I went to Taiwan for four days and three nights, and I’ll write about it in my blog as a travelogue. The four days were filled with spectacular scenery, cafes, and sundry goods.
The refreshing smoothies that weren’t too sweet, the Taiwanese goods that made me feel nostalgic, the bustling night markets that made me eat too much, the spectacular scenery that made me feel as if I had wandered into the world of a movie… all of it was wonderful, and I came back fully immersed in Taiwanese culture. Please refer to this article as a reference for women’s travel.
This article is the first part of a four-day, three-night trip that covers the first two days.
- Travel itinerary
- Arrive in Taiwan after leaving Japan
- Leave our luggage at the hotel and go sightseeing
- First, we went to “Seipin Bookstore”, the model for the Daikanyama Tsutaya Bookstore
- “Meat Up” is known for its delicious smoothies.
- Eating Taiwanese food at Shilin Night Market
- Beginning of the second day, we started at Dihua Street
- Take a basket bag as a souvenir at Gao Jian Tub Store
- Cute bird motif goods 「Stampura」
- Take a break at “ASW” where you can drink Taiwanese tea
- Take a bus to Jioumin
- Check in at our hotel in Jiufen
- Jiufen is like being lost in a movie world
- Dinner in the Jiufen
- The long awaited night shot of the nine-minute night view
Day 1: Sightseeing in Taipei
Buy some Taiwanese cosmetics at Seipin Bookstore
Meet up at a cafe
Shilin Night Market
Day 2: Dihua Street to Jiufen
Shop for sundries at Dihua Street.
Take a bus to Jioumin and stay overnight.
Day 3: From Jiuquan to Cat-village and Shifen
After walking around Jioucun, visit Cat Village and Suffolk Lantern Festival, then return to Taipei.
Day 4: Taipei Sightseeing
Visit Kazan 1914, a factory renovated into an art facility, and buy some souvenirs at Carrefour.
Arrive in Taiwan after leaving Japan
I went to Taiwan with Vanilla Air, an LCC.
I bought my ticket more than 3 months in advance, and it cost $200 per person for the round trip and everything else, which I think is an average price for an LCC.
I think it’s an average price for LCC, but you can get a round trip ticket for around 10,000 yen when LCC is on sale. (Reference article: How much does it cost to travel to Taiwan?)
If you are planning to go to Taiwan and haven’t made a reservation yet, you should check out the HIS page. I compared travel agencies, and the cheapest one I found was HIS, with prices starting at $198 for a 4-day itinerary including airfare and hotel.
I left Narita at 9:00 a.m. and arrived in Taiwan just after noon. I flew with Vanilla Air, an LCC, and there were no personal monitors on the plane, so I had a lot of free time.
It’s a good idea to be able to watch videos offline.
I had planned to leave my luggage at the hotel and go sightseeing right away, but at this point, my plans had drastically shifted…
We arrived at Taoyuan Airport, but the airport was crowded. It took us almost two hours to complete all the formalities and pick up our luggage.
Oh, it wasn’t supposed to be like this….
But we couldn’t stay disappointed, so we quickly exchanged money, $300 per person.
We went to the airport food court and bought tapioca milk tea, chicken, and some kind of hot dog. We had a late lunch.
I can’t describe how cute this bear is. I often saw him in Taiwan. I wonder if he’s famous?
The chicken was large, so we split it in half. The taste was a little strong, but it was delicious with a refreshing lemon flavor…!
The tapioca was glutinous and made me happy. After all, drinking something sweet makes me feel better.
Leave our luggage at the hotel and go sightseeing
Now that our stomachs are full, it’s time to move on. I’m going to leave my luggage at the hotel.
We took the MRT from the airport to the city. It costs about $6 one way.
The subway is the most convenient way to get around Taipei. Just like in Tokyo, it runs everywhere, so you can go anywhere.
I bought a ticket for unlimited rides within 24 hours. The fare was $6.66 (180 TWD).
We had booked a hotel for about $30 per person per night. It was spacious, clean, and we were very happy.
We stayed at a hotel called “Green World Jianbei (Luogang Hotel Jianbei)”.
It was already around 5:00 p.m. We were supposed to arrive around 3:00 p.m., but…
If you’re planning to go to Taiwan, you might want to think about missing the first day of your trip. It’s a busy airport…
I’ll get back on track and start visiting all the places I want to go!
First, we went to “Seipin Bookstore”, the model for the Daikanyama Tsutaya Bookstore
We went to the Seipin Bookstore, which we wanted to visit in Taiwan. I heard that this was the model for the Tsutaya bookstore in Daikanyama.
It seems that everything that is popular in Japan is already available overseas.
We went to the Xinyi branch. It seems that there are several stores in Taipei.
Seipin Bookstore is a bookstore, and as such, it is mainly a bookstore. It is not only a bookstore, but also a stylish cafe, sundries, bags, cosmetics, gourmet food, and everything related to lifestyle.
In Japan, it’s like having a stylish Tsutaya bookstore and a Tokyu Hands store that sells everything together in a super stylish building.
It’s not something you’d expect to find in Japan, and I was fascinated by the fact that a retail store could offer such a complete lifestyle solution. (I couldn’t take any pictures of the inside of the store.
It seems that Taiwanese people are very fond of Japan, and there are so many Japanese things here. There was even a floor with almost all Japanese items, which made me laugh a little.
The Seipin Bookstore is also a great place to pick up souvenirs since it has almost all the cosmetics from Taiwan.
I bought a hand cream from a ginger cosmetic brand from Taiwan. (Reference article: 16 Limited Edition Souvenirs from Taiwan! I know what cosmetics, sundries, and snacks to buy! You can find out which cosmetics, sundries and snacks to buy!)
It has ginger in it, but it smells softly of rose. When I applied it to my hands, I started to feel a little faint…!
“Meat Up” is known for its delicious smoothies.
Moving on from Seipin Bookstore, we went to “Meat Up”. This store is famous for its delicious smoothies and cute cafe.
It was very cold that day, but I wanted to have a smoothie, so I went there.
The interior is still cute. The interior seems to change with the seasons.
The smoothies were refreshing and not too sweet. It was as delicious as its reputation.
Eating Taiwanese food at Shilin Night Market
The last stop on the first day was the Shilin Night Market. Food is very cheap in Taiwan.
Everything can be bought for about a dollar, so I tend to eat too much.
The pepper cakes and small packages were delicious! I was worried about the smell of stinky tofu because I heard that night markets in Taiwan have a strong smell, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be. The smell was definitely strong near the stinky tofu shop, but it subsided once we left the store. I guess I don’t have to worry so much about it.
I was very tired that day, so I wandered around the night market for a bit, ate what I wanted to eat, and went back to the hotel.
Beginning of the second day, we started at Dihua Street
The second day of the tour. On this day, we will visit Dihua Street, the oldest wholesale street in Taipei, and move to 9 minutes in the afternoon.
First, we went to Dihua Street to look for groceries. Dihua Street used to be a wholesaler street famous for dried fruits, tea, nuts, and other dried goods. It is now a hot spot for renovation, with new general stores and cafes opening one after another.
There is not much information about this area in the guidebook, but I had a feeling that I would be able to find something cute at Dihua Street.
My impression of the place was that it exceeded my expectations! It was a place that exceeded my expectations. It was full of cute things, and it was the most exciting part of the trip.
It was a Sunday, so it was a pedestrian mall. It was a Sunday, so we were free to walk around at our leisure.
It is a place where old-fashioned buildings still exist, so you can take photogenic pictures.
A place with many cute buildings. This is where we started our tour of general stores.
Take a basket bag as a souvenir at Gao Jian Tub Store
Gao Jian Tub Store is a famous store in Dihua Street. It is famous for its wide variety of plastic band woven basket bags. (Reference article: 3 recommended general stores and cafes in Dihua Street! A photogenic way to walk around the city)
I also spent a lot of time choosing. I took home a large light blue basket for about $5. It is also used in Japan when I go to the supermarket every week.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy this small bag, but I should have… These durable containers that don’t mind getting wet are very useful in the kitchen.
Next time I go back, I want to buy a variety of different sizes.
I also bought a brightly dyed bamboo luncheon mat here. These are also being used in our home.
Cute bird motif goods 「Stampura」
「Stampura」 is a fabric goods store that sells bird prints. This general store is very cute. They have a wide variety of small items such as pouches, handkerchiefs, luncheon mats, accessory cases, aprons, and more, so you’re sure to find something you like.
I bought a computer case as a souvenir.
It looks like a flower pattern, but if you look closely, you will see that it is a bird pattern. Having this computer case makes my daily work a little bit more fun.
Take a break at “ASW” where you can drink Taiwanese tea
Dihua Street is full of stores and it’s a lot more walkable than I expected. After we were satisfied with our shopping, we took a break at ASW, which we had wanted to visit.
At ASW, you can drink tea made from Taiwanese tea leaves. The price was about $8, but I was able to drink about four cups of tea in a large pot.
The interior of this cafe is also very cute.
Dark green walls and colorful chic bookshelves. I was soothed by the quiet interior and the rich and delicious tea.
If it were in Tokyo, I would definitely go there every week…
It’s a great place to relax and have a nice cup of tea when you are in Dihua.
Take a bus to Jioumin
I was actually planning to have lunch near Dihua Street, but the time for the bus to go to Jioumin was running out…
We hurriedly bought lunch at a convenience store and got on the bus.
There are several ways to get to Jiufen, but we chose to take a bus that didn’t require a transfer.
There is a Keelung Bus bound for Jiufen and Jinguashih (Route 1062) near Exit 2 of Zhongxiao Fuxing Station on the MRT (Taipei Main Line) Nangang Line, which leaves every 30 minutes. The fare is about $3 one way.(Reference article: 7 Things to Do in Jiufen! How to get to the famous photo spots even if it’s your first time)
After about an hour and a half on the bus, we arrived at Jiufen.
Check in at our hotel in Jiufen
After arriving in Kowloon, we checked into the hotel where we would stay for the night.
It is possible to go to Jiufen on a day trip from Taipei, but we wanted to see both night and morning, so we stayed overnight.
We wanted to see both night and morning, so we stayed overnight. The hotels in the town are more like private accommodations.
We stayed at a hotel called “Per Fan Kwong B&B”. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the center of Kowloon. The hotel is also connected to a FamilyMart, so it’s very convenient.
I left my luggage at the hotel and went for a walk around the city.
Jiufen is like being lost in a movie world
It was already about 16:00 and the place was overflowing with people. The streets are narrow…
I really felt as if I had wandered into the world of a movie.
It was raining hard that day, but the fog made the scenery look even more fantastic.
It’s really in the mountains.
Dinner in the Jiufen
It was a bit too crowded, so we decided to stop taking pictures and have dinner.
I ate two xiaolongbao in a row…still delicious!
There are many restaurants in Jiufen. The streets were very crowded in the evening, but the restaurants were not that crowded.
However, many restaurants close around 6:30 p.m., so it would be better to eat dinner early.
The long awaited night shot of the nine-minute night view
I really wanted to take this picture! Night view of Jiufen.
It’s crowded in the evenings, but since there are many day trippers, the crowds start to thin out around 7:30pm. This was the time I wanted to take this photo.
The economy was really beautiful with the red lanterns lighting up.
I wanted to look at it forever, but it was cold and raining heavily… lol
At around 8:00 p.m., I quit shooting and went back to the hotel. This is the end of the first part.
Click here for the second part from the third day.
▼ Click here for a Taiwan travel guide that includes model courses, travel costs, and what to bring.