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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  • wen xuan says:

    大肠包小肠 from 关芝霖?I thought it was only so-so.
    I have a friend who has a stall selling 鸡蛋仔饼 in Raohe!
    Yes I do agree with the 豪大大鸡排….mediocre.
    I always get a pair of sneakers when I’m in Shihlin…I dunno why. Haha…

    Nice one weizhi!

  • shadow says:

    next stop for me I guess. Hopefully will be able to make a trip there soon. =)

  • eiling says:

    always wanted to go taiwan to eat!

  • cumidanciki says:

    looks excellent. i will use this as my rough guide come sept;) cheers

  • wen xuan: hey ur like the pro of all things taiwan. please please please tell us what to eat 😀
    we bought ah sheng’s sausages la, not the guan zhi lin stall. introduce ur fren to me la, then i can have kawans in taipei hehe. sneakers are cheap meh? i was busy buying t shirts though.

    shadow: hehe really? when is it?

    superwilson: thx

    eiling: ask yiling along! n me if im free 😀

    cumi n ciki: haha ur going? can i give u my shopping list?

  • Selba says:

    Nice pictures of your trip in Taiwan :)

  • email2me says:

    OMG! Those snacks stall are calling my name !!! Just been there once and that time still haven’t start foodpoi.com

    Regret ……

  • ai wei says:

    yorrr… so much fun leh. hope i can have a holiday like that!!!

    shop shop shop, eat eat eat and sightseeing!!!

    one word, ‘soooong’

  • bakkutteh says:

    hi kampung girl!! so fast aledi departed to Taiwan!! hahaha… your team is great !!! looking forward to more and Malaysia team GAMBATE ya !! :)

    oh yea.. i just get to know that you are Weiting’s sister… haha… the world is so small!!! hahaha…

  • hi haha dont me n weiting look alike? photostated version lol. we just came back from taiwan and will be making a trip there next mth. have u revert to the organizer? how do we get the discounted air fare ar?

  • selba: thanks ya i love ur indon posts too

    aiwei: yes dear! when r u going? hehe

    ken: lol yeah this is my 2nd time too. first time was a 24 day tour!

  • allie says:

    I so wanted to try out their street foods! This is my next target of destination! Thanks a lot for your info!

  • cariso says:

    I am following this Taiwan posts closely:)

  • jason says:

    The food seems reasonable. *drool*

  • syeemun says:

    ur blog is great..thanks for the nice sharing…awaiting more info fm other places from KBCG….^^

  • Audrey says:

    Can check with you, for the Taipeiyork homestay is he trustworthy? coz need to transfer half the total amt as deposit, abit frighten that he will ‘fly aeroplane’… keke hope you can let me know.

  • Audrey,

    Yes one of my HK friend has stayed there before. But I have to warned you about the cons

    1) you have to walk through some narrow, dark alley before reaching the place
    2) in the website, they said tht its an independent suite right, in fact the owner divides his lil condo into four suites. but you can’t hear what’s happening at the other “suites”

  • Audrey says:

    Thanks thanks so much for letting me know in advance. =) Really appreciate this. erm.. u mean for the XMD de?

  • yeah the xmd one u have to walk pass the alley, but not sure about his suits in other area

    maybe u can try http://gofortravel.pixnet.net/blog
    its a serviced apartment for daily rent :), superb location but too bad they have only 1 suite, so if u have more than 3 person in your group, then too bad

  • Audrey says:

    Actually considering taipei york(xmd) or suit.apartment (fuxing), still tinking which is better and easily accessible . We have 3 ppl and a 3 yr old actually keke. Thanks alot, I’ll go check out this site now. =D

  • audrey, i will prefer suit.apartment (fuxing). i love to stay at ‘dong chu’ more than xmd area. xmd is so dead during day time :)

  • Ryan says:

    Day 4 link for Taiwan cannot be found

  • hi ryan, thanks for telling me. its corrected

  • Filial Daughter says:

    Hi kampungboycitygal,

    Before anything, love your blog!! So useful and informative!

    Anyways, you mentioned above that you can help if we need help to book the hotel (coz everything is in Chinese!). i’m interested in the Suite.Apartment – Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. There’s this particular room (room name: Zhong Xiao Fu Hung station 1603 for NT$1600/night) that has a sofa bed (next to a queen bed), so looks like can fit 4 ppl. Can u help me enquire if the owner lets 4 ppl in the room? And i would like to book it for Feb2010..

    i’ve sent email ady, but no reply from them!!.. sob sob..

    Thanks in advance!!

  • hi ivy. ive emailed mr liao. but no reply yet? has he replied?

  • Samantha says:

    Hi Kampung boy!

    Just want to check with you regarding Taipei York service apartment, is it near to train station and convenience store/ food stalls/ retail shops? There isn’t any other websites that mention this service apartment.

    Am going with my family of 6 including 2 babies, is it recommended to stay in this service apartment?

    Thank you!

  • Hi I wont recommend taipei york to a big family as stated in my accommodation post. Its actually a condo divided into four units of “apartment”
    Why don’t you choose hotels around taipei train station like city inn?

  • LM says:

    Hi Kampungboycitygal,

    I’m going to Taiwan this coming March. Any recommendation for accommodation as I’m going with a group of six. Preferably apartment type. Checked out those links you gave but unfortunately I can’t read Chinese. Your help will be much appreciated.

    Thank you and have a nice weekend!


  • Hi LM

    Would recommend city inn or suite.apartment. Don’t worry, you can email them in English :)

  • yk says:

    I will go to Taiwan with another 2 friends, have asked for city inn but they replied “room-size is not big enough to content extra bed / mattress”.
    Gofortravel will hv rennovation during mth of May.
    Thus we hv choose suite.apartment but no reply yet.
    May I know that how can we make payment for booking on suite.apartment?
    suite.apartment hv self-serve coin washing machine as what Gofortravel hv?
    Thank You~

  • Hi yuen kuan, the owner Mr Liao will reply to you and advise you on the method of payment. no, I don’t think that they have self serve coin washing machine
    hope u’ll have a great stay there! p/s i love DONG CHU aka the Zhong Xiao area, a lot of nice food around

  • yk says:

    Thanks for your reply ^^
    Unfortunately the room at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station is full.
    Mr Liao has advise us to stay at 台北小巨蛋.
    Have you ever stay there before?

  • hi yk, 台北小巨蛋 there is a it too far from town.

  • yk says:

    oooh…then I hv to look for others hostel.
    sorry for disturb, any others hostel that you can recommend to me?
    Thank you~

  • hi yk, have u tried those hotels around taipei train station like dandelion, orange forte, city inn?

  • LM says:

    Thank you for the reply.

    How do you pay the deposit for Suite. Apt?


  • Ryan Lee says:

    Thanks to your wonderful write up on Taiwan and also the itinerary you send me. My friend and I will be going with my to taiwan from 22 October – 29 October. We will be visiting Jiufen, + North East Coast, + Jinguashi, + Keelung, taipei city, taichung city, chingjing,lushan hot spting ,sun moon lake, alishan and chaiyi. We also book City Inn which you recommended. Keep up the good work. :)

  • yk says:

    thanks for your help.
    I have found 1 near MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing.
    Many thanks!

  • Glad to hear that. Enjoy ur trip!

  • jm says:

    I check that if i book City Inn in Taipei, I have to give them the authorization credit card number. Is it safe to do so?

  • Ryan Lee says:

    I book my hotel at CityInn by sending them a authorization letter. But I did inform my bank that there will be a transaction for payment from taiwan. (Gave the bank the Amount and Hotel Name). So I think is safe as the transaction went thru and there were no additional charges or illegal transaction.

  • Hi I din get to book suite apartment. you need to ask mr liao :)

  • wow ryan, ur going to so many places. sounds fun too!! jealous

  • Ryan Lee says:

    Once I come back from my trip I will shared with you on Cinjing, Lushan Hot Spring, Sun Moon Lake and Alishan. How the environment and is it worth to visit. Just to inform you my friend was in Taiwan in January,I told him about Fu Hang Soy Bean @ HuaShan Market which you recommended he says the placed look very different from the last time you visited. Now it look like a modern food court something like the KLCC food court.

  • ryan: thanks a lot! the other day, i met with the tourism people from Nantou County where cinjing n sun moon lake is. They gave me some maps and brochures with travel information. DO let me know if u need it, can lend to you and you can make a copy of it.

    really? the fu hang place has changed so much? my fren is going this mth, i will ask em about it. :)

  • Ryan Lee says:

    Really appreciate your help. Coudld you loan me the map and travel information so that I can make a copy. I really looking forward to this trip been planning seen last october 2009 when airasia release the 1million free ticket seat. Lucky able to buy the ticket for rm472 inclusive return. Roughly less then 7 month to trip. :)

  • mandy says:

    I’m going to Taipei Oct 2010…I’m reaching the airport around 10+pm…Any recommendation where to stay..? only me and my bf …hope to get a cheaper room…around 800-1000/night.. If stay at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT, will it be hard to travel around? We are first time to Taipei… we prefer stay to places where is close to night market or easy to find food to eat….easier to find transportation to other places as well….Pls advice..Thanks

  • hi mandy, reaching the airport at 10pm++??!! u need to check what time the buses stop operating wo. coz it takes about 1 hr to reach taipei city.
    if ur budget is nt800-nt1000, then the only choice would be hostel. u can refer to the list here – http://kampungboycitygal.com/2010/01/accommodation-in-taiwan/

    zhongxiao fuxing station is quite central. its easy to get around as long as u stay near to the mrt station. i alwiz advise ppl to stay around taipei train station, but the hotels would normally cost rm200 to rm 300. maybe u can try the one that we stayed before? its taipei hostel, nt1000 per nite, good location, clean room but we hate the smelly alley that we have to walk past b4 reaching it. read here – http://kampungboycitygal.com/2009/07/taiwan-trip-day-1-national-palace-museum-shilin-night-market/

  • mandy says:

    Thx…Another question..Do most of the hostel/homestay in Taipei need to pay deposit? I hope to do payment on our 1st day there… How do you made the payment for Taipei Hostel when u stay there?

    Is it convinient that we stay any places even those at the Wufenpu MRT station, as long as it is near MRT station?

  • ximoon says:

    Hi Kampungboycitygal, I’m a student and study in Taiwan. Due to my graduate paper is regarding of Taiwan Shilin Night Market, may i have your view on Shilin Night Market? This may be take your some time to fill in the questionaire? Your opinion and help are important to me. Thank you very much ^^, and wish you have nice day.

  • Hi no prob. can u email me d ques?

  • Lynn says:

    Hi Kampungboycitygal,

    I need to know if I show my varsity student card from Malaysia, will I be able to get a further discount at CityInn Taipei?

    Thanks! =)

  • Elaine says:

    Hi, if I am staying near Gu Ting mrt, will it be outskirt of town? Are there any night life / night market around besides Shida Night Market?

  • hi gu ting is not very outskirt. its still within the city area, but not too central.

  • choo says:

    Noticed you mentioned airport bus stop at Sheraton Hotel – a stone away from Taipei homestay.
    How far is a stone throw away??
    As we are arriving at 8.30 pm at airport and estimated arrive at taipei homestay after 10pm, do you think it is safe to walk from Sheraton Hotel bus stop to Taipei homestay?

    Thanks for the clarifications.

  • hi its 5-10 minutes walk. yes its safe. dun have to worry

  • Stacey says:

    do we need to pay for applying the Youth Travel Card???? er… about the Digital Tour Buddy… need to pay any fees???

  • hi its free. dont worry

  • Benua says:

    Hi Kampung Boy & City Gal,
    Your site is awesome! Congrats and keep it up. A keen independent traveller myself, I wouldn’t have the energy to compile reports post trip. But kudos to you both for sharing them with us. Cheers!

  • Hi Benua, actually i always feel like giving up halfway but I made it most of the time. readers like u give me strength :)

  • Sally says:


    Thanks for the taiwan post!
    Can i please check with you the rates for Suite.apartment?
    The one you listed as your favourite?
    Went to the website but as it’s all in Chinese, i have some difficulty navigating.
    Dont mind can you please help?

    I will be heading to Taiwan from 24-31 July!

    Thanks so much!

  • hafidz lee says:

    hye there! i really love your post about taipei. and it is help me a lot how to choose a right place for accomodation. do you know any accomodation that i can stay in a week in taipei?
    .-= hafidz lee´s last blog .."All about l.o.v.e

    ~I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with…" =-.

  • taipeisleep says:

    Nice post love it XDDD

  • jl88hl says:

    Hi! I like your blog~ Can you send me Taiwan map and travel information? I will reached TaoYuan International Airport at 10.25pm and I plan to go Shilin Night Market for supper. Do you know what time it close and how to get there? ^o^

  • Hi there the information have all been posted under our blog posts. You just need to go through the posts one by one for maps etc. Shilin closes near mid night so it is not a good idea to go there for supper. From taoyuan it’s another one hour plus to airport.

  • Winter says:

    Hello KBCG,

    We will go Taiwan next month. Just out of curiosity, did both of you purchased any travel card for Metro Rapid Transit? (similar to HongKong octopus card?)

    Is there any promo?

  • Hi winter, yes we bought card at the subway station. Its call youyou card. Not sure about promo, but sometimes the tourism office at menara boustead gives out free metro card with rm 5 credit, you may check with them

  • Lim Min Yuan says:

    The homepage and the content page of the website look great and systematic. All the pictures in the blog look impressive and gorgeous which tempted me to travel those places and try the dishes they recommended. The use of website links of places and address of restaurants or tourist attractions showed in the blog post gave me clear information about visiting the places. I am looking forward to your future post.

  • Lynn says:

    Hi KPCG,

    For the Suite Apartment right, there are Landis Hall A and Landies Hall B under Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station. What’s the difference?


  • hi Lynn, I think they are located in different buildings

  • Lynn says:

    Thanks for your reply! :) I see.. So which one is the one you have recommended? Landis Hall A or B? I’m planning a trip to Taiwan next year June so I’m checking out places to stay.

    I tried to check out the method(s) of booking but I failed to do so as my Mandarin proficiency is limited. So I might need some guides from you. Hope you don’t mind :)

  • JieLin says:

    Hi, regarding the free admission during extended hours on Saturday evening, is that still applicable using the Youth Travel card? I went to check the NYC website and they wrote that the free admission is for Taiwanese locals on friday and saturday… Having the Youth Travel card doesn’t mean we’re treated like Taiwanese locals right?

  • Hi Jie Lin, yes i think it is no longer applicable to tourists. You may also check with the youth travel people as you collect your card.

  • KQT says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the interesting itinerary shared.. I am planning to take a trip to Taipei this month end, I am intending to bring my wife and my 3 year old girl. It seems like there is lots of walking to be done. I am curious, would you think it is difficult bringing a kid along to taipei? Thanks in advance.

  • Hi KQT it is OK maybe except for night markets as it is always so crowded. You can always take a cab because cab ride in Taipei is cheap. So dont worry and enjoy your trip. :)

  • Vianne says:

    Hello,i am reaching on Taipei around 2pm.But the first day i would like to go to Tai Chung first.Do you know what public transport can be reach Tai Chung feng jia there.Thank You.

  • Hi Vianne you need to take the HSR from taoyuan to taichung. from airport u need to take the bus to taoyuan HSR, about 20 min
    detailed direction here: http://travel.taichung.gov.tw/En/Gotc/Gotc.asp?sw=12&refer=12&idNo=47&p=5

  • 喀喀牛 says:


  • Kelly says:

    Hi, the free entry to Nat Palace Museum is applicable for citizens of Taiwan right? Not for tourists?

  • when i went it was for tourist, u need to double check from their website :)

  • Regina says:

    Hi, I’m a bit curious. Can non-Taiwanese enter the National palace museum for free during the extended hours on Sat? Do we need to present anything? Thanks. ^^

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