Taiwan travel planning

Posted: April 25, 2010 in Taiwan, Travel

For any of our blog readers planning a trip to Taiwan, I have consolidated most of our Taiwan trip posts under the heading “Travel” at the top of the page. You will find our hotel reviews along with all of the travel-related posts from our trip to Taiwan in September 2009.

Some travel tidbits. . .

We loved Taroko Gorge on Taiwan’s east coast, and if we could plan our trip again, we would spend an extra day or two there.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei is quite impressive, as is Taipei 101. The National Palace Museum left us a little disappointed – despite the museum’s vast collection, we felt like the collections were not displayed very well and there was quite a bit of wasted space inside the beautiful building. The museum’s gift shop, however, was very nice. If you skip the National Palace Museum, I think we passed a smaller National Palace Museum gift shop at the Taipei airport.

We thought the Taiwan Handicraft Market was the best place to buy souvenirs.

Our agency’s in-country coordinator was surprised we were able to book seats for our train trip to Hualien. She said seats fill up on the weekends. We traveled to Hualien on a Sunday, and the train was still pretty full. You can only reserve train tickets up to two weeks in advance online, and you must go to Taipei’s Main Station to pay for and pick up the tickets. We had some trouble communicating with the customer service agent when we went to pick up the tickets. There was a person who spoke some basic English, but they did not understand us when we said we had reserved the tickets online. Once we gave her our confirmation number she was able to figure out what we were trying to say.  It was much easier to book the tickets for the High Speed Rail and the MRT, since there are automated kiosks with English as an option.

Happy travel planning!

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Comments
  1. Visit Taiwan is my dream.
    It is a pity that get visa is extremely difficult because Russian Government don’t hurry
    support us to visit such beautiful place like this.
    But I do not lose hope :-)))
    See you later Formosa !

  2. Nadine says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. We hope to be traveling to pick up our son this summer and I love to read your travel ideas:)

  3. Nadine says:

    How did you travel around Toroko Park? Do they have buses, trams? Did you stay right in the park?

  4. Cindy says:

    Hi Nadine – We stayed at a hotel in Hualien (Parkview) and the hotel staff arranged for a half-day tour with a local cab driver. The driver spoke some English and apparently did tours like these on a regular basis. She was wonderful – she drove us to some of the popular stops, let us get out and walk around, then we hopped back in the car and drove on. There were several bus tours for Taroko Gorge, but I felt more comfortable with a private driver so we had a little more flexibility. The hotel gave us an option for a full-day tour, but we thought that may be a bit much. The driver picked us up and dropped us off at the hotel, too, so it was really convenient. Hope that helps in your planning! (And to get to Hualien, we took the train from Taipei, then took a cab to the hotel. It does help the cab driver to have the address or name of the hotel written in Chinese.)

  5. Tammy says:

    Thanks so much for your post. We are just beginning an adoption in Taiwan and are thankful for the information.
    Tammy

  6. Nadine says:

    Cindy,

    Thanks again for the info. Taroko Gorge sounds like a place we don’t want to miss:) Were any of the other places “must see” places?

  7. Heather says:

    I agree with your assessments 100%. Taroko was amazing! We took TONS of pictures! We loved the handicraft market and were able to buy age appropriate Gotcha Day gifts for our son from his first gotcha day through his 18th. The only thing that I would add is that we also enjoyed visiting Taipei 101.

  8. Future Mama says:

    Thanks for all the information! This will be so useful…

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