Your Questions About Taipei Vacation

Linda asks…

Family vacation in Taipei?

It looks like my family and I will be heading to Taipei for Chinese New Year. We will be attending a conference from Feb 2 – Feb 7 so everything for that time period is taken care of. However, we are considering going a week earlier for a family vacation.

I’ve never been to Taipei and to be frank, have never really desired to go. I’ve nothing against it . . . there are just so many other places I’d rather go.

I’m starting research now on the city, but would appreciate any comments from folks here.

My kids are 9 and 10 years old. They are completely bilingual (Mandarin and English) while we old-fogey parents are reasonably fluent in Mandarin. Communication won’t be a problem.
I should add . . . since we live in China, we aren’t that interested in going to temples, etc. We are immersed in Chinese culture on a daily basis so such things are quite familiar to us. I also don’t think the kids could handle the National Palace Museum. Any good amusement parks?

Yaz answers:

I never spent time in Taipei during the Lunar New Year holidays. I could imagine the Taipei City be empty of students and many workers during that week, and the city be not as vibrant as usual.
Many stores and shops will be closed for the holidays, even the stock trading will be closed.

I second the suggestion 士林夜市. Go hungry, there’s plenty to eat. Oh it’s a nightmarket like its name, so don’t go during the day. It’s usually very packed on weekends. I don’t know if it will be the same during the New Years. Maybe go to Danshui 淡水 for the sunset view before going to the night market, it’s on the same metrorail line. Danshui is famous for fishball soup?

Another one to check is 華西街夜市. It’s close to the Longshan Temple.

Try Taipei 101? And get on the world’s fastest elevator ride to the world’s second tallest skyscraper. There’s shopping and dining inside 101 too. There is a free transfer bus ride to the metrorail station.

Guang Hua Digital Plaza.

Of course there are also several shopping district/malls across Taipei. There’s one that looks like a giant globe from the outside. I forgot its name. The mall is basically a huge sphere and standing from one side of the mall looking at the other end is a spectacular view. The architecture amazes me. I am easily amused btw.

Hop on the high speed train and head down south. Tainan 台南 or Kaoshiong 高雄 can be fun day trips too.

Taroko National Park

maybe check out some aborigines cultures if you have had enough of Han culture.

九份 is a little further outside of Taipei, in Keelung. You can get a nice view of the Pacific Ocean from there, besides the usual sightseeing stuff.
白沙灣 is nice for the beach. It’s gonna be cold during that time of the year though.

James asks…

Visa Requirement for transiting in Taipei?

My husband, my daughter and I are planning on a vacation that the itinerary requires us to stay overnight in Taipei. Both my husband and daughter are American citizen, not me. Am I (and/or my husband and daughter) required to have a transit visa if we stay in outside airport’s hotel?

Yaz answers:

Read these links

http://www.worldtravelguide.net/country/273/passport_visa/Far-East-Asia/Taiwan.html

http://www.wordtravels.com/Travelguide/Countries/Taiwan/Visa

Lizzie asks…

How do I apply japan visa(we’re going for just 8days) using my Philippine passport here in Taipei? thanks c”,?

My husband and I are planning to have a short vacation only.

Yaz answers:

They don’t have Japanese Embassy in Taiwan so Japanese visa will be issued here.

Http://www.taiwanembassy.org/JP/ct.asp?xItem=77594&CtNode=3139&mp=202&xp1=

http://www.taiwanembassy.org/JP/lp.asp?CtNode=10564&CtUnit=1020&BaseDSD=7&mp=202

You can ask about it using this;
http://www.taiwanembassy.org/JP/form.asp?ctUnit=113&spec=contactus&mp=202
name, email address, title, letter.

I think it is difficult to get it.

Robert asks…

what to do around taipei airport?

I’m going home from a vacation in Thailand to the states.On my connecting flight taipei to LAX there’s a 10 hour delay.I’m kinda excited,since i never stepped out and explored Taipei other than the airport.

What can i see,do,eat around there ? if you guys have addresses and such that would be great.Do you know how much the taxi fare is ? And any other info would be great ! Thanks :)

Yaz answers:

It doesn’t seem like there is anything around the airport, since its mostly residential area and kind of the suburbs, so you should go into Taipei. If this 10 hr delay holds, you have about a couple of hours max to spend in Taipei. The trip to taipei from the airport will take about an hour or a little more and its about the same going back to the airport. This time is under normal traffic conditions and it doesnt take into account waiting times, traffic and delays. Also, you need time to do the airport stuff like going through security and stuff, so make sure you reserve enough time for these things too.

I think the Taipei 101 area would be a good place to visit. There are places to eat there, you can go up to the observatory deck, if it is still open (costs money though…i think) and airport transportation is still near by. You can take the taxi there or take the Toward You Air Bus Eastern Line to the Grand Hyatt Hotel and just walk to 101. When you go back to the airport, just go back to the same stop. This cost about $145 NT each way and it runs every 20 to 30 minutes. I wouldnt recommend visiting other places, since you technically dont have that much time and you need enough time to make it back for the connecting flight. If you want to stay closer to the airport, there is a hotel near by (Novotel) that you can go to. It is basically a couple minutes away and there is a hotel shuttle that services the terminals. The hotel has some restaurants and places to sit (with wifi)

Personally, i’d think it would best to just stay in the airport. You are in a delay, not a layover, so the times could change. If you happen to be in taipei when the delay is cut short, you could end up missing your connection and things could go south. If you just stay at the airport, you could be on top of the time and react quickly to any changes that may arise. Besides, the airport has places to eat and shops too.

Carol asks…

Which city should I visit? Beijing, Singapore, or Taipei?

I am planning a short vacation to Asia and I have narrowed my choices down to only these three cities. Here are my choices:

Beijing
Taipei
Singapore

Which one of these three cities do you recommend for me? Keep in mind I am only concentrating on these three cities. I have been everywhere else and the places I haven’t been to, I am not intrested in. So, please, choose only one of the three cities.

Yaz answers:

It depends on what you like…if you like shopping and nightlife in a clean, modern, metropolitan city than Singapore might be good for you. English is readily spoken and you will find many of the conveniences of home.

If you are interested in history (Great Wall, Forbidden City) and a relatively “unfiltered” view of Chinese culture and history than Beijing is tough to beat.

Overall I think Singapore is better if you are interested in a slightly more relaxing and conventional experience. Beijing would be better if you are more adventurous.

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