Travelling Taiwan on a Tight Budget | 7D6N DIY Itinerary

Fo Guang Shan Temple
Fo Guang Shan Temple

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Taiwan offers a visa-free access for all Philippine passport holder until July 31, 2021. If Taiwan is on your bucket-list, here is my DIY travel guide around Taiwan. Also I will include our 7 days itinerary, places to see and visit, cheapest accommodation, and food to eat.

I had a short trip to Taiwan with only one goal in mind - that is to climb Yushan Peak which is the highest peak in Taiwan and the entire Northeast Asia region. It would only be a bonus if i'll get to explore some tourist spots in Taiwan given that I only have 7 days in the country. 

From Taipei we took a high speed rail (HSR) going to Chiayi which is around 200 kilometres from Taipei which only took almost 2 hours of trip. Then supposedly from Chiayi, we will get a Alishan bound buses but unfortunately the last trip already left. That left us with no option but to hire a taxi. Not advisable because the rate is pretty steep. I will be creating a separate post about my experienced climbing Jade Mountain. The trekking requires 3 days and 2 nights depending on your itinerary.

Formosa Boulevard MRT Station
Formosa Boulevard MRT Station

I do not have experience hitchhiking but a fellow trekker offered to drive us back to Chiayi. Trekkers are generally good in nature. Apart from hitchhiking, they also offered us their famous milk tea. Time to bid goodbye to our Taiwanese friends. 

We don't have a definite itinerary for this trip, supposedly the plan is to go to Sun Moon Lake after the climb because of it's proximity from the Yushan National Park. However, due to we can't find a bus probably the last trip already left us (they are very strict when it comes to scheduled of buses, it departs and arrived on schedule). So we decided to travel the southern most part of Taiwan -  the city of Kaohsiung. It was already dark when we arrived in the city. There are plenty of accommodation that you can choose from. We stayed at Backpackers Inn which is situated at the center of Kaohsiung, almost everything is accessible from where we stayed.

Lotus Pont
Lotus Pond

Is Kaohsiung worth visiting? Hell yes! Here are some of tourist attraction that you should never miss when in Kaohsiung:

1. Lotus Pond
2. Night Market
3. Formosa Boulevard MRT Station
4. Love River
5. Fo Guang Shan Temple

The first four you can do it by feet (walking tour), while Fo Guang Shan Temple is quite far from the city but it's just 1 bus ride away. We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Kaohsiung then traveled back to Taipei.

Chiang Kai Shek Temple

We only have 1 more night before going back to Philippines. Our plan is to go to the old street of Jiufen and climb the Tea Pot Mountain, but due to time constraints and the weather is not favorable, we decided to just stay in the city and do some walking tour. Here are some must-see attractions in Taipei, Taiwan for free.

1. Elephant Mountain
2. Chiang Kai Shek Temple
3. Night Market
4. Taipei 101 Tower
5. Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Let's answer some frequently asked questions.

How much money should I bring with me? PHP 10,000 to 15,000 would be a safe budget for a 7-day trip.
What is the best time to travel Taiwan? During Autumn season (September to November).
Is Taipei Safe? Taipei is generally safe.
Where to exchange money? There are plenty of money changing stores in Taipei. If you have Philippine peso, you can only change it at the Bank of Taiwan.


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