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Sharing driver/guide in Taipei

Singapore, Singapore
7 posts
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Sharing driver/guide in Taipei

Hello!

Just came back from a leisurely trip to northern Taiwan and wanted to share our program and driver/ guide.

Day 1

1. Guards changing ceremony at Martyr's Shrine

2. National Palace Museum

3. Taipei 101

4. Long Shan temple

5. Night market near Long Shan Temple

Day 2

1. Shen Ao Yu Gang - 'Elephant' rock formation

2. Nan ya qi yuan - beautiful scenery by the coast

3. Yin Yang Sea

4. Golden waterfall

5. Jiu Fen

6. Shi Fen waterfall and sky lantern ( you can let off fireworks here!)

7. Kee lung night market

Day 3

1. Yang Ming Shan

2. Jin Shan old street

3. Teresa Teng memorial ground (beautiful scenery on the way to next attraction and popular with Japanese tourists)

4. Ye liu Geo Park

5. Wu Fen Pu - wholesale shopping

6. Hello Kitty Cafe

Day 7

1. Chiang Kai Shek memorial hall and dept Taipei

Taxi driver: Mr Xiao Zheng Wen

Tel: +886 922 304 232

Feedback: Highly recommended driver. I had contacted Mr Yu (+886 919 666 332) but he was already booked. He then recommended Mr Xiao from his team of drivers and Mr Xiao turned out really well!

I travelled with my siblings and 74 year-old father - Mr Xiao is polite, always accommodating and patient and never hurried us. He told us to share the places we would like to visit and he would plan the most efficient route. He is also a safe driver and even brought us to attractions which other drivers may not be aware of. He will walk with us where possible and will tell us the interesting places to view/eat. He also makes sure we get a family picture at the attractions and helps us take them!

We engaged him for 10 hours a day (TWD3800) but he was with us for more than that each day and never hurried us. Easier to just call him and he can let you know his availability and cost straightaway.

Mr Yu, my initial contact, was in touch with Mr Xiao to make sure everything was fine. He also called me personally to get my feedback and to ensure we were having a nice vacation several times during the trip!

Day 4-6

We took the Taroko express train and arrived in Hualien and stayed two nights at Hotel Bayview - excellent view of the coast where you can catch sun rise and closer to the Taroko Gorge.

Driver: Ms Gu

Tel: +886 935 083 682

Feedback: Knowledgeable about Hualien and the Taroko Gorge. She has the necessary tools in her car so you are all equipped for the walking trail. She, her husband, her son are drivers and can recommend drivers from their team if she is booked. We met her husband Mr Zeng and he was kind in making sure me and my dad had torches for the trail! She is patient and accomodating and will recommend good spots for pictures and take them for you!

Hope this is useful! Taiwan is a nice place with lovely people - hope you all enjoy.

COMMUNE A7
Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Flea & Street Markets
Taipei 101
Architectural Buildings, Shopping Malls
Shilin Nightmarket
Flea & Street Markets
Level Contributor
48 posts
18 reviews
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1. Re: Sharing driver/guide in Taipei

All the drivers you mentioned can speak English?

Singapore, Singapore
7 posts
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2. Re: Sharing driver/guide in Taipei

Most of the drivers are more comfortable speaking in Mandarin - Mr Yu and Mr Xiao both speak Mandarin and Ms Gu speaks some English.

Singapore, Singapore
7 posts
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3. Re: Sharing driver/guide in Taipei

I'll be going somewhere in nov and planning to go the same places as u on day 2. For day 2 u also engage the driver? I plan going on my own.. Can I know roughly how long u spend at each place?

Singapore, Singapore
7 posts
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4. Re: Sharing driver/guide in Taipei

We spent about half hour at each of the morning places of interest. We spent more time in Jiufen (2.5 - 3hrs including lunch) and Shifen (2hrs) as we visited the shifen waterfall and also let off the sky lantern in the evening. We then went to Kee Lung night market. We were able to visit many places within a day because our driver Mr Xiao was familiar and took the most efficient route. You may wish to consider hiring a driver/car to save time so you can visit more places.

HK
Level Contributor
14 posts
137 reviews
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5. Re: Sharing driver/guide in Taipei

We also just came back from our 7 day trip to Taipei and Hualien, and would like to share our experience with taxi / guides.

AIRPORT TRANSFER: Fannie +886 (2) 2563 2369 - This is a car hire company and they have many cars & drivers. Airport transfer to Taipei city centre is NTD1,000 each way only (vs. NTD1,200-NTD1,500 quoted in government tourism websites). They arrange a wagon for our family of 4, which is very roomy and clean. The drivers all wear uniforms, and are very polite and professional. A colleague highly recommended Fannie to me and turned out to be very good. They also have 7 seaters or bigger coaches. They have a large team and always have cars/ drivers available. We called just the day before we left for Taipei and they had no problems arranging transport for us the next day. A day trip will however be more expensive as they charge basic rate of NTD3,500 for the first 4-6 hours (don't remember) and then NTD500 for each extra hour.

YEHLIU, JIUFEN, JINGUASHI, SHIFEN: Ernest Sung +886 0966-223899 or a0966223899@yahoo.com.tw. Found Mr. Sung on TA. He replied our email iniquiry very quickly and a reason we chose him is his fluent English on the email replies (oiur family speaks mostly English). There wes a small hiccup on the day he was supposed to pick us up from our hotel to Jiufen. We had confirmed several times the pickup time to be 8am to avoid busy morning traffic. But Mr. Sung mistakened the pick up time to be 9am and said he woul dbe there in 1/2 hour. We were disappointed and got back to our room to wait. At 8.25am he arrived at our hotel and picked us up. He apoligized for the mistake (although we found it difficult to confuse because we had reconfirmed the time just the day before) and he was really sincere. On the way to Jiufen he explained to us the approx timing for each place, where best to eat, and chatted in English also. He said he had 5 kids of his own and couldn't be annoyed with the noise of just 2 little girls sitting at the back. At all the spots he guided us where to head first, what to expect and alwyas waited at the agreed place. There are a few places that we never mention but he would explain all to us like the Golden Waterfall, Yinyang Hai (sea with 2 colors), Nanya Rock, and always offered to take family photos of ours. When we finally left for Shifen he warned it may take a while and suggested the kids could take a nap at the back. Even I napped off and when we woke, we just arrived at Shifen looking at the fireworks. Here we releaed Tian Deng which was quite a new experience. We headed back to the taxi but Mr. Sung led us to a square a bit off the rail track for Tian Deng ..... it turned out that he bought fireworks for us and let us play in the little square. The kids loved it!! Their first time playing with fireworks as it is illegal back home. We all left with happy smile and tons of good photos and video.

Mr. Sung refused us paying him back fror the fireworks and charged the agreed price of NTD3,500 only. We were really grateful. At the beginning he quoted a rate of NTD3,500 for 10 hours. I saw from TA somewhere that another taxi driver charged NTD3,300 for 12 hours and so asked Mr. Sung his rate for 12 hours. He said our physical strength couldn't stretch to 12 hours as we will be tired from all the walking. At the end when he dropped us off at Ximen night market, it was almost 8.30pm already... so we had a 12 hour ride/ tour and he didn't charge us extra. Mr. Sung also offers airport transfer but he was busy on our arrival date, and we didn't ask for his rate.

TAROKO: We went with Tiffany Chang who is widely reproted in TA. We like her because she replied to our inquiries promptly, and could provide us the assurance that someone will pick us up. Almost immediately after we paid the deposit through Paypal, she confirmed the pick up time, taxi driver name and car licence no. Although she was already booked on the day of our travel, she referred us to a teammate of hers, Ms. Wu. Ms. Wu unlike Tiffany can speak Mandarin but this is not a big problem for us as I could translate for my family members. Ms. Wu took us to the usual itinery plus Cingshui Cliff and Baiyan Trail as agreed. She pointed out all the scenic spots, took photos for us, explained brief history, advised toilet stops, eating places, suggested time allocations ... What we couldn't appreciate more was advising us to buy cheap slippers and disposable raincoats from the 7-11 to prepare for Baiyan Trail as we will get wet from walking under the waterfall. We had no idea of these preparations previously and couldn't thank her more for her advice. Also, when we returned from Baiyan Trail, she had already prepared a pail for us to wash the dirt off our feet. Very thoughtful of Ms. Wu.

Agreed rate was NTD3,500. I had paid 30% deposit on PayPal. So I needed to pay the balance to Ms. Wu only. I forgot about the deposit totally and paid Ms. Wu NTD3,500. She reminded me that I needed to pay around NTD2k only. She impressed us with her honesty.

We had contacted another widely spoken driver in TA but he was tardy to reply our inquires, and never confirm the pick up time/ driver name. We thought he ditched us but he suddenly called on the day of our visit to Taroko to ask us our train arrival time.... OMG... we actually arrived to Hualien the previous day and he was supposed to pick us up from the hotel.... he totally messed up everything, luckly we didn't count on him.

HUALIEN TO ZHAOFENG FARM: On the taxi we inquired Ms. Wu how much would it cost to take us from Hualien to ZhaoFeng Farrm, she quoted NTD800 one way. Our hotel has earlier indicated they could call return taxi for us at NTD1,200 (pay to taxi driver directly). So we went along with hotel arrangement.

6. Re: Sharing driver/guide in Taipei

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