To be honest, the amount here did not give me the “Wow!” reaction for awhile and in fact, gave me the impression that the country is expensive after having the experience of travelling with $30 per day. I am not sure if this budget is considered a lot or little for Taiwan but looking at trips of other travellers, it seems like I did pretty well in regards to the expenditure and I know how tiring and stressful it can be when planning a free-and-easy trip so I thought of sharing my trip here for your reference.
Some things to note
1. S$500 is for per person and does not include airfares.
2. Itinerary: Taoyuan – Taichung – Cingjing – Taroko National Park – Hualien – Taipei & Keelung
3. There were 5~6 of us
4. Visited in March 2013. Though long time ago, prices have not made significant differences.
Starting the trip right
Remember to get your Travel to Taiwan Promotional Gifts at Taiwan Visitors Association before setting off. The gifts are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until supplies run out and you may check HERE or call to ask what is given out for the month. (This month gift includes One-way bus voucher for Travelling between Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei City)
I personally prefer flying with SCOOT for flights to Taoyuan/ Taipei from Singapore as their schedule is the best out of other budget airlines, for flying overnight and arriving in the morning. It is the same theory as travelling by overnight buses and in this way you save 1 day of annual leave, 1 night of accommodation fee + more time to explore.
Applying for Youth Travel Card and Buying Data Plan is almost a fixed plan after arrival, but these are not possible with Scoot arriving at 5:20AM when the counters are still closed. However, these may be done so later at designated office across different cities.
Taoyuan Airport – Taichung City by Freego Bus 飛狗巴士.
Price: NT$240 | Time: approx. 2 hours
For travelling to Fengjia Night Market: You will have to alight at Chaoma Station and transfer to local bus Chuang-Hang No.5 to Fengjia University Station, or hail a cab at approx. ntd100/cab. 前往逢甲夜市需在朝馬站转乘全航5路并在逢甲大學站下车.
Taichung Railway Station and Miyahara 宮原眼科
We did not visit attractions like Rainbow Village nor Lavender Cottage, and were mostly on discovering Taichung City and its night market scene. First stop was exploring Taichung Railway Station and the area. Nothing much but if you are looking to buy some snacks home, near the Railway Station is Dawn Cakes, Miyahara Branch 日出, 宮原眼科 which they are famous for pineapple cakes, suncakes, and almond and date candies etc. Looking at the queue, their ice cream are apparently famous too. The building itself is interesting to visit even if you do not want to get any of their products.
Note: There is a Tourist Center at Taichung Railway Station (台中火車站旅遊服務中心) if you want to apply for the Youth Travel Card, from 9am – 6pm.
Yizhong Street 一中街
Not to miss out on Yizhong Street Night Market 一中街夜市; Famous among the local students as there are many high schools and universities in the area. This night market is both for shopping (more on trendy clothes) and eating. Nearby hides the “must-eat” 一中豐仁冰 as well.
Directions from Taichung Railway Station: Take local bus No.9、14、88、100、102 or 73、83 from the plaza in front of the railway station and alight at National Taichung Institute of Technology (almost every bus makes it to this station). 台中火車站前面廣場搭乘台中客運9、14、88、100、102號 或 統聯客運73、83號 并在台中技術學院下车 | Price: NT$20
Fengjia Night Market 逢甲夜市
The biggest night market in Taiwan – food heaven. Packed regardless of peak season or not – it will not stop me from going back for more because the place keeps my stomach contented and THEY HAVE THE BEST SWEET POTATO BALLS! So gooood!
Directions from Yizhong Street: Take local bus No.35, 5 or 168 from opposite National Taichung Institute of Technology, in front of G-Music Recording Company, alighting at Fengjia University Station (in front of McDonald’s). 台中技術學院校門口對面的站牌(大眾唱片行門口)搭台中客運 35 路、全航客運 5、168 草屯←→僑光線. 下車地點：逢甲大學站(逢甲麥當勞前) | Price: Free (Trips below 8 kilometers are free when paying with EasyCard)
Accommodation for the night: 逢 甲 新 宿 | Price: NT$1500
Address: 逢甲路19巷10號 | Contact: 0939-223999 / +886 939 223999
Check out the our guides to this 10D9N Trip + a summary on how to do it with just S$500!
Day 2: Misty Green Green Grassland + steamboat up on the mountain~ Shiok!
Day 3: How to plan a road trip from Cingjing to Hualien, through Taroko Gorge
Day 4: What to do in Taipei & Keelung City?