Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 1] – Carton King Creativity Park and Rainbow Military Dependents’ Village

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After Lavender Cottage, we headed to Carton King Creativity Park in Taichung, the biggest one in Taiwan. Almost everything in Carton King is made of corrugated paper –  from tables and chairs, to plates and even the pots where you can cook your own hotpot at the restaurant! My son loved the Koi pond and I loved the shop and the honeybee museum. There are many Carton King branches but the biggest one is in Taichung. The entrance fee is NT$200 and a portion of which can be used as credits when purchasing stuff inside.

Read more to view our photos.

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Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 1] – Taipei Taoyuan Airport and Lavender Cottage in Taichung

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As I said in my prior post, we flew PAL because we wanted the comfort and convenience of flying non-budget. We compared the rates of PAL with Cebu Pacific (no promo) and EVA Air and of the three airlines, PAL actually offered the cheapest rate.

When we got to the NAIA Terminal 2 and just before we checked in, I realized that I forgot to print our Taiwan Travel Authorization Certificates. Note that NAIA Terminal 2 does not have Internet kiosks nor business service desks. Fortunately, PAL has a business office and that’s where I was able to print my certificates for free.

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It was around 9:50AM of April 8 when we arrived at the Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. It’s the largest airport in Taiwan and is located in Taoyuan County which is outside of Taipei. The airport is connected conveniently with different modes of transportation such as buses, High Speed Rail, or taxi service. An extension of the Taipei MRT is currently being constructed to serve Taoyuan Airport.

Undeniably, it’s a whole lot better than the airports we have here in Manila despite having undergone some major facelift. However, the Taoyuan Airport is still not as grand as the ones in Hong Kong, Singapore or South Korea. But regardless, it’s clean, huge, and did I say a lot better than the airports in Manila? Oops, there I said it again :)

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The first thing that we did after getting our bags was to exchange our money to Taiwan Dollars. We had a mix of Philippine Pesos and US Dollars and exchanging them at the airport was easy. Note though that there is a service charge for every currency that you exchange. Just before we reached the immigration booths, we saw a foreign exchange counter and at that time, the line was so long. We did not bother falling in line and went ahead until we got to the baggage carousel. And there near the carousel, we found at least two foreign exchange counters which were not crowded at all.

The next thing we did was we got a data plan at the arrival hall. There are so many providers and we got ours from Wi-Ho. We paid NT$795 for 5 days of unlimited wifi and the router can accommodate up to 4 users at a time. The NT$795 rate though was what they charge if you’re paying by credit card. If you’re paying by cash, they’re requiring that you pay a refundable deposit for the unit but I can’t remember how much (but I do remember it’s like a few thousand Taiwan Dollars).

And after that, we’re off to Taichung!

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Taiwan Travel 2015 – Itinerary in Taiwan for 5 Days

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Here’s my second post for the Taiwan Travel 2015 series. The first one is about applying for a Taiwan tourist visa in the Philippines and this post is all about our itinerary for 5 days.

Let me share a few tips first.

We went to Taiwan last April 8-12 and the weather was really cold which was not what we expected. I’ve been monitoring the weather since January and I have been checking forecasts for April. A week prior to our departure, the weather in Taipei and Taichung were already hitting 27-30degrees (Manila at that time was at 34degrees). Who would’ve thought that it will be somewhere between 13-14degrees when we got there?

The highest temperature recorded while we were there was around 21-24degrees in Taichung but except for the first day when it was around 13-14degrees, the general temperature when we were there ranged from 17-18degrees.

As a tip for those of you who will be traveling to Taipei around the first to second week of April, while it may generally be reported to be sunny and warm, it is safer if you prepare a jacket that can keep you warm in case the weather turns out to be really cold. And there are also rains and/or showers during this month so bring a raincoat and/or umbrella with you.

Also, if you’ll notice in our itinerary below, we visited mostly locations in the countryside. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent with you and if you can afford not to wear anything white, do so. There are areas where geckos are abundant and we were informed that they are pretty much attracted to white.

You may also want to bring a flat-pin plug with you in case the hotel you’re staying doesn’t provide an adaptor. A power bank is also very handy. We got wifi/data plan from the airport that can serve up to four users for TWD795. Average useful time of the wifi gadget is approximately 4 hours. That means you will need to bring a power bank with you if you want to keep your wifi running all the time.

And finally, don’t forget to write the name of your hotel and all the places that you’re visiting in Chinese characters because it’s hard to find someone from there who speaks English. Taiwanese are friendly and helpful but it’s hard to communicate because only very few of them can speak the English language.

And that’s it! So much for my tips, I’m now ready to share our itinerary. Lezgow! :)

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How To Apply For A Taiwan Tourist Visa In The Philippines

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Last April 8-12, our Lafang Club had its annual out of the country trip to Taiwan. We’re just a group of friends who initially formed this club out of our common love for food and who would have thought that we’ll expand our interests to include travels? Anyways, this is the second time we went out of the country (last year, we went to Seoul) and we thought that if our finances could sustain it, we might as well do it as an annual thing. Not a bad idea, I’d say :)

Similar to my Seoul posts, I’ll be having a Taiwan series which shall start with the process of how to obtain a tourist visa then followed by our detailed itinerary. Everything will be placed under the category “Taiwan Travel 2015” so that you guys can easily follow the series.

And so let’s talk about applying for a Taiwan visa.

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