Day 1.0 – Taipei Main Station to Chang Kai Shek
We stayed at Oxygen Hotel that is about 3-5 minute walk to Taipei Main Station. Taipei Main Station is the transportation hub of Taipei, you can find the station for the Metro Train (MRT), Aiport Train, THSR or the bullet train and bus station, it is also interconnected to the different malls. The nearest exit in our hotel is Z10 and across the street is z5. So after our breakfast, we walk to Taipei Main Station to look for the MRT, it is very easy to navigate inside the Main Station even though the place is really huge. You can find a lot of signage pointing to the location of each transportation. Once we found the MRT station we look for the Red Line – Tamsui Xinyi Line, train intervals are about 7.5 minutes; you can easily check the upcoming train thru monitors in the station. You need to board the train going to Xinyi and from TMS it will only take 2 stops to reach Chang Kai Shek Memorial Park (NTU stop and Chang Kai Shek Stop). Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is open from 9AM to 6PM daily except for holidays. It consists of a Green City Garden – the park that is about 25 hectares. White walls, blue tiled roof and pavilions surround it. You can also see Exhibition Halls and the Archway where it’s inscribed with characters “liberty square” which is the most majestic ceremonial arch in Taiwan. Since it is hot during our visit we only stayed for a about 45minustes – 1 hour in this location.
Day 1.1 – Taipei 101, Starbucks 35th floor in Taipei 101
From Chang Kai Shek Memorial we planned to visit the iconic Taipei 101 and the Highest Starbucks (as claimed in the reviews) at the 35th floor of Taipei 101.
We went back to MRT station – Chang Kai Shek and boarded the train (Red Line – Tamsui – Xinyi Line) towards Xinyi; it took us 6 stops to reach Taipei 101 station – World Trade Center. You will enter the mall, go to the fifth floor and show your Fun Pass tickets to avail of the observatory tickets. Taipei 101 Observatory is open from 9AM – 10PM daily. It is not crowded during our visit and in few minutes, we were on our way to the 89th floor. We rode the fastest elevator with the max speed of 1010M/Min and took us 35 seconds to climb the 89th floor. At the observatory, you will see the view of the city in all directions.
It also has a museum where visitors can learn about the construction of the building and in 88th floor; visitors can find the big wind damper. You can also access the outdoor observatory deck at the 91st floor, which is accessible thru staircase. By the way, I almost forgot to mention that shorts and slippers are not allowed in Taipei 101.
After our visit at the observation deck, it is now time to go to the 35th floor Starbucks at the same Building. You cannot go to this Starbucks store without reservation, as I read from previous blogs you need to call the store one day in advance and you need to know how to speak the local language – Mandarin to reserve a seat. Therefore, before, we land, I asked our hotel to reserve for seats for us and luckily, they got us a reservation. You need to go to the ground floor of the building and look for the signage of the Starbucks line or just ask the receptionist. A Barista will go down to fetch all the visitors few minutes before your scheduled reservation, you need to show your reservation number to her, and she will escort the group to the 35th floor store. Each person should spend a minimum of 200NTD and only allowed to stay for 90 minutes. The view in from the store is nice; you can also see the city from here. It will be a great alternative in case you do not have enough money to visit the 89th floor observatory deck.
Day 1.2 – National Palace and Miramar Park
Our next stop is National Palace and Miramar Park. From Taipei 101, we decided to go back to our hotel first to freshen up.
From Taipei Main Station, we again boarded the MRT Red Line – Tamsui Xinyi Line to Shilin Station, it will be the sixth stop from TMS. From there you have to walk to the bus station and board the bus R30, 815, or 255 all will pass through National Palace.
Since we have the Fun Pass we do not have to pay for bus rides we just need to tap our cards, do not forget to tap upon boarding and tap again once you alight. National Palace is huge and beautiful. It houses collection of Ancient Chinese Artifacts. Since I have my kids with me we did not stay long, we only took several photos and spend sometime at the park.
To reach Miramar Park, we need to go to the Bus Station which is 6 minute walk (Waishuangxi station) and board the bus 645 that will take us to Jiuzhuang (2nd stop) and from there you can already see the Ferris wheel which is about 5 minute walk. Miramar Ferris wheel is inside the big shopping mall with lots of entertainment inside. It is located on top of the shopping mall (5th floor). We do not need to pay for the tickets once again since it is included in the Fun Pass we bought. You can choose a glass floor cabin or the ordinary cabin; we only choose the ordinary one. The whole ride is about 17 minutes; you can see the city from the top of the Ferris wheel. It is an awesome experience!
After this, we are feeling hungry so we board the bus going back to Shilin Station and from there the Shilin Night Market is about 10-15 minute walk. Shilin Market is consider as one of the biggest Night markets in Taipei. It is a combination of food stalls and non – food stores everywhere. Unlike other Night Markets that we have visited in other countries, this one is very crowded. Shilin Night Market opens at 2PM until 1:00AM or 2:00AM.
We ate our dinner is one of the diners there, we ordered braised pork, Chinese Chicken, and Seafood Ramen. The food is not excellent but according to my son, the Seafood Ramen is delicious. We spent 550 NTD for four of us including the extra rice, coke and water.
After that we went outside to try other food, we had the vegetable wrap with bacon (not sure what it is called) it is 25 NTD per piece, Takoyaki with baby octopus which is 100NTD for 6 pcs, and grilled cheese for 55 NTD. After few hours of food tripping we finally decided to go back to our hotel and call it a day.