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10 days in Taiwan

 
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mscoop1085



Joined: 12 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:39 pm    Post subject: 10 days in Taiwan Reply with quote

I am going to Taiwan for 10 days over christmas break. Anyone have any good suggestions of places to go besides Taipei and Kaohsiung? I'm up for anything really. I will be traveling alone and don't have any preferences. Beaches, hot springs, hiking, etc. I won't have a car so my transportation may be limited to certain places.
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mscoop1085



Joined: 12 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

travel mate would be ok too...I will be there December 22nd until the 31st.
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sallymonster



Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Location: Seattle area

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to Hualien on the east coast. You can take the train there from Taipei, although it takes several hours. Across the street from the Hualien train station, there is a Pony scooter rental shop that will rent you a scooter without a license, but they hold your picture ID (Korean ARC or home country drivers license works) as collateral.

Get yourself a hostel to stay at in Hualien and then drive your rented scooter up to Taroko National Park. The tourist information center next to the train station can supply you with maps and directions. Taroko Gorge is absolutely stunning, you won't regret going there!

While you're in Hualien, I also recommend taking a drive down the scenic highway 11. You'll see gorgeous scenery: coast on one side, and green mountains on the other.

When I went to Hualien I only intended to see Taroko Gorge but ended up sticking around much longer than I thought I would!

For beaches, Kenting in the far south is your best bet. However, I should warn you that it's quite difficult and very time-consuming to get to Kenting from Hualien (or the other way around); there are no direct buses or trains between the two places as far as I know. Kenting's beaches aren't great, but they're OK, and the weather should be somewhat warm (the rest of Taiwan gets chilly in the wintertime). Again, I recommend renting a scooter and exploring the area; Kenting, like Hualien, boasts excellent scenery.

And, of course, you should spend at least a couple of days in Taipei.

If you have time, I heard Tainan has a lot of historical sites, but I didn't actually go there.

I wouldn't bother too much with Kaohsiung. I don't think there's anything there that you won't find in Taipei. You'll probably pass through on your way out of Kenting, though.

Oh, and learn some basic Mandarin expressions before you go! Outside the major cities (Taipei, Kaohsiung), English ability is quite low.

Good luck! Taiwan is such an underrated country.
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Taiwantroll



Joined: 10 Sep 2006

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, stay away from Kaohsiung. It is a blight.

There are buses from Hualien to Kenting. It might take 6 hours or so though but the trip is very scenic.

Hualien also has some very nice beaches, though they are not sandy beaches. I don't know why you would want to stay in a hostel though. Hotels are plentiful and quite inexpensive.

I would recommend at least 5 days in Taipei and surrounding areas though. There is really so much to see and do in Taipei.

Make sure to go to Taipei 101, Snake Alley, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, the Royal Palace Museum, the old residence gardens, shopping in Tien Mu, hot springs in Peitou, sightseeing in Tamshui, etc. Taipei also has a world class zoo.

Hope that helps.
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bcity



Joined: 19 Dec 2011

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you also rent a scooter in Taipei?

I am going there for about 5 days at the end of this month (like everyone else and their mother).

How long is the train ride from Taipei to Hualien?
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pugwall



Joined: 22 Oct 2006

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bcity wrote:
Can you also rent a scooter in Taipei?

I am going there for about 5 days at the end of this month (like everyone else and their mother).

How long is the train ride from Taipei to Hualien?


There is no need to rent a scooter in Taipei as the subway is excellent.
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bcity



Joined: 19 Dec 2011

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pugwall wrote:
bcity wrote:
Can you also rent a scooter in Taipei?

I am going there for about 5 days at the end of this month (like everyone else and their mother).

How long is the train ride from Taipei to Hualien?


There is no need to rent a scooter in Taipei as the subway is excellent.


What about just for fun?!
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pugwall



Joined: 22 Oct 2006

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not very fun. You can rent a scooter in Taipei, I wouldnt advise you to though. Too dangerous and too stressful.
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pugwall wrote:
It is not very fun. You can rent a scooter in Taipei, I wouldnt advise you to though. Too dangerous and too stressful.


Yeah, and it's the place you're most likely to get busted if you're unlicensed. Much of Taipei is walkable, and the subway goes pretty directly to the places that aren't. Hold off on the scooter for greener pastures.
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was there for a week last Christmas. My schedule was:

Taipei for a night... stayed at Taipei Backpackers right in Ximen. Cheap, nice.

Took the fast train to Kaohisung, then our hostel picked us up in a taxi and drove us to Kenting. It was the same price as the bus and WAY better. We stayed at Afei Surf Hostel. Booked the dorm, but paid like 10 more when we got there a night and got the PIMP deluxe room.

Kenting was VERY quiet at Christmas time. Our beach was right across the street and very empty. Like a handful of people. The city was a quick bus ride down the street by like 10 minutes, but there wasn't much going on at all, so we drank at 7-11. We were there 3 days, and honestly, we should've only done two.

We then went back up to Fangliao, caught the slow train (5 hours, but VERY pretty) to Hualien. This is the best place to catch the train from the south end of Taiwan. You go up the east coast.

We stayed in Hualien for two nights, so we really just did the Gorge for the full day (and it takes all day to get around the Gorge on buses, walking, etc.). There's not much to do here either for nightlife (like one bar), so the one full day for the Gorge will suffice.

We stayed at Colorful Taiwan Hostel as it was close to the train station (where you catch the bus to the Gorge, too).

Then we caught the train back up to Taipei for the last day or two.

Book your train tickets on their website the day they go on sale as all the good, quicker trains sell out FAST.

Excellent way to see the hotspots of the country. We basically circumnavigated the whole island. Down the west coast then back up the east in a circle.

Ultimately, I wish I had one more day in Taipei as I didn't really get to explore it well.
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mikesaidyes



Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Location: Sanbon, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Christian is right, don't F with a scooter in Taipei. Just walk or take the subway.

It was also my impression that it's not as rogue with renting anymore, they want to see an international license at most places...
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jhicks99



Joined: 04 Mar 2009
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My advice, Taipei is awesome, but you really need just 2-3 days to take most of it in. It's quite limited compared to Kaosiung for night life if you're into that and very small, so it's easy to hit up a lot of the sites in a few busy days. There's some brilliant neighbourhoods worth checking out and some beautiful spots in the mountains near by, but I was pretty bored after a few days.

Enjoy your trip and enjoy what is IMO the best food in Asia!
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