Around Taipei in 48 Hours

Not all of my trips lasts long as I would like them to be. It usually depends if I schedule it near a long holiday and if I need to file a leave from my day job. This Taipei trip of mine was really unplanned and just out of the spur. I only had the weekend to make the most out of my trip. I left Manila Friday night and would be leaving Taipei late Sunday evening just in time to get back to work Monday morning.

There are just so many things to see and I had to decide which attractions I would like to visit in a short span of time. In all of my trips, I always stick to my general rule when choosing places to see. There should be at least one of each, someplace modern / cityscape, someplace that has a cultural or religious significance, and lastly someplace which is a natural attraction. I also considered the proximity of these places to each other to save on travel time. With these guidelines in mind, let me share with you how I spent 48 hours around Taipei.

THE PLAN
Saturday – Day 1
8:00AM – Wake up call, breakfast
9:00AM – Hike up Elephant Mountain view point
12:00PM – Taipei 101 Observation deck
2:00PM – Late lunch at Taipei 101 mall
4:00PM – Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
6:00PM – Dinner, explore, shop at Ximending

Sunday – Day 2
9:00AM – Wake up call, breakfast
10:00AM – Travel to Jiufen
11:30AM – Arrival at Jiufen / Lunch
12:30PM – Explore Jiufen
3:30PM – Travel back to Taipei
5:00PM – Arrival at AirBnb, pack up
6:00PM – Travel to the airport

Saturday – Day 1

9:00AM – Hike up Elephant Mountain
My first destination is Elephant Mountain. This is one of the more popular urban hike just close to Taipei and would give you a great overlooking view of the city and of course Taipei 101. I consider this as a “natural attraction” in my personal guide. Going up takes around 40 mins depending on your fitness level.

Google Maps: Click here
Opening Hours: 24 hours, daily
Cost: Free admission
Best time to go: Early morning or late afternoon to catch the sunset
How to get there: Take the MRT and get off at Xiangshan Station. From here there is a 15 min walk through a park and you will see this stairway going up the mountain.
Tips: Bring your own water and a nice camera for pictures

The stairway going up to Elephant Mountain. The hike takes around 1 hour to the top
View of beautiful Taipei city

12:00PM – Taipei 101 Observation Deck
Of course, one if not the most iconic landmark in all of Taiwan, the Taipei 101 building. Once considered the world’s tallest building from 2004 – 2010 and also has the fastest elevator during that time. This is an attraction I consider someplace modern which is a contrast from the Elephant Mountain hike. I also made sure to visit the observation deck at the XX floor. There is also a shopping mall located at the ground floor and a food court where I ate lunch.

Google Maps: Click here
Opening Hours: 11:00AM – 10:00PM weekdays and 10:00AM – 10:00PM weekends. Last admission is at 8:30PM
Cost: PHP 1,000 per person
Best time to go: Late afternoon during sunset until early evening
How to get there: Take the red line (Xiangshan train) to and get off at Taipei 101 station 

Taipei 101
Downtown Taipei view from the observatory
Elephant Mountain seen from the observatory
This is what I ate at the Taipei 101 mall. Noodles with dumplings

4:00PM – Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
Next stop would be someplace with a cultural significance and no better place than the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial. This is big open area where you can also see the Liberty Square and the National Theater. It is also surrounded by a park where people usually just stroll around and have a nice time. Inside the Memorial Hall is a monument of the great Chiang Kai Shek. Unfortunately during my visit, the hall was being re painted thus the hall being covered.

Google Maps: Click here
Opening Hours: 9:00AM – 6:00PM daily
Cost: Free admission
Best time to go: Late afternoon to avoid the sun
How to get there: Take THSR or train to Taipei Station. transfer Taipei MRT to CKS Memorial Hall Station, take exit 5

Its unfortunate that the memorial is under construction
The park around the area
The National Theater
Chiang Kai Shek Statue

6:00PM – Dinner, explore, shop at Ximending
Ximending is one of the more busier areas in Taipei. It has malls, shops, restaurants, and full of people going around the area. I can compare this place to Tsim Tsa Tsui in Hong Kong and Shibuya in Tokyo. I also made sure to drop by my favorite shop RVCA and pick up a few items.

Google Maps: Click here
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Cost: Free admission
Best time to go: Around 6PM where people usually go around and shop
How to get there: Take the MRT and get off at Ximen Station. Take exit 6

RVCA store!
A little bit of shopping in Ximending

Sunday – Day 2


12:30PM – Explore Jiufen Old Street
Jiufen old steet is no longer part of Taipei but is located in Ruifang District which is around 1.5 hours from Taipei by bus. Jiufen is a top tourist destination in Taiwan and is mostly known as a Real-World inspiration of the anime movie, Spirited Away. As a fan of the movie, this is the main reason why I decided to visit here. What used to be a gold mining town back in the day, Jiufen is now packed with food stalls, tea houses, restaurants, and souvenir shops. There are several alleys within the area decorated with beautiful lanterns which really gives you that Spirited Away feels.

Google Maps: Click here
Opening Hours: 8:00AM – 10:00PM, daily
Cost: Free admission
Best time to go: Around 6PM where people usually go around and shop
How to get there: Take the MRT blue line and get off at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station Exit 1. From there, take bus 1062 straight to Jiufen old street. Please click here to view the time tables for bus 1062

Jiufen Old Street

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