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About My Trip to Taiwan

My trip to Taiwan was a whirlwind adventure! It all began with a long flight from Minneapolis to Taipei, with layovers in Dallas and Hong Kong. Luckily, I managed to score a comfortable seat on the second leg with American Airlines, and the WiFi helped me stay connected during the journey.

Upon arrival in Taipei, I opted for convenience and stayed at the Novotel Taoyuan International Airport since I landed late at night. The hotel was a great choice, especially with their complimentary shuttle service from the terminal.

Taipei itself was a vibrant city. I visited the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Park. The museum within the memorial hall provided a fascinating glimpse into Taiwanese history.

For a more spiritual experience, I explored both Longshan Temple and the Qingshan Temple. While Longshan Temple introduced me to the beauty of Buddhist temples, Qingshan Temple offered a more intimate atmosphere. Both visits were a chance to learn about local beliefs and find serenity amidst the city bustle.

No trip to Taipei would be complete without visiting Taipei 101, the former tallest building in the world. Though the view from the top floor was a bit hazy, I still enjoyed exploring the high-end stores and grabbing a bite at the food court below.

Venturing out of Taipei, I embarked on a journey to the breathtaking Taroko National Park. While the train ride wasn’t the most comfortable, the park’s natural beauty with its hiking trails and refreshing breeze quickly made up for it. For the return trip, I flew back to Taipei from Hualien with Uni Air. The short flight on a propeller plane was smooth and a welcome change from the train.

Overall, my trip to Taiwan offered a unique blend of experiences. From exploring historical sites and serene temples to enjoying stunning natural beauty, it was truly an enriching and unforgettable adventure.

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I booked a trip from Minneapolis to Taipei with layovers in Dallas Fort-Worth and Hong Kong. I was excited to explore a new city and experience a different culture.

My journey began at Minneapolis. I flew on American Airlines from Minneapolis to Dallas Fort-Worth and then to Hong Kong. The first two legs were on American Airlines 777-300ER aircraft. The flight was long, so I decided to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra for more legroom. The WiFi on the plane was good value for the price and helped me stay connected during the flight. The food was typical airline food – nothing special, but it filled me up.

In Hong Kong, I switched to Cathay Pacific for the final leg to Taipei. The flight was delayed for over an hour, which was frustrating, but the flight attendants were friendly and served a delicious meal. Overall, the trip was long but enjoyable. I was especially impressed with the service on Cathay Pacific.

I landed in Taipei late at night and needed a hotel close to the airport. The Novotel Taoyuan International Airport was the highest-rated hotel and had a complimentary shuttle from the terminal, so I decided to stay there. The room was modern and had a cool rain-style shower. 

Breakfast wasn’t included in the room rate, but the buffet offered both Western and Taiwanese options. Overall, the room was $162 USD per night, and breakfast was an additional $21 USD. 

Since I arrived late, having a hotel close to the airport with a complimentary shuttle was really convenient. I would definitely recommend this hotel to other travelers arriving late at night

Stuck at my hotel before check-in time and sweltering in the Taipei heat, I decided to take a gamble on the 2-28 Memorial Peace Park. Hoping to find some shade, I hopped on a train from my airport hotel to Taipei Main Station and then made my way to the park.

As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one with this idea. The park was full of people! Everyone seemed to be taking advantage of the shade – reading, doing yoga, meditating, even working out. I spent the next thirty minutes wandering the park’s paths, checking out the lakes and temples. In the center, I found a big monument dedicated to the victims of the uprising. I even went inside and climbed up for a fantastic view of the whole city. It was a pretty unexpected way to spend the afternoon, but definitely a peaceful one.

I visited the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Park in Taipei, Taiwan.

I got there by public transportation – it was the easiest way to navigate the area. The park itself was beautiful, with the National Theater and Concert Hall adding to the grandeur. To reach the memorial hall at the far end of the park, I climbed 89 steps – a bit of a workout, but worth it for the view! 

There was a changing of the guard ceremony happening, but I wasn’t up for the wait. Inside the memorial hall, I found a museum dedicated to Chiang Kai-shek’s life – a great way to learn about Taiwanese history.

I visited Longshan Temple in Taipei, Taiwan. It was my first time visiting a Buddhist temple, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I entered the temple, I took off my hat, following the lead of others. The atmosphere was serene and respectful. I wandered around the temple, observing how others worshipped. There were shrines to Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, and Mazu, a Chinese sea goddess. 

I wished I had learned more about the temple’s history and significance before my visit, but I still enjoyed the experience. I would recommend visiting Longshan Temple and learning a bit about it beforehand so you can appreciate it even more.

I visited the Qingshan Temple in Taipei, Taiwan. It was interesting to learn that the temple was built in 1854 after a statue of King Qingshan refused to leave Taiwan. People seem to believe that King Qingshan protects the area from evil spirits. There’s even a festival called “Night Patrol” held on King Qingshan’s birthday. Another interesting thing I learned is that visitors can throw oracle blocks to receive blessings. The Qingshan Temple is generally less crowded than the Longshan Temple, which might be a good thing if you’re looking for a quieter experience.

I visited Taipei 101, once the world’s tallest building. I entered the building through the mall and found high-end stores and a food court with many options. I took an escalator to the fifth floor to begin my visit to the observation deck. The trip to the 89th floor cost $20. There is a restaurant, souvenir shops, and an observation area on the 89th floor. I found the view to be a bit hazy due to the time of day and the sunlight reflecting off the haze, but I still took many pictures. I recommend going on a clear day for the best views.

Hualien and Taroko Gorge

I visited Taroko National Park from Taipei on a marathon day trip. I booked a train ticket from Taipei to Hualien Station, but the ride was uncomfortable. So on the way back I forfeit my train ticket and booked a flight.

Upon arrival at Hualien Station, I decided to take the Hop-on/Hop-off bus to the park. I befriended another traveler and explored the park together. The park is beautiful, but we got stuck having to walk back to our bus stop after one hike. We saw some monkeys and enjoyed the cool breeze. Overall, the park is worth visiting, but be prepared for unexpected road closures and long walks.

I flew from Hualien to Taipei on Uni Air to escape a miserable train ride. The flight was only 25 minutes and much more pleasant than the train.

I arrived at the Hualien Airport 90 minutes before my flight and found it nearly empty. The flight was delayed because the incoming aircraft arrived late.

The security checkpoint opened 30 minutes before boarding, and I had to throw away my sunscreen because it wasn’t carry-on friendly.

The flight itself was quick and smooth on a small ATR-72 turbo prop plane. There was plenty of legroom, even though I wasn’t seated next to anyone. We received juice boxes for the short flight.

I landed at Taipei’s Songshan Airport and easily hopped on the metro back to my hotel. Overall, this was a much better way to travel than the train.