8 places to visit in Taiwan for Filipinos
You’ve probably heard the great news! The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines has announced the trial run for Filipinos to enter Taiwan without a visa. The trial period starts on November 1, 2017, for Philippine nationals who intend to visit the ROC (Taiwan), in which lasts for 14 days.
If you’re thinking of going to Taiwan, pack your bags as we’ve listed down some popular places to visit during your trip!
Shilin Night Market
One of Taiwan’s hotspots, Shilin Night Market is located on a street filled with different dishes and items sold by locals for all tourist to enjoy and try out. It is filled with all kinds of shopping options, from department stores to shops and stores. It is also a gathering site for young people who are into the most fashionable and popular shopping area in Taiwan.
Try unique and flavorful dishes such as noodles, bubble teas, sausages, dumplings, and much more. This is a place you shouldn’t miss when visiting Taiwan!
How to get there: Take the Red Line 2 to Jiantan Station (劍潭), not Shilin Station. After leaving Exit 1, diagonally cross the street to the left to enter the night market.
Shifen Waterfall and Sky Lanterns
Follow a red wooden deck that leads to Shifen Waterfalls, which can be reached after a few minutes of trekking. The waterfall itself is a sight to behold; you can take a crack at capturing its beauty in photos or simply admire it from afar.
The catch basin is covered on all sides by sheer rock walls, its cascading water rushing down in a white froth like there’s tomorrow. Once it hits the big boulders it creates this illusion of fluidity and balance. Make sure you drop by Shifen Old Streets on your way back and light your own paper lantern. Paint your wishes on it and let it reach the sky above and who knows, it might just come true!
How to get there: From Taipei Main Station, take a northbound train (except Keelung-bound trains) towards Ruifang Station. Transfer to the Pingxi Line (平溪線) and purchase a One Day Ticket for the Pingxi Line (NT$ 52).
Din Tai Fung
Visit the original store of Din Tai Fung, the legendary Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) restaurant in Taiwan. Established in 1974, it was named among the Top 10 Restaurants of the World by The New York Times in 1993 and was awarded one Michelin Star three years in a row (2010 – 2012) for its branches in Hong Kong.
Brace yourself as long lines await both locals and tourists who are hopelessly in love with their soup dumplings. If you are a fan of Din Tai Fung in your hometown or xiao long bao in general, Din Tai Fung is definitely worth a visit.
How to get there: Din Tai Fung’s original shop is located next to Yongkang Street (永康街). Take the Red Line 2 or Orange Line 4 to Dongmen Station (東門). After leaving Exit 5, continue walking straight and cross Yongkang St. The restaurant will be on the right.
Also known as Muzha Zoo, this public zoo is also one of the largest zoos in Asia. Taipei Zoo was founded by a Japanese man with the last name Oe in 1914. Make sure you drop by their Giant Panda House, where guests can see two pandas named Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan (meaning “reunion”).
They also have a Fern Garden, an Insect Valley, a Children’s Zoo, Koala House, and Asian Rainforest Tropical Area. For those who love animals, this is the place for you. Bring your family and friends to wander around Taiwan’s only century-old zoo!
How to get there: Take the Brown Line 1 to the southern terminus Taipei Zoo (台北動物園).
National Palace Museum
Home to the world’s largest, and arguably finest, collection of Chinese art that covers paintings, calligraphy, statues, bronze artifacts, jade collections, and much more. It has four levels that hold these artifacts plus areas for exhibits. They have English-speaking tour guides in the morning and afternoon that you can book online.
A Taiwanese food court is available for people who are tired of wandering the museum. Historians and avid fans of different collections should visit this museum. Click here to know ticket prices and museum schedules.
How to get there: From MRT Red Line 2 Shilin station (士林), walk outside the station and board Bus R30 (紅30), fare NT$15, payable by cash or Easycard. Do not cross the road, as buses on the MRT station side of the road head east towards the museum. Busses generally leave every 30 mins on weekdays until 7 pm and 15 mins on weekends until 6:55 pm.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
A national monument, landmark, and a tourist attraction all in one, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is located in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District. It was erected in honor and memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the ROC. It was opened to the public in 1980 as part of a national park and gathering area.
Have a piece of history with you as you tour around the same place Chiang Kai-shek used to walk on. The octagon-shaped white building rises 76 meters build with the rich culture of the Taiwanese, and is Taiwan’s most prominent historical landmark.
How to get there: Take Red Line 2 or Green Line 3 to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂), sometimes labeled as C.K.S. Memorial Hall.
Formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, this skyscraper is located in Taipei’s Xinyi District. This is the best place to get a full 360-degree view of the entire city of Taipei. The base of Taipei 101 is home to a multi-level shopping mall while its upper floors are rented out to businesses. At 508 meters, Taipei 101 was once the world’s tallest building until the Burj Khalifa in Dubai surpassed it in 2010. It also held the record for the world’s fastest elevator and is currently the tallest LEED-certified building in the world (and a Platinum certificate at that).
People who have fear of heights aren’t encouraged to go here, but for those thrill seekers, this is the place to be. The tower itself mimics a stalk of bamboo, ready to withstand any typhoon or earthquake that may hit Taiwan.
How to get there: Take the Red Line 2 (Xiangshan train) to Taipei 101 station (台北101). Alternatively, take the Blue Line 5 to Taipei City Hall Station (市政府), located beneath HanKyu Department Store. Walk south to enter the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (新光三越) complex (known as the Xinyi Shopping District) towards 101. Being as tall as it is, you will definitely see it along the skyline.
Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain)
Xiangshan, or Elephant Mountain, is a mountain in Taipei’s Xinyi District. A famed tourist attraction, this is worth the hike as it has astonishing views of the entire city. Stare at Taipei’s skyscrapers by day, or enjoy the scenic Taipei skyline at night. The hike takes around 15-20 minutes to the top. Even though it’s not an actual hike, be prepared for lots and lots of stairs!
You’ll reach the landing area with facilities and restrooms where the path branches off in multiple directions. Best if you go here late in the afternoon for stunning views like the one in the photo.
How to get there: From the base of Taipei 101, walk east on Xinyi Road (信義路) for two blocks until you reach MRT Xiangshan Station, only a 15-minute walk from 101 and completely worth it. To get there faster, take a YouBike from the station across the street from 101 (MRT Exit 2), then return the bike at the park near the trail entrance.
If you’re taking the MRT, get off after arriving at Xiangshan station (象山), the terminus of Red Line 2. Leave from Exit 2 and continue walking alongside the edge of the park. At the end of this road, take a left and follow until the entrance for Xiangshan Hiking Trail (象山登山步道), total 650 meters, around 20 mins.