Updated: Jul 18, 2020
I had an amazing trip to Taiwan. Stunned by their nature, which I considered one the best solo backpacking I had so far. However, this trip was totally not planned at all. So its when I arrived in Taipei and started my day whilst I was trying to rest at night, I checked which places I wanted to visit the next day. I came up with these things and places I wanted to visit. Initially, I just wanted to go hiking or see the nature of Taiwan, I didn't want to check the tourist spots or anywhere touristy. Except if you are in Taipei - it's mandatory to visit TAIPEI101 otherwise you missed the beauty of Taipei.
The first option I had in mind was to see maple leaves in Nantou, Taiwan. I was dying to see Aowanda National Park as its Autumn season and fall is my fave season I wouldn't wanna miss the beauty of autumn. Unfortunately, the weather and time didn't go on my way, also the Aowanda is very far from Taipei - I would have to travel 16 hours on any route from Taipei. So I need to go for my second option as I lack time, which is to visit Taroko George Mountain in Hualien. I stayed in Taipei for 3 Nights. Traveled Hualien for 1 day. Roamed around Hualien at night, visited the night market in Hualien. The next day, I visited Taroko National Park. I really want to do hiking and see more nature of Taiwan so I told myself whatever happens I will hike in Taroko. Here's my itinerary in my 6 days backpacking in Taiwan.
Day 1 - 3
Visited TAIPEI 101
Visited Taipei observatory (89 to 91 floor of Taipei101) - entrance fee: 600 NTD/1000 PHP/ 82 RM
Walked around Taipei - visited the Taipei Hall Bus station
Hiked to Elephant Mountain Trail (The Xiangshan Hiking Trail) - free
You must not miss is the hike up Elephant Mountain Taipei. It offers spectacular views of Taipei both at day and night, and it’s a quick, 30- 45 minutes hike depending on how fit you are, easily accessible directly from the MRT station, probably 15 -20 mins walk from the MRT station.
How to get to Elephant Mountain Trail from Taipei Main Station
Hiked to Yangmingshan National Park - free
Located in the Northern part of Taipei City, just a short bus ride from Taipei City. This place is known to numerous parks, hiking trails, plants and wildlife, and the famous hot springs.
I was not able to roam around Yangmishan Park as It was raining hard and it was cold however I just took some videos or few photos as I got off a Lil bit from the bus I rode with. I didn't expect the rain and the cold even the driver and the other local passenger told me not to go down because it's cold and it's foggy and I won't be seeing anything anyways. They were worried about me so it would be rude if I didn't listen to them. So instead went back to the Beitou where the famous hot springs area located. However, I wasn't confident enough to jump into the hot spring alone haha.
How to get to Yangmingshan National Park
From Taipei Bridge station to Beitou station. From Beitou take either city bus R5 or small bus (PREFERRED) S9 to Yangmingshan station Fare is NT$15, payable by cash or Easycard.
Visited Shilin Night Market
I guess their night market is different from Night Market from Thailand, wherein you can see a lot of different things such as food, clothes, other stuff, Games, etc. Whilst in Thailand, you can only buy more clothes and food which is the Thailand night market is more FUN for me. I just checked out the market but I didn't try anything or eat anything. I know its weird or probably you would think its a waste of time visiting the market but didn't eat anything or not even a milk tea (I'm not a milk tea fan or a foodie) I just ate stuff in the convenient store when I visited Taiwan. I guess its just me. Not trying to budget my food but I guess its the sad part of being a solo traveler you don't have someone to eat with you. So I didn't feel like I wanted to try their food in the Night Market.
Day 4 - 5
Traveled to Hualien County
Fare: 440 NTD/60.04 RM/731.07 PHP
Roamed around Hualien
Visited Dongdamen Night Market
Visited Taroko Gorge National Park
Free entrance (but you have to pay for a bus from transferring to another route. The Taroko Park is Big.)
Taroko is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan and was named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park carved by the Liwu River. The park spans Taichung Municipality, Nantou County, and Hualien County. And is located at 972, Taiwan, Hualien County, Xiulin Township.
Taroko National Park
is a great spot for hikers, and there are plenty of trails. You may see the map below and the Taroko trails.
The Taroko Gorge
These are the spots I have visited on my 1 day trip to Taroko. I didn't go to the other spots as 1 day is not enough to visit Taroko especially if you keen on Hiking experience.
Eternal Spring Shrine
Tianxiang (Tienhsiang) Recreation Area
Hiked to the Baiyang Waterfall Trail
is characterized by the number of tunnels. Beginning with the entrance tunnel of 380 meters (by the Central Cross-Island Highway 900 meters west of Tianxiang) to the last tunnel before Water Curtain, you will pass through seven tunnels along the 2-kilometer trail ( the 4 km round trip will take about 2 hours.) As I purposely want to hike in Taroko, So I didn't try to visit other spots anymore.
I didn't anticipate the dark tunnels of the Baiyang trail so I came unprepared with the hike, I didn't have a torchlight and raincoat or even a helmet for the falling rocks maybe. Luckily it came smoothly. I was safe.
What to bring
Take a raincoat and sandals/flip-flops with you if you also want to do the cave-curtain at the end of the hike. If you don't like tunnels or suspension bridges you may not enjoy this trail.
Went back to Taipei
Traveled 4 hours from Hualien to Taipei - (440 NTD/60.04 RM/731.07 PHP)
976.45 MYR = 11897.57 PHP (including the 20 kg baggage back and fort)
Hey bear Capsule: 38 RM per night x 3 nights - 114 RM = 1389.03 PHP
Oxygen Hostel: 45 RM per night x 1 - 45 RM = 548.30 PHP
Sleeping Boot Hostel : 32 RM per night x 1 - 32 RM = 389.90 PHP
7000 NT$ = 955.18 = 11638.43 PHP (Including everything except HOSTEL: food, transport and pasalubong) For hostel - I booked using my debit card
Trains: buy EZ card for inconvenience - 100 NT$, otherwise you can pay for single journey
Taipei to Beitou = 30 NT$
Taipei to Elephant Mountain = 30 NT$
Taipei to Shilin Market = 30 NT$
Beitou to Yangmingshang = 15 NT$
2122.45 RM = 25861.02 PHP = 15,533.13 NT$