Solo Travel in Taiwan: Things to do
My First Solo Travel in Taiwan
After Taiwan eased its visa policy to Philippine passport holders, I welcomed this good news as a sign to realize my long-awaited wanderlust to the heart of Asia. Another hint was the plunge of the airfare from MNL-Taipei.
Each time I travel, I always challenge myself to maximize it. My red-eye flight put me into a dicey guess whether I can catch up the bus going to Kaohsiung from Taipei Airport or not as based on online source, bus operation ends at midnight.
It was also my first time ever to travel solo but it seemed though that my angel was with me on that day. Effortlessly, I muddled through the confusing airport signposts and reached the Ubus station to take me to Kaohsiung. So this bus still runs even at 2am?!
2. Love River
3. Formosa Station
4. Fo Guang Shan
5. Ruifeng Night Market
If you have 2 or more days in Kaohsiung, you can take some of the following day trips:
After 4 hours, I got off right in front of the Kaohsiung station and had the whole day to explore this third largest city of Taiwan. First stop was the Pier. Another torment for me out of traveling solo is the struggle to take photo of me. Eventually, I got used to it during my journey around this small-sized country.
I easily got to my second destination, the Love River. It was so romantic and serene. But sometimes, I don’t want to go to a romantic place when I’m traveling alone. chuckles. Seeing the reaction of the guy whom I asked for the direction of the Love Pond who seemed so curious why I’ll be going there, I got it. He emphasized that it’s a LOVE river. Yes, I know. Anyways, after 2 hours or so, I changed to another station and made a prompt stopover at the most beautiful station, the Formosa Station.
I continued on to my next attraction, the Fo Guang Shan, the most iconic Buddha site in Taiwan, before checking in at my hotel at 3pm. I walked around the huge Buddha attraction for the entire afternoon. After putting my feet up and grabbing a short nap, at 7pm, I was set for my first night market feel at Ruifeng Night market.
- Tai Chung Rail station
- Rainbow Village
- Fengjia Night Market
If you have 2 or more days in Taichung, you can take some of the following day trips:
- A Day at Sun Moon Lake
- Gaomei Wetland & Rainbow Military Community
- Sun Link Sea & Lotus Forest Day Trip
- The Green Green Grasslands Tour
The streak of good luck went kaput on the second day. I woke up late than expected for my trip to Taichung. As soon as I alighted at the Tai Chung Rail station, I approached some taxi drivers to take me to Carton King and Xinshe Castle. We didn’t understand each other so I turned to the Tourism office nearby and inquired. However, the tourism lady told me that travel time is approximately 3 hours. I was disappointed to learn its huge distance from Taichung proper contrary to some DIY travel guides I read.
My alternative place was the Rainbow Village, which is closer by 2 hours. This small community is renowned for its colorful paintings. At first, I lost my way but after grasping #30 bus, I climbed it and confirmed the driver if he will drop by the said village. Like the taxi drivers, he can’t speak English. Oh man, what to do?
By a quirk of fate, the sole lady at the back seat knows English and served as our interpreter. When the driver nodded, I said to myself, yes this is the right bus. After more than an hour, when the bus stopped off in front of a school, he told me something in Mandarin which I understood that I had to walk straight ahead.
After a 5-minute stride, I finally set eyes on this painted village filled with bright and lively illustrations. Of course, my tour in Taichung wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Fengjia Night Market. If you’re into sales and affordable fashion, then this is the market you shouldn’t miss out in Taiwan.
I got into trouble again when I recognized that holding the Taichung map didn’t guarantee me a stress-free travel. Moreover, the bus sign was in Mandarin. Good thing, I had the Chinese name of this site and of my hotel. I spent the entire night into this wide market and went back to the hotel safely.
1. Juifen Park
2. Golden Waterfall
3. Taipei 101
4. Ximending Night Market
5. Themed restaurant (Modern Toilet)
If you have 2 or more days in Taipei, you can take some of the following day trips:
3.Cherry Blossom Tour at Wuling Farm (late January to mid April)
Saving the best for last, on my third day, I rouse earlier for my trip to Taipei. But I had to wait until 9am for the Ubus bus bound for the capital to ride up. At noon, when several taller edifices and malls were beginning to reveal to me one after another, my heartbeat was rising as we were about to disembark at the main city.
With ants in my pants, I took the train headed for Jiufen, a mountain area that is 45 -minute away by train from Taipei. It was a feast to the eyes seeing the zigzag road lines going up to Juifen Park where a Santorini-like vista greeted us.
As soon as you entered the tapered lanes, you wanted to leave already as hundreds of tourists swarmed along the food stalls. I still managed some quick nibbles despite the cramped space. Then, I rode another bus going down the lush mountain for a view of the stunning, coppery Golden Waterfall. I spent there an hour or so to soak up to its natural beauty.
Returning back to Taipei, I made a swift stop and gaze at the former tallest building in the world, Taipei 101, before capping the night off at Ximending Night market. At this third market, I gave in and shopped for souvenirs and some clothes. I stumbled upon one of the well-known themed restaurants in Taipei, the Modern Toilet, while I was looking for a place to dine out.
How I wish I could see more of Taiwan but I was satisfied to try night markets hopping and Taiwanese streets food which was the purpose of my visit after all. I’ll surely go back.