Hold your breath.
“Paano?” “Di ko din alam. Siguro mas madaling gampanan ng isang poste ang pagiging poste kaysa isang tao na mabuhay at maging ganap na tao.” “Sobrang Labo” “Hmmm.. ano ba yun? I-google mo ang sagot” “Ikaw matagal nang ginagawa yan! Share mo!” “Haha! Labo…”
Those days we miss to appreciate what’s right in front of us – we repay with the fact that we will never know what could’ve been.
Here are some pictures of Marikina Valley. If you wake up early enough, you might just be able to catch the sheets of fog rising up to the Ateneo Hill.
Here’s a no frills guide to Taipei that you can use for your trip:
Take Bus 1819 (Kuokuang Line) from the airport to Taipei Main Station for NT$125 per person (5:30AM to 12:20AM). If you’re arriving outside the given bus schedule or you just want to save time and go straight to your hotel, you can take the taxi which would cost around NT$1200.
For ease and savings in transportation while you’re in the city, get an Easy Card and load it up with NT$500. This will be enough for around 3 days for your train and bus rides. You can spend the extra credit on purchases from convenience stores like 7-eleven or Family Mart.
If you want to bike around Taipei, try the U-bikes that can be found in bike kiosks all over the city. You will need an Easy Card and a Taiwanese mobile number to register at the kiosks. It would be a great help if you know someone who has a mobile number.
Since a Taipei trip is almost all about food, it would be a good idea to choose a hostel near one of the night market areas (Shilin or Ximending) so you won’t have trouble travelling back to you hotel after a night of pigging out on all the street food that you want to try.
Taipei Main Station is also a good area since it’s very accessible to and from the Airport.
Below is a sample itinerary for those who have limited time in Taipei but want to visit as many tourist spots as possible.
Day 1: Essential Taipei
Longshan Temple – Light some incense sticks and offer some prayers.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial and National Theatre – Enjoy walking and taking pictures around the memorial grounds.
Lunch: Din Tai Fung Xiyan – the first branch of this world-acclaimed restaurant
Taipei 101 Mall and Observatory – best time to go up is right before twilight so you can see the view transition from day to night.
Dinner: Modern Toilet – your usual food served in toilet bowls and urinals.
Ximending Night Market – a very young and vibrant crowd awaits in here
Day 2: Northern Taipei
National Palace Museum – most popular exhibits: Meat-shaped Stone and Jadeit Cabbage
Yangmingshan National Park
Beitou Hot Springs – visit the Japanese Bath House Museum on the way to the Thermal Valley and dip your feet in one of the accessible streams.
Dansui – go around the old town to check out the old buildings then ride a bus to the Fisherman’s Wharf to enjoy the sunset from the Lover’s Bridge.
Shilin Night Market – this is arguably the best place to try all the Taiwanese street food.
Day 3: Sunset Views of Taipei from the Top
a) Taipei Zoo and Maokong – see the cute pandas and enjoy a laid-back gondola (cable-car) ride to Maokong for tea. Make your way back to the city just in time for sunset for a breathtaking vista of Taipei.
b) Elephant Mountain – a physically demanding long hike within the city with a rewarding view of Taipei.
Day 4: Jiufen and Yehliu
If you still have some time to spare, do a day trip around Northeast Taiwan to see rock formations and traditional villages.
Other places you might want to explore within Taipei are the Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Martyrs’ Shrine. You may want to include these in your itinerary if you have extra time.
The Philippine government has just released the official list of Holidays in 2015. Here are the long weekends to help you plan your trips: