8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

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8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby GaaraOfTheSand » 14 Mar 2012, 03:20

The 4 of us (all young adults) will be in Taiwan for a 8-day vacation in early May 2012. Will be on a budget tour. This is our brief itinerary.

Day 1 (Wed, 2 May):
Arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 11:55am.
Take public transport to Jiayi and then Alishan.
Stay over at Alishan.
Question: Do we have sufficient time to get to Alishan within half a day via public transport?

Day 2 (Thu, 3 May):
Catch sunrise at Alishan.
Forest trails at Alishan.
Proceed to Jiayi and then Taichung.
Fengjia night market, etc.
Stay over in Taichung.

Day 3 (Fri, 4 May):
Proceed to Nantou and then Sun Moon Lake.
Stay over at Sun Moon Lake.
Question: where to stay?

Day 4 (Sat, 5 May):
Proceed back to Nantou, then Taichung and then Miaoli.
Stay over in Miaoli.
Question: What's there to do in Miaoli? Farm stay?

Day 5 (Sun, 6 May):
Return To Taipei.
Stay over in Taipei (CityInn Plus, Ximending).

Day 6 (Mon, 7 May):
Proceed to Yilan, Guishan Island for whale watching.
Jiaoxi hot spring.
Luodong night market.
Return to Taipei City.
Stay over in Taipei (CityInn Plus, Ximending).

Day 7 (Tue, 8 May):
Taipei.
Stay over in Taipei (CityInn Plus, Ximending).

Day 8 (Wed, 9 May):
Taipei.
Catch return flight at 7:50pm.

Alternatively, instead of going to Miaoli on Day 4, we could go to Cingjing Farm (from Sun Moon Lake) and perhaps even Hehuanshan, then return to Taipei on Day 5.

What do you think of the above itinerary?


P.S.: we could read and speak Chinese.
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby Abacus » 14 Mar 2012, 10:10

You'll save a lot of time and probably a little money by renting a car when outside of taipei.

why not go to Cingjing Farm (or Aowanda, Wuling Farm or similar) on Day 4 allowing for sightseeing that day instead of travel. Instead of returning to Taipei on Day 5 you could drive thru Hehuanshan and Taroko gorge and stay that night in Jiaoxi or Yilan. Of course you would need a car for that trip.

Alternatively, instead of going to Miaoli on Day 4, we could go to Cingjing Farm (from Sun Moon Lake) and perhaps even Hehuanshan, then return to Taipei on Day 5.


Day 4 (Sat, 5 May):
Proceed back to Nantou, then Taichung and then Miaoli.
Stay over in Miaoli.
Question: What's there to do in Miaoli? Farm stay?

Day 5 (Sun, 6 May):
Return To Taipei.
Stay over in Taipei (CityInn Plus, Ximending).

Day 6 (Mon, 7 May):
Proceed to Yilan, Guishan Island for whale watching.
Jiaoxi hot spring.
Luodong night market.
Return to Taipei City.
Stay over in Taipei (CityInn Plus, Ximending).
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby Mucha Man » 14 Mar 2012, 11:38

OP, can I ask where you got the idea you have to go to Alishan? Why does this second rate, overrun, shabbed-out mountain "resort" keep getting so much attention?
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby GaaraOfTheSand » 15 Mar 2012, 02:44

Abacus wrote:You'll save a lot of time and probably a little money by renting a car when outside of taipei.

why not go to Cingjing Farm (or Aowanda, Wuling Farm or similar) on Day 4 allowing for sightseeing that day instead of travel. Instead of returning to Taipei on Day 5 you could drive thru Hehuanshan and Taroko gorge and stay that night in Jiaoxi or Yilan. Of course you would need a car for that trip.


Driving is not possible. None of us has driving license.

We have already been to Taroko Gorge and Hualian. Not interested to go for this vacation.

Cingjing Farm vs Miaoli. So you think Cingjing Farm is more interesting? How far is Cingjing Farm to Hehuanshan by public transport?
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby GaaraOfTheSand » 15 Mar 2012, 02:51

Muzha Man wrote:OP, can I ask where you got the idea you have to go to Alishan? Why does this second rate, overrun, shabbed-out mountain "resort" keep getting so much attention?


Good feedback from non-Taiwanese friends who have been to Alishan. Recommended by Taiwanese friends. And not my idea. It's chosen by my travel mates.

And we are not going there for any "resort" experience. But for the sunrise, sea of clouds, forest trails, historical railway, fresh air, etc.

Care to share why you have negative feels towards Alishan? Then which places would you recommend?
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby Feiren » 15 Mar 2012, 09:59

GaaraOfTheSand wrote:The 4 of us (all young adults) will be in Taiwan for a 8-day vacation in early May 2012. Will be on a budget tour. This is our brief itinerary.

Day 1 (Wed, 2 May):
Arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 11:55am.
Take public transport to Jiayi and then Alishan.
Stay over at Alishan.
Question: Do we have sufficient time to get to Alishan within half a day via public transport?


I don't think so. If Wikitravel is right and the last bus leaves at 2pm from Jiayi, then no way.

I think you could spend an interesting half day in Jiayi. Try the turkey rice, go to Houbi/Qingpu by local train, check out the bustling Jiayi night market.


Day 2 (Thu, 3 May):
Catch sunrise at Alishan.
Forest trails at Alishan.
Proceed to Jiayi and then Taichung.
Fengjia night market, etc.
Stay over in Taichung.


Way too much travel. I don't think this is possible.

If you don't have a car or other transport, I'd urge you to reconsider Alishan. The area is great. Where you will end up is a crappy resort with traffic jams of chinese tourist buses at 1800 meters.




Day 3 (Fri, 4 May):
Proceed to Nantou and then Sun Moon Lake.
Stay over at Sun Moon Lake.
Question: where to stay?


There are hundreds of over priced places to stay in this dull tourist trap that the Taiwanese tourist authorities mindlessly promote.

The Lalu is probably pretty nice ;)


Day 4 (Sat, 5 May):
Proceed back to Nantou, then Taichung and then Miaoli.
Stay over in Miaoli.
Question: What's there to do in Miaoli? Farm stay?


Not much. Some good hot springs in Taian. Homestays in nanzhuang. It's a tough place to visit without your own transit.

I'd recommend going up into the Xueba National Park in Taian and staying at Tiangou at the local homestay/campsite set up by the Atayal there. But see above.


Day 5 (Sun, 6 May):
Return To Taipei.
Stay over in Taipei (CityInn Plus, Ximending).

Day 6 (Mon, 7 May):
Proceed to Yilan, Guishan Island for whale watching.
Jiaoxi hot spring.
Luodong night market.
Return to Taipei City.
Stay over in Taipei (CityInn Plus, Ximending)
.

OK, this seems reasonable.

Day 7 (Tue, 8 May):
Taipei.
Stay over in Taipei (CityInn Plus, Ximending).


Day 8 (Wed, 9 May):
Taipei.
Catch return flight at 7:50pm.

Alternatively, instead of going to Miaoli on Day 4, we could go to Cingjing Farm (from Sun Moon Lake) and perhaps even Hehuanshan, then return to Taipei on Day 5.

What do you think of the above itinerary?


P.S.: we could read and speak Chinese.[/quote]

Instead of this itinerary, I would suggest that you focus on southern taiwan--Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Kending.

Or the East Coast if you want more nature. Since you've been to Taroko, head further south. Explore the coast between Hualian and Taidong, Hike in Walami near Yuli. Catch a ferry over to Orchid Island.Spend a couple of days in taipei after orchid island.

Buy the LP or another guidebook. Or check Wikitravel for the basics. If the Taiwanese tourist authorities are promoting a place, it almost certainly is only appropriate for mass tourists traveling by coach. Nothing wrong with that if that is what you want.
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby Abacus » 15 Mar 2012, 10:38

GaaraOfTheSand wrote:
Abacus wrote:You'll save a lot of time and probably a little money by renting a car when outside of taipei.

why not go to Cingjing Farm (or Aowanda, Wuling Farm or similar) on Day 4 allowing for sightseeing that day instead of travel. Instead of returning to Taipei on Day 5 you could drive thru Hehuanshan and Taroko gorge and stay that night in Jiaoxi or Yilan. Of course you would need a car for that trip.


Driving is not possible. None of us has driving license.

We have already been to Taroko Gorge and Hualian. Not interested to go for this vacation.

Cingjing Farm vs Miaoli. So you think Cingjing Farm is more interesting? How far is Cingjing Farm to Hehuanshan by public transport?


Not being able to drive sucks since that restricts you to a lot of places that are overrun with Taiwanese/Chinese tourists. Taiwan is dramatically different once you get off the beaten path.

I don't have any particular affection for the so called farms like Cingjing. it would just make sense as a place to stop before driving over the Central Cross Highway (new route) but you won't have a car. Imo you need to cut your itinerary in half and spend 2 consecutive days somewhere otherwise you are always going to be on a bus or in a bus station. I might also concentrate your trip in a smaller geographic area like Northeast Taiwan to maximize the amount of time that you are doing something instead of the amount of time traveling to the next place.
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby tango42 » 15 Mar 2012, 10:42

Alishan is a nice area to visit if you have time to stroll, but the sunrise is a waste of time and terrible let down.

Was expecting to see the sunrise above the clouds, but turns out the sun comes up over the mountains which is basically the same view as from my place in Taipei watching sunrise over Elephant mountain.

And forget about having a nice peaceful sunrise. There were a few Taiwanese guys with bullhorns standing in front of everyone in the middle of the view competing to see who could talk the loudest giving worthless stories about the area and then trying to get you over to their stall to buy something.

The que and wait for the train was 30 minutes, the train ride was 30 minutes, and the train arrived too late to catch the dawn reflecting off the clouds which the best part. The train arrived a few minutes before the sun peaks at which point you can't look anymore as its too bright.
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby GaaraOfTheSand » 16 Mar 2012, 00:19

Feiren wrote:Instead of this itinerary, I would suggest that you focus on southern taiwan--Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Kending.

Or the East Coast if you want more nature. Since you've been to Taroko, head further south. Explore the coast between Hualian and Taidong, Hike in Walami near Yuli. Catch a ferry over to Orchid Island.Spend a couple of days in taipei after orchid island.


Thanks for the suggestion.

Flying into Taipei. 8 days (actually only 7.5days) enough to cover the above places and Taipei?
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Re: 8-day Itinerary in Taiwan in May 2012: Advice Needed!

Postby GaaraOfTheSand » 16 Mar 2012, 00:25

Abacus wrote:
GaaraOfTheSand wrote:
Abacus wrote:I might also concentrate your trip in a smaller geographic area like Northeast Taiwan to maximize the amount of time that you are doing something instead of the amount of time traveling to the next place.


That's the type of vacation I would like... not going to too much places.. just taking time slowly to appreciate a small area. But alas! My travel mates prefer more varieties and places :(

Maybe when I'm travelling alone in future, or if I could find mates who feel the same way as me, I could try that.
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