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0 Taipei 5 Days 4 Nights Trip Report and Itinerary (Updated)

18 Apr 2015 | 10:25:00

Taipei . 2015 . Jan 17 - 21

The last time we went to Taipei - It was almost 10 years ago!
We have been wanting to go back to Taipei again to visit some of the places that we missed out (e.g. Hualien, Jiufen Old Street, Beitou Hot Springs etc).

The opportunity came when Scoot was having a promotion. Without any hesitation, we booked our tickets 6 weeks before departure and here we go! :)

Here's our itinerary and as usual, the links will be clickable as we update our reviews. Do stay tuned.

Last Updated: 18 Apr 2015

Day 1 - Sat (Jan 17)

2230 - Check in Flight (16 Jan Night)
2300 - Supper @ SATS Premier Lounge
0055 - Board Flight Scoot TZ 202 to Taipei
0530 - Arrive at 桃園國際機場 Terminal 1
0615 - Board Kuo Kwang (國光客運) 1819 Bus to Taipei Train Station
0730 - Reach Taipei Train Station (台北火車站)
0745 - Check-in CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch III (新驛旅店)
0800 - Metro to Dongmen Station (東門捷運站)
0900 - Breakfast @ Ding Tai Fung (鼎泰豐)
1000 - Mango Desert @ Smoothie House (永康街思慕昔)
1130 - Visit Little Three (小三美日)
1300 - Metro to Shilin Station (士林捷運站)
1330 - Bus RED 30 to National Palace Museum (国立故宫博物院)
1400 - Visit National Palace Museum
1600 - Tea Break @ San-hsi-tang (三希堂)
1700 - Bus RED 30 to Jiantan Station (劍潭站)
1730 - MRT to Taipei Train Station
2030 - Back to Hotel

Day 2 - Sun (Jan 18)

0630 - Rise and shine
0700 - Check-out CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch III (新驛旅店)
0740 - Board Puyuma (普悠瑪號) 408 Train to Hualien
0830 - Breakfast on Train
0939 - Cab Pick up at Hualien Train Station (花蓮車站)
0950 - Check in Hotel Bayview Hualien (七星潭渡假飯店)
1000 - Taroko Gorge (太魯閣國家公園) 1 Day Tour
           - Qingshui Cliff (清水斷崖)
           - Shakadang Trail (砂卡礑步道)
1300 - Lunch
1700 - Drop off for Dinner @ Hualien City
1830 - Visit Zi Qiang Night Market (自强夜市)
2100 - Cab Back to Hotel

Day 3 - Mon (Jan 19)

0715 - Rise and shine
0730 - Breakfast @ Hotel Bayview Hualien
0810 - Transfer to Hualien Railway Station
0845 - Board Puyuma 211 Train to Taipei Main Station
1050 - Reach Taipei Main Station
1100 - Check-in Cosmos Hotel (台北天成大飯店)
1130 - Metro to Beitou Station (北投站)
1200 - Reach Beitou
1230 - Complimentary Shuttle to Grand View Resort Beitou (北投麗禧溫泉酒店)
1300 - Enjoy Hotspring
1500 - Metro to Taipei Main Station
1530 - Metro to Taipei 101 Station (台北101站)
1600 - Shopping at Taipei 101
1800 - Dinner @ Shin Yeh (欣葉101食藝軒)
1930 - Metro to Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝复兴站)
2000 - Shopping
2200 - Back to Hotel

Day 4 - Tue (Jan 20)

0730 - Rise and shine
0800 - Breakfast @ Hotel
0900 - Tze-Chiang Limited Express (自強號) 416 to Ruifang
0935 - Reach Ruifang Train Station (瑞芳火車站)
0945 - Cab from Ruifang to Jiufen Old Street (九份老街)
1000 - Walk around Jiufen
1115 - Cab back to Ruifang
1205 - Train 4722 from Ruifang (瑞芳) to Pingxi (平溪)
1300 - Visit 平溪
1523 - Train 4727 from 平溪 to Shifen (十分)
1535 - Visit Shifen Waterfalls
1700 - Release Sky lanterns
1753 - Train 4733 from 十分 to 瑞芳
1829 - Reach 瑞芳
1905 - Chu-Kuang Express (莒光號) 527 to Taipei Train Station
1955 - Reach Taipei Station
2100 - Back to Hotel

Day 5 - Wed (Jan 21)

0800 - Rise and shine
0830 - Breakfast @ Hotel
0900 - Free and Easy
1200 - High Speed Rail Train 649 from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan Station
1219 - Reach Taoyuan HSR Station
1230 - Ubus 705 to Taoyuan Intl Airport Terminal 1
1245 - Check in Flight
1330 - Lunch @ Airport
1545 - Board Flight TZ 201 to Singapore
2015 - Reach Singapore

We hope our itinerary do help you in your planning for a quick getaway trip to Taipei. Do share with us if you have any comments on the itinerary! :) 

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0 Taroko Gorge (太魯閣國家公園) Tour Part 2 - Shakadang Trail (砂卡礑步道), Hualien

15 Apr 2015 | 06:30:00

Taipei . 2015 . Jan 17

This post is part of our Taipei Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

After leaving Qingshui Cliff, our next stop on our Taroko Gorge one day tour was the Shakadang Trail (砂卡礑步道).

Xi La An (西拉岸隨道) and Liwu River

Before reaching the Shakadang Trail, we made another pit-stop at Xi La An (西拉岸隨道) to see the Liwu River.

At the Liwu River basin. The Liwu River runs for over 50 km and covers nearly 2/3 of the Taroko National Park, carving out the natural beauty of the Taroko Gorge over millions of years.

The red indicators on the pillars of the bridge are supposed to measure the water levels of the river! Unfortunately, in winter when we visited, the river has trickled to almost nothing.

This sight could potentially be much more beautiful in summer and fall when the water volume in the river is much higher.  As it is now, we could only see vast expanse of the uncovered river bed.

On Way to Shakadang Trail

Going through Xi La An (西拉岸隨道) tunnel on our way to Shakadang Trail (砂卡礑步道).

Reached the carpark of the Shakadang Trail (砂卡礑步道) within a few minutes.  By this time, this tourist spot was already crowded with people and vehicles.  This was where the only restroom facilities in the vicinity were - very important, because the Shakadang Trail would take at least an hour to complete, provided that you walk fast.

The start of the Shakadang Trail, a 5 minutes walk away from the carpark.  It begins by climbing a long winding set of stairs down to the Shakadang River valley.

Climbing down was no problem at all, but the climbing up after a long walk at the trail proved to be a test of our fitness.

At the base of the flight of stairs is the Shakadang River, which is unfortunately as dried up as the Liwu River.

Information panel on the Shakadang River Valley and the Shakadang Trail.

The part of the Shakadang trail (砂卡礑步道) that is open to visitors is about 1.5km one way, and a return trip on the trail will take approximately 1 -1.5 hrs, depending on your walking speed.

The entire trail is actually much longer, but most visitors had to turn back on reaching Wujianwu (5D cabin), because trekking past that point will require a permit.

Don’t know the name of this bridge, but its unmistakable engine red color serves as a landmark for us to mark the start of a very long walk.

And so we started on the trail. The Shakadang trail is built along the river cliff so visitors can easily observe both the rock formation and plant ecosystems beside the river valley.

One of the advantages of being short - I don’t get my head knocked on the low ceiling.

In fact, for most of the walk, we had to be careful of falling rocks and the low head clearance. Combined with the gravel ground which made walking difficult, this trail is definitely not for the elderly or the young.

The hike follows the crystal-clear Shakadang River as it winds through marble canyons and boulder-strewn flats.  Apparently, it was best to view the Shakadang River in summer and fall where there is maximum water flow.

Looking back at where we started, the red bridge functioning as a landmark for us.  It looked very near, but actually we had been walking for quite a while.

There are a number of stopping/resting points for visitors to appreciate the sparkling blue waters and stunning views of the cliff face.

5D Cabin

At turning point of the Shakadang Trail is Wujianwu (5D Cabin) which is little more than a mini bazaar put up by the local tribe who lives in the area.

The history of Wujianwu.

The stalls are quite bare and sold primarily local handicrafts, very much like the ones we see in Bali.

On our way to Shakadang Trail, our friendly cab driver cum tour guide gave us multiple warnings against buying sausages (香腸)from the bazaar.  Apparently, many of his passengers had eaten this and became ill!

Finally turning back at Wujianwu to take the return walk back!  The return route was some what much easier, because we did not have to stop to take pictures.

It took us nearly an hour of walking at a moderately fast speed, with minimal photo stops to complete the return trip.  Not a very good investment, in our opinion, because in winter, there was hardly any water in the river to see.

Leaving the Shakadang trail via the Shakadang Tunnel (砂卡礑隨道).

A reward for us for staying away from the sausages at Shakadang - lunch break!

We ordered local dishes of wild chicken and leaves of the Fosho (佛手) plant, the latter surprisingly was very good!

Join us next as we travel to our next stop at Taroko Gorge - the Eternal Spring Shrine (長春寺).

This post is part of our Taipei Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To receive notifications on updates, subscribe to our blog via RSS feed and email.

Like us on Facebook @ Discover. Book . Travel and follow us on Twitter @Discoverbooktra!

Do check out our Flickr photos & Youtube videos too!
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