Taiwan Trip Day 1: National Palace Museum, Shilin Night Market

*LATEST* Taiwan Itinerary Year 2012 – 9 Days around Taipei, Taitung, Green Island, Kaohsiung, Jiufen

For our full trip itinerary, please click here.

updates: Shihlin Night Market has been relocated indoor since 25 December 2011.

The response we have received on our Taiwan Trip Summary is heartwarming and overwhelming. Emails and comments have been flowing in; asking us for more details and advices on where to stay and where to go. Though we are not exactly the best person in customizing an itinerary, we will try our best to assist. So, let us present to you the Day One of our Taiwan trip, which we will touch on the youth travel card, digital travel buddy and also our cheap accommodation in Taipei. We’ll be providing a list of hotel/hostel that we really like too. Please scroll down.

We have the privilege to fly with MAS again; the first one was a 4D3N trip to Kota Kinabalu. It was a bigger air craft which appears open and spacious. I love the extra leg space and you know how an extra inch of legroom can mean the difference between comfort and misery.

Fish or Chicken? We took one each and we both agree have to agree that the in-flight meals were pretty decent and we finished our meal in a jiffy!

Even the British lady seated next to us asked for a second serving!

Since it was a 940 am flight, we were pretty energetic after a long night sleep. There are various on board entertainment options such as a great selection of movies, TV, audio channels and games. KampungBoy was busy with his games while I took the opportunity to clear some movie from my “To Watch” list. I manage to watch “17 Again” and “He’s Just Not That into You” which made the 4.5 hour flight disappears quite quickly.

We arrived to Taoyuan International Airport in the span of a few rounds of golf game.

For travelers aged between 15 to 30, you may apply for Youth Travel Card at the counters of any of the NYC’s nationwide Youth Hubs, of the tourism passenger service centers of the Taoyuan Taiwan International Airport or Hsiao Kang International Airport and the Tourism Bureau’s itourism service centers (major railway stations, MRT stations and airports). A card holder is entitled to special offers and discounts on tourist attractions, youth home stay, bus tours, etc.

On top of that, we find the Digital Tour Buddy (consist of a hand set, sim card with talk time of NT200 and phone charger) very useful. It offers 24-hour service and assistance. Besides, it has in-built dictionary function of English-Chinese translation for backpackers enable to communicate without language problems. If the travelers are confused about where to stay or how to approach a local attraction, the English booking system of the youth hostel and the taxies has set up the one-key dials in the Digital Tour Buddy. International backpackers should visit the National Youth Commission’s (NYC) youth travel website, http://youthtravel.tw and complete the online booking application form seven days to thirty days before entering Taiwan and bring relevant documents with them, including approved booking forms, passports, passport copies, and one extra valid ID. After leaving a copy of their passport and other ID as deposit, you will be issued with the Digital Tour Buddy.
hostel map

From TaoYuan International Airport, we took Toward You Air Bus (NT90) to Sheraton Hotel Taipei as our hostel is just a stone’s throw away. For more transportation information, please click here. We spent four nights in Taipei and we have chosen 台北常民宿集, a hostel cum apartment managed by Miss Yeh, a very nice owner. Our room (Room D, NT1000 per night) is actually a separated apartment unit with basic necessities such as hot shower, wireless internet, water dispenser, TV and air conditioner. It has a superb location (1 minute walk to shandao MRT station, 10 minute walk to Taipei train station) but the surrounding of our apartment is pretty dodgy.

We do, have a few places in our mind but they were all fully booked for the summer holidays. Do contact us if you need any help in securing a room/apartment because most of them are maintaining a Chinese language website.

Three star hotels around Taipei Main Station. NT 2000 to NT 4000
1. City Inn (my favourite)
2. Orange Business Hotel
3. SeeYou Hotel
4. Say LoveHotel
5. Royal InnTaipei

Home Stay/Daily Rent Apartments. NT 1000 to NT 2000
1  Suite.Apartment –  Zhongxiao Fuxing Station (my favourite)
2. Taipei York –  Longshan Temple Station
Traveller Cat House –  Ximen Station
不小心的鳥 Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station
5 Taipei Minsu – Taipower Building Station

To get around Taipei, remember to get an Easy Card (NT 500 with NT 100 as deposit). It can be used for Taipei Metro, buses, public parking lots, and certain intercity buses. Taipei’s MRT system runs from 6am to 12 mid night.

Taxi charge is NT 70 for the first 1.5 km, NT5 for every 300 meters after and NT20 is added to fares starting from 11pm to 6am. Unlike Malaysia, taxis in Taiwan run on meter and we find the fares very reasonable.

In order to enjoy the free admission during extended hours on Saturday evening, we made a visit to National Palace Museum since it is only one station away from Shilin Night Market.

The Palace Museum boasts the world’s largest collection of Chinese art and artifacts, some 655,000 pieces in all, from ceramics to curios from imperial collections.We came here just to see two of the museum’s most treasured objets d’art-Jadeite Cabbage & Meat Shaped Jasper and they are BEAUTIFUL!



In order to enjoy the free admission during extended hours on Saturday evening, we made a visit to NPM since it is only one station away from Shilin Night Market.

National Palace Museum 國立故宮博物院
Operating Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM daily (ticket: NT 160, youth travel discount: NT80)
Extended Hours: 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM every Saturday (during extended evening hours, free admission)
Getting Here:
Take the Red Line to the Shilin Station. At Exit 1, take bus R30 (Red 30) to the National Palace Museum.
Other routes that will take you to and near the Museum plaza are buses 255, 304, Minibus 18 and Minibus 19.

1. chaotic scene around shilin night market 2. the crowd is worst than connaught pasar malam 3. cheap t-shirts (3 for NT 500/RM 55) 4. cai xiao ren socks, so cute!

Shihlin Night Market士林夜市
Getting Here:
Take the Red Line to Jiantan Station. The night market is divided into two areas: the shilin tourist night market is a roofed food court located opposite the Jiantan MRT Station, and across it is the area that stretches from YangMing cinema to Danan Road, Dadong Road and Wenlin Road.shilin1

Famous Snacks in Shilin Night Market

1. meat roll with spring onions, NT 10
2. famous pepper biscuit 胡椒饼 from Raohe Night Market, NT 45
3. very juicy and delicious indeed!
4. muscular and sweaty arm of the man who’s manning the stall.

1. Da Bing bao Xiao Bing – booth no. 501 (little roll in big roll)
2. the signature dish is made by laying down a rolled dough, placing a deep fried little roll in it and hammering it until the roll inside breaks into some crunchy bits
3. look at the  generous amount of oysters!
4. the famous Big Head Dragon (booth no. 200) egg & oyster omelette, NT 50.

1. Sheng Shilin Big Sausage (booth no. 308)
2. “small sausage in big sausage”, made by grilling a glutinous rice roll, slice it open and place a taiwanese sausage inside together with some special sauce. yummy!
3. Haota Big Chicken Fillet (NT 50). Almost the size of my face but we find it so so.
4. Wash it down with a cup of bubble milk tea (NT 30)


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