You probably have read that I visited Taiwan in mid-January, during wintertime. In a series of posts, I am going to share with you my itinerary and the places that I visited during the trip. The focus of this tour was on the lesser known places of Taiwan; off the beaten track, so to speak.
Although this was my first trip to Taiwan and I would have loved to visit the country’s main attractions, such as Taipei 101, National Palace Museum and Alishan Scenic Mountain Area, I am still thankful for this opportunity that allowed me to set foot in the Republic of China, which I otherwise would not make personal plans to spend my holidays in, because of my perceived language barrier.
Having been on this tour to personally explore the small towns of Taiwan, due to their remote locations, I would say that this itinerary is more suitable for three categories of tourists:
1) have a local friend willing to take you around to certain places,
2) who are self-driving,
3) renting a vehicle, with driver and/or tour guide provided.
Just for your information, my trip was arranged by one of Ipoh’s top travel agencies, Golden Century Tour & Travel. Therefore, I did not face any hassle during the tour, as I had feared for being unable to speak Mandarin, the country’s official language.
Before your first trip to Taiwan, may I suggest that you read this article to prepare yourself: Top Ten Things To Know About Taiwan
Departing from Ipoh, my hometown, it is quite ironic to realise that the time required to go to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is 3/4 of the time taken to fly from the airport to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. For general information, the airport bus shuttle from Ipoh to KLIA takes 3 hours, while the flight duration is 4 hours (although scheduled as 4.5 hours).
Leaving Ipoh on the 8am YoYo bus, arrival time at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was 7pm. That’s 11 hours of travelling. A well-arranged trip, like this one by Golden Century Tour & Travel, meant that we already have our tour guide and ride waiting for us as soon as we cleared immigration and claimed our luggage.
Since it was dinner time, we were taken to downtown Taoyuan for our meal. We were free to choose which eatery we would like to dine in, as there were many different options. A few of us, including myself, went to a popular “duck shop”, called 斗六門當歸鴨麵線.
Based on our itinerary, it made more sense to spend the night in Taoyuan, rather than in Taipei City, as we had planned to proceed to Miaoli County in Sanyi Township the following day.
Our accommodation was the classy City Suites Taoyuan Gateway, a choice hotel among travellers due to its proximity to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (5 minutes’ drive or about NT$200 taxi fare), Taiwan High Speed Rail – Taoyuan Station (20 minutes’ drive) and Taoyuan Airport MRT Dayuan Station (5 minutes’ walk).
Read next post: 6D/5N Taiwan Small Town Ramble: Day 2
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