A Week in Taiwan: Part 1

Last November 2018, we—the Four Sisons—went to Taiwan for our annual family trip. Our flight tickets had been booked as early as December 2017, so that's almost a year of waiting!

Naturally, almost my entire 2018 was spent scouring the internet—mostly YouTube—for Taiwan travel vlogs, looking for the best places to go, food to eat, and places to shop. My sister, who's always our designated itinerary planner, had been there twice for work, so she already had some ideas. We had seven full days to spend in Taiwan, and I will be sharing here our day-to-day itinerary in a series of posts. 

Taipei Main Station

First things first, though! Before we dive into the actual itinerary, let me share some important info regarding our trip.

Waiting for boarding at NAIA Terminal 3

Pocket WiFi

For internet access, we rented a pocket WiFi device via Klook. All I had to do was download the Klook app, search for 'Taiwan wifi,' and then choose the best one. Tip: Don't forget to read the package description for important information like pickup locations, deposit requirement, data cap!

I was able to find a very affordable one that had no data cap and no deposit requirement. 
  • 602 Php for 7 days
    • Rate per day varies depending on when you book. At the time, the rate was 86 PhP—now it's 83 PhP.
  • Unlimited data
  • No deposit required
    • I booked about a week before our trip and paid for it via credit card.
    • You would still need to provide your credit card info in the service counter for security purposes, but you would not get charged unless the device has been lost or damaged.
  • Maximum of 5 connected devices
  • Can be picked up at several locations including Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1
    • Service counter is located right in the arrival lobby.
    • In the app, it is indicated that opening hours were 5:30 AM-1 AM, but when we got there past 1 AM, the counter was still open, so we were able to claim the device right away.

Depending on the device you rent, you might need to charge it once or twice during the day, especially if you keep it on the whole time, so keep your powerbank ready.

Granted, there's usually free Wi-Fi in hotels, but I still highly recommend renting a pocket WiFi device! Internet connection comes in handy for navigation and on-the-go posting on your social media accounts ;)

Money Exchange

Before we left for our trip, we already had some PhP and USD exchanged to TWD. Then we had a few more exchanged when we got to Taipei Airport (amount good for a couple of days). The rest, we had exchanged in a bank near our hotel. There aren’t many stand-alone money changing centers in Taipei, but you can get your money exchanged in banks.

Arrival in Taipei

We left Manila late night on November 17 (Fri) and arrived in Taiwan at 1 AM the next day. Since it's a red-eye flight, we needed to decide beforehand if our hotel booking should start on Friday or on Saturday. 

Friday meant we would get to check in right after our arrival (around 2-3 AM, with airport queues and travel time to the hotel factored in), but we would sort of be wasting about half a day of our booking since the standard check-in time was at 3 PM. Saturday meant we would get to save a bit more money, but we would need to look for a place to rest in the airport until 5-6 AM when buses and trains start daily operations. Then we can go to the hotel, leave our luggage, go on about our day, and return at check-in time. I saw online that there were free lounges and rest zones in Taoyuan International Airport, so we felt booking for a day earlier was unnecessary. 

Luckily, we didn't even have to look far because there was a resting area right in the Terminal 1 arrival lobby. We were able to snooze and freshen up, then we headed to the bus terminal at around 5:15 AM.


From Taoyuan Airport, we took the 1819 bus, which brought us to Taipei Station.

The fare was 140 TWD per person. The ride from the airport bus terminal to Taipei Station only took 15-20 minutes, probably because it was so early in the morning still. We arrived at the hotel—which was just right across Taipei Station—at around 5:40 AM.

To get around Taipei, we mostly commuted by train.

We each bought an EasyCard for 100 TWD and loaded 200 on our first day. Then we just topped up when necessary using the Add-Value machines found in most metro stations. 


For the entirety of our 7-day trip, we stayed at Taipei H Imperial. It was important to stay somewhere near the main station so commuting would be a breeze. 

Our hotel's location was ideal! There were two MRT exits right in front, so it was super easy to get to and from the hotel. There's also a Family Mart store beside the hotel entrance, and we would stop by there every night to buy breakfast and snacks for the next day. Very convenient.

We booked a Classic Family Room, which had two double beds and a bathroom. The room itself was nice and sufficient for our needs. Would have liked it more if they had a full-length mirror, but other than that, I don't have any complaints! The room cost ~16600 TWD (~27000 PhP) for a 6-night stay for four people. 

The best part, I would say, is the garden-style common area. It's a nice place to chill and eat after an entire day of walking. Free coffee and bread were served here until 10 PM every day. There were even washing machines, in case we needed to do laundry (but we didn't).

Over-all, our stay at Taipei H Imperial was quite good! They also offered private tour and shuttle service, which we availed of for our scheduled Northeast Coast tour.

Right oustide our hotel, with an MRT exit behind us

In my next post, I’ll share about our Day 1 itinerary! I kept track of every single expense I made during the trip, and I’ll try to include the rates, fees, prices in my next posts. 

In the meantime, you may watch our travel vlog below!