TAIWANderers

February 5, 2017 (Day 6)We were scheduled to leave Taipei an hour past midnight, so strictly speaking, we have 12 hours left to explore the city and we really wanted to make the most out of it. For this day, we plan to eat and stroll around Ximending, dine in at Modern Toilet Restaurant, Hike at Elephant Mountain and visit Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.

We checked out around 12 pm and leave our luggage at our hostel to avoid paying extra for lockers.

map-point 1230 PM  XIMENDING

Located in the Historic Wanhua District and often called as the Harajuku/Shibuya of Taipei. Ximending is a certified food and shopping mecca. Similar to what Myeongdong and Shibuya offer, you can find a multitude of shops, restaurant and bars all based in one place.

Ximending Famous Crossing

Since we visited during CNY festivals, cute chicks are all over the place.

I love rom-com movies and Our Times has been listed as one of my faves since its release. Our Times is a 2015 Taiwanese romance film directed by Frankie Chen with Darren Wang and Vivian Sung as the lead star. Spoiler: Expect Jerry Yan at the end of the movie.

The Red House Theater is classified as a Class III Historical Site in 1997. It was built in 1908 during the Japanese Rule mainly as a market but later used as a theater. Sadly, it was somehow destroyed and subjected to an arson attack in 2016.

map-point 130 PM  MODERN TOILET RESTO

Like what I’ve said in my review, I am a little obsessed with themed parks, restos and cafes.  Obviously, it is a must for me to visit and try this quirky resto in Taipei. I actually have a separate review with more photos and details about it and you may find it here by clicking this link.

Lunch at Modern Toilet

What we had for lunch; spicy beef hotpot, ham and cheese stuffed chicken with rice.

map-point 4 PM  XIANGSHAN

I am bewitched by the online rave reviews of elephant mountain. And even though we only have few hours left before our flight, my husband and I decided to climb the mountain. We leave Ximending around 3:30 pm and took the train to Xiangshan. Xiangshan is actually the last stop for the MRT red line. Make sure to find a seat and rest your feet since you’re going to embark on a long and arduous flight of stairs.

Metro to Xiangshan

Take Exit 2, continue walking down the street following the park on your left side. Signs are available so don’t fret and it’ll take you 10 minutes roughly to the trailhead.

You’ll see this commercial and residential condos and this is the way to the trailhead.

This is the main entrance, some says its an easy walk but really depends on your fitness. The stairs are pretty steep and high. Expect a 30 to 60 minutes walking. The minutes really depends on how fast you can climb and for people with asthma like me, make sure to bring your inhaler.

Due to the drizzling rain we reach the top almost 5 pm, It was raining and clouds are obviously everywhere so I can’t take a better photo of the city.

map-point 5 PM  ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN

For the best view of Taipei, you must visit Xiangshan or Elephant Mountain. This mountain is located in Xinyi District in Taipei, Taiwan. It is accessible through the Taipei Metro Xiangshan Station with a height of 183 meters. It’s quite a walk but really worth it, on clear days you get an unprecedented view of Taipei and it’s absolutely free.

There were quite a few people making the ascent to the mountain despite it being overcast by clouds and shower rains. We waited for almost two hours before the rain stops. My husband and I find ourselves stranded on top of the Nangang District Hiking Trail and we make use of it for a heartfelt conversation. After all, it’s the perfect avenue for this kind of talk. Luckily, the rain stops and had ourselves a few snaps before we leave the mountain.

My Take on Taipei Skyscraper. I don’t know if my lens is having a problem or due to the weather that my camera lens becomes moist and misty.

More shot, it’s really picturesque and worth the climb.

The famous six stone boulders at my back.

Of course my boo wont leave the place without his souvenir.

Viewing Deck with mostly couples and with me wearing my handy raincoat.

map-point 730 PM  CHIANG KAI SHEK

We leave Elephant Mountain around 6:30 PM for Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall located in the Zhongsheng District. We took the same Metro red line earlier and this time going to Chiang Kai Shek Station. We can’t leave Taipei without visiting this important landmark of the City. Honestly, we just had a quick glimpse of this famous landmark, we promised to visit the place again and watch the changing of the guards in a couple of years.

The Memorial Hall was built to commemorate Chiang Kai Shek who also known as Jiang Zhongzheng. He was a Chinese political and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975. Along with the CKS Memorial Hall, you can also find Natural Theater and Concert Hall here.

Travel Tip: You can reach most Taipei spots using the Metro. Just like the red line where you can reach Tamsui, CKS and Beitou in a day.

Majestic Entrance to CKS Memorial Hall

The Main Gate

National Concert Hall

National Theater Hall

CKS Memorial Hall at a glance.

map-point 10 PM  HSR TO TAOYUAN AIRPORT

After CKS, we went to Ximending again to collect our luggage. We also bought some stuff for kids before we took the train back to Taipei Main Station. From Taipei Main Station, we hop on a high-speed train to Taoyuan Airport for NTD160 each plus an additional NTD30 for bus shuttle that will take you straight to your terminal.

Ticket to HSR

SMILE Budget & How To?

HOW TO GET HERE?

 How To Get Here?

ship-carXimending 

By MRT Take Blue Line 5 or Green Line 3 to Ximen (西門).

ship-car Elephant Mountain

By MRT Take Red Line to Xiangshan

ship-car CKS Memorial Hall

By MRT Take Red Line to CKS Memorial Hall Station

ship-car Taoyuan Airport

Click This Link for Available Options

BUDGET

Ximending

Technically its free, really depends on what item you want to purchase. From clothes, electronics, accessories and restaurant. For Budget meals prepare NTD100-150 per person, for decent meal NTD200-300 per person.

 Modern Toilet

Typically a couple would spend around NTD500 – NTD800 for lunch and dinner, while for snacks you can set NTD300 for two. It really depends on your cravings and capacity. I posted the actual menu book here for your reference.

CKS & Elephant Mountain

No Entrance Fee and feel free to roam the area anytime you like.

 Traveling to Airport?

ship-car By KuoKang Bus (Taipei Main Station) NTD125
ship-car By HSR + Shuttle (Taipei Main Station) NTD160 + NTD30
ship-car By Taxi (Taipei Main Station) NTD1000 – NTD1500
ship-car By Airport Link Metro (Taipei Main Station) NTD100 *NEW

TRAVEL TIPS

Tips to Remember

 For Your Taipei Journey, Buy Easy Card for easy traveling on the Metro

 For Modern Toilet, They don’t accept credit card so bring cash. To save time ask your hotel/hostel to make a reservation. Also, you can do online reservation. Most order comes with a set of rice, soup, ice tea and ice cream.

 For CKS Memorial Hall: Open daily from 09:00 to 18:00, except for Chinese New Year Eve and Chinese New Year while CKS Memorial Park: Open daily from 05:00 to 24:00

Thanks again for dropping by, as always, I’m in love with Taiwan so watch out for more Taiwan entries in a few days and since we traveled DIY, I will be posting Taiwan Free and Easy guide after my travelogues. Feel free to use the comment area below for questions and or share your experience with me by sharing it here. Also, I’m prepping my Youtube Channel so please do support by subscribing at RunawayMariaTV Don’t forget to follow my journey through my INSTAGRAM @runawaymaria and Facebook by tapping LIKE! See you in my next post.

Happy Travels

image1