冷蔬果、牧場風光與全牛大餐等,均為其特色。每年3-10月滿山桃李花開,5月下旬開始則為桃、李、梨等水果盛產期,最適合前往休閒渡假。

At the same time, you also get good sunlight for beautiful 'New Zealand like scenery' of lambs gazing against marvellous mountainous backdrop. In fact, around Dec-Feb, you get very good 'sunset' type of low angle light for hours! Hard not to have good photos taken...no kidding! Weather is around 18C in the day, dipping to around 10C at night and when you move higher up into the mountain, it can dip to 2C or 0C! It ever snowed before!!!

I booked my hotel and tour bus from http://www.eztravel.com.tw/package1/index.htm?fr=tb4

To be more precise, I booked the 3D2N here: http://www.eztravel.com.tw/package1/index.htm?fr=tb4 (choose any hotel you want)

And I booked Shangila Music Villa inclusive of transport to and fro from Taipei Train Station, accommodation for 2N, most meals (fabulous!) plus wine at night, half day trip to the peak of the mountain! http://www.eztravel.com.tw/ezec/pkgtw/grp_begdate.jsp?LINE_CD=103&prod_no=GRT0000001606

There are many different types of fabulous accommodations, I recommend any of the 3 hotels under Shangrila brand - 'Hanging Garden' (at the heart of Qing Jing and very country log wood style - low price with excellent food and view too), 'Music Villa' (Mid price - double storey castle style rooms) or the ultra luxuorious 'Old England' (Highest price - very expensive but must go and eat high tea or just take photo there). The price range for 'Hanging Garden' (inclusive of all things I mentioned above) can be as low as only S$250/- (3D2N) per person for the whole trip!

They have many different types of F&E or semi F&E. All other places mentioned by others in the forum can be booked from this website. If staying more than 2 nights, you can separately book hotel here:
http://www.eztravel.com.tw/ezec/htl...t=0&htl_htltw=&checkInDt=&checkOutDt=&htl=hpg
Take the bullet train from taipei Train Station and change to shutter:
http://www.cingjing.com.tw/traffic/04_high.asp
Or walk into ezTravel office at Taipei Train Station and book whatever you want after you arrive in Taipei...very easy if you aren't going during the Lunar New Year holidays. I much prefer to book everything online these days...fairly safe and easy without any worries.

Great food, great weather, great scenery, great lights, easy to reach - less than 4 hours max per trip from Taipei Train Station by coach. And so affordable! By the way, it is also situated just next to the beautiful Sun Moon Lake...so you can kill two birds in one stone.

I been to Alishan and I personally think 清境農場 is much better! With this in your 7D trip, I guarantee you and your pals won't be disappointed. You may add other places within Taipei like what others suggested above. :cheergal:
wow this reply really shocked me :bigeyes: thanks so so much! :thumbsup:

hmm okay I'll definitely refer to this and the other posts above when we start planning. thing is we're pretty busy now, so is it really late to book plane ticket now? is it going to be really expensive? when did you book your ticket?

reading your post really makes me feel good already :)
 

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