I visited Taipei during the spring season. It was this country that offered me my first Sakura experience. Weather was perfect in April. Not too cold, not too hot. Sakura blooms in major parks within the city. Though unlike Japan and Korea where the streets are also lined up with trees that offers scenic views, there are only notable areas for sakura viewing which I hope Taipei will improve on in the coming years.
Day 1 – traveling via Cebu Pacific leaving the country with flight @10:55pm as this was the only flight available from airlines during the time of our travel, Taipei is a 2.5hours direct flight arriving @1:20am in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. We took a bus to the city as the MRT is no longer operating past midnight. The bus is located at Terminal 2, you will clearly see the queue of people going to Taipei upon exit. The bus will also display the destination so you need not worry about entering the wrong bus. Besides, this is the only bus operating at such hour. Purchase ticket first inside the terminal before heading to the bus. Please note that the bus’ final stop will be at Taipei Main Station.
Our hotel, The Hotel B7 Journey is located near the NTU Hospital Station so that is our base camp. From the Taipei Main station, it will take around 15 minutes walk and a mere 5 minutes walk from the hotel. The journey from the Airport to the hotel was tiring but it was not that complicated. Retired for the night with high hopes for tomorrow’s adventure.
Day 2 – After having our breakfast at the hotel, we embarked on our first itinerary for the day. As Taipei is connected with MRT, it’s easy to navigate around the city once you have decided what station will be your base camp. As for us, it’s the NTU hospital. From our hotel, walked down a park called Peace Park and it’s a delightful route towards the station.
Riding the MRT going originally to Beitou, we happen to see the Taipei Farmers Expo and decided to go down and check it out. It was not actually in our itinerary but since the supposed destination can also be reached by walking from the Expo location, it’s like hitting 2 locations in 1 stop. The expo is a must in your list but only if there is one during your visit. This only happens occasionally. This is a food haven. Lots of local food to try.
After some knick knacks, we went to see the Confucius Temple which is near the area. The temple is well maintained and very quaint. Peaceful and perfect for meditation. There is not much tourist in the area so you can get all the kinds of angles you want for your photo op.
After exploring the temple, we went to Beitou for the famous hotsprings. Thermal Valley is where the boiling hot water lake is located. Steam literally is emitting from the lake so definitely not suitable for swimming. From the valley, you will also come across a creek where you can rest for a while as they have benches along the path and the path is lined with trees.
After the hotsprings, we went for the Shilin Night Market alighting at Shilin Station itself. Just follow the trails of people walking towards the area. Shilin Night Market is a vast market opens until 12mn. We went back to the hotel just before MRT closes. This place offers both goodies and food! Get your wallets ready for the ultimate food trail of your Taipei visit. I recommend eating the Sizzling Teppan Noodles….so so good! For goodies, I got some cable organizers and souvenirs for friends back home.