TAIWAN IS CALLING and if you are a Philippine passport holder, you should take advantage of the nine-month visa-free window to explore some of the island state’s wonders we listed below.
You just need to hustle as we are now halfway the visa-free trial period for Filipinos that started on November 1 last year. It will expire on July 31, 2018 as earlier announced by the government of Taiwan, unless otherwise extended.
Well-received by Filipino travelers, you won’t be surprised to see a friend or two (or a group of them actually), exploring Taiwan these days. So if you’re not gonna maximize this, you’re surely missing a lot.
Taiwan has a lot to offer — may it be scenic views, fantastic activities, and food choices catering to all kinds of visitors, among others. Its capital city of Taipei alone offers a plethora of wonderful places to visit and activities to do. From temples to night markets to museums and natural parks, Taipei has all that. The nearby towns surrounding Taipei offer even wider array of places to visit, and things to do. We’ve listed below a few of them for your perusal. Since they are our personal choices, you know they should be on your priority list of things to do when in Taiwan.
A visit and a selfie at Taipei 101
The tallest skyscraper in Taiwan, the Taipei 101, as the name suggests, is waiting for everyone in Taipei. Taipei 101 enjoyed the title as the world’s tallest building from 2004 until the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was completed in 2010. Standing at 449 meters, 508 meters to tip, visiting Taiwan is not complete without a picture taken with this majestic tower. Not only that, Taipei 101 is packed with activities and food choices only this island estate could offer.
A visit to The National Palace Museum
To deeply love a destination, we must understand its culture first. To have a little grasp of the culture, we gotta learn something about its history. A visit to a museum should be part of each traveler’s itinerary, and when in Taiwan, a visit to The National Palace Museum is a must. Located in Taipei and Taibao, the museum has on its plate, a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks, making it one of the largest of its type in the world. Not only that, the collection encompasses 8,000 years of history of Chinese art from the Neolithic age to the modern. Most of the collection are high quality pieces collected by China’s emperors. Just WOW!
A few hours away from Taipei is the majestic mountain town of Jiufen in northeastern Taiwan, east of Taipei. It has became popular for being a favorite shooting locations for movies, including some Filipino films. Known for the narrow alleyways of its old town, packed with teahouses, street-food shacks and souvenir shops, Jiufen is at the top of our places to visit when in Taiwan. Formerly a mining hub during the Japanese-era gold rush, Jiufen is shining like gold and attracts tourists that easily.
A Taste of Taiwan at the night markets
Who wouldn’t fall for some food trip? While most of us are into specific way of traveling, we all agree that food is the soul of traveling, if not the whole reason for it. Night market in Taiwan is one thing we all look forward to doing. There are a lot of popular night markets visitors could try different Taiwanese cuisines.
Alishan Park. Sun Moon Lake. Ximending. Orchid Island. Cherry Blossoms in Taiwan. We can’t feature all the wonders of Taiwan in just one post so we reserved some for next.
With affordable accommodation choices and efficient transportation system, Taipei easily lures travelers — backpackers and luxury travelers alike. And according to Filipino wanderers, it is actually safer to travel alone in Taiwan than in select metro cities in Southeast Asia, including Metro Manila in the Philippines and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur. So, if you haven’t book your trip yet, it’s time to do so. Cebu Pacific has a lot of affordable flights right now. The no-visa period is something we should maximize for it lessens the hassle of processing a visa, aside from the fact that Taiwan embassy sometimes get too strict about it.
Until July 31, 2018, Filipinos need not to apply for a visa or Travel Authorization Certificate. Simply show up for your flight provided that: 1.) your passport has at least six months validity, 2.) you have a return ticket (or onward ticket to your next destination and a visa for that destination); 3.) a proof of accommodation in Taiwan; 4.) no criminal record in Taiwan; and 5.) you will not stay there for over 14 days. Enjoy!