Taiwan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia, always is a favorite destination of many tourists. Visiting Taiwan, you can immerse yourself in the fresh air of the highlands such as Yangmingshan, Alishan,… Discover the old streets, the ancient villages, the traditional culture, the new cities with the unique buildings, history and culture through many times in Taipei, Jiufen, Shifen, Neiwan, Tainan, Taichung or Kaohsiung. Whether you love any types of travel experience: exploring nature with many national parks: Taroko, Yehliu, Alishan…, exploring Chinese cuisine, exploring Chinese’s traditional history and culture, or simply looking to see the development of modern cities, Taiwan will always be where you find what you expected.
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Follow the Living Nomads to explore Taiwan’s self-sufficient travel experience from A to Z and prepare your journey in the right way and fully through our Taiwan blog (Taiwan travel blog) — The fullest Taiwan travel guide blog for a budget trip to Taiwan for the first-timers below.
So, is Taiwan worth visiting, how to visit Taiwan, what to do in Taiwan and how to plan a budget trip to Taiwan for the first-time perfectly? Let’s check out our Taiwan travel blog (Taiwan blog) with the fullest Taiwan travel guide (guide to Taiwan, Taiwan tourist guide, Taiwan city guide, Taiwan guide) from how to get to Taiwan, best places to visit, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Taiwan to help you maximize your trip as follows!
Taiwan blog: When to visit Taiwan?
Taiwan is in the subtropical climate, with a high temperature range, high humidity, and the climate is divided into four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. So, when is the best time to visit Taiwan?
Spring: Beginning in February and lasting until April. Around this time, Taiwan has a dry but fresh climate with spring flowers in full bloom. If you traveling to Taiwan in this time is also the beginning of the new year, so you will also be admired and participate in many traditional festivals early this year.
Summer: The season of sea breezes, seafood and night markets. From May to the end of August, Taiwan begins to receive the sea breeze to cool the sultry summer, this is also the time to harvest seafood. If you choose the summer is the time to travel to this country, you will be subjected to intense heat due to the very high temperature and humidity. Therefore, you need to have good health and equipped with enough equipment to cope with the hot weather.
Autumn: The season of fall foliage, autumn leaves. The fall’s Taiwan starts from September to November, which is considered to be the most beautiful season in this land. The weather is quite cool, sunshine, standing between the space the dream of the yellow of Ginkgo leaves, the bright red of Maple leaves will make visitors the feeling of time to stop. So, that is the best time to visit Taiwan.
Winter: The Children’s season: The temperature of Taiwan falls down quite low, with snow falling everywhere but not too harsh. When the snow stops falling is really a paradise for visitors.
Taiwan travel guide blog: Taiwan travel cost (or trip cost)
Transportation cost in Taiwan
To reach the island nation of Taiwan you can choose direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi to Taiwan. The cost for a round-trip ticket is NT$10,504.64 – NT$13,130.80 (direct flight). If you accept to fly in transit, or pre-book the tickets at least 4 – 6 months, the cost will be cheaper, about NT$6,565.40 to NT$10,504.64, depending on your choice to visit Taiwan on low or peak season.
After arriving at Taipei International Airport, you can choose to go by bus to get to Taipei downtown. Just find the sign boards or ask direct the airport staffs, you can find the bus to Taipei center. The price for this trip is about NT$30 and about 15 minutes there will be a trip. If you want to move between terminal 1 and 2, you can choose skytrain. You can also go to the city center by taxi, but we advise you should not choose because the price is quite high, about NT$1000 – NT$1200.
To getting around the city you can have more options: MRT, bus, tram, high speed rail, taxi, … Each means of transport has its own advantages and disadvantages, however, convenient and cheapest: There are buses and MRT. Read more: HSR Taiwan travel guide — Everything you need to know about Taiwan High Speed Rail HSR.
The main areas of Taiwan are Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien. Depending on your budget and what you expect to experience, you can choose the right accommodation. Taiwan has a full range of options, ranging from five-star and luxury hotels to guesthouses, homestays and dorm rooms for group together. The average price for a mid-range room is between NT$500 and NT$600, if you are lucky you will be able to find a discounted room for about NT$400.
Cost of eating out
Compared to accommodation, the cost of eating is not too expensive. An average meal is about NT$60 – NT$100. One of the foods that you can not miss when visiting to Taiwan is beef noodles, dim sum (about NT$80 – NT$100, depending on restaurant you choice). Along with Taiwanese milk tea (Taiwanese bubble tea), the world famous drink, you can try regular milk tea, pearl milk tea and 1001 kinds of milk tea with full flavors for about NT$60 per cup.
Cost of Visa
Unlike other countries in Southeast Asia, you must apply for a visa when traveling in Taiwan. It will be simpler if you have been to the United States, Canada, the UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the European Schengen visas (including permanent residence cards) will be exempt from visa. The stay of 30 days, with condition you have to registration online for approval (To apply an E-Visa, please click here), Once approved, you will be able to check-in on board and entry into Taiwan.
Otherwise, you will have to prepare about $5000 to prove finances. In addition, you must pay a visa fee of $50 for cases taken after 5 working days, $75 for cases taken after 2 working days. Note that this fee is required to be in USD.
In Taiwan you will be using WIFI for free, most places also have WIFI. However, Taiwan travel experience is that you should buy a Sim 4G at the airport to communicate. You can buy 4G Sim Card as soon as you arrive at the airport. There are many types of 4G Sim: 1 day pass, 3 days pass, 5 days pass, 7 days pass … with very cheap price (range NT$300 – NT$500). Depending on your number of days in Taiwan that you should buy to have unlimited bandwidth throughout the days in Taiwan. Any types of SIM Card also have at least a few dozen NT$ for the call, so depending on your purpose (call or surfing internet that should choose).
- Carry your passport (have portrait photo) and Visa to buy SIM Card
- When the sim card is installed, check your SIM Card’s services before leaving.
- Sim has trouble, calling the 928 operator of Chunghwa Telecom.
- SIM is only available to guests aged 20 years and over.
Taiwan blog: Some useful tips for saving budget when traveling in Taiwan
Choose your hotel near the night market
The hotels near the night market area are normally cheaper. These places also have the advantage of many foods, just out of the hotel you will see food, on the evening, if you want to walk the night market also do not need to go far. Moreover, it’s easy to find the way, just ask the taxi driver to go to the market. However, you also have to notice that many places are not as in the illustration on photos, so when you check the hotel you have to carefully read the reviews of visitors.
Purchase an Easy Card
According to Taiwan self-sufficient travel experience (our Taiwan travel guide blog) as soon as you arriving in Taiwan, you have to buy Easy Card. This card can be purchased at the information counter at the Taipei Main Station when you take the bus from the airport to here. The deposit in the card is NT$100, and the minimum deposit is NT$600. This card can be used to pay for MRT, bus, high speed railway (HSR) and some supermarkets like 7/11. You can recharge your card by filling machines in the Taipei station’s areas. This card, if left over, will be returned to you at the train station information desk.
Pre-booking tickets for sightseeings, tours, activities
The main language of Taiwan is Chinese, so to avoid possible problems due to language barriers, you should pre-booking online for tickets for sightseeings, tours, and activities. This gives you time to thoroughly research your itinerary, tickets price, as well as finding for cheap options.
Taiwan bog: Taiwan experiences — Top things to do, best places to visit, top tourist attractions and activities in Taiwan you should not miss
Inner city attractions
Taipei 101: Located in the center of Taipei City, the Taipei 101 building has been recognized as the tallest building in the world. This record was broken only after the Burj Khalifa building became the tallest building in 2010. Taipei 101 is Taiwan’s pride and iconic of this island. Visiting to Taipei without checking in to Taipei 101 was a mistake, because standing on the 89th floor observation deck of the building, the whole of Taipei suddenly is shrinked through a lens. Go to Taipei 101 you can admire the stunning scenery, drink coffee or have breakfast with famous dim sum dish.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall: The white walls and buildings with blue tile roofs are Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, the famous Taiwanese ruler and leader. Not only is the place where visitors come to pay their homage, this complex area is also a popular tourist attraction, beautiful famous scenery in Taipei.
Shilin Night Market: Taipei’s largest night market, not only the most popular night market for locals, but also an attractive destination for foreign visitors. Shilin is famous for its wide variety of traditional Taiwanese dishes as well as fashionable clothing. Feel the excitement of the Shilin Night Market in Taipei!
Yangmingshan National Park: Yangmingshan is one of the largest national parks in Taiwan. Visitors from four directions often come here for walks, hiking, enjoy fresh air, bathing in mineral hot springs and watching peach, cherry blossoms bloom. The Peach blossom season is from March to April will creates a beautifully bright pink color.
Taipei National Palace Museum: The advantage of this museum is that it is located in the center of Taipei City, which is very convenient for you to visit after visiting such places as Chiang Kai-shek Temple, Sun Yat-sen Temple or Taipei 101 Tower. It’s home for more than 700,000 antiques from the Bronze Age to the crockery, pottery and fine crafts of the last feudal dynasty – the Qing Dynasty. Come here you will feel like stray into the world of China’s millennial history. Admission: from NT$160 for adult.
Ximending: The most popular entertainment, bustling and famous area in Taiwan with many fashion and cosmetic brands: Adidas, Puma, Converse, Nike, The faceshop, Nature Republic … with thousands of dishes such as rice cakes, braised pork, beef noodles, fried buns, bubble tea,…
Longshan Temple of Manka: The temple is ancient, solemn and very sacred. To enter the temple you also have to go through three decorative doors in succession, the outermost is the waterfall, wood and stone carvings, inside is the worship area.
Huashan 1914 Creative Park: Similar Zone 9 or Baan Kang Wat area in Chiang Mai, this is a village / art park for young people with cinemas, exhibits, cafes or super cool shops. Come here, remember to take some photos, walk around.
National University of Taiwan: National University of Taiwan, extremely large with lots of trees, shade, old buildings or school campus. Right the outside of the school is bustling shopping, remember to try Chan’s milk tea.
Taipei Zoo: Asia’s largest zoo, like the Phu Quoc Safari or the zoo in Chiang Mai, Bangkok.
Maokong Gondola: This is the cable car up Mt. Maokong with its unique glass-bottomed cabana, from here you can admire the tea hills, temples and mountain peaks in Taipei. Cable runs every day except Monday, remember go to early to avoid queuing. You can take MRT Wenhu Line to Taipei Zoo and go to the cable car station nearby, Maokong is the last station.