8D7N Taipei Solo Trip Itinerary & Expense Breakdown

8D7N Taipei Solo Trip by The Friday RejoicerTo celebrate quarter century birthday aka 25th birthday this year, I travelled alone to Taiwan, a place that I have never been before but have always wanted to explore. All started with hearing wonderful stories of friends’ Taiwan travels and numerous travel variety shows recommending Taiwan. Finally decided to go when I spotted a very good deal on flight ticket. The timing was right. At that time, Taipei weather was cool and dry. All signs urge me to go or else I will deeply regret. After the trip, I must say it was a fantastic and memorable one. Already thinking to plan another trip to Taiwan again next year. Anyway, read on to find out my itinerary and expense breakdown.

Planning the itinerary for this trip was really time consuming. Although there were a lot of itineraries online from various bloggers, I found that they did not suit me entirely as

  1. I am travelling alone, so no twin sharing or queen bed hotels. Increase unwanted cost as I cannot split cost like those who travel in pairs or group.
  2. I do not intend to splurge on taxis, hire driver or live in Minsu which usually caters for travel partners, couples and families.
  3. I am not interested in art museums, zoo and temples.
  4. I have started exercise recently but stamina not enough to hike a mountain. And also not into strolling in garden/park.
  5. I do not intend to travel too far. No Taichung, Alishan, Pingtung or other parts of Taiwan. Taipei only.

However, fellow bloggers’ itinerary are still very useful as I can learn from their experience which to go and how to go. I can judge from their photos whether I will be interested in those places of interest they visited and how accessible they are if to travel only with metros and buses. Here are some of the blogs and websites that I used to plan for my travels:

  1. Morning Markets in Taipei
  2. Pingxi Railway Day Trip
  3. TAIPEI DAY TRIP 1: BEITOU (北投)
  4. Taipei: Day 1 Ximending, Tamsui & Shilin Night Market
  5. Taiwan: A Miner’s Day in Jinguashi
  6. Taiwan Travelling Tips
  7. [Wulai/New Taipei] Taiya Po Po
  8. Ningxia Night Market (宁夏夜市) @ Taiwan [Taipei]

There are many more websites but I forgot to bookmark. Will add some more if I come across them.

Move on to my itinerary.

My 8D7N trip was from 27 Oct to 3 Nov 2014. Weather was quite good during the trip. Only heavy rain in Day 7 afternoon. The first and last day of the trip are only half day as I reached Taiwan in the evening and left in late morning.

Day 1 – Ningxia Night market.

Day 2 – Taipei 101. Ding Tai Feng. Lunch at Formosa Chang. Wufenpu Wholesale Market. Raohe Night Market.

Day 3 – Xinbeitou. Tamsui. Shilin Night Market.

Day 4 – Huabo Park. Jinguashi. Jiufen.

Day 5 – Houtong. Jingtong. Shifen. Pingxi.

Day 6 – Chiang Kai‑shek Memorial Hall. Wulai. Ximending.

Day 7 – Leofoo Village Theme Park. Shida Night Market.

Day 8 – Breakfast buffet at Army Restaurant. Songshan Temple. Home Sweet Home!

You can find my detailed itinerary here.

I found that I can easily pack another place of interest for Day 5 as Pingxi Line was not as interesting as I thought initially. Should have spend more time in Huabo Park as I went in early morning when the exhibition halls had not yet opened. Otherwise, all places of interest are really fun. Easy to go and can try out a lot of activities. Will blog more about them in the next few posts so do bookmark this page first.

Here are my expense breakdown. (Rate: SGD$1 to TWD23.4521NT as on 27 Nov 2014)

Expenses Cost (SGD) Cost (TWD) Remark 
Tiger Air Ticket (SIN – TPE) 243.9 Bought during Tiger Thursday Flash Sale. Additional $26 for 20kg luggage check in for return flight
Accomodation 2 days – Flip Flop hostel deposit 9.83 Checkup my review here.
Accomodation 2 days – Flip Flop hostel remaining 67.54 1584 Total 2 days cost $77.37. Per day $38.69.
Accomodation 1 day – Airbnb 52
Accomodation 1 day – Jiufen Corner Inn (8-pax dormitory) 27.72 650
Accommodation 4 days – Neosoho 176.36 4136 Per day $44.09
Others 4.26 100 Temple, locker, cat food
Transportation 67.89 Easy card, bus tickets, train tickets, one day pass for Pingxi Line, taxi, ferry
Place of interest 31.56 Museum, hot spring, tram ride, Taipei 101
Food 114.41 Night market, Ding Tai Feng, Tai Po Po and fruits
Shopping 159.17 5 long sleeved tops, 4 pairs of heels and boots, 4 pairs of socks, 2 cardigans
Total 954.64

Excluding my shopping spending, I spent less than SGD$800 for air ticket, accommodation, transportation and food. Fairly cheap, right! Even shopping were cheap as I shopped in night markets and shops with sale.

Things to take note:

  1. Must bring mosquitoes patch/ repellant. Best to prepare all the mosquito spray, patch, light coloured clothes, cooling sleeve cover and long roomy pants. If you forget, please buy when you reach Taiwan immediately. I gotten 30++ bites for my 8-day trip. Brought back itchy, red and swollen wounds on my legs as souvenir, which took almost one month for the wounds to dry up and heal. Now there are many red and brown scars on my leg. Lucky now is going to year end, I can just wear long pants and skirts to cover.
  2. Choose to pay all your online bookings in Taiwanese dollar on the spot instead of credit card payment. Especially accommodation. I tried Hostelworld.com and Booking.com. Prefer the latter one as Hostelworld needs online payment for deposit which is going to charge to your credit/debit card while Booking.com allows you to pay in cash only when you reach the hostel. This makes a difference if you staying in pricer hotels and longer period. You can easily get a better rate at Raffles Place or Chinatown money changers as compared to the online currency conversion via Paypal and bank credit card rates.
  3. Bring lots of foldable bags and disposable plastic bags. In Taiwan, most shopkeepers don’t give out plastic bags unless you request for it with additional charges. Usually I used my own recyclable bag for everyday purchase. And disposable plastic bags to store my trash and soiled clothes.
  4. Bring a reusable bottle that can hold hot water. There are numerous water dispensers at most places of interest and metro stations. Why spend on bottled water when you can get them for free! Some water dispensers can even discharge warm water too.
  5. Buy extra food in night markets. Especially those food that you can eat on the go and even taste good when they are cold. Bun, fried food and etc. You can keep them for next day snacks when you go to places like theme parks and shopping centres which sell food of higher price. This is a good trick if you are travelling solo but there are a lot of food in night markets that you want to try. Moreover, don’t know for what reason I could not find food stores opened in the early morning, so I usually ate the food leftover from previous night as breakfast. Especially living in hostels with common kitchen, you can just microwave the food if you prefer to eat them warm for breakfast.
  6. Do not buy fruits from night market. I learnt it the hard way when I spent SGD10 or NT300 for a small cup of mango and custard apple equivalent to a bubble tea cup. The store lady was very “kind” to throw in a few slices of starfruits for free. These fruits were even more expensive than my meal at Ding Tai Feng and Tai Po Po Restaurant. Also the most expensive food I ever ate during my trip. Actually I knew that the fruits were expensive in Taiwan and my friends had already told me not to buy. However, during the night market shopping, I was enticed by the store lady free fruit testing and their NT50 signboard. Never know that 2 fruits will cost me NT300 instead.

Do not be scared after reading my Things To Note above. Overall, Taiwan is a good place for solo travellers. It is very safe and accessible. I am already thinking of going Taiwan again next year. There are still so many places I have not explored.

Lastly, please remember to bookmark this page as I will share my experience in the next few weeks.

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14 thoughts on “8D7N Taipei Solo Trip Itinerary & Expense Breakdown

    1. As I just stayed in their single pax room, I feel it was not bad. Just that my room was at level 5 which was the highest level. You can imagine how difficult it was to carry my wheeled luggage up and then down when I left.

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    1. I would recommend you get a data plan to allow you to access Google Translate and Google Map. It should solve some language barrier and save you the trouble to ask for directions. However, if you need help, most locals are very willing to help out.

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  1. Hey, I am somewhat going on a solo trip to Taipei too.

    Anyway, which mine museum is nicer to visit? The Shifen Coal Musuem, or the Houtong Mining Museum? I am not including the Jinguashi Gold Musuem since there is no train ride available. I was looking at another post, and you took a picture of the mine train ride in Houtong. It seems interesting.

    Looking at your itinerary, it seems like Pingxi Line was not as interesting as you expect. Which town would you skip? Jingtong, Pingxi, or Shifen?

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    1. I only went to Houtong & JInguashi museum. Houtong mine is smaller than Jinguashi mine. It is more like a small backyard behind the museum. Houtong train ride was quite short around 3min which you will pass by some displayed mining clothes and tools along the way. I think both have their beauty. you can try both since admission are quite affordable.

      Actually I will love to visit Shifen coal musuem judging from the photos by other bloggers. It looks more interesting with a more realistic mine as compared with the first 2. I would have give it a try if I have not went to the other mine museums. And also I read on other blog that it needs prior appointment before visit. Moreover, It is a 10 min walk away from Shifen Station. I will suggest you can visit this museum which is along the way when you are going to Shifen waterfall.

      As for Pingxi Line, I really like Houtong the best. It’s the first station of Pingxi, so if you do not have much time you can just visit this station. Cat lovers will like this place. And you can also visit the mine museum.

      Although Jingtong is the last station, it is still worthwhile to go. You can visit the old street and museum. Go to http://tour.tpc.gov.tw/page.aspx?wtp=3&wnd=269 for more info.

      As for Pingxi & Shifen, I personally think that they have nothing much to see. Most people go there for sky lantern which I was not interested as I believe sky lantern pollute the place when it falls.

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  2. Hi,
    I am going for a half solo trip to Taiwan.
    May I know how heavy was your luggage that you brought back? (including carry on)
    Any other things that you bought back other than the fashion apparels listed?

    Thank you

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    1. I bought back 15.2 kg of check-in luggage and around 5 kg of hand carry luggage.

      Check-in luggage mostly include fashion apparels, shoes and soiled clothes. While check-in luggage, heaviest items are souvenirs and portable charger.

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  3. Hello,
    Firstly I would like to thank you for sharing such a great information online, I was searching for solo Traveller blogs for a Long time until I came across your blog which matches my idea . I would like to travel alone to Taipei . But I’m unsure which area should I book my Airbnb at . I intend to book one place for my entire trip instead of a few day here and there . Because before Taiwan I will be at Melbourne . So my luggage is rather huge and heavy.

    Would you recommend jiufen? Because I read thru a few blogs. Bloggers are complaining about it .

    Do you know where can I see caonima?
    Thank you !!
    Best regard
    Reven

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    1. Hi Reven! I will recommend to stay at somewhere nearest to the MRT stations such as
      1) Taipei Main Station which is a transfer station with 2 lines, also HSR & TRA train stations, near bus interchange and lot of shopping malls.
      2) Ximen Station, transfer station and also great place for food and shopping.

      Jiufen is a beautiful place to visit – the old streets and meandering stairs. However, I would not recommend to stay in Jiufen as you need to take train and transfer to bus to Jiufen which might be difficult with your large luggage. Best to stay somewhere at the central and take.

      As for caonima, I did not see it during my trip. You can try Cijing Farm.

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    2. Hi Reven, when are u intending for your solo trip? I’m intending to go on a solo trip some time this year. It’s the first time in my 30+ life and I’m excited yet scared. Thinking of meeting or joining other solo travelers might not be a bad idea. Wondering if u are keen and if our timing coincides?

      Cheers,
      Shir

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