I decided to welcome 2017 in Taiwan when I found out in October 2016 that Philippine citizens can now enter Taiwan with just a travel authorization that can be applied online (with certain conditions), I immediately applied for one since I currently hold a valid NZ visa.
The process took just about 5 minutes and I got my travel authorization.
Finally, another stamp on my passport! My 16th country to explore. 🙂
I chose to stay at Flip Flop Hostel – Main. I landed around 3AM and I got to take a bus from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport For NT$ 125 to Taipei Main Station where my hostel was just walking distance.
Since I arrived around 4:30AM which is outside reception hours, the hostel made sure I get to my room. It was sure nice to be able to rest right away.
I decided to visit the Elephant Mountain on my first day.
And these were my first meal in Taiwan. Delicious beef noodle soup and dumplings. 🙂
I attended a meetup on my first night hoping I’d get to meet people to spend New Year’s eve with. The meetup turned out well. A few people showed up.
I spontaneously planned a trip for the next day and a few of them joined me. We took the train to Reufang about an hour from the city. We didn’t have a seat apparently. 😂
We were supposed to go on a hike but the train station was too busy that we missed the train to our destination and the next one was not until after an hour and still no guarantee if we can get in. So the whole plan changed. We ended up on a food tour instead in Reufang.
Here, we got to try the famous stinky tofu which was good by the way.
Then, we went to the Cat Village.
That sudden trip with these amazing people was tiring yet so much fun. 🙂
On New Year’s eve, I decided to join Couchsurfing group at the park. The Taipei 101 firework was just beautiful. Welcome 2017. 🙂
Then, we ate before we called it a day.
On New Year’s day, I went to Tamsui. This place is one of my favorite.
So enough of Taipei for now. I took a train to Kaohsiung on January 2nd. Highspeed! The supposedly 4 hours drive took 1.5 hours on the train. It did cost about NT$ 1500.
I only stayed couple days here and visited just two places.
I took the 8:45AM Harvard Express bus from Zuoying station at platform 2 to Fo Guang Shan Buddah Museum. I love this place!
Lots of walking and it was hot and humid but definitely worth it. I decided to try their vegetarian buffet for NT$ 100 and yes, that was worth it too.
I then went to the Lotus Pond.
I went up the tower and this was the view.
After a long tiring fun day, I had seafood at the Liuhe night market.
Before heading back to my hostel, I went to see Ai He (love river).
Found this beautiful church on my way. 🙂
Don’t forget to check out the Dome of Light at Formosa station.
My next destination was Hualien. It was about 5 hours train ride from Kaohsiung.
On my first night, I met this lovely girl at FH Hostel and we went to the night market together and we literally ate a lot.
The next day, I joined a group tour to Taroko National Park. I ended up having fun with 3 Chinese girls in the group. 🙂
On my last day in Hualien, with a Dutch guy from my hostel, we rented a bicycle for NT$ 100 for 4 hours. Just beautiful!
I returned to Taipei couple days before my flight because I wanted to get a tattoo. My first! I chose 13 Ink Social Club and this little cute tattoo costs NT$ 3000. I’d say it’s worth it and definitely not something I’d regret. 🙂
I got to meet the family of my Taiwanese friend I met in NZ. Her family was amazing. They took me to lunch and we ate a LOT!
On my last night, Nina, the girl I met through meetup on my first night in Taipei met with me again. She accompanied me to Shilin Night Market to eat again! 😂
Before leaving Taiwan, shopping is a must. So I did!!!
It was such an amazing 12 days in Taiwan. I wish I had more time to explore more of this beautiful country. I’m so thankful for this opportunity.
“Taiwan Number 1” as they would say. 😊😊😊😊