Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trip To Taiwan 台湾: 11D10N Round Island Tour Itinerary

Photo By: Elin Chow

It's been a week since I came back from a 11 days vacation to Taiwan with my husband and his family. This was undoubtedly, our longest overseas holiday to date and now, I am excited to share all of our wonderful adventures in Taiwan!

We decided on Taiwan as our first family overseas holiday destination at the end of March. I must say it was a very last minute decision since we only have about a month time to plan and settle everything for our trip.

It is definitely not easy to filter through all the 3000 + photographs which I have took in Taiwan and I wonder how much motivation I will need to edit every one of them before I actually upload and post them up on my blog. It will probably take me months to finish my entire Taiwan travelogue, so please be patient with me.

To be frank, I seriously do not have any idea how to write or start my Taiwan travelogue. There are simply too many experiences and photographs that I would like to share.  So, for easy reference, I figured out that putting up an itinerary first might be the best way to start my adventures in Taiwan.

Transportation

Eva Air

For our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Taiwan, we decided to fly with Eva Air, a Taiwanese international airline based in Taiwan.



This was the first time we flew with Eva Air and I figured out that it might be good for me to share some of my experiences I had with the Taiwan-based airline.

The service was great, but it was disappointing that flight attendants did not offer water to us often enough. Throughout the 4 hours flight, we were only offered water twice. The first was right after the flight took off and the second was when our meal was served. We could have asked, but I believe we should not be asking at all. It will be good if Eva Air could make some improvement to this.

The food was awful. We get to choose between two choices - chicken spaghetti or beef rice. Between the two, I chose the chicken spaghetti which comes with a bread bun, mango cake, fruits and salad.  I did not even finish half of it and I noticed that I was not the only one who did not finish the meal. As for the in-flight entertainment. the options was good, but we feel that there could be better selections.

Overall, the flying experience was pleasant, but unfortunately, I was not feeling very impressed. If I am given a choice to choose between carriers, I would probably skip Eva Air and fly with another airline the next time instead.

Private customized tour package

As this was our first time visiting Taiwan, we have no idea how we should go about planning our trip. After some discussion, we decided to engage the service of a private tour guide to help us plan an itinerary, book all of our accommodations and drove us around the island.

You may ask why did we decided to engage a private and customized tour service rather than going free-and-easy? Well, it is largely due to the flexibility, privacy, convenience and comfort which a customized tour service can offer. I will say it was a great choice indeed as we get to experience and discover Taiwan from many different angles. The entire trip was pleasant, hassle-free and unforgettable.

So, after searching around on the internet, we got in touched and decided to book a 11 days 10 nights private customized tour package with Mr Rocky Tsai 蔡天赐先生. I must say that choosing Mr Tsai was really one of the best choice we had made for our trip. We had a really enjoyable travel experience!

Now, let me explain and summarize in details what are the things that made us felt so pleased and satisfied with the service provided by Mr Tsai.

1. Prompt in replying

Our first interactions were on Facebook messenger after we added Mr Tsai as friends. We provided him our travel dates and expressed our interest in engaging his services for our trip. So, he asked us where we would like to visit so he could draft out a detailed itinerary for us and quote us a price. We listed a few compulsory places of attractions which we would like to visit and at the same time, expressed our desire to do a round island tour in Taiwan. A round island tour in just 8 days time!

Mr Tsai was really quick in replying and drafting a detailed itinerary for us. All of our discussions were done on Facebook messenger and it usually would not take him more than a day to get back to us.

Our subsequent message exchanges went on smoothly as well. It took us about 2 weeks to confirm our itinerary as we kept on making amendments to the itinerary which Mr Tsai has drafted out for us. Even so, he was still very patient in answering our inquires and tries his best to accommodate to our requests. Once we are satisfied and confirmed everything on the itinerary, we are requested to transfer him a small amount of deposit to book down his dates for the trip.

2. Clean & Spacious car with WiFi

Mr Tsai drives a 9-seater Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle that offers us ample of storage space for our luggage. His van is very clean, well-maintained and comfortable. There is free portable Wifi provided in his van, which allowed us to stay connected throughout the entire trip. This also explained why there is no need for us to purchase a pre-paid SIM card since we touched down in the country. Dual port USB chargers are also available for us to charge our phone any time. So, there is no need for us to worry about our phone running out of battery at any time during my trip.

In addition to that, Mr Tsai is also thoughtful enough to provide us with a local mobile phone to enable us to contact him easily. Free flow of bottled mineral water are available as well for us to drink while travelling on roads.

3. Careful & Experienced Driver

Mr Tsai is a very careful and skilled driver with at least 20 years of driving experiences. Throughout the entire trip, we have never felt any discomfort arising from the torturing long car ride. Be it climbing uphills to the top of the mountains or driving around the winding mountainous roads, he has no problem delivering us to our destination safely at the shortest time.

3. Professional & Punctual

Our flight was delayed and we arrived in Taiwan 30 minutes later than expected . Upon arrival in Taiwan, we were delighted to find Mr Tsai was already at the airport waiting for us. From our conversations, we got to know that he had been waiting for us since more than an hour ago. He was at the airport early to ensure that he will not be late to pick us up.

Apart from that, Mr Tsai was always very punctual to fetch us from our hotel and start our itinerary for the day. He was humorous and hardworking guy who is always trying his best to entertain and assist us whenever we needed his help.

Throughout the 11 days we spent with him, he will never rush us to get to the next destination. We were free to visit and explore every destination at our own pace. He will not bring us around for shopping unless we requested him to.

Contact Details

For those who are interested in engaging the service of Mr Tsai, you may contact him either via:

Facebook: Facebook Messenger
Whatsapp: +886-926-123000 (International) / 0926-123000 (Domestic)
Email: rockytsai531205@gmail.com

11 Days 10 Nights Round Island Tour Itinerary

The below shows the itinerary we have planned and covered during the 11 days we spent in Taiwan. Hopefully, this will be helpful to those who are planning to visit Taiwan any time soon.

All the places on the itinerary below will slowly be linked to the individual blog posts that will follow by in the next few months. So be sure follow me on Facebook or Twitter to get the latest updates on my 11 days adventures in Taiwan!

Our itinerary includes the following: 

Taipei 台北 > Taichung 台中 > Nantou 南投 (Puli 埔里 > Sun Moon Lake 日月潭) > Nantou 南投 > Pingtung City 屏东县 (Kenting 垦丁) > Taitung 台东 > Hualien 花莲 > Yilan 宜兰 > Taipei 台北 

Day 1: Taipei 台北 / Taichung 台中

Kuala Lumpur International Airport 吉隆坡国际机场 > Arrival Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport 台湾桃园国际机场 > Taichung Xitun District 台中西屯区 > Check In Feng Jia Inn 逢甲Inn > Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市

Day 2: Taichung 台中

Taichung Xitun District 台中西屯区 > Breakfast  早餐 >  Zhong She Toursight/ Chung She Tourism Flower Market 中社观光花市 > Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林 > Lunch 午餐 > Xinshe Castle / Summit Resort 新社古堡庄园 > Dakeng Lovers' Bridge 大坑情人桥 > Feng Jia Inn 逢甲Inn > Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市

Day 3: Taichung 台中 / Nantou 南投 / Cingjing 清境
Taichung Xitun District 台中西屯区 > Breakfast 早餐 > Puli King Garden 埔里元首馆 > Puli Brewery 埔里酒厂 > Sun Moon Lake 日月潭  > Feeling 18 Degree Chocolate Factory 18 度 C 巧克力工房 > Cingjing 清境 > Check In Brilliant Twins of Seattle 清境西雅图璀璨双城 > Dinner 晚餐 @ Inako Scenic View Cafe Restaurant 伊拿谷景观咖啡餐坊

Day 4: Cingjing 清境 / Tainan 台南 / Kenting 垦丁

Brilliant Twins of Seattle 清境西雅图璀璨双城 > Cingjing Farm - Green Green Grassland 清境农场  - 青青草原 > Tainan, Pingting Country 台南 屏东县 > Kenting 垦丁 > Check In Kenting An B&B 垦丁An 民宿 > Kenting Night Market 垦丁大街

Day 5: Kenting 垦丁 /  Taitung 台东

Kenting An B&B 垦丁An 民宿 > Sail Rock 船帆石 > Shadao Ecological Reserve / Sand Island 砂岛 > Eluanbi Park 鹅銮鼻公园 > Kenting National Park 垦丁国家公园 > Duoliang Station 多良火车站 > Check In Taitung Midori B&B 台东米多丽精致民宿 > Dinner 晚餐

Day 6: Taitung 台东 / Hualien 花莲
Taitung Midori B&B 台东米多丽精致民宿 > Taitung Little Yeliu/ Xiaoyeliu 台东小野柳 > Terrace of Three Immortals / Sanxiantai 三仙台风景区 > Donghe Baozi 东河包子 > Mr Brown Avenue / Brown's Road 伯朗大道 > Chihshang Bento Museum 池上包饭~文化故事馆 > Hualien 花莲  > Check In Qixing Tan Qixing Hai B&B/ Chishingtan Chishinghai B&B 七星海民宿

Day 7 : Hualien 花莲 / Yilan 宜兰
Qixing Tan Qixing Hai B&B/ Chishingtan Chishinghai B&B 七星海民宿 > Qixingtan / Chishingtan Scenic Area 七星潭风景区 > Zheng Ji Mochi 曾记麻吉 > Qingshui Cliff / Cingshui Cliff 清水断崖 > Nanfangao Observation Deck / Nanfangao Observatory 南方澳观景台 > Nanfangao Nanning Fish Market 南方澳南宁鱼市场 > Baimi Clog Village 白米木屐村 > Luodong Night Market 羅东观光夜市 > Check In Jiaoxi Quan Jia Hot Spring Hotel 礁溪泉嘉温泉会馆

Day 8: Taipei 台北

Jiaoxi Quan Jia Hot Spring Hotel 礁溪泉嘉温泉会馆 > Yehliu Geopark 野柳地址公园 > Jinshan Old street / Jinbaoli Old Street 金山老街 / 金包里老街 > Dingshan Shell Temple 顶山贝壳庙 > Tamsui Wharf 淡水渔人码头 > Tamsui Old Street 淡水老街 > Check In Taipei Beautiful Inn 台北美栈

Day 9: Taipei 台北
Taipei Beautiful Inn 台北美栈  > Remains Of The Thirteen Levels 十三层遗址 / Shuinandong Smelter 水湳洞精炼厂 > Yin Yang Sea 阴阳海 > Golden Waterfall 黄金瀑布 > Jiufen Old Street 九份老街 > Shifen Old Street 十分老街 > Shifen Waterfall 十分瀑布 > Shilin Night Market 士林夜市 > Taipei Beautiful Inn 台北美栈

Day 10: Taipei 台北

Free & Easy 自由行 - Taipei Ximending 台北西门町

Day 10: Taipei 台北  / Kuala Lumpur 吉隆坡

Taipei 台北 > Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport 台湾桃园国际机场 > Kuala Lumpur International Airport 吉隆坡国际机场

So, basically, this is my itinerary for my 11 days round island trip to Taiwan. I will be posting individual posts about the places we visited in Taiwan soon. So, be sure to follow me on my Facebook or Twitter to get the latest updates on my 11 days Taiwan adventures! Also, do not forget to share my blog posts with your family and friends if you find them helpful. In the meantime, you might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.

50 comments:

  1. Hi Elin

    Thank you so much for sharing your tour experience. Could you tell me how much you paid for the customized tour package with Mr Rocky Tsai ? Can the van accommodate 5 adults + 2 kids?

    Kenneth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kenneth,

      Thanks for reading my blog. I paid about RM 12000 (6 persons) for the customized tour package with Mr Tsai. The amount does not include accommodation, food and entrance tickets. In total, I believe we spent about RM 20000 for our trip. As everything is customized, the price for everyone will be different. It depends largely on where you would like to visit and what you expected. The van which Mr Tsai drives have no problem accommodating 5 adults and 2 kids. It was a 10-seater van, well-maintained and with high horse power. So it has no problem climbing uphill and definitely, you will not feel uncomfortable when you are on road for long hours.

      Delete
    2. Hi Kenneth,

      Thanks for reading my blog. I paid about RM 12000 (6 persons) for the customized tour package with Mr Tsai. The amount does not include accommodation, food and entrance tickets. In total, I believe we spent about RM 20000 for our trip. As everything is customized, the price for everyone will be different. It depends largely on where you would like to visit and what you expected. The van which Mr Tsai drives have no problem accommodating 5 adults and 2 kids. It was a 10-seater van, well-maintained and with high horse power. So it has no problem climbing uphill and definitely, you will not feel uncomfortable when you are on road for long hours.

      Delete
  2. Hi Elin

    Thanks so much for your prompt reply. Does Mr Tsai also arrange for accomodation?

    Kenneth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kenneth,

      Yes, he did arrange our accommodation for us. You would have to discuss further in details with him.

      Delete
  3. Hi, I tried contacting Mr Tsai via FB but no response from him. Do you have his contact number?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, he replied me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Elin

    You mentioned paid about RM 12000 (6 persons) for the customized tour package with Mr Tsai. Is this amount paid for his driving service only.
    For 11 days, how many days did you use the driver service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Yes, this is the amount we paid for his driving service only. We used his service for 9 days and spent 2 days on our own in XiMending. He sent us to the airport on the day of our departure.

      Delete
  6. Hi Elin,

    Thank you for sharing your very interesting travelogue. May I know if your total est. spending of RM20k for the entire trip includes the airfare? Else I assume that it also covers the accommodation which you have engaged Mr. Tsai to book on your behalf?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Sorry for the late reply. If I didn't remember wrongly, the RM 20k does not include airfare. It covers only accommodation, entrance tickets, food and shopping. Food and shopping can be control by individuals. If you want to save on food, eat at night markets. We spent most of our days eating in restaurants. It really depends on individuals

      Delete
  7. Hi Elin,

    Can Mr Tsai speaks English?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi if you want English speaking drivers. I can recommend 2 which I have engaged before.

      http://airfne.com/listing/taiwan-david-liaw/

      http://airfne.com/listing/taiwan-tiffany/

      Delete
  8. Hi,

    No, unfortunately he cannot speak English.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Elin,
    Love your blog! Could you also share your views on the Hotels? In terms of cleanliness, convenience, service, wifi..etc.. Thanks so much.
    Rebecca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rebecca,
      Great to hear that you love my blog. I have written and linked the individual posts on the B&B (or minsu) that I have stayed for this Taiwan in this blog post. If you ask me which are my favorite, it will be Midori B&B in Taitung. The worst will be Taipei Beautiful Inn in Taipei. In terms of cleanliness, all of the B&B (except Taipei Beautiful Inn) were very clean and comfortable. Wifi was good and fast for all. To know more, you can click on the links for my detailed review.

      Delete
  10. Hi
    Was he soley a driver or was he also a tour guide? WAs he able to introduce the areas and history of some of those places you went?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Mr Tsai was more of a driver. But he was able to introduce some of the places briefly. We learn a lot of about the local cultures from him too. But most of the time, he will be concentrating on driving. Most of the driver would not be able to tell you much about the history of the places. Afterall, Taiwan is quite a huge place. It is impossible for one to know every single place in Taiwan.

      Delete
  11. Dear Elin, .

    Thank you so much for your sharing. I going to plan my family to Taiwan in next year. Total : 13 pax. 9 Adults & 4 Kids. We are from Kuching Sarawak. Your blog is useful to me.

    Thanks a lot Elin for your great sharing

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very interested to read your experience with Mr Tsai. My wife and I spent two weeks doing a lap of Taiwan on the trains without a guide. We did not have any major problems but having a guide certainly would have made all the organizing that we had to do along the way much easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were travelling with an elderly, who has serious mobility problem. So, it is not very convienent for us to travel around Taiwan by the public transport.

      Delete
  13. Hi Elin, thanks for your travel blog, its very interesting and helpful. Can i know the dates you visited taiwan for this trip? As i went to taichung somewhere late last year but the flower place was not open. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joy,
      I visited during end of April to beginning of May.

      Delete
  14. Hi Elin, I'm going visit Taiwan from end of April till beginning of May as well, just like your trip. How was the weather like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,
      The weather is quite cooling, especially in Taipei. But at the same time, a little hot and humid in Hualian and Kenting area because they are nearer to the sea. We were lucky that it only rained on our last 2 days in Taipei.

      Delete
  15. hi elin,

    i wanna visit Taiwan but i am not sure October or November is better for autumn. In mid of October, will you see a lot of autumn leaves? or October and November is not much different? thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Edison, not sure if this answers your question. But the last time I was in Taiwan during early November, the weather was still not that cool yet. Not much autumn leaves then.

      Delete
  16. Hi elin, did i read correctly, the price for customised tour is rm 12 000 ( twelve thousand ringgit malaysia)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Yes, the price for customized tour was around RM 12,000. I could not really remember. The price includes 9 days travelling fees and accomdations for the driver. Price will vary for everyone depending on their itinerary. The high price was because we did a round island trip in Taiwan.

      Delete
  17. Hi Great review! I like the way you mash the pictures together. Easy viewing:))

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi ! great review, beautiful pictures Elin :) I had a question, how was the weather generally at the beginning of may ? I saw that there is a lot of rain in that month :(. thankkss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I was lucky when I visited Taiwan at the beginning of May. It did not rain until the last two day we were in Taiwan. And it rains for the entire day! Luckily, we spent most of our time doing shopping in Xinmending. So, the rain does not affect our itinerary much.

      Delete
  19. Hi Elin!

    Thanks for this post. It's useful! I will be planning for my next taiwan trip in August. Will be engaging Mr Rocky.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Elin,

    Thanks for sharing your valuable experience with us. It will be a useful reference for us to plan my Taiwan 8 days trip.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi there! Would like to check with you if the van can accomodate 8 adults and 1 child of 1 year old?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi, Elin,
    Happy to view your blog as I'm planning a family trip to Taiwan in Dec 2016. Good to see your itinerary and recommended accommodation. That will give me some ideas on planning. Thank you so much for sharing ! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      That's really nice to hear. I am always happy to share. Hope you have a nice trip to Taiwan :D

      Delete
  23. Hi Elin, thanks a lot for your input.

    I am planning for 4pax with two elderly adults, not 11D but maybe 9D.

    Questions:
    1) What is the estimated costs for engaging Mr Tsai and for this all island coverage is to anywhere is it?
    Does he always bring tourists to only tourist 專賣店 to sell stuff?
    2) I saw you got 民宿, how is the costs like amd must it be arranged by Mr Tsai as part of his package?
    Can we arrange on our own?
    3) What is average meal costs that you had at restaurants, or their bill size?

    sorry wanna know more about costing as I am the sole person paying for whole trip.


    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Sorry for the late reply.

      1. The cost depends hugely on the places you want to visit. Since we were doing a round island tour, it is more expensive than doing avhalf island tour. It is best that you contact Mr Tsai yourself so that he can quote you an estimate price.

      2. I have blog about the Minsu that I have stayed in during the trip. You should be able to find the prices in the posts. You can arrange your accommodations yourself. Again, please contact Mr Tsai for more details. He is very flexible.

      3. Price of meal depends hugely what you want to eat. Someday, we splurge and someday, we scrimp. For restaurans, it was usually around RM 100 - 200 for 6 persons. But again, we are huge eater.

      Overall, it is about 3k plus per person including airfare, driver, accommodation and meals.

      Delete
  24. Wow!
    Happened to chance upon your blog while doing research for my Taiwan trip.
    I would say that the places you guys went are amazing! They look so cool, Elin!
    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience cos it helps us real loads in planning!
    Would love to follow your itinerary too! :)
    Keep up the awesomeness!!
    Good day!

    Cheers,
    Nina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nina,

      Great to hear that you find my post useful. You will need to hire a driver if you would like to follow my itinerary. Taiwan is a really nice place. Hope that you will a great trip!

      Delete
  25. hi Elin,
    I'm planning for 11pax including 4 elderly + 4 children. OMG!! Your sharing is very informative and helpful in my planning process! Will liaise with Mr Tsai directly. Thank you very much! Keep up the good job! :)

    Cheers, JennyQ

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Elin,

    Just rummaging thru on Taiwan and found your interesting and informative blog.
    I am planning for 2 pax and travel date is early of next month,Nov.
    Arrival on the 5th and return to Malaysia on 11th.
    Looks like we don't have much places to visit,5 days to be exact to cover till Koahsiung and back

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      5 days is too short. I would not recommend you to visit Kaohsiung. There are many nice places in Taipei and Taichung. Why not consider planning your itinerary around these two?

      Delete
  27. thanks for this useful information. I will visit taipei next year

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi, your blog is very useful. I'm also planning a trip next year march to Taiwan. I have a grandma who need to sit on the wheelchair. Understand you also travel with an elderly. Do you think there is any problem for wheelchairs? I'm afraid taiwan is not wheelchair friendly or the night markets are too crowded.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Some places are not wheelchair friendly. But that does not mean your grandma cannot visit the place. Its just that some areas of the attractions might not be accessible to her and she might have to wait for you while you went to explore. Some night markets are too crowded. I would not recommend visiting a night market with wheelchair. Perhaps your grandma could wait at the hotel while you go get her some food from the night market.

      Delete