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My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Singapore, Singapore
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My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

My family (hubby + 2 teenage girls) and I just got back from our 2nd trip to Taiwan (21-28 Nov 2011) and it was simply fantastic!

I planned the whole trip based almost entirely on information and recommendations from this forum so I thought I must “give back” by sharing my trip and views here.

My itinerary was as follows:

From S’pore >Taipei > Taichung > Chaiyi, Alishan > Nantou [Sun Moon Lake] Cingjing >[Taroko Gorge] Hualien >Taipei > S’pore

Day 1

SINGAPORE > TAIPEI

Took Kuo Kuang bus from Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei and checked in @ CityInn III.

Went to XiMenDing

Later returned to Taipei Main Station (TMS) and picked up High Speed Rail (HSR) & train tickets at TMS booked via internet.

Day 2

TAIPEI > TAICHUNG

Took HSR from Taipei to Taichung

Took Free Shuttle buses from Taichung HSR Station to Fengjia University stop. Took the route towards Overseas Chinese Institute of Technology (bus no 12) & alighted at Fengjia University stop.

Boss from Corner968 came to bus stop to pick us although it was within walking distance to Corner968, located in a private apartment building near Fengjia night market. Checked in room & Boss arranged cab driver to take us to Shinshe to visit Lavender Cottage Farm 薰衣草森林, Sea of Flowers 花海& Carton King紙箱王 in Shinshe.

Returned to Fengjia Night Market.

Day 3

TAICHUNG > ALISHAN (CHIAYI)

Took the free HSR Shuttle from Fengjia University stop to Taichung HSR Station.

Picked up by Charlies from Small Swiss Homestay.

Car tour of Chiayi and stopped @ fengchihu en-route to Alishan.

Checked in @ Small Swiss Homestay.

Day 4

ALISHAN

Charlies drove us nearby to view sunrise @ 6 am.

Walked Alishan National Forest Recreation Area (abt 3 hrs+) + viewed Shihjhuo tea plantation area + climbed Bamboo Forest.

Day 5

ALISHAN > CINGJING (NANTOU)

Cab Tour from Alishan- Sun Moon Lake (SML) – Puli - Cingjing

En-rounte stopped @ Jiji Train Station, took cable car @ SML and visited Puli's Paper Dome纸教堂 & Puli Winery.

Checked in @ Misting Villa, Cingjing.

Day 6

CINGJING > HUALIEN

Cab Tour from Cingjing – Hualien (Taroko Gorge太鲁阁).

Checked in @ Hualien Bay & the owner, Mr Andie Chen drove us to nearby Nanbing Nite Market. Mr Chen came to pick us up after dinner & shopping. He brought us to buy fireworks & sky lantern. Went back to minsu & lighted up lantern & fireworks!

Day 7

HUALIEN > TAIPEI

Mr Chen drove us to Hualien Train Station.

Took train from Hualien to Taipei: the Tzechiang Express

Left luggage @ CityInn III. Took MRT to Beitou & transferred to Xinbeitou.

Went to hotspring @ Beitou Spa at Shan-Yue hot spring Hotel 山樂溫泉 + tea (buffet).

Took MRT to Danshui.

Day 8

TAIPEI > SINGAPORE

Checked out of CityInn III and last minute shopping around Taipei Main Station.

Took Kuo Kuang 国光 bus from Taipei to Taoyuan International Airport.

Yangmingshan National Park
Historic Walking Areas, Hot Springs & Geysers, Mountains, National Parks, Parks
Jiaosi Hot Spring
Hot Springs & Geysers
Singapore, Singapore
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1. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

We were blessed with great weather throughout the trip hence we did not have to change any part of our plan. We were glad we engaged different drivers during the trip as they each had interesting, in-depth, local knowledge of the places, although it would have been easier and less of a hassle to just engage 1 driver throughout the trip. The places that we plan to go must really take into consideration the interests and ages of our group (particularly if you have children or elderly). My teenage daughters would not have enjoyed the forests of Alishan or the Taroko Gorge 2 years ago during our 1st trip as they could not have walked that much of the forest trails nor appreciated the geographical marvels of the gorge!

Taipei Taiwan
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for Taiwan, Taipei
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2. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Hi

Thanks for posting your trip review. Glad you enjoyed your visit to this lovely place.

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Hey nuttyarn

Most welcome! Must mention that i got much info from all ur prompt answers to questions in this forum...great job!! Tks! :D

Did not include much details or personal comments in my trip review but if anyone have any queries, most happy to share them!

Singapore, Singapore
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4. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Hi I m planning a trip to Taiwan in march 2012. The schedule in yr trip has given me a good planning, I m planning to go Taichung n Hualian n Taipei. Would you be able to give me the contact nos of the drivers in Taichung n Hualian?

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Hi

Here's details of contact for our drivers:

Taichung : 林鸿志 email: j969887@yahoo.com.tw h/p: 0923-536111

As mentioned, he was recommended by boss of Corner968 as I actually wanted to attempt taking the bus & transfer to cab to lavender cottage after driver i earlier emailed wasn't available. Mr Lin charged NT2500 & he drives a Toyota WISH.

Hualien : Mr 曾Zeng (got his contact here from TA) who drove us from Cingjing to Hualien. Highly recommended!

My hubby was not feeling well from the start of the trip. Mr Zeng was really patient and took really good care of him & the rest of us as well. On top of his safe driving & interesting tour, Mr Zeng also did the following which touched our hearts: he stopped at a local police station & requested permission for my hubby to use the toilet, stopped at a rest stop for me to get some warm water for hubby and requested the owner of eatery to prepare hot porridge (not on their menu) for hubby! He was also not upset or angry when my hubby threw up in his cab. He quickly cleaned it up & reassured us that it was OK. Mr Zeng even provided us with heat pads & warm coats when we were feeling cold up at hehuanshan!

We had 3 other drivers during our trip in Taiwan and I must say Mr Zeng was the best! Mr Zeng can be contacted thru his wife Ms Gu(who also got gd reviews!) by email mom88168@yahoo.com.tw. He charged us NT5000.

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

I agree with the poster above.

We left Hualien two days ago.

Did a tour with Ms Gu on two days, from Cingjing to Hualien and the following day on a day tour of taroko gorge itself.

Really safe driver and despite my initial worries about the route from Cingjing to Hualien in the rain as I've read reports about it being a dangerous route and that people can get carsick, we actually found the experience not as bad as feared.

I would put it down to Ms Gu's expertise and familiarity on the mountain roads.

We didn't feel any discomfort at all and the scenery was breathtaking.

Met Ms Gu's husband, Mr Zeng a few times taking other groups and he came across as a nice friendly person.Both he and Ms Gu are natives to that region and very familiar with the trickier part of the route and their priority is safety.

We never felt rushed at all during the tour. We actually went beyond the standard 8hours but Ms Gu refused to accept more money.

We could tell that they are genuinely proud of Taroko Gorge's beauty and are keen to show off it's glory to visitors.

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Hey YKim

Glad u had a great trip with Ms Gu! We also met her along the way & she was really friendly & genuinely caring like her husband. Yep, as they are both natives 原住民 who grew up in the taroko area, they are really familiar & experienced with the mountain roads & they also have many stories to share, in fact Mr Zeng told us he used to be a hunter! :)

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Hi

Thanks for your prompt reply. Will it be better to travel Taichung then Hualian or Hualian than Taichung. Still undecided.

Hope to hear from you.

Singapore, Singapore
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9. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Hi Emily

I think no difference; either way is fine! My original plan was Hualien then Taichung but realized that I didn't want to do Fengjia night market on a Sat night so I reversed the plan..that was the only reason!

Cheers!

Malaysia
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10. Re: My Fantastic Taiwan Trip 21 Nov - 28 Nov 2011

Hi Shana65,

I think your trip-planning was great..I would love to take yours in my trip-planning... ^_^ But What I'm worried is will it be too hassle traveling from one place to another? Will it be sufficient time to explore a place in less than a day time?

Thanks.