We recently planned an abrupt trip to Taiwan last month just because Thomas wanted to add a new country on his map (and also for me!). He initially wanted to go to Korea but it will take more time for me because I would need to get a visa — and so Taiwan it is! Luckily, no visa is required for Filipinos during this time (but I think they will put it back sometime later this year?). Having all these planned in the middle of the week, it almost didn’t push through because I got food poisoned and stayed overnight at the hospital few days before our flight. I was just so glad to be finally finished with such a horrible experience!
Moving on, since we only have a few days to spare for Taipei — things to do were very limited as well. So we focused on the things that we could do without spending so much money. So I’m sharing with you my top 5 things to do for free in Taipei:
1. Hike up at the Elephant Mountain – I thought that the hike up at the Elephant Mountain was super easy; but don’t get me wrong, it is easy but you have to wear the proper shoes for it (and also considering that I came from being dehydrated and weak few days before this). Hehe. I was only wearing sandals which are not hike appropriate. So I ended up having sore feet after the hike. Lesson learned.
So mind these helpful tips folks! 🙂
- Wear appropriate shoes
- Bring enough water to hydrate
- Wear breathable clothing
- Extra clothes for freshening up or a hand towel to wipe your sweat
This place has one of the best views you can have of the Taipei 101. It’s also a famous spot to watch the fireworks display during New Years. And it has also become a famous instagram spot for influencers/bloggers.
Entrance Fee: Free
I also wanted to climb this rock like Thomas did. But, again, wrong shoes. LOL! So I had to just play as the photographer for him. Hihi.
2. Go to the iconic Taipei 101 – Taipei 101 was once hailed as the tallest building in 2004. It is beautifully architectured to show how technology and the asian traditions has evolved . You can go up to the viewing deck for a fee or just hang around and do some window shopping from the lower floors of the building.
For us, we just went here for window shopping and to eat at Din Tai Fung and ordered their famous Xiao Long Bao (you can also try to find the first ever location they had in Xinyi)
3. Visit Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial – we had a funny story finding the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial. We were trying to use the google maps but for some reason we had it mixed up with the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial University. Hahaha. So we had to take a taxi out of frustration in finding it.
Entrance fee: Free
4. Food trip and shopping at Ximending Night Market – Thomas and I got addicted to their milk teas! I think that’s what we did most of the time from Ximending Night Market hehe. And of course that large fried chicken from Hot Star!
It’s totally free to walk around and it will depend on you how much you want to spend for food or shopping!
5. Find a cat cafe – okay, this one is not totally free. You will need to purchase a food/drink item to stay in the cafe. From what I’ve read, the first ever cat cafe was from Taipei. But the one we went to is the Genki Cats Cafe where in they mostly have maine coon cats. Nothing fancy, just the joy of being able to pet these cats.
Bonus! Hunt for the best bubble milk tea in Taiwan – Taiwan is famous for their bubble teas. So it’s literally everywhere. But I loved the one I found in Ximen with small bubbles. It was my first time to try it because normally I get the normal size ones so it was a little bit fun getting a lot of tiny bubbles in one sip! Other famous milk tea places are coco and chatime.
That’s it! Hope you find a thing or two interesting things to do when you visit Taiwan.