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TPE layover questions [merged thread]

TPE layover questions [merged thread]

Old Jun 13, 11, 5:29 am
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TPE layover questions [merged thread]

On the way back to BKK from PVG (post UA/CO B fare fun) I'm considering routing through TPE and will have an 8 hour layover. Is it feasible to get into Taipei for a walk around and some food during this time? Arrival would be 12:30PM and departure at 8:05PM.

For all my travels in Asia I've never been to Taiwan so it would be nice to at least have a look if this is feasible.

PS i've read a few threads on Taipei but most of them deal with multiple days or an overnight layover, so just getting a feeler on this.
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Old Jun 13, 11, 6:26 am
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Yes, certainly possible! Allow an hour each way for a taxi (often takes less than that).

You could visit the Palace museum or Taipei 101 etc. (Not both!)

You can change money on arrival, or use the cash machine in the arrivals hall. There is also a helpful information desk in the arrivals hall. Being Taiwan you're generally guaranteed a scam-free experience, though bear in mind it's NOT best place in Asia for English being spoken.

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.

Last edited by jimbo99; Jun 23, 11 at 4:20 pm Reason: NB typo where emphasis now added
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Old Jun 13, 11, 6:54 am
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8 hours should be enough for a quick peek at the city. Airport buses (~NT$150) are the easiest way to get to town, but if you want to try something a little different, you can take the THSR bullet train one stop from Taipei to Taoyuan and hop on a connecting bus or taxi for the final 15-min hop to the airport. Figure on NT$160 for the train plus NT$30 for the bus. Either way, figure on an hour to/from the city.
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Old Jun 13, 11, 8:06 am
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Assuming an hour into the city and an hour back, plus time for immigration and arriving a little early, i could still conceivably have 3 hours in Taipei.

While not alot, I could at least wander around, have some food and see one or two things.

OK, it's time I start looking at maps to get my bearings before inquiring any further. Thanks to both of you, jimbo99 and jpatokal.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 3:55 pm
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That's really not a lot of time, but see how it goes and maybe you can make it. Things in Taiwan always take a little longer than planned. The ground transportation around the airport was a total CF when I was there earlier this year. Maybe stay a bit closer and enjoy the dirty ugliness of Taoyuan. Get some bin-lang from any of the scantily-clad girls along the road and hang out with some truck drivers, practice spitting skills on the sidewalk. But seriously, there are some nice places nearby like Yingge. I've gotten tired of Taipei but if you go you should make a stop at Taipei 101. Then maybe grab a quick bite at DinTaiFung or any of the many shops in that area around YongKang St.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 6:12 pm
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I'm considering adding 24 hours onto the stay. However I'm swamped right now and don't have much time to do any research. In due time I'll be back with some questions.

Thanks again.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by jimbo99 View Post
Being Taiwan you're generally guaranteed a scam-free experience, though bear in mind it's the the best place in Asia for English being spoken.
That's an interesting piece of information jimbo99.

I quite often hear of some nice J fares on CX ex-TPE but have never pulled the trigger. If English is quite widespread then this is an extra incentive to make the booking, spend sometime and explore TPE.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 23, 11, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by vecta View Post
That's an interesting piece of information jimbo99.

I quite often hear of some nice J fares on CX ex-TPE but have never pulled the trigger. If English is quite widespread then this is an extra incentive to make the booking, spend sometime and explore TPE.

Cheers.
Utter rubbish from jimbo99, I'm afraid.

I meant "bear in mind it's not the best place in Asia for English being spoken."

Sorry!
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Old Jun 27, 11, 10:25 pm
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There are some similar threads to yours in this part of the forum "Asia" section that I and others have contributed to. You should be able to find them if you use the search function (or scroll to past pages of threads).

I think 8 hours is plenty of time and there is lots of good eating to be had!
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Old Jun 28, 11, 5:48 pm
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If you get extra day, obviously plenty of time to do sight-seeing plus hit the tasty restaurants and night-market street food scene.

You may also want to check out re-routing if possible from PVG-TPE to PVG-TSA (downtown Taipei airpt), since TSA is accessible by MRT and you are 15 min. by MRT from many tourist attractions in Taipei
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Old Jun 29, 11, 4:11 am
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Originally Posted by Jamoldo View Post
There are some similar threads to yours in this part of the forum "Asia" section that I and others have contributed to. You should be able to find them if you use the search function (or scroll to past pages of threads).

I think 8 hours is plenty of time and there is lots of good eating to be had!
Originally Posted by npei View Post
If you get extra day, obviously plenty of time to do sight-seeing plus hit the tasty restaurants and night-market street food scene.

You may also want to check out re-routing if possible from PVG-TPE to PVG-TSA (downtown Taipei airpt), since TSA is accessible by MRT and you are 15 min. by MRT from many tourist attractions in Taipei
Thanks to both of you. On the day in question the only flight I can find on *A is PVG-TPE so I'll take that. I've been able to work 1 night in Taipei which will at least allow some afternoon sightseeing and evening eating. The latter being important on all my travels.

I've been looking at some hotels near the main train station. Is this the most convenient for the bus? Also, what are my options to get back to TPE for a 7:50AM flight? I think the buses begin to depart at 5AM... too risky?

Edit: Jamaldo I had seen some threads on Taipei, but when I started this, as a layover, I hadn't seen anything explicit toward my question. But yes, now that I have an overnight I'll peruse them thoroughly.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by vecta View Post
I quite often hear of some nice J fares on CX ex-TPE but have never pulled the trigger. If English is quite widespread then this is an extra incentive to make the booking, spend sometime and explore TPE.
I wouldn't say English is "widespread" in Taiwan, but for someone who has no knowledge of local languages, speaking English definitely helps a lot in TPE.

I can't speak for other parts/regions of Taiwan, but Taipei probably is the most English-friendly city in Taiwan. To be perfectly honest with you, I've heard many stories that international visitors got assistance in Taiwan, and sometimes more than what they could imagine, even when there's no common languages ever spoken.

It sounds you've never visited Taipei nor Taiwan, I'd jump on the next good CX fare and enjoy Taipei!
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Old Jun 29, 11, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
Thanks to both of you. On the day in question the only flight I can find on *A is PVG-TPE so I'll take that. I've been able to work 1 night in Taipei which will at least allow some afternoon sightseeing and evening eating. The latter being important on all my travels.

I've been looking at some hotels near the main train station. Is this the most convenient for the bus? Also, what are my options to get back to TPE for a 7:50AM flight? I think the buses begin to depart at 5AM... too risky?

Edit: Jamaldo I had seen some threads on Taipei, but when I started this, as a layover, I hadn't seen anything explicit toward my question. But yes, now that I have an overnight I'll peruse them thoroughly.
I thought there were, but my memory could be failing me. Usually in such a situation I try to pick and choose things to do from other threads that might say "18 hours in TPE or 1 day in TPE." Regardless, it does not matter as now you have a night!

For dinner I would definitely hit one of the night markets. There are so many it is incredible. The most popular (amongst tourists) and quite large is Shilin. Shida is very good too. It's literally just stalls upon stalls selling great tasting, cheap, fresh food. I think the National Museum is fantastic too, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial is worth a quick stop. Since time is limited you may want to rush through it (one could be there a whole day or more). I like wandering the streets near Shida.. Perhaps a meal at Kao Chi on Xinyi Road in Section 2 of town. I wanted to go to Din Tai Fung but the taxi driver refused (he wasn't getting paid by the restaurant, I assure you). Food was lovely (lots of dumplings)... Then a leisurely walk around that surrounding neighborhood and poking into shops etc where everyone was incredibly friendly... The friendly part goes for all of Taiwan, IME...

That's just a few things but many others with much more knowledge and experience in the city can probably point out more things to do/see.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by Jamoldo View Post
There are some similar threads to yours in this part of the forum "Asia" section...
Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
Edit: Jamaldo I had seen some threads on Taipei, but when I started this, as a layover, I hadn't seen anything explicit toward my question. But yes, now that I have an overnight I'll peruse them thoroughly.
I "think" Jamaldo was referring to these (sampled) threads about TPE layover:

9 hours in TPE: should I bother?

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asia/...a-layover.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asia/...e-layover.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asia/...erlap-tpe.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asia/...-tpe-help.html

Depending on how you like to spend your day, you may also want to check in the following selective threads for one-day trips in Taipei:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asia/...ay-taipei.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asia/...me-taipei.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asia/...ay-taipei.html

There are more TPE/Taipei threads but not geared towards less-than-a-day visits.

Originally Posted by npei View Post
You may also want to check out re-routing if possible from PVG-TPE to PVG-TSA (downtown Taipei airpt), since TSA is accessible by MRT and you are 15 min. by MRT from many tourist attractions in Taipei
Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
On the day in question the only flight I can find on *A is PVG-TPE so I'll take that. <snip>

I've been looking at some hotels near the main train station. Is this the most convenient for the bus? Also, what are my options to get back to TPE for a 7:50AM flight? I think the buses begin to depart at 5AM... too risky?
International arrivals at TSA (Songshan airport) is quite recent (April or May this year) and only operate with certain paired international cities in Japan and China. If you somehow can manage to get in from TSA, it'll definitely save you time on transportation, and render more hours for city/food exploration.

Songshan airport is on MRT route and near Songshan Railroad Station. Taipei Main Station is a very busy place (maybe not during 5:00 am ) and tourists can easily get lost with our much-to-be-desired signs. I don't think a hotel near Taipei Main Station will be inconvenient, but if I were you, I probably would look for something near Songshan District, Daan District, and/or Xinyi District. As a matter of fact, any hotel near MRT stations is fine since MRT is a lifesaver when touring Taipei.

For the time being, if I were you, I'd take MRT over buses. Taipei MRT runs very frequently, on time, and no traffic jam. Except the transfer stops/stations get quite crowded during rush hours (around 17:00- 19:00). Get yourself an EasyCard (i.e. Yo-Yo Card 悠遊卡) for riding MRT and buses. Most convenient stores (7-Elevens, Family Mart..etc) and certain retailers take Yo-Yo Card but not credit card. Yo-Yo card is reloadable in NTD$100 increments. IIRC, no expiration date on the card.

Both Daan and Xinyi Districts are "newer" areas than Taipei Main Station, which is located in Zhongzheng District (the old downtown) and close to Wanhwa Districts. If you pick a hotel near Taipei Main Station, you get to explore Ximenting, Longshan Temple and night markets in Wanhwa District.

If you stay near Songshan, Daan or Xinyin District, you get to see "East District" on Zhongxia E. RD, Wufenpu, Raohe Street Night Market, Shida Night Market, and/or Tonghwa Night Market.

After reviewing previous discussion threads on TPE/Taipei, you may want to follow up in thread with your specific liking so folks in the know can give you more tailored suggestions. Welcome to Taipei!

ETA:
Just saw Jamaldo's remark on night markets. Does Shihlin Night Market have its own special small eats? Yes, but I won't pick Shihlin Night Market as the go-to night market in Taipie. Speaking as a local, Shihlin is overrated and has been "taken over" by Chinese tourists. It shows in the way the vendors do and promo their business.

There's a recent survey done in the local that the variety of food in Shihlin Night Market is far worse than any other named night markets in Taipei. Even the much smaller Tonghwa Night Market, my old neighborhood night market, gets better review than Shihlin. No doubt, Shihlin is a big name night market but its "popularity" is also due to physical proximity to National Palace Museum. Easier for visitors to drop by after the museum.

I rank Raohe Street, Shihda, Hwaxi Street, Gongang, and Tonghwa Night Markets higher than Shihlin. As a matter of fact, I strongly recommend any international visitor to see Raohe Street Night Market for their debut night market exploration in Taiwan.

Last edited by lin821; Jun 29, 11 at 7:09 am Reason: adding night market comparisons
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Old Jun 30, 11, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by Jamoldo View Post
...I wanted to go to Din Tai Fung but the taxi driver refused....
Refused to drive!? What, on culinary grounds?

For the OP, if you have just an afternoon and evening, I would just wander around the city before heading for your night-market supper. Perhaps visiting a temple or two (many of the biggest are convenient for the subway; Lung-shan Temple is also close to a night market). Normally I would put the National Palace Museum at the top of the to-do list, but you may not have time, unless you are an avid art type.

Don't forget to eat "ice" while you're here.

Hotel by the Train Station is probably a good idea. I think a 5 a.m. airport bus would be fine--certainly at the airport by 6.
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