5 days family trip to Taipei

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The city of Taipei is a bustling one. With many cultural sights to take in and countless food to try, it can be overwhelming for first timers to plan their itinerary for this lively city. With the help of Changi Recommends, we managed to craft a stress-free 5D4N Taipei itinerary that has everything for the whole family.

Of course, as first timers, our itinerary may seem a little run of the mill. However, we felt that as our time was a little tight, we should explore the main attractions of Taipei City first, and maybe the other cities in Taiwan the next time we have the opportunity to spend more days in Taiwan and more time to research and plan. We also had to take into consideration that our activities were not too much adult-like but suitable for the kids as well. Therefore, if you are looking for an itinerary that revolves around your kids too, this may be the one to look out for!

For a more in-depth review of the food we tried in Taipei, check out our post — 12 must-try eateries around Taipei.

pre-trip travel bookings

As we were travelling with kids, ensuring a fuss-free vacation is our top priority. This is where Changi Recommends came in handy as a one-stop shop with their full suite of travel offerings. Beyond travel WiFi, we were able to book flights, travel insurance, hotels, attractions, transports, day-tours and even currency exchange (yes please) all through their site at competitive rates. Every conceivable part of the trip is pre-booked to minimise the hassle once you land. After a flight with kids, the last thing we wanted was to queue for sim cards and hauling our luggage around the airport. It was a breeze to have our airport transfer driver waiting at the gate and helping us with our luggage. Before you know it, we are in the comfort of our hotel room, getting refreshed to start exploring Taipei!

1) WiFi routers

We stayed connected throughout our trip with the help of ChangiWIFI routers. Each router could hook up to 5 devices each time — perfect for couples and group travelling if you are trying to save a little money! If you are going out for a full day, do bring along a portable charger as battery life lasts around 8 hours.

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2) Foreign Currency Exchange

Get competitive exchange rates delivered right to your doorstep when you change over S$300. Forget the queues at The Arcade at Raffles Place or ridiculous airport rates. As reference, we managed to get TWD22,500 for S$1,000 vs TWD21,400 from the airport, at the time of our trip.

 
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3) airport transfers

To ease the stress of planning a route to our hotel, we arranged airport transfers for both arrival and departure in Taipei through Changi Recommends-Transfer. It was a fuss-free journey both ways as our driver arrived on time and also helped with the loading and unloading of luggage.

4) private day tours

If you are intending to explore the harder to reach places in Taipei like Jiufen and Yilan, booking a private tour may be a more convenient option. We got ours booked through Changi Recommends right here. Day 2 and day 3 covered in this post are tours which were booked through the site! Private tours are highly customisable too. The driver we had was knowledgeable and eager to share spots that are suitable for kids. We also got them to assist us in making reservations for restaurants that we wanted to visit and they were eager to help!

5) hotel

We stayed at JSL Hotel (甲山林), a hotel we booked through ChangiHotels throughout our 5d4n in Taipei. The hotel seemed fairly new and it was an aesthetically pleasing hotel with cute murals on the walls and a comfortable sofa next to the window which was perfect for winding down after a long day of exploring Taipei.

For foodies, there is a stretch of food stalls which open late into the night. A popular Liang Mian (凉面) among the locals — Fu Te Liang Mian (福德凉面) is just down the street.

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The location may not be walking distance to the nearest MRT, however as our choice of transport was taking the taxi/Uber for days in Taipei City and private hire for our day trips it wasn’t an issue for us.

Address: Taipei Area, No. 62, Xing'an Street, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491

day 1

Our route for day 1 can be found on Google Maps here.

explore ximending (西门町) and eat ay-chung mee sua (阿宗麵線)

We arrived in Taipei around 11am, and after a quick wash up when we reached the hotel, we took the afternoon to take a stroll along Ximending — a shopping district in Taipei. Ximending is home to many independent shops as well as restaurants, cafes and street food. Our main order of business however, was to eat the highly raved Ay-Chung Mee Sua!

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It was a hit as we enjoyed it even in the sweltering heat — the kids included!

Address: No. 8-1號, Emei St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 830am-11pm

visit an upscale indoor playground with a large carousel ride at Money Jump (媽咪講親子餐廳)

Located in the northern part of Taipei at Neihu District (內湖區), Money Jump is a cafe with an indoor playground that has tunnels, ball pits, games, toys and even a carousel for your kids to ride on! It kept the kids occupied the entire time we were there and we took this chance to cool ourselves down with food and drinks.

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There is a minimum spend of NT$300/NT$500 (S$14/$22) (weekdays/weekends) per adult and NT$200 (S$9) per child. We personally felt the food and drinks were pretty average and some may feel that the location is slightly out of the way. However, if you are looking for an indoor activity for your kids to escape the rain or heat, Money Jump can be a place you consider to visit! We recommend Money Jump an activity for kids aged 3-6 years old.

Address: 114, Taiwan, Taipei City, Neihu District, Minshan Street, 127號 2 F

Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am - 1.30pm, 2-5pm, 5.30pm-8pm (Closed on Mondays)

Reservations: moneyjump.com.tw

try street food at shi-da night market (師大夜市)

We ended the day at Shi-Da Night Market for some street eats for dinner. There were already snaking queues when we arrived around 6 in the evening and we queued up for Deng Long Lu Wei (灯笼卤味), Shi Yun (师园盐酥鸡) and Hsu Ji Sheng Jian Bao (許記生煎包). Deng Long Lu Wei and Shi Yun were unique concepts as you got to pick out ingredients that you wanted Yong Tau Foo (酿豆腐) style before the chefs cooked or fried them respectively. Definitely a must-try.

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Address: Lane 39, Shida Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 8am-10pm

Day 2

Our route for day 2 can be found on Google Maps here.

takeaway breakfast at yonghe dou jiang (永和豆漿)

Youtiao (油条) and Doujiang (豆漿) is a breakfast norm in Taiwan and we couldn’t wait to try it for ourselves too. Of course, there are countless stores in Singapore to enjoy yummy dough sticks and soy milk, but why miss out the chance of trying them from the originators? No regrets as we absolutely enjoyed our takeaway youtiaos and doujiang on our road trip and regretted not buying more!

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Address: No. 5-3, Shaoxing South Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Opening hours: Monday-Saturday, 5am-11pm, Sunday, 5am-6pm

Note: As Yonghe Dou Jiang has multiple outlets across Taipei, do check them out on your Google Maps for the nearest one near you.

visit yehliu geological park for its unique rock formations

One of Taipei’s major attractions, Yehliu Geopark is home to some of the most famous eroded rock formations in the world. Just an hour’s drive out of Taipei city, many tourists flock to Yehliu Geopark for a look at some of their unique formations like the Queen’s Head, Mushroom Rocks, Sea Candles and Fairy Shoe. However, during our visit, the heat was pretty overbearing and there were long queues to take photos with the Queen’s Head. We felt pretty overwhelmed by the crowd and left quite quickly. For those who wish to tick Yehliu Geopark off their bucket list, we recommend visiting in the cooler time of the year where you can appreciate the cool sea breeze and possibly lesser crowds. Entry ticket into the park is pretty cheap, at only NT$80 (S$4) for a standard ticket.

Although we did not snap a photo with the iconic Queen’s Head, we did manage to take some shots with the fascinating Mushroom Rocks which towered over us!

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Address: 207, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Wanli District, 港東路167-1號

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 8am-5pm

Website

feel spirited away at jiufen old street (九份老街) — a MOUNTAIN town, and enjoy tea with a scenic backdrop

If you have ever watched Spirited Away, you may understand why many refers Jiufen Old Street (九份) as an inspiration to the movie (although denied by the author). Tucked away in the mountains, Jiufen Old Street is a town packed with teahouses, local street foods and souvenirs in small alleyways decorated with street lanterns. The views from Jiufen is amazing, and postcard worthy shots can be taken at nearly every corner of the town — if photography is a hobby for you, Jiufen would definitely be a stop you may want to add in your itinerary when you come to Taipei to snap it’s pretty landscape!

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Foods found at Jiufen are unique to its own and you will be tempted to try all of them while winding your way through the alleys. Some of the must-trys would be the Taro Balls, Peanut Ice Cream and Fish or Meatball Soup. We didn’t manage to try all the foods offered at Jiufen though, but we sure did try to order as many as we could and we did enjoy them!

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For a more cultural experience, do not forget to have a Tea Culture Experience at one of the more iconic buildings at Jiufen — A-MEI Teahouse (阿妹茶樓). For NT$300 (S$14), enjoy a hot or cold cup of oolong tea paired with seasonal snacks such as dried fruits and tea cookies. Remember to order the hot tea if you wish to experience a more comprehensive knowledge of teas and how they are made! We made a mistake to only order the cold tea due to the heat outside and missed out this opportunity.

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In cooler weathers, choose to sit outdoors at their second level patio as you sip tea and take in the breathtaking view of Jiufen Old Street.

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Jiufen Old Street

Address: Jishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224

Opening hours: 24 hours

A-MEI Teahouse

Address: 224, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Ruifang District, 市下巷20號

Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday, 8.30am-12am, Friday, 8.30am-1am, Sunday, 8am-1am

write your wishes on a sky lantern and release them at shifen (十分)

If you visit nearly every travel site itinerary that recommends Shifen, you would already know that the releasing of sky lanterns — also known as Kongming Deng (孔明灯), is a must-do. Tourists swarm to Shifen just to light up their wishes into the sky, praying for them to be fulfilled. One of the largest sky lantern festival — Pingxi Lantern Festival, also happens every year at Pingxi District (平溪區), where Shifen is, where thousands of lanterns are launched into the sky at once.

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Although we did take part in the activity, we did realise on hindsight, that it was or could be an environmental hazard. Although there are plans to limit the release of lanterns or redesigning them to be more biodegradable, such precautions have not been implemented yet. For those who wish to be a part of conserving our environment, you may wish to skip this activity. There are other sights to take in at Shifen besides the release of the sky lantern, such as Shifen Waterfall and taking a train ride to see nearby towns such as Pingxi and its old streets.

Address: 226, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Pingxi District, 十分老街

indulge in street food and shopping at shilin night market (士林夜市)

We got our driver to drop us at Shilin Night Market as our last activity of the day for more street food eats and shopping. Shilin Night Market is one of the largest and most popular night market in Taipei where both tourists and locals alike visits. At Shilin, you can also find foods that are part of the Michelin Food Guide such as A Hui Mian Xian (阿辉面线), Bin Small Sausage In Large Sausage (斌大肠包小肠正宗士林创始店), Hai Yu Pork Ribs (海友十全排骨) to name a few. Be sure to also shop to your heart’s content as there are countless of fashion and accessory shops all priced affordably. Shilin Night Market is literally the meaning of eat and shop (买东西吃东西) in Taipei!

We had our dinner at Zhong Cheng Hao Fried Oyster Omelette (忠誠號蚵仔煎), where Leia and Lauren loved the Lu Rou Fan (滷肉饭), and managed to finish a bowl even though they were tired from the day’s activities! The fried oyster omelette on the other hand, is different from the usual taste we enjoy in Singapore and had more of a sweet taste to it as they used a thick sweet sauce instead of our usual sour spicy chilli sauce in Singapore — a personal preference in our opinion!

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Address: No. 101號, Jihe Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 4pm-12am, Saturday-Sunday, 3pm-1am

Day 3

Our route for day 3 can be found on Google Maps here.

enjoy a sit-down breakfast at hong ji dou jiang (洪記豆漿大王)

Recommended by our driver when we said we wanted to have a different breakfast place from Yonghe Dou Jiang as we already tried it before, he brought us to Hong Ji Dou Jiang Da Wang. Here, you can see many Taiwanese locals streaming in to get their breakfast fix. Similar to Yonghe Dou Jiang, you can also enjoy youtiaos and freshly made doujiang. Besides these 2 breakfast basics, we also ordered carrot cake, dumplings and Rou Song Jian Bing (肉松煎饼). Youtiaos are always a hot favourite amongst Leia and Lauren!

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Address: 10491, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongshan District, Jilin Road, 252-1號

Opening hours: 24 hours

relax and enjoy the beach view in yilan at mr brown castle cafe

After breakfast, we went on our customized private tour for an hour’s drive to Yilan and our first stop was Mr Brown Cafe — a castle themed cafe at the top of the mountain. Although touristy, the cafe offered one of the more stunning views of Yilan.

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The food at Mr Brown Cafe on the other hand, isn’t anything to shout about. There were long queues for the food and drinks as it was more of a pit stop before continuing your Yilan journey — and it was pretty hard to find a table. We reckon just making a quick stop for photo taking opportunities and enjoying the panoramic views, or a toilet break before asking your driver to bring you to another coffee place if you are dying for a pick me up.

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Address: No.95, Shikong Rd., Toucheng Township, Yilan County 261, Taiwan

Opening hours: 8am-7pm

eat one of yilan’s specialty for lunch — clay oven roast chicken at weng yao chicken (瓮窑鸡)

One of Yilan’s famous food options, the clay oven roast chicken is a must-try when you are here! We got our driver to recommend one of the best eating spot for this dish and he brought us to Weng Yao Chicken. Although the lunch crowd was in full gear, we did not have to wait too long for a seat. They also had a pretty systematic number queueing system going on.

What’s unique about these clay oven roast chicken is how they are made — each roasted chicken is slowly smoked over tropical longan wood, and it really brought out the aroma and taste in the chicken! You can actually see the hard work of cooking the chicken upon entering the shop and it is truly a sight to behold.

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And here is Lauren chomping down a chicken drumstick at Weng Yao Chicken!

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Address: No. 7, Section 7, Jiaoxi Road, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 262

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-10pm, Saturday-Sunday, 9am-11pm

make your own sweets or chocolates at sophisca cafe (員山菓風糖果工房)

Sophisca Cafe is located at a very unsuspecting spot in Yilan, with lush greeneries surrounding the area. The cafe is typically a candy and chocolate store — when we arrived around 3+pm, the cafe section wasn’t even open! However, people mainly come here for the DIY sweets and chocolates making sessions. Timetables for each class — priced at NT$150 (S$7) per pax, can be found at the entrance of the candy store, their Facebook page, or by asking a staff. Although the class is pretty basic, it kept the kids entertained.

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Sophisca Cafe also gives off a very relaxing vibe, probably because of its surrounding area. This made the waiting time for classes to begin a lot more bearable even though there were nothing to do in the meantime. For us, we sat around to enjoy the greenery and to take in the fresh air!

Address: No. 188號, Section 2, Xiande Road, Yuanshan Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 264

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 10am-6pm

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be a farmer for a day at e-long goat farm (宜农牧羊场)

Be exposed to many different animals at E-long Goat Farm as they not only have goats for feeding, but also piglets, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs, rabbits — typically most farm animals, for you to try your hands on feeding them. For parents who wants their kids to have more contact with animals, E-long Goat Farm is highly recommended! Although it may be slightly overwhelming for tourists with its vast amount of roaming animals, we actually saw the local Taiwanese kids bravely feeding the animals at the farm.

Leia and Lauren in particular enjoyed catching fishes at the farm!

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The entrance fee into the farm is priced at NT$30 (S$2) — operated as an honesty system as no one was manning the entrance. For farm feed, you would have to go to the counters to purchase a feeding basket for NT$100 (S$5), and NT$10 (S$0.50) for the grass to feed the goats.

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Address: No. 17號, Lane 239, Changchun Rd, Dongshan Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 269

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 9am-6pm

ride an electric bike around meihua lake (梅花湖)

We ended the day at Meihua Lake — where upon reaching, you would be greeted with many electrical bicycle stores. We basically saved the hassle and rented from the first store, but if you are picky with designs and want to ride a duck or a princess carriage for example, there are many other rental stores to choose from! During summer, we highly recommend doing so as you would enjoy the cool breeze in your face on the ride, whereas during the cooler months, taking a stroll along the lake might be a good option too.

Leia was our driver for the day! (Just kidding)

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Meihua Lake isn’t a very huge lake, and would probably take about 15-20 mins to make a round with your electric bike. However, do stop along the way to take in the scenery. The landscape is amazing too if you are there to catch the sun down. Many people also recommend bringing food to feed the fishes and ducks there, an activity to consider if you wish to relax by the lake.

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We ended our Yilan adventure by stopping by for drinks at a cafe along our route back to return our bicycles and headed back to Taipei City thereafter. Yilan is definitely a top pick for kid friendly activities, and if you do come to Taipei, be sure to stay the night at Yilan to enjoy what this small town has to offer.

Address: 269, Taiwan, Yilan County, Dongshan Township

feast on taiwanese cuisine at xian jin seafood diner (先進海產店)

Back in Taipei City, we had Tai Cai (台菜) — what the locals call Taiwanese Cuisine in short. Xian Jin Seafood Diner was an unassuming restaurant recommended by one of our friends. Although we had already reserved a table beforehand, we still had to wait for an estimated 15 minutes for our turn when we arrived. But the food was worth the wait as we enjoyed the dishes we ordered!

We did not snap much photos of the food as we were too hungry after a day’s activities (oops). But do not forget to check out our Taiwan’s food post for a more comprehensive review of the restaurant and other foods we had during our Taipei stay!

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Address: No. 5, Lane 23, Yanji Street, Songshan District, Taipei City

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 5.30pm-1.30am

day 4

Our route for day 4 can be found on Google Maps here.

wolf down one of taipei’s famous ‘gua bao’ at lan jia gua bao (藍家割包) then head opposite for the best brown sugar bubble milk at chen san ding (陳三鼎)

Recommended by one of our readers to try, we headed to Lan Jia Gua Bao for breakfast on our 4th day in Taipei City! Unbeknownst to us, we ended up being right opposite the best brown sugar bubble milk too. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Unlike Singapore’s ‘kong bak pau’, Taiwan’s gua bao has a twist to it by adding peanuts and coriander. You also get to choose the variation of meat when you order — full fatty meat, half fatty and half lean, or full lean. We also ordered their Chinese Four Herbs Soup (四神汤), a popular item on the menu too!

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And of course, we could not miss the brown sugar bubble milk even though our stomachs was bursting!

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Both Lan Jia Gua Bao and Chen San Ding is right smack in the middle of Gongguan Night Market (公館夜市), therefore if you are planning to check out Gongguan area already for its night market, you can shift these 2 must-try food to a night activity instead.

Lan Jia Gua Bao

Address: No. 3號, Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Luosifu Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-12am, Mondays closed

Chen San Ding

Address: No. 2, Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Luosifu Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-10pm, Mondays Closed

spend your afternoon at the tallest skyscraper in taipei city - taipei 101

Ranked 10 in the world’s tallest building, you can take in unobstructed panoramic views of Taipei City at the 89th floor of the Taipei 101 Observatory. It only takes mere seconds to reach the observatory deck thanks to its high-speed elevators. When we visited, the skies were clear and we had full view of Taipei at the indoor observatory.

Tickets are priced at NT$600 (S$27) for a standard ticket.

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Address: No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 9am-10pm

Website

let your kids have some fun at taipei children’s amusement park

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After a nap back at the hotel, we brought Leia and Lauren to Taipei Children’s Amusement Park — a theme park right in the middle of Shilin District. The theme park houses 13 large rides and 14 small rides, a fun hub, and a free playground which has a ball pit and a sand pit. The theme park was suitable for all age groups as we even saw teenagers enjoying the park! Entrance fee into the park was priced at NT$30 (S$2), and you had to pay for rides which you wanted to sit, which was NT$20-80 (S$1-4) per ride.

We did not try all the rides, but we did ride the Polis Ferris Wheel, Happy Electric Bumper Boat and the Electric Cars for Children where Leia and Lauren got to drive their own Audi!

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Address: No.55, Section 5, Chengde Road, Shilin District, Taipei 11169, Taiwan

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday, 9am-8pm

Website

complete your day with a hot pot dinner at old sichuan (老四川)

Being the last dinner we were going to have in Taipei, we decided that we needed to have hot pot! We had our Uber and Private hire drivers recommend us a couple of their must eat hot pot in Taipei and there were a few that was commonly brought up such as Ding Wang Spicy Hot Pot (鼎旺麻辣鍋), Old Sichuan and Lan Ji Spicy Hot Pot (藍記麻辣鍋). We initially intended to go to Lan Ji Hot Pot but it was closed, and therefore we ended up going to Old Sichuan instead.

We waited for about 20 minutes before we it was our turn at Lao Sichuan — and if you are looking for a mala hot pot that has enough ‘ma’ and enough ‘la’ (spicy and numb), this is the place you ought to try. They even had hot and sour cold glass noodles on the house which was to die for.

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Address: No. 45號, Section 2, Nanjing East Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 11.30am-5am

Note: They have 2 outlets across Taipei so do check on Google Maps which is a more convenient location for you if you plan to make a visit.

day 5

Our route for day 5 can be found on Google Maps here.

Reserve A table at a michelin bib restaurant for lunch - zui feng yuan (醉楓園小館) before the flight back to taipei

Ending our Taipei adventure on a high note, we reserved ourselves at Zui Feng Yuan, a restaurant awarded the michelin bib in 2018. The restaurant wasn’t fancy and may even seem dated, but the food we had there was pretty good and was at an affordable price point too. For those of you who love taro, you should order the Crispy Mashed Taro Duck, one of their signature dishes and crowd favourite!

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Address: No. 5, Lane 8, Section 3, Bade Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, 11.30am-2pm, 5.30pm-9pm

 

5d4n taipei Trip Recap

Day 1: Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) through Airport Transfer > JSL Hotel > Ximending > Money Jump > Shida Night Market

Day 2: Jiufen Private Day Tour: Yehliu, Shifen, and Jiufen booked through Changi Recommends and drop off at Shilin Night Market

Day 3: Yilan Private Charter from Taipei booked through Changi Recommends - Mr Brown Castle Cafe > Weng Yao Ji > Sophisca Cafe > E-long Goat Farm > Mei Hua Lake and drop off at Xian Jin for seafood dinner

Day 4: Free and Easy - Lan Jia Gua Bao > Taipei 101 Observatory > Taipei Children’s Amusement Park > Old Sichuan

Day 5: Lunch at Zui Feng Yuan > Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)

Promotions

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ATTRACTIONS: GTYAS8 for 8% off (min spend $120, capped at $30)

or GTYAS10 for 10% off (min spend $380, capped at $70)

INSURANCE: MSHIPHYFE19 for up to 60% off travel insurance

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