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Old May 15, 10, 5:27 pm   #1
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 9
Exclamation 11D Itinerary for Taiwan: Hualien, Alishan, Taichung, Taipei - Advice Needed!

Hi all,

Need your help urgently.

We will be going to Taiwan on 21 May 2010 for a 11D/10N self-help trip. Three of us, all young adults. First-timers.

Hopefully can cover most of Hualien, Alishan, Taichung and Taipei in a relaxing, enjoyable and economical manner. Our main interests are food food food, scenaries and local culture.

Please advise on the following itinerary that we've drafted.

Day 1 - Taipei (arrive Taoyuan airport at 6.30pm)
-> Shilin night market

Day 2 - Travel to Yilan early morning via train (other means of transport?)
-> Farm/minsu stay at Yilan. Where to stay? What else to do?

Day 3 & 4 - Travel to Hualien via train (other means of transport?)
-> Travel to Taroko Gorge. Should we stay overnight at Taroko Gorge or just join a day tour? Where to arrange for day tour?
-> Hualien. What to do and where to stay? Anywhere with nice sea view near the eastern coast?

Day 5 & 6 - Travel to Alishan
-> Getting there. I know we could take train from Hualien to Taipei, high-speed train to Chiayi, and then rail/bus. But is there a comfortable bus route from either Hualien or Tarako Gorge to Alishan with interesting scenaries along the way?
-> Alishan. 1 to 2 nights stay at Alishan. Where to stay and should we join the guided tours/activities there?

Day 7 - Travel to Taichung via train or high-speed train (other means of transport?)
-> Taichung City. Walk around and eat, eat, eat. Should we stay overnight at the city or somewhere else instead?

Day 8, 9, 10 & 11 - Travel to Taipei via high-speed train
-> Day 8: Jiufen, Keelung
-> Day 9: Wulai hot springs, Tanshui
-> Day 10: Ximending, Shida night market
-> Day 11: What to do? We've about until 2pm before leaving for the airport.

So far, we've only booked our air tickets and accommodation for the first night. Do we need to pre-arrange the other stuffs online or we could settle when we're there?

Btw, I could speak and read chinese.

Would truly appreciate your comments and advice. Thanks!
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Old May 18, 10, 11:45 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by GaaraOfTheSand View Post
Need your help urgently.

We will be going to Taiwan on 21 May 2010 for a 11D/10N self-help trip. Three of us, all young adults. First-timers. <snip>

Btw, I could speak and read chinese.
Welcome to FT!

It does seem you'll have a good chunk of time to explore and enjoy both urban and rural Taiwan & your language advantage won't hurt . It can only get better if you speak/understand Taiwanese.

I would love to give you more tailored advice if I am not currently tied up with a big family funeral. Sorry I can't offer too much help to your upcoming itinerary right now. I would suggest you to take a look at these threads and see if your destination cities/towns/attraction had been previously covered (by me or others):

1. OMNI Game Thread: Cities Name Game in ABC Order
(Search by my FT handle: lin821. You should get 50+ results with Taiwan highlights. Or try this search link. Not sure how long the system stores per search id though.)

2. Taiwan Will Touch Your Heart: A Virtual Tour

3. There are other threads about Taroko Gorge and Taipei/Taiwan as well. Just look them up in Asia Forum.

I hope our other Taiwan experts and/or resident FTers will find time to chime in before you embark your first visit to Taiwan. Some explore Taiwan on foot and know Formosa much better than I do. Listen to them.

Bring your rain gears because the raining season just got started in Taiwan. Also, pack your tolerance for humidity. You are going to sweat. Loooots of sweat. Trust me on this.

Welcome to Taiwan!

ETA: Hot News "2010 Southern Taiwan Spring/Summer Entertainment Book", available on 5/19/2010

Since you read Chinese and have a plan to visit Alishan, you may want to check out the 2-day package deals from "2010 Southern Taiwan Spring/Summer Entertainment Book" (南台灣春夏版觀光護照) that covers 8 cities/counties in Southern Taiwan (Chiayi-Alishan, Tainan, Kaohsiung...etc). I didn't see any press release in English though. (ps. For those who are foreign to Traditional Chinese, try Google Translator )

There are 5 themes in these 2-day packages from 2010 Spring/Summer Entertainment Book: Ocean (海洋), Religion (宗教), Forestry (森林), Metropolitan (都會) and Historical Sites (古蹟). You'll find great coupons that offer up to 50% off on hotels and free breakfast/meals, perfect for those who travel in pairs.

The free Entertainment Book is available at KHH Tourist Service Center, TRA train stations (@Taipei, Taichung & Kaohsiung), Flying Master Travel Service Centers (飛行家旅行社) at HSR stations(@Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan & Zuoying), all service centers of Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau, and Travel Service Centers of Taiwan Tourism Bureau in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan & Kaohsiung. Call 07-2712-2300 ext 283 for more info.

ETA Part Two: (5/20/1020)
Official Press Release -- 2010 Southern Taiwan Spring/Summer Entertainment Book & e-Coupons: here (in Traditional Chinese)

To OP, I just noticed Tainan was not on your list. If you are really into food and culture, I strongly recommend you to possibly replace Taichung with Tainan. Tainan is very famous for Taiwanese "small eats" and also part of 2010 Southern Taiwan Spring/Summer Entertainment Book packages.

Last edited by lin821; May 20, 10 at 8:54 am. Reason: more info on "2010 Southern Taiwan Spring/Summer Entertainment Book" (南台灣春夏版觀光護照) & e-coupon link
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Old May 21, 10, 3:15 am   #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaaraOfTheSand View Post
Day 5 & 6 - Travel to Alishan
-> Getting there. I know we could take train from Hualien to Taipei, high-speed train to Chiayi, and then rail/bus. But is there a comfortable bus route from either Hualien or Tarako Gorge to Alishan with interesting scenaries along the way?
-> Alishan. 1 to 2 nights stay at Alishan. Where to stay and should we join the guided tours/activities there?
Just FYI, Alishan was hit pretty hard by a typhoon last year, and the train line there is out of commission until at least the end of the year.

Hotels at Alishan are of a muchness, but see Wikitravel for a few pointers.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Alishan
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jpatokal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22, 10, 2:47 am   #4
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I think you can do 2 days at Taichung as there is a lot to see and also you can go by bus from Torako to Taichung and the road is amazing
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