Taichung & Tapei 8D7N during CNY
Before I start on this post, for those who dont know, CNY is known as Chinese New Year and its a custom festival whereby the Chinese will take time off to gather with their families. For Singapore, usually there will be a 3-days holidays for people to do their visitings but in China itself, they can take up to 1 month of holiday!
I think this question has been revolving around those of you who are thinking of heading to somewhere for the CNY. I had this questions myself too and done some intensive research on the opening hours of certain attractions and since now I’ve been there and done that, I think Im the best person to share.
So, take note that there are ALOT of tips this post. Bad for me, but good for you!
As usual, if you are lazy to read, click on the video to watch what went on! However, I lost certain footages especially the last 1-2days so the ending is kinda abrupt.
Things to note before the trip:
- Please BOOK RESERVED TIXS for HSR(High Speed Rail) during CNY period. On usual days, there bound to be seats available so you don’t have to pay for reserved tixs but its so fully packed during CNY that if you don’t book, there is a high chance you will stand throughout the trip.
- Most of the attractions are open during CNY but, local stalls tend to close till CHU 4. Some even close for 7 days so be prepared that some local eateries can be closed.
- Most of the shops open only at 11am/12pm during CNY. So plan your day and check the opening hours especially on Public Holidays!
- There are CNY surcharge for cabs, buses, private hires, trains etc. So yah, be prepared to spend a little more. Cause they are working while everyone is taking off.
- If you can, head to Taiwan with 4 pax so its cheaper + more cost effective and convenient to share a private hire. It’s too ex for 2 pax + the extra surcharge so we uber-ed around instead but certain places, especially Taichung have very limited drivers. Also, every uber ride takes about 10-15mins so do factor the time in your itinerary.
- Get the Wifi pocket and Yoyo card(ez-link) from the airport itself. Its very useful when you are travelling around. The card can be used at trains, buses and even marts.
- Fu Din Wang(closed for 7 days during CNY)
- Chun Shui Tang 春水堂
- Miyahara Ice cream (宮原眼科)
- Zhong She Flower Market 中社观光花市
- Gaomei Wetland 高美湿地
Took a plane to Taipei and the HSR to Taichung. Taiwan reminds me pretty much of Japan just that its in Chinese version and I can understand the road signs/announcement. The HSR is like like their Shinkasen, Ximending is like Shibuya and many more resemblance.
Oh yes, take the train from the airport to the HSR station instead of the bus. The bus fare is $30 whereas the HSR is only $25. Also, the HSR runs every few mins whereas the first bus start only at 8.15am. There are also free wifi in the train so for those who want to use the Airbnb wifi pocket, go ahead.
Checked into our airbnb which happened to be right beside Yi Zhong Night Market. Wanted to have breakfast at Fu Din Wang as stated in the itinerary but they are closed for 7 days during CNY so off to the next venue- the first ever bbt shop in Taiwan, Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 Original store.
Luckily their food were not bad too as our intentions were never to dine there. Then to the famous ice cream place- Miyahara Ice cream (宮原眼科) but overall, the ice cream were so so only just that the ambiance is very grand and instagram worthy.
Off to the Zhongshe Flower Market after that. Decided to uber there instead of taking train and we were quite lucky to meet a nice driver.
Ended up, he drove us around for the rest of the itinerary cause its not easy to get hold of an uber in “ulu places”.
Gaomei Wetland to catch the sunset after that and you can literally watch the sun disappearing right infront of your eyes. But the jam there is quite crazy as everyone drove there to catch the sunset.
Back to the nearby night market to walk around instead of Feng Jia Night Market as its pretty late by the time we reached back our airbnb area after the jam.
Called it a day after that.
- Taichung Second Public Market
- Cingjing Farm 清境農場
- Old England 老英格兰
- Sun Moon Lake 日月潭
- Feng Jia Night Market
Booked the driver for this day cause I’ve done some search online and its more ex uber-ing around the entire day.
Taichung Second Public Market (which happened to be nearby our airbnb again!) for breakfast and omg, its a must go! The Chee Chong Fun is not bad and there are alot of other food at the inner part. However likewise, most shops are closed for the CNY but we are lucky that we manage to try a super yummy red tea and also, their braised pork rice.
The queue for the Chee Chong Fun is pretty long so do head there earlier if you can!
To Cingjing Farm after that and to me, its pretty over-rated. Other than just taking photos with the sheeps and stepping onto all the poos, there’s nth much to do there.
Off to another tourist site called Old England after that for photo-taking only as we were too full to try the high tea set there. Also, we are afraid we do not have much time for the other locations later part of the day as our driver were telling us nonstop that CNY period confirm jam, might not be able to make it through to all the places etc etc.
Most tourist attractions are opened during CNY so not to worry. In fact, they say its during CNY that they are the most packed. I was honestly expecting lesser crowd since everyone should be home visiting. Oh well.
To the Sun Moon Lake and took the ferry tour around the entire lake. It goes in 1 round and there are 2-3 stops to explore. We skipped the 1st stop due to time constraint and I’m kind of regretting it as everyone was saying there is a must try “ah ma” pastry there.
The village stop is pretty cool. There are local eateries and the tour guide of ferry told us that during 1 month of each year, they will open their doors to strangers and provide them with free food.
Oh, please do not buy the round trip tickets. There are 4 different operators there and our operator got the longest queue back cause they oversell their tickets so we paid additional for the operator with ZERO queue.
To Feng Jia Night Market for dinner after that and its pretty eye-opening for our first Taiwan night market experience.
Called it a night after that as we are leaving Taichung for Taipei the next day.
- Hong Rui Zhen Sandwich(closed during CNY)
- Yong He Dou Jiang
- Ximending Shopping
- Ah Zhong Mian Xian 阿宗麵線
As seen on the itinerary, we wanted to try the famous Hong Rui Zhen Sandwich that we cabbed to the place with our luggages before heading to the train station BUT, THEY ARE CLOSED during the CNY too. So, actually I dont recommend visiting during CNY if you want to try all the local food like me.
Oh yes, during the CNY, the local taxis have a surcharge of $50 on top of their usual fares too. *A tip from our driver- Note that the fares are already recorded in the meter cause its controlled by the Govt, e.g usually its $85 but the starting fare will be $135 so DO NOT PAY if the cab driver asked you for additional $50 cash! Even if they didnt/forget to key it in, its their problem you can choose not to pay too.
Back to Taipei and its off to Yong He Dou Jiang for breakfast. We stayed at Diary of Taipei Wanguo and the location is superb! Its located right in the smack of Ximending and everything is walkable! Even the famous hotpot is right below our hotel.
Shopping day aka as rest day from the tiring itinerary the past 2 days. Also, our hotel is so convenient that we can drop off our shopping buys and back to more shopping.
The famous 新馬辣經典火鍋 for dinner after shopping. Wanted to party world but they were fully booked for the night. Pls book in advance if you wish to try the party world there!
As such, we ended up shopping around our hotel area and having the Ah Zhong Mian Xian for supper cause its somewhere right below our hotel.
Back to rest cause its gona be a long day the next day.
- Jiu Fen old street 九份老街
- Golden Waterfall 黄金瀑布
- Shi Fen 十分
- Rao He Night Market 饶河夜市
Went out to Jiu Fen and Shi Fen today! Kind of regretted not booking a transport to and fro as the travelling time via public transport do take up quite abit of time so we didnt get to explore both places fully.
It also did not help that it rained the entire day = inconvenience in walking.
You can skip this Yin Yang Sea if you do not have enough time in your itinerary. We were quite disappointed when we reach cuz honestly, you cant see NUTS. Maybe cause its raining but from the view, its nth magnificent to me.
Nonetheless, still enjoyed the places as we get to see waterfall, eat their local food (like smelly toufu) and release sky lantern!!
*A tip- all the sky lantern stalls are the same so head to the one all the way at the end of the railway if you do not want to have so many people in your photos like ours. We were too excited and just chose the first few stalls so we are right in the middle….
Back to another round of night market after that and this time its to Raohe Night Market! I think we conquered all the different Night Markets in this trip haha.
Raohe is not huge as compared to Shilin but the 2 rows of stalls are all food. If you want somewhere where you can eat, walk and play some mini games then it will be Shilin. We finished Raohe in one round and went shopping nearby.
Back to hotel to call it a night.
- Yang Ming Shan National Park 阳明山
- Tam Sui Fisherman Wharf
- Lover’s bridge
One of my fav breakfast place in Taipei till date!! Mainly cause I’m a cheese and ham lover & THIS SANDWICH SHOP THAT WE WENT TO, THE SANDWICHES ARE OOZING WITH CHEESE- 烤司院碳烤. A must try!!
Off to Yang Ming Shan after that, trying our luck to catch some Sakura. We did manage to catch abit but really, its just abit lor. Basically there is nothing much to do on the mountains but to hike so I will suggest to head there only if you are someone who loves hiking.
Thankfully for us, we met a uber driver who is so nice to drop us at a beautiful dam before driving us to our next destination.
To the Tam Sui Fisherman Wharf after that and we wanted to rent bicycles to cycle round the place but apparently, you will need a local ID to do so.
Tried their Ah Gek as intro-ed by our uber driver and its like the famous food of the Tam Sui. Not too bad, its something like beancurd filled with tang hoon, soaked in the sweet red chee chong fun sauce (if you are from SG).
Took the ferry over to the lovers bridge but the wind is so crazy we ended up seeking shelter 90% of the time LOL.
Off to Shilin Night Market after that and its Party World KTV. The partyworld in Taiwan is SO GRAND its like an entire hotel building with your own toilet in the KTV room. Atas max.
*PLEASE BOOK EARLY IF YOU WANT TO TRY THEIR KTV CUZ THEIR SLOTS ARE ALWAYS FULL. We booked few days prior for tonight’s slot.
Back to rest after singing. Happy that our hotel location is conveniently located like walking distance from one of the Party World so we get to save on cab fares!
- Addiction Aquatic Development
- Yong Kang Street
- Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館
- Wu Fen Pu
- Ning Xia Night Market
Addiction Aquatic Development for breakfast and its like the Tsuijiki Market in Japan! We get to order fresh produce and eat them right on the spot. Or you can also say its pretty similar to Sydney Fish Market too.
The sashmi were sooo good! I will recommend everyone to try this place if you have time to spare in your trip!
Oh, but please do not be stupid like us. There are tables with chairs outside the fish market, further down only. We stood and eat the entire time LOL.
Off to shopping at Yong Kang Street and Wu Fen Pu after that and WFP is something like Bugis Street in Singapore I would say. Still manage to grab some good deals although they are mainly winter wears due to the current season. I think ladies will enjoy shopping here in Spring/Summer.
Yong Kang Street are made up of mainly cafes and local handmade souvenir shops. For those who are into such local items, its a place you should visit!
Went to try the famous Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館 and I think cause we went at weird timings ard 3plus, the queue wasn’t v long. Its not bad, but I do feel there are better beef noodles out there.
Ning Xia Night Market and omg, dont bother. Its very small like 1 row of stalls only and the choices of food can be found in all the other night markets too so its nth new. We went off after like, 5 mins?
Went back to Shilin Night Market cause we saw people raving about the beef steaks there- YES WE TRIED BOTH THE DEVILS BEEF STEAK 牛魔王 AND THE LOCAL 大统大牛排 and our verdict is…. both are so-so only. We ate way nicer beef steaks in SG no kidding! Quite disappointing actually cause we were really stuffing ourselves to try both.
Back to hotel for food coma after that.
- Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice 金峰卤肉飯
- Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
- Elephant mountain
- Maokong 猫空
- Chen San Ding Bubble Tea
- Shi Da Night Market
Our last full day in Taipei! My fav day during the entire trip. First, we had yummy braised pork rice for breakfast. Then we took a hike up Elephant Mountain (this one abit regret cause the stairs up are crazy and my legs were aching like mad) and manage to take a very good shot of Taipei 101!
Then we took the grandola up to Mao Kong where we sipped tea in the mountains! There are alot of different tea houses up in Mao Kong and honestly, I had a hard time choosing one. I google, researched, walked to and fro a few times to finally settle at one where I find the view seems not bad HAHA.
Food and tea were surprisingly good, which made me even happier. But so sorry guys, I cant rem/didnt take note of the shop name!
Went back down and off to Gong Guan Night Market + Shi Da Night Market for shopping and eating. A must try in the shopping area is the bubble tea – Chen San Ding Bubble Tea. I think we tried almost all the bbt brand in Taipei too haha.
Shi Da Night Market is not bad, something different from Shilin kind. If you have spare days/time, you guys can try!
Back to hotel to do our packing after that.
It happened to be V-day 14th Feb a.k.a our dating anniversary! So, we went to this steak place recommended by a friend and yes, the steak is SO much better than those “famous ones” we ate in Shilin. Also, prices are super reasonable it made our last meal in Taiwan a very happy one.
Whats even better is, its located near our hotel too! Did some last min in XMD after that then its back to grab our luggage and off to the airport.
Oh, by the way if you are taking the HSR back to the airport, PLEASE NOTE that you have to change another train to their airport so do factor in ample travelling time!!
And thats all for our 8D7N trip in Taiwan! So for those who like to know whether its a Go or No Go to Taiwan in CNY? I will say NO-GO if you want to try all the local stalls instead of the touristy ones. Im still quite sad I didnt get to try Rui Fang Sandwhich and the Fu Din Wang braised pork rice…..
For full detailed itinerary, click the link below: