I’ve always have a special penchant towards Taiwan. I’ve been there 3 times before this, and I find it easy to navigate as I can understand Mandarin (actually even if you don’t it’s still fine as many of the attractions come with English signs)
My main love for TW is a combination of factors – cheap & good street food, shopping, and of course the friendly local people.
(There’s a recent spiked decrease in mainland China tourists in Taiwan – I’m guessing over the issue of country autonomy again? I personally prefer Taiwan to be an independent country but that’s just me lol. Anyway, good for me since there’s less crowd at the tourist spots!)
I was toying with travelling in Nov 2016 or in first quarter 2017 since the weather is the nicest during this period (cooling but not freezing, at 5-25 deg cel depending on the month). Then I saw a really cheap Jetstar promotion which after adding in reasonable check-in luggage, cost SGD388 for 2 (15kg there and 35kg back under husband’s name)! WOW! Normal prices are like SGD300 for one person. Side note that 35kg is just nice for me this time, and I feel that I didn’t buy a lot. So to be safe it’s best to have at least 45kg or more for 2 person. Traveling in a colder period also means the fashion will be more of the Autumn/Winter type, so if you’re from the tropical climate countries you won’t be able to buy as much clothes. But I still like it as I love walking and enjoying the cool breeze~!
At the Jetstar counter at Changi Airport, there’s actually automated kiosks that travelers scan their passports, get boarding passes and then add on check-in luggages. They will then print the boarding passes and bag tags before dropping off their luggages at the counter. This is rather confusing for a first-time user and there was a bit of chaos as some had to re-queue at another counter as they forgot to print their bag tags.
After a 4-hour flight to Taipei Taoyuan Airport (this flight will go on to Japan), we joined the long queue at the customs. There’s actually money changers inside and outside the gate, but I recommend to queue FIRST as there the passport-stamping area there will be a money changer before you exit the customs area, and OUTSIDE the customs area at arrival there’s also a counter for the 3, 5, 7-day SIM card packages. It’s really cheap so I do recommend to get it and stay connected!
we followed the signs to the bus area.
There’re many buses here, some go to Taipei (Taipei Main Station, Ximen Ding), some to Taichung (3 hrs journey?) and the bus we took is to Taoyuan High Speed Rail. It cost NT30 and takes about 20 minutes.
The HSR comes from Taipei, hence I recommend you to spend an extra USD1 for an assigned seat for your 40 minutes journey to Taichung, unless you’re taking the train really early.
At Taichung HSR station, walk down to the level below and outside for the bus 160 to Fengjia Night Market. It will help a lot if you already have the Metro Card, and you can always do the top-up at a 7-11. It’s really cheap, like 2-30NT or free I think.
(Side note again, you’ll also see a booth selling tour bus packages to Sun Moon Lake and CingJing farm etc)
You’ll alight at Watsons, right smack at the fengjia night market. This is a stop before the Overseas Chinese University stop. If in doubt just ask the driver (in Chinese though lol).
Well, if you feel like cutting away all the hassle you may spend around USD 9 for the short taxi ride.
Anyway we had the unlimited wifi SIM card package from the airport, so I was checking the route using iPhone map too.
After settling down at our Airbnb that’s really near the night market (if I can I will include a review of the places I stayed), we went to Fengjia night market!
But before that we went to this raved yakitori place called Gekiuma Yakitori a short 10 mins walk away.
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I think the yakitori is nice since I like grilled food, ambience is nice too; I won’t necessarily go back again as I think I can find similar yakitori in Fengjia NM. Anyway this shop is like a yAkihito cum bar so it’s nice if you’ll like to sit down and drink while eating and listening to music. Soup is freeflow too!
Next we walked back to Fengjia NM for more eating, and shopping! Btw in Taiwan it seems that many NM are located next to an university, same for Fengjia NM. I had the milk steamboat here, and also we had breakfast at this area the next day, right at the street where the Fengjia University monument is at. Try their breakfast!
please try the fried sweet potato balls! One of my favorite snacks! 😀