Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Asia
Reload this Page >

TPE layover questions [merged thread]

TPE layover questions [merged thread]

Old Dec 5, 17, 5:14 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: Yes, I belong.
Posts: 352
Part of mini-RTW

Thanks in advance! (Yes, Im Canadian)
Im looking for suggestions to make this layover memorable and moderately low-stress (were both 40; were neither 20 nor 70). We arrive at 05:35 from Vancouver and depart to Hong Kong at 12:40. Were assuming luggage will be checked through, as its on the same business class / Royal Laurel ticket (Air Canada /Aeroplan reward ticket),.Neither of us have been to Taipei or ROC before.

From what Ive read, this is how it applies:
05:40 Arrive EVA Air from YVR
06:20 Complete Customs/Immigration (assuming no bags to pick up)
06:42 Depart Taoyuan MRT Express from Terminal 2 to Main Station (15 min intervals)
07:19 Arrive Taipei Main Station
???
10:30 Depart Taipei Main Station (15 min intervals)
11:08 Arrive Taoyuan MRT Express at TPE
12:40 Depart EVA Air to HKG

Sites:
Taipei 101 opens at 09:00
Palace Museum opens at 08:30
CKS Memorial Hall opens at 09:00

I am unfamiliar with other sites and travel times within Taipei. Given the early arrival, should I assume well miss rush hour, to and from? Staying at the airport in a lounge is not a realistic option, since we opted for the 7 hour layover when we booked the tickets.
I would love to hear your thoughts! (And Im sure other FTers would too!)

Last edited by YEGcg; Dec 5, 17 at 5:34 am
YEGcg is offline  
Old Dec 18, 17, 1:38 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: TPE
Programs: AA EXP 2MM
Posts: 482
The problem here is that most places of interest aren't going to be opening until you have to head back to the airport. If you want to go to 101, I'd recommend you take the Airport Bus 1960 that actually has a stop at the Grand Hyatt that is right next door. I am not a fan of the Airport MRT at all. It is slow and once you get to Taipei Station, you have to navigate how to get to the MRT (which is quite a walk). Better to just take the bus to nearby where you want to go (and it'll be cheaper too). If the weather is good, you could go up in 101 and then walk about the Xinyi area a bit, or walk over to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial for a quick look see (not all that interesting though). Or from 101 you could take the subway that goes to the CKS Memorial Hall and then walk around there. It is only about a 15-20 min walk from the memorial hall back to the train station (or a 5-min taxi drive), where you could grab the airport MRT back to the airport. FWIW, the memorial itself is covered in scaffolding now as the marble is being replaced. Still, you can walk inside and see the statue, and get a nice view of the concert hall & theatre from the top of the stairs. Nearby CKS Memorial Hall is the Presidential Building (they are tours most days, but I'm not sure the details), and there are some other historic and picturesque buildings (for TPE at least) in the area. The palace museum is way out of the way unless that is the only place you want to do.
jiaotze is offline  
Old Dec 23, 17, 4:52 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: Yes, I belong.
Posts: 352
Originally Posted by jiaotze View Post
The problem here is that most places of interest aren't going to be opening until you have to head back to the airport. If you want to go to 101, I'd recommend you take the Airport Bus 1960 that actually has a stop at the Grand Hyatt that is right next door. I am not a fan of the Airport MRT at all. It is slow and once you get to Taipei Station, you have to navigate how to get to the MRT (which is quite a walk). Better to just take the bus to nearby where you want to go (and it'll be cheaper too). If the weather is good, you could go up in 101 and then walk about the Xinyi area a bit, or walk over to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial for a quick look see (not all that interesting though). Or from 101 you could take the subway that goes to the CKS Memorial Hall and then walk around there. It is only about a 15-20 min walk from the memorial hall back to the train station (or a 5-min taxi drive), where you could grab the airport MRT back to the airport. FWIW, the memorial itself is covered in scaffolding now as the marble is being replaced. Still, you can walk inside and see the statue, and get a nice view of the concert hall & theatre from the top of the stairs. Nearby CKS Memorial Hall is the Presidential Building (they are tours most days, but I'm not sure the details), and there are some other historic and picturesque buildings (for TPE at least) in the area. The palace museum is way out of the way unless that is the only place you want to do.
Thanks!
I looked at our times and realistically thought we could do 101 and nearby exploring.

Since its our first time in Taipei and arriving off of a red eye, well take a taxi, one each way. The train/train or bus/train seem combos add connection times and a margin of error for us that we dont want to stress about. Assuming we can clear customs/immigration in gold time, I would expect us to be in the area by about 7:45 am. Get dropped off at Sun Yat Sen Hall and walk through the park (if open) and make our way to 101 past City Hall. Use our 9:00 am tickets for 101, spend 30 mins at the top. Descend and take taxi back to the aiport, arriving about 10:45-11:00, for our 12:40 flight.

I hope my times are right and 2 hours is enough to exit immigration and make it to the gate...
YEGcg is offline  
Old Dec 23, 17, 4:01 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: TPE
Programs: AA EXP 2MM
Posts: 482
Your plan sounds like it will work fine. Taking taxis will for sure save a lot of time. The SYS Memorial Hall park is always open and at that time of the day there will probably still be lots of people out doing taiqi or morning calisthenics. If you have time or interest, there's a smallish morning market seeing fruits and veggies in the alleys just across from the main entrance to the memorial. It really shouldn't take more than 50-55 mins or so to get back to the airport, so I'd suggest you ask your driver if he could swing by the CKS Memorial Hall on the drive back (you could get out at the plaza where the big gate is and take a quick photo), the Presidential Building and perhaps the recently restored North Gate before he heads out of the city. There are various routes to get out of the city to the airport, and not going the most direct way shouldn't add on more than a few mins.

Actually, given how short of a time you'll have and that you've already decided to spring for a taxi, why not find a car service who will be at your beck and call for those 3-4 hours? For that amount of time, the fee shouldn't be any more than two airport taxi transfers added together, and you'd gain added flexibility.
jiaotze is offline  
Old Feb 28, 18, 7:17 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: Yes, I belong.
Posts: 352
Hi all, here's a quick trip report and to add some datapoints, based on timestamps from my mobile phone photos. Again, thank you for all of your help!
Note: the times below are rounded, slightly. The times that are italicized are approximate.

5:35 Land in Taipei, clear customs. Was initially given contradictory directions to not exit secure area by some airline staff. Book one way taxi at ground transportation desk for NT1300 and ended up with a very nice town car.
6:30 Depart airport. Light traffic into the city.
7:05 Arrive at Taipei 101. Walk to and around Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall and shopping area to the east.
8:35 Arrive back at Taipei 101 and make way to ticketing area (signage is not great). Look for non-descript elevator in southwest corner of building to go up or use escalators if they are turned on (they are off before 9:00 am when we arrived)
8:45 Arrive at ticketing area.
9:00 Ascend in elevator. First ones up!
9:40 Try to find elevator down. Spent 5-10 minutes getting to elevator, due to walking through very large and long gift shop, then waited for elevator.
9:55 Descend in elevator. Then try to find taxi stand from the inside (raining heavily outside) and everyone refers us to the mall info desk, which is closed until 11:00 am. Mild panic sets in.
10:05 Find taxi stand on east side of building, exiting from doors that have a rope across them indicating they are closed. Ask driver "Airport? Feijizhan? Visa OK?" Get in taxi. Light traffic on way back to airport.
10:50 Arrive back at airport earlier than expected. Taxi driver does not accept Visa. Find emergency US currency ($50) in luggage, show driver exchange rate and indicate he can keep the balance.
10:55 Enter airport, clear exit immigration and security.
11:20 Arrive at EVA Air Infinity Lounge. Have shower!
12:05 Depart lounge.

12:40 Flight

Tips:
  1. The pre-paid taxi option at the ground transportation desk in the airport was excellent and nearly the same price as the standard taxi we used on the return to the aiport. No muss, no fuss.
  2. Apple Pay was accepted the few places we made purchases, except the taxi back to the airport. No worries about credit card skimming, etc.
  3. Pre-purchased our tickets online, which required us to go to the ticketing desk to pick them up. The only benefit that accrued to us from pre-purchasing, was that we were guaranteed a spot and there was a discount.
  4. Heed the advice of an earlier poster, who recommended booking a car for 3-4 hours and have it wait around or visit more sites, if budget permits. Based on #1 , I would expect the rates to be very reasonable for those who don't want the stress of public transport in a new city and the ability to see more sites.
  5. Learn the words for Taoyuan Airport and a few others in Mandarin. Or, better yet, have the names written down / printed.
  6. Find a detailed map online of the area to print and bring with you (like a Google Map printout). Or, ensure you have a data connection.
Overall, we felt fairly rushed, since our time in Taipei 101 was in the latter part of our time there. In retrospect, we could have spent more time at the top, but were glad we arrived back at the airport with a time cushion. We did enjoy walking around downtown Taipei for 90 minutes before Taipei 101 opened and probably could have worked in time to visit the Chiang Kai Shek memorial hall first.

I hope this helps others who are in TPE for a 7-ish hour layover. As with everything, YMMV!
ProleOnParole and joe_miami like this.
YEGcg is offline  
Old Jun 11, 18, 2:39 pm
  #36  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,281
Just booked what will amount to an 8.75 hour layover at TPE so this is very helpful (JFK - TPE - BKK - AKL).

TPE - BKK flight leaves at 2:05, question is what is the drop dead time to leave for the airport from the Taipei 101 area?

I'm operating under the assumption that our luggage will be checked all the way through to BKK so we'll just have a backpack (though may not even have this if we can store at the luggage lockers).
Duke787 is offline  
Old Jun 11, 18, 6:14 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: NYC (Primarily EWR)
Programs: UA 1K / *G, Marriott Bonvoy Gold; ALL Gold; Hertz PC; Avis PC
Posts: 8,348
Assuming you mean 2:05 PM, I would aim to leave by 11-11:15 AM if you want to take public transit (via the new MRT line).
PsiFighter37 is offline  
Old Jun 12, 18, 7:29 am
  #38  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Omaha
Posts: 1,645
Originally Posted by YEGcg View Post
Find a detailed map online of the area to print and bring with you (like a Google Map printout). Or, ensure you have a data connection.
Or use an offline maps app on your device, such as MAPS.ME. Works fantastic.
Sounds like you had a great layover!
CrazyInteg is offline  
Old Jun 12, 18, 1:15 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,281
Originally Posted by PsiFighter37 View Post
Assuming you mean 2:05 PM, I would aim to leave by 11-11:15 AM if you want to take public transit (via the new MRT line).
Yes -- sorry, 2:05pm -- and okay cool. Is Uber and option from there or would it be prohibitively expensive (and no faster)
Duke787 is offline  
Old Jun 12, 18, 5:57 pm
  #40  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Tainan, Taiwan
Posts: 14,131
Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
Yes -- sorry, 2:05pm -- and okay cool. Is Uber and option from there or would it be prohibitively expensive (and no faster)
Personally, I would plan on using the Airport MRT when trying to make a flight as it runs on a regular schedule and is highly unlikely to encounter delays. Going by car runs the risk of traffic delays, so you end up having to leave earlier to build in a safety buffer. By taking the train, you can more accurately calculate your needed departure time and maximize your time in town.
Skyman65 is offline  
Old Jun 13, 18, 9:12 am
  #41  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,281
Originally Posted by Skyman65 View Post
Personally, I would plan on using the Airport MRT when trying to make a flight as it runs on a regular schedule and is highly unlikely to encounter delays. Going by car runs the risk of traffic delays, so you end up having to leave earlier to build in a safety buffer. By taking the train, you can more accurately calculate your needed departure time and maximize your time in town.
Okay thanks! We have become big fans of Din Tai Fung (I know) so maybe we'll do Taipei 101 first (and walk around) and then the flagship location right at 10am when they open and then head to airport on MRT.
Duke787 is offline  
Old Jun 19, 18, 7:38 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: NYC (Primarily EWR)
Programs: UA 1K / *G, Marriott Bonvoy Gold; ALL Gold; Hertz PC; Avis PC
Posts: 8,348
Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
Okay thanks! We have become big fans of Din Tai Fung (I know) so maybe we'll do Taipei 101 first (and walk around) and then the flagship location right at 10am when they open and then head to airport on MRT.
You will get a seat easily at DTF and be done with plenty of time to make it to the MRT. Enjoy the soup dumplings ^
PsiFighter37 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 12:13 am
  #43  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: EU rotating
Posts: 2,926
Originally Posted by jimbo99 View Post
In fact, they even used to do a free tour for people in your situation - not sure if they still do and whether you'll be arriving in time. I think you have to enrol airside. Perhaps someone will know.
That free tour is still there, twice per day but needs to be booked at least 14 days in advance as that bus is small and free tours are popular. I'm trying to find myself a similar paid tour but so far, no luck.
Spider is offline  
Old Oct 14, 18, 6:49 pm
  #44  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Miami, Florida
Programs: AA ExPlat, Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Hilton Gold
Posts: 4,009
Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
Depends upon your destination. I was quite pleased taking the bus to Grand Hyatt but enjoyed the Airport MRT as well.
Originally Posted by jiaotze View Post
The problem here is that most places of interest aren't going to be opening until you have to head back to the airport. If you want to go to 101, I'd recommend you take the Airport Bus 1960 that actually has a stop at the Grand Hyatt that is right next door. I am not a fan of the Airport MRT at all. ...
I'm looking at a combined quick vacation/mileage run to TPE, where my initial plans are to use two Hyatt free nights at the Grand Hyatt. Is the above still accurate as relates to getting between TPE and the Hyatt? How long does that trip usually take, either by bus or by MRT? Thanks.

Originally Posted by Spider View Post
That free tour is still there, twice per day but needs to be booked at least 14 days in advance as that bus is small and free tours are popular. I'm trying to find myself a similar paid tour but so far, no luck.
Any luck finding a paid tour? Thanks.

EDIT: The Grand Hyatt's fact sheet lists sightseeing tours as being available.

Last edited by joe_miami; Oct 14, 18 at 7:07 pm
joe_miami is offline  
Old Oct 15, 18, 12:32 am
  #45  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Home
Programs: AA, Delta, UA & thanks to FTers for my PC Gold!
Posts: 7,672
Taipei City Tours...

Originally Posted by Spider View Post
Originally Posted by jimbo99 View Post
In fact, they even used to do a free tour for people in your situation - not sure if they still do and whether you'll be arriving in time. I think you have to enrol airside. Perhaps someone will know.
That free tour is still there, twice per day but needs to be booked at least 14 days in advance as that bus is small and free tours are popular.
Correct. Half-day free tour for transit/transfer passengers is still alive and kicking:

https://eng.taiwan.net.tw/tour/index.htm

Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post
Originally Posted by Spider View Post
I'm trying to find myself a similar paid tour but so far, no luck.
Any luck finding a paid tour? Thanks.
If language is no barrier, there are indeed seasonal theme walking tours of Taipei that you have to fight for the spots with advanced reservation. I suppose that's not for tourists in transit, so I'll spare you your precious time.

Having said that, I've also read good media coverage of Taipei tours in English, some paid & some tips/donation-based. Although never been to any of them, two pop into my mind currently:

1. Taipei Walking Tour: (Paid & fixed schedule)

I'd followed Taipei Walking Tour during their early years and read about their development, recruitment & training of their guides, and in-depth interviews of the guides. I am quite impressed by the qualification of the guides. If their scheduled tours don't fit into your itinerary, you may also request private tours (booking for private tours: Linky).

2. Like It Formosa: (Tip-based)

Established in 2015, Like It Formosa is run by a group of young enthusiasts, foreigners included, who have a strong passion for Taiwan. They offer free walking tours, private & theme tours, even summer camps (for children). Being young, they are active on social media. You may read more on their blog.

Hope this helps.

ps. If I am not mistaken, all the guides are volunteers for both organizations.
joe_miami likes this.
lin821 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread