Layover in Taipei
Replies: 9 - Last Post: May 1, 2012 1:55 PM Last Post By: gnaij
Apr 29, 2012 10:30 AM
Layover in TaipeiNext Saturday my husband and I will be traveling from the US to Bangkok with a 6 hour layover in Taipei. Would it be reasonable for us to plan a little 2-3 hour adventure outside of the airport, to go to a park, or market or something? If so, any suggestions as where to go would be greatly appreciated ( : We will have backpacks with us (no checked luggage). Its my first time traveling to Asia, and Im a little nervous to venture out of the airport, when we will be so close to our final destination- but heck- when will I ever be in China agian? So, I'd like to if its recommended...
Apr 29, 2012 10:37 AM
1You could definitely do it in six hours. I had a 5-6 hour stopover once in Taipei and I got a taxi (40 minutes) into Taipei and went up the Taipei 101 tower. Immigration was quick, she asked how long I would be in Taipei, I said just 5 hours to see the tower, she was not fazed by this.
The have a large modern shopping mall at the base of the tower.
Note that there can be 30+ minute lines to go up to the top of the tower, so you may want to go up the tower first thing rather than shopping, wandering around, and then going up the tower, as you could get caught in a long line.
The tower may not interest you but if there's a park or market in Taipei that interests you then, yes, you can see it in a six hour stopover.
Apr 29, 2012 10:48 AM
2oops- I meant Taiwan- not China.... how embarrassing ( : Gosh, I'm in trouble...As a 6 foot blonde, Im going ot stick out like a sore thumb, especially if Im wandering around thinking I'm in China... Thanks for the help- I CLEARLY need it ( ;
Apr 29, 2012 12:21 PM
3What times of day are your arrival and departures?
I would not prioritize Taipei 101 if I only had a few hours in Taipei. You will be wasting a bunch of time waiting in line with a bunch of mainland Chinese tourists there, and the view isn't all that special. Seeing the building from afar will be good enough.
I'd need to know your times to give you more specifics, but I would first head to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, stroll the grounds, see the changing of the guard, and take a quick look at the museum downstairs. Then take a quick taxi or MRT ride over to Longshan Temple. That should be all you will have time for. And maybe a meal.
Allow 40 minutes between city and airport by taxi, 1 hour if you take the bus. Taxi will cost $900-1200 for the car, while the bus will cost $150 per person. With the time you have, I suggest you just pay for the taxi.
Apr 29, 2012 1:01 PM
Apr 29, 2012 4:24 PM
Apr 29, 2012 6:38 PM
6For my money, early morning is the best time to be walking around Taipei (Or HK). You'll see the city wake up.
Each to their own and everything but I never found that much to interest me in Taipei. Towers don't float my boat, white granite/marble edifices dedicated to the memory of murderous dictators are of no interest and Buddhist Temples!!! Oh God! Spare me another Buddhist Temple! The night-markets can be fun but, obviously, you won't be there for one of them.
Taipei Museum is nice (You can view all the treasures that Chiang Kai-shek stole from the Forbidden City), if a little tedious (there are only so many Tang Dynasty clay figurines one can view without becoming a tad bored) and the food is good. The Chou Dofu is a must-try for all visitors to Taiwan.
Apr 29, 2012 10:31 PM
7The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall doesn't open until 9AM (but the grounds are always open, and you'll see old people practicing taichi if you arrive early). Longshan Temple opens at 6AM. Given your timing, I would visit Longshan Temple first - it will take you up to 30 minutes to pop in and have a quick look. And after that head to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, which will take you an hour at a minimum to see properly.
Taxi driver instructions:
1. Longshan Temple 龍山寺
2. Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall 中正紀念堂
3. Taoyuan Airport 桃園機場
Will you be checked into your connecting flight, or do you need to arrive at the airport two hours before departure to do so?
Are you interested in food recommendations? You probably have time for a quick bite. Perhaps a Northern Chinese-style breakfast, given the time of day.
The choudoufu stands won't be open when the OP is there, and the OP definitely won't have time to visit the National Palace Museum. Contrary to what manchurianexile says, temples (they're not strictly "Buddhist") are a highlight in Taiwan - part of the traditional China that no longer exists on the mainland. The Cultural Revolution in China basically destroyed all the small temples and shrines that continue to the dot the Taiwanese landscape, and returned them more as museums than as places of worship. Temples in Taiwan are always free admission, free incense, and worshipers at places like Longshan will continue to outnumber tourists.
May 1, 2012 7:18 AM
8why going all the way to taipei? first time in asia just go to jhongli. less than half way to taipei but still somehow chinese. tell the taxi driver to bring you to the fullon hotel. walk around the center. have some snacks or breakfast. walk back to the hotel and take taxi back to airport.
want to see a shopping center (they all look and sell the same). ask for a stop at the tai mall its on the way to the airport.
in my opinion taipei is not a "must see" city. shopping malls also plenty in bkk.
May 1, 2012 1:55 PM
9I disagree with swisstrav. Going to zhongli will save you only maybe 30 minutes of travel time in total. I'd do this only if I had less than 2 hours outside of the airport, and even then I'd head to the pottery street in Yingge and the temple in Sanxia. Shopping center? Really? That's bad advice. If the OP has the time to see some real sites, then she should do so, not see something that is crappier than what she can see back home. If you're going to send her to a shopping mall, at least send her to a glitzy one or a huge one, not a crappy one.
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