Taiwan Solo Travel: My Route and Itinerary

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Ni Hao! Last March I ventured out in the beautiful island “Formosa” – Taiwan. It was a 10 day solo trip that I took for the first time. If you have read my travel guide and budget summary, I’m sure you already have an idea of how this trip started. Since then, I have worked on and organized all the information I had, hence the start of this blog.

Therefore, let your desires endure, let your passions persist, and be bold with your aspirations. Life is not a problem to be solved, it is an adventure to be lived, and I can’t wait to drink deeply from that fountain of which I’ve only had a sip. - Alex Wagman

If I have to give another title to this post, it would be: How to chase cherry blossoms in Taiwan? Literally, my goal for this trip is to witness the lush Sakura’s that I thought only existed in Japan and Korea before. But just like the two said countries, Taiwan’s Cherry Blossom season also vary depending on the weather where mid-March is the official season. Thus, I booked last March 6 and fly to Taiwan with a 14 Kilo white suitcase, a backpack and tons of hope and prayers, all mixed with fear and excitement. Did I succeed in my pursuit? No doubt I did! Walking in the cherry path in Sun moon Lake felt like a dream, the varieties in Alishan are overwhelming and the pastel pink flowers in Cingjing are too pretty. I had the best 10 days of my life and the most memorable birthday gift so far #MarchBaby. So, if you’re heading to Taiwan in pursuit of cherry blossom or maybe you just want to marvel in the spring season, then, this itinerary is for you.

You can check these sites for more information about cherry blossoms in Taiwan:
•  Taiwan Cherry Blossom Season
•  Taiwan’s Top 10 Cherry Blossom Destinations


I always start my trip in the mid or farthest location and then wander through the nearest destinations on my way back. Through this, I’ll be able to save more for transportation, it’s a lot safer and I also get to enjoy the nature first before going to the bustling city. Cingjing was originally not on the plan, but the grasslands and sheep’s are so tempting that I wasn’t able to resist it. So, I spent a night in Cingjing on the first day, headed to Sun moon Lake for two days, gone to Alishan for another two days and then ride a bullet train back to Taipei for the last 5 days. As much as I wanted to stay in rural areas I have to go back to the city to reduce my expenses. Once you get to Taipei, getting around will be easy; you don’t actually need to plan. Just load your Easycard and hop on trains and buses and viola!

Actual travel date: March 6 to March 15,2016
To give you a visual of how I planned my 10 days trip, I created an illustration below.

My Taiwan travel route for 10 days. Click the image for larger version.


Most people started their trip in Taipei, the capital, and the largest city. But for me, whenever I travel, I always try to find some places that aren't too familiar and especially not too crowded #socialissues. I like getting lost in places that people haven’t gone before and wander to paths that most people don’t usually venture out because, in that way, I’ll be able to discover more and learn if not everything but most firsthand. So, let’s get started! Below you will see a detailed post of my itinerary, some pictures, and tips that you can use for your next travel. PS: All details were effective last March 2016; it may subject to change anytime.

Day 1: Taoyuan Airport to Cingjing

The Sheep Sheering Show at Cingjing Farm Green Green Grassland

0010 ETA Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 - - -
0100 Rest~ - - -
0500 Breakfast Food stalls and restaurants are closed during this time but there's a convenience store in B1.
0530 Purchase Ubus #705 Ticket Fare: NT$30. Trip Length: 15 to 25 Minutes. Hours of operation: 6:15 AM - 10:45 PM. Location: Taoyuan Airport - Ubus service counters at Arrivals Lobby of Terminals 1 and 2 – B1
0615 Ride Ubus #705 from TPE to Taoyuan HSR - - -
0640 ETA Taoyuan HSR and head to ticketing counters Fare: NT$540 – Trip Length: 45 minutes. Hours of operation: 06:20 AM – 11:45 PM. Location: Lobby Area
0650 ETD Taoyuan HSR Location: B2 – Platform 1 – South Bound – THSR toward Zuoying (Hsinchu). *Catch the first train at 6:51 AM – 07:34 AM *Next Train at 07:21 – 08:04 AM
0735 ETA Taichung HSR - - -
0800 Buy Tickets: One-way bus to Cingjing (Nantou Bus) Fare: NT$256 - Trip Length: 2 hours to 2.30 hours. Location: Taichung HSR Station Area – 1F – Exit 5
0845 Board Cingjing Bus *Catch the first trip at 8:45 AM to 10:45 AM. * Next trip at 09:45 to 11:45
1045 Check-in: Julies Garden - Skyhill Guesthouse Location: Get off at 松崗站 Bus Stop. Turn right into the entrance of BoWang Village. Continue to walk for about 3 minutes and you will see the building on your right (beige rolling door)
1100 Rest~ - - -
1230 Lunch - - -
1330 Explore Green Green Grassland / 499-Step Trail / Little Swiss Garden Fare: NT$160 on Weekdays, NT$200 Weekends. Hours of operation: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Sheep Show at 2:30 PM. *Don’t forget the entrance stamp
1800 Dinner at Carton King *Get a FREE Admission Ticket to Small Swiss Garden after spending NT$300/person. * Postcard at NT$50
1900 Head back to guesthouse Head to Starbucks parking lot for a Free Shuttle ride back to Guesthouse
1930 Rest~ - - -

Day 2: Cingjing to Sun moon Lake

Foggy morning in Sunmoon Lake.

0500 Wake up and wait for the sunrise - - -
0600 Preparation and breakfast - - -
0700 Check-out - - -
0715 Head to nearest bus stop station heading to Puli Station Cingjing Farm – Puli Fare – NT$115. *Catch the first Nantou Bus Trip from Cingjing Farm (07:25 AM) - Wushe (08:20 AM) – Puli Station (09:10 AM)
0910 Puli Bus Station – Buy Tickets – Sun Moon Lake Fare: NT$59 – One Way. Trip Length: 30 Minutes. *Catch 9:45 AM – 10:15 AM trip. *Next Trip: 10:05 AM – 10:45 AM
0945 Board Bus 6668 or 6670 Puli Station to Sun Moon Lake - - -
1015 ETA Sun Moon Lake - - -
1030 Check-in: Yue Lake Backpackers *Inquire for promotions (Boat Rides, FAVC Tickets, Tickets to Alishan)
1100 Lunch - - -
1200 Explore Sun Moon Lake Boat Voucher: NT$100/Pier. Route: Shuishe -> Ita Thao (Night Market) -> Shuishe
1830 Head back to guesthouse - - -
1900 Free time - - -
2100 Rest~ - - -

Day 3: Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

I will never ever get tired of walking under these cherry blossom trees in Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village.

0600 Wake Up! - - -
0700 Breakfast - - -
0800 Buy Ticket - Round the lake bus Round-the-lake Voucher: NT$80 One Day Pass
0830 Wenwu Temple Use Round-the-lake Voucher
1000 Head to Sun Moon Lake Ropeway Station and buy ticket Use Round-the-lake Voucher
1030 ETD Sun Moon Lake Ropeway Ropeway ride is already included in FACV admission ticket. Hours of operation: Weekdays: 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM, Holidays and Weekend: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
1100 ETA Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village Hours of operation: Weekdays 09:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Holidays 09:00 AM – 05:30 AM Shuttle Bus: FAVC to Sun Moon Lake: Last Trip: 05:30 PM
1630 ETD Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village - - -
1700 ETA Sun Moon Lake Ropeway - - -
1720 Ita Thao Market / Dinner Use Round-the-lake Voucher
1830 Shuishe Pier Use Round-the-lake Voucher
1900 Back to the guesthouse. Free time - - -
2100 Rest~ - - -

Day 4: Sun Moon Lake to Alishan

Beautiful Alishan National Scenic Area.

0600 Wake Up! - - -
0700 Check-out - - -
0800 ETD Shuishe Pier. Board Yuanlin Bus Route 6739 Location: Beside Delight Mall. Fare: NT$328 – Trip Length: 4 Hours. Hours of operation: 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM. Route: Departs Sun Moon Lake 8:00 → Shinyi Farmer Association 9:00 → Tongfu 9:20 → Tataka 10:30~11:00 → Alishan 12:00. I suggest you buy your tickets the day before your trip since they only offer limited seats.
1130 ETA Alishan National Scenic Area - Buy ticket Fare: NT$150. *Leave your luggage for FREE at Visitor Center and take it back before 4:30 PM.
1200 Lunch *Alishan Town Square houses the Original Mochi
1600 Head back to Alishan Visitor Center to pick up the luggage - - -
1630 Bus station going to Xiding (near 7Eleven) Buy your tickets at 7 Eleven. Fare: NT$172 - Trip Length: 70 Minutes.
1640 ETD Alishan National Scenic Area - - -
1750 ETA Xiding, Alishan *Tell the driver you want to get off at Anding (it’s a very small stop just before Xiding, directly across the street from the Anding, at marker 53.1 KM)
1800 Check-in: 53.1 Backpackers / Dinner No convenience store but there's a nearby restaurant. *Ask the owner the way to Eryanping Trail and if you can find companions.
2000 Rest~ - - -

Day 5: Eryanping Trail, Fenqihu, Alishan to Taipei

1 hour up. 13 degrees. Alone but worth it. A glimpse of heaven in Xiding - Eryanping Trail.

0530 Wake Up! Too Early -_- - - -
0600 ETD 53.1 Backpackers *Eryanping Trail – 1 Hour Up
0700 ETA Eryanping Trail - - -
0800 ETD Eryanping Trail *30 - 45 minutes Down
0900 Breakfast, rest and prepare for leaving - - -
1000 Check-out - - -
1030 ETD Xiding to Shizhuo Fare: NT$30 - Trip Length: 20 Minutes. *Catch 10:30 AM ride from Xiding to Shizhuo
1120 ETA Shizhuo Bus stop going to Fenqihu is beside Hi Cafe
1145 ETA Fenqihu / Lunch Try their famous Fenqihu Lunch Box – NT$100 near 7 Eleven
1400 ETD Fenqihu - - -
1530 Back at 53.1 Backpackers to claim luggage. Wait for shuttle bus going Chiayi HSR - - -
1710 ETA Chiayi HSR - - -
1855 ETD Chiayi HSR Original Fare: NT$1080 – Trip Length: 1 hour 45 minutes. *Catch the 06:55 PM – 08:12 PM Trip
2015 ETA Taipei HSR *Get an Easycard or Taipei Pass at Visitor Center
2100 Check-in at Taipei Family Hostel Enjoy more discounts when you directly book in their official site.
2200 Rest~ - - -

Day 6: Huashan 1914 Creative Park and Tamsui

Beautiful church in Tamsui.

0700 Wake Up! - - -
0730 ETD Guesthouse - - -
0800 Breakfast - - -
0930 Huashan 1914 Creative Park *By subway, get off at ZhongXiao Xing Sheng MRT station. Take Exit 1 and walk straight for about a block until you see an underpass and a giant red diamond. The Huashan Creative Park is just across the street. There are signs to the park soon as you exit the MRT station so you can’t miss it.
1200 Aranzi Café Hours of operation: 11:00 AM - 9:30 PM. Address: No. 12, Nanjing West Road, Zhongshan District Taipei City, Taiwan 104 (inside Shin Kong Mitsukoshi ). Expect: NT$350
1420 Tamsui Explore Old Street, Temples, Fort San Domingo, Aletheia University, Oxford College, Tamsui Art Gallery - - -
1730 Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf (Lover's Bridge) - - -
1830 ETD Tamsui Station - - -
1930 Back to Hostel - - -
2100 Rest~ - - -

Day 7: Yangmingshan National Park, BeiTou, Ximending, Shilin Night Market

Enchanting stream in Beitou.

0600 Wake Up! - - -
0700 Breakfast - - -
0830 Yangmingshan National Park From MRT 2 Jiantan station, leave Exit 1 (Shilin Night Market), and walk to the left-side bus station, buses heading north. Take either city bus R5 or small bus (PREFERRED) S15 or S17 to Yangmingshan station.
1215 Lunch / Explore Bei Tou: The Beitou Public Library, Hot Spring Museum, Puji Temple, Thermal Valley Bus #230. Yangmingshan Bus Station (5:30 - 22:45) . Every 30 - 45 minutes
1630 Ximending, Street Arts, Red House Red House: Take the Blue Line 5 or Green Line 3 to Ximen, Exit 1.
1915 Shilin Night Market Take the Red Line 2 to Jiantan Station not Shilin Station. After leaving Exit 1, diagonally cross the street to the left to enter the night market.
2130 Back to Hostel - - -
2200 Rest~ - - -

Day 8: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei 101, Raohe Night Market

The iconic Taipei 101. Wait till you see what's inside.

0600 Wake Up! - - -
0715 Breakfast - - -
0815 Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall (Changing of the guards at 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM) By subway, get off at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall MRT station, exit 5.
1000 Lunch at Din Tai Fung Xinyi Store MRT Dongmen Station Exit 5
1230 Taipei 101 By subway, get off at Taipei 101 World Trade Center MRT station, exit 4.
1430 Elephant Mountain Trail To get to the trail, take the red line [2] to the Xiangshan MRT stop.Head out exit 2 and follow the signs through Zhongqiang Park.You will make a left at the end of the park, head up the hill and then to the right, with the trail entrance on your left just past the temple.
1700 Raohe Night Market, Rainbow Bridge, Wufenfu Just take the MRT Metro to Shongshan Station, and follow the signs for Raohe Street.
2030 Back to hostel - - -
2100 Rest~ - - -

Day 9: Golden Fulong Route, Jiufen

Spirited away comes to life in Jiufen Old Street.

0500 Wake Up! Early -_- - - -
0630 Taipei Railway Station. Buy Ticket Go to Taipei Main Station and go to the TRA (Taiwan Railway Association). You can just use your Easycard to get on the train. Scan it, and ask the person there where and when the next train to Fulong is. Then go there and wait and get on. Same thing coming back.
0830 Fulong Station Bus interval on weekdays:60 minutes. [Departure from Fulong Visitor Center]10:15-17:15. [Departure from Ruifang Railway Station]09:00-16:00
0900 Breakfast - - -
0930 Fulong Visitor Center (Golden Fulong Bus Stop) and buy One Day Pass Ticket. Explore Bitou Cape Geological Park (1 hour, 30 mins) > Nanya Rocks (1 hour) > Golden Waterfall (1 hour) > Jiufen Old Street Bus stop (across the road from 7 Eleven convenience store) at the road bend. The bus goes downhill. Fare: NT$21 Travel time: About 15-20 mins.
2130 Back to Taipei Family Hostel - - -
2200 Rest~ - - -

Day 10: National Palace Museum, Taipei Expo Park, Departure

Me strolling around Ximending Youth Shopping District.

0600 Wake Up! - - -
0700 Breakfast - - -
0830 National Palace Museum and Garden From MRT Red Line 2 Shilin station , walk outside the station and board Bus R30 , fare NT$15, payable by cash or Easycard.
1130 Lunch - Taipei Expo Park / Taipei Botanical Park - - -
1830 Back at the hostel. Get the luggage - - -
1930 Taipei West Bus Station The most convenient bus to take is the airport bus at the Kuo-Kuang West Bus Terminal (Livery: white, blue, purple), located just outside of Taipei Main Station, Exit Z3. Buses leave frequently and cost NT$125 per ticket.
1930 ETA Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 Departure - - -

That’s it for my itinerary. It was 10 long days, but it wasn’t enough. The first 5 days was perfect, everything goes smoothly, but when I arrived in Taipei, that's when it got messy. It rained a lot for 5 days and I have to go back and stay in the hostel earlier than planned or else I'll freeze outside, just kidding. Some locations are also canceled and mixed up due to bad weather but don't worry, roaming around in Taipei is easy and there are lots of available destinations to back up your plan. During the planning stage, I also have to give up some destinations due to time and budget constraints. So, the next time I go to Taiwan I’ll make sure to visit Taroko Gorge, the Thousand Island Lake in Shiding, celebrate lantern festival in Pingxi, ride the fastest elevator in Taipei 101 when the weather is better, go back to Jiufen, take the Golden Fulong Route and eat varieties of food, lots of them and try Couchsurfing for better local experience. Now I'm starting to miss Taiwan again.


I hope you find this post useful. I’m not an expert on Taiwan and just speak through the experiences I learned from the trip. If you find yourself traveling through Taiwan and stumble upon this blog, please drop me a line on the comment section below or just say hello. I can't wait to hear stories from you.

Thank you for stopping by. Have fun and memorable trip in Taiwan! – Samm

You Might Also Like