DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

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DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

The Metro Rail Transit system of Taipei is one of the most efficient in the world.  Due to language constraints, it becomes of high use and convenience to travelers.  Without even the need to communicate with locals and ask for directions, short-term travelers would be able to visit almost all significant tourist landmarks of the city, in the comforts of a train seat.

The service hours of the MRT is from 6:00AM until 12 midnight.

TYPES OF TICKETS AND FARES

It is important for travelers to anticipate how many days would be spent roaming around Taipei or if there are plans of visiting nearby cities and provinces of Taiwan.  As of writing, I have been to Taiwan three times and obtained three types of subway tickets in the convenience of traveling with either my family or friends.


Ticket
Fare
Remarks
IC Single- Journey Ticket
Varies depending on number of stations
·       Good for one passenger per one way trip
·       Available at ticket vending  machine of MRT machines
·       Valid only on the day of issue
One Day Pass
TWD 150
·       Good for one passenger per one way trip
·       Unlimited Taipei MRT rides within a single day until the end of service
·       The price does not include a refundable deposit
Group

·       20% discount for groups of 10 or more
·       30% discount for groups of 40 or more
·       No refunds can be given once issued

During my first visit to Taipei with friends, we availed of the 3-day pass, which comes with an unlimited Taipei Metro rides and rides on Taipei City/New Taipei City buses within the valid period.  The unused ticket is likewise refundable with a service charge of TWD20.  Rates are as follows:

1-day Pass
TWD 180
2-day Pass
TWD 310
3-day Pass
TWD 440
5-day Pass
TWD 700

TOURIST LANDMARKS AND THE SUBWAY STATION

Instead of the hop-on hop-off bus tours and related travel agencies offering day tours, I would recommend to just ride on the MRT station and be guided accordingly as to what sites you intend to visit and which station to alight.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

Here are some for your guidance.

DADAOCHENG WHARF, DIHUA STREET AND THE XIAHAI CITY GOD TEMPLE

Orange Line:  Daqiaotou Station
Exit 1  or Green Line:  Beimen Station

It was relatively a long walk and a challenge to locate the Dadaocheng Wharf from the nearest subway station.  En route, the vicinity resembles a market place, with decent shops and restaurants offering authentic cultural and gastronomic experience.  Tea shops are likewise prominent. We passed by the Dihua Road, a known commercial district of Taipei and holds the record as the oldest road.

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DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

The wharf is likewise designated as a city park with new bicycle paths and functioning ferry pier.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the area has been a trade capital of Taiwan.  The architectural designs of the buildings and its façade is reminiscent of the foreign influences in Taiwan, ranging from Japanese colonial, European baroque and classical and Fujianese.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

The Xiahai City God Temple is likewise located at the Dihua Street.  Completed in 1859, the temple houses around 600 deities, including the City God, his two lieutenants, his wife, a laughing Buddha and several gods connected with the Chinese underworld.  The deity that most of the visitors come to visit is the Old Man under the Moon – the Chinese matchmaker God.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

CHIANG-KAI SHEK MEMORIAL

Red or Green Line: Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall sometimes labeled as C.K.S. Memorial Hall

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DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

The most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan is built in honor of the former President of Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek – the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial.  Apart from the main hall, the large complex houses the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, National Concert Hall and the Natioanl Theater.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

I was able to visit the square twice and on two different perspectives- a rainy and a hot season.  Both are picturesque though.  And I have witnessed the flag retreat ceremony of the guards which takes place at around 5PM with guards marching from the main hall towards the center of the park.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

The Memorial Hall is white with four sides and a blue octagonal roof.  The shape symbolizes the number 8, a number that is traditionally associated with abundance and good fortune.  There are two sets of white stairs leading to the main entrance and each has 89 steps to represent Chiang’s age at the time of his death.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN

Red Line: Exit 2 of Xiangshan station

I came unprepared for a hike.  It was late in the afternoon when our group decided to hike the Nangang District Hiking Trail to get the best vantage for a sunset view and the iconic landmark of Taipei, the Taipei 101.  And it did not disappoint.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRTDISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

Though tiresome, it was rewarding.  There are rest areas as well and facilities for comfort after the flight of stairs to reach the peak.  Some came prepared to drink and with snacks in tow.  And us – in a hurry to get down for dinner after the quick sunset viewing.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

SHILIN NIGHT MARKET

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Red Line:  Exit 1 of Jiantan station (not Shilin station)

Our family went to Taipei to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year, and fortunately, we were able to book accommodations just in front of the Shilin Night Market.  It was favorable for our last minute shopping needs and souvenir finds and in times when we want to go out and dine during late night.  As compared to other night markets, I can say that they do have an edge on offerings.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

The Shilin Night Market is one of the largest and most popular night markets in Taiwan.  The maze of alleyways is filled with a variety of local, traditional and international merchandise and cuisine.

RAOHE NIGHT MARKET

Green Line:  Exit 5 of Songshan Station

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

One of the oldest night markets of Taiwan is the Raohe Night Market.  The prominent landmark beside the marker is the Ciyou Temple, which lightens up the street at night in a grand and photogenic way.  It was built by the local residents during the Qing Dynasty era.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

The Raohe Night Market is said to be the epitome of traditional Taiwanese night market.  Apart from the interesting night foods and snacks, (including the stinky tofu that dominates), quaint shops and stalls, the carnival games with prizes was a good experience.  We did try for fun.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT
  
XIMENDING

Green or Blue Line:  Exit 6 Ximen station for the shopping district

Famous for a diversity of entertainments and activities that allure a number of young people and young adults, the Ximending area is noted to be a popular shopping mecca where the building of H&M store, serves as my recollection, fronting the subway exits.

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It is considered as the first pedestrian zone in Taiwan and dubbed as the “Shibuya” of Taipei.  The Ximending Pedestrian Area was the first pedestrian built in Taipei and the largest in Taiwan.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

Ximending is likewise known for its historical sites.  I was actually led to Ximending to locate the Red House Theater, which was a prominent building during the Japanese era.  But the building was under renovation when we visited.  But there were equally artistic shops adjacent to the site to compensate.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

Some say, Ximending is known for student prostitution.  That, I cannot attest.  I will have to visit the area next time for its night market and the nightlife in general.

SUN YAT-SEN MEMORIAL HALL

Blue Line:  Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall also known as S.Y.S. Memorial Hall

Similar to the C.K.S Memorial, the S.Y.S. is also built in honor of an important personality of Taiwan.  Built in 1972, the memorial was built in honor of the founder of Republic of China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen.  The hall contains displays of Sun’s accomplishments from the revolution during and after the fall of the Qing Dynasty and is now being used as a venue for varied social, educational and cultural activities.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

There is also a guard changing ceremony, which we were able to witness – the synchronized clicking of the boots, swinging of arms forward, leg raising, salutes in between and a series of rifle movements.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

We had a glimpse as well of the Taipei 101 from the garden park surrounding the Memorial. 

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DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

TAIPEI ZOO

Brown Line:  Taipei Zoo

Taipei Zoo is said to be the largest in Asia and home to Yuan Zuai the panda.  Unfortunately, the panda was sleeping when I visited the zoo together with my family.  Even without the panda though, animal lovers would definitely enjoy the place, being home to varied species of animals, even for both flora and fauna.

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DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

This famous zoological garden in Taiwan is also a leader in conservation, research, education and recreation.  The zoo closes at 5PM.

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DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

 TAIPEI 101

Red Line (Xiangshan train):  Taipei 101 station

And of course, every visitor of Taipei should not miss the once world’s tallest building, Taipei 101.  The Taipei 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center is the country’s landmark skyscraper.

Taipei 101 is home to a luxury shopping mall at the base floor, corporate offices and both an indoor (89th) and outdoor observatory (91st).  There are a lot of things to do while inside the building.

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

DISCOVER TAIPEI THROUGH THE MRT

On New Year’s Eve, the vicinity that surrounds becomes the venue for countdown where fireworks are displayed at this famous skyscraper.



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