10 Tips for Solo Travel in Taiwan

Solo travel in Taiwan is incredible!

Taiwan is the perfect introduction to Asia. It is familiar yet unfamiliar. English is fairly widely spoken, and it is super safe. All these factors not only make Taiwan a great introduction to Asia but also a great introduction to solo travel!

Solo travel in Taiwan is super easy. Even if you’ve never travelled alone before, a solo trip to Taiwan is something most people can manage without feeling overwhelmed.

This post will tell you everything you need to know about solo travel in Taiwan, so you can plan the perfect Taiwan trip!

You won’t regret travelling alone in Taiwan!

PS- be sure to check out my post on everything you need to know about planning a solo trip!

1. Taiwan is Safe at Night

One of the first things people Google when planning a solo trip anywhere is whether or not it is safe.

I don’t blame you. I do it too!

I’m very happy to report that Taiwans is very safe for solo travellers. It is safe during both the day and the night.

You don’t have to worry about any nighttime crimes, and you can freely walk around after dark with no worry.

Unless you’re an adult who is mildly afraid of the dark like I am.

How safe the country is is one of the most attractive aspects of solo travel in Taiwan.

You don’t have to worry about avoiding certain areas of town, major scams, or violent crimes.

Of course just like any country in the world there is the possibility of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and having something happen. Petty crimes like pick pocketing can happen in any country as well.

Just because Taiwan is safe for solo travellers doesn’t mean you get to drop your entire guard.

You still have to be aware that some petty crimes happen and to be smart about your actions.

But, overall, solo travel in Taiwan is very safe, and 99% of solo travellers in Taiwan don’t run into any problems.

Taiwan Night Market

2. Get Out and See More Than Taipei

One of the worst things you can do in any country you visit is just visit the capital city, and Taiwan is no exception!

Taipei is an amazing city, and I will admit it is my favourite city in Taiwan. But there is so much to see outside Taipei.

Taiwan has so many different sides, styles, and vibes to it.

The north is vastly different from the south, and it is worth visiting multiple cities!

You can travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung in less than 2 hours. You can easily visit the two major cities in Taiwan in one trip.

PS- don’t forget to read on my guides on where to stay in Taipei and Kaohsiung!

If you have two weeks, I highly recommend you visiting Hualien as well. It has some of the best hiking in the country!

Even if you don’t have much time in Taiwan, you should at a minimum take a day trip from Taipei. The top pick is without a doubt Jiufen.

A lot of blog posts make it seem difficult to travel from Taipei to Jiufen, but I promise it isn’t as daunting as it seems in writing. You can read my full guide on how to easily get to Jiufen here.

No matter what city outside Taipei you choose to visit, it’ll be a different experience to Taipei, and you’ll understand the country a bit better.

Giant Buddha Fo Guang Shan Monastery Kaohsiung Taiwan

3. There is Wide Spread Wifi, but You Have to Jump Through Hoops

Taiwan has a nation wide public wifi network called iTaiwan.

It sounds great, but, in theory, it doesn’t work quite as well as you hope.

It can be a bit tricky to get connected to the iTaiwan network, and the most important thing you need to know is you have to create an account with the government before you arrive in Taiwan.

You can register your account online in advance here.

If you happen to show up in Taiwan without registering for an iTaiwan account before arriving, you can still register for an account. You have to go to a tourism office, show your passport, and create an account with an employee.

It is a bit annoying honestly.

Once you have an iTaiwan account, you can access free public wifi at nearly every public place in Taiwan!

It is pretty cool when it works well, and it is definitely worth the effort in setting up an iTaiwan account.

If you’re like me and travel a lot, you may want to look into investing in a Skyroam to solve all your internet woes while on the road. I bought mine in 2019 and am obsessed.

It is without a doubt one of the best travel purchases I’ve made!

You can read my full guide on wifi in Taipei here.

Please, please, please be internet safe!

Relying on public wifi is basically an essential part of travel, but it leaves you at risk of being hacked and having your personal data stolen.

Yes. Hotel wifi counts as public wifi even if it is password protected!

The last thing you need while on a Taiwan solo trip is for someone to get into your personal devices and steal your information. Especially if it is your banking information!

Trust me. I’ve had my fair share of dealing with banking issues while abroad.

The only way you can protect your online data and privacy when using public wifi is by installing a VPN on your phone, tablet, and laptop.

A VPN essentially puts a forcefield around your personal devices that keeps any and all prying eyes out!

It makes using public wifi as safe as using your home wifi where only you know the password!

I always say if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect your online information! The monthly cost of a VPN is less than a latte at Starbucks!

My favourite VPN

I’ve used a lot of different VPNs over the years.

VPNs are notorious for slowing down your devices and making them painfully slow and frustrating to use. With most VPNs, I eventually give up using them because they slow things down so much I lose my patience.

The only VPN that doesn’t slow your devices to a painful level is NordVPN.

I started using NordVPN in 2019 and haven’t looked back since! It is the only VPN I haven’t cancelled after the first year!

The VPN is super quick compared to other VPNs, which is the biggest selling feature in my books!

You can connect up to six devices on one NordVPN subscription, so you can easily protect all your devices for one low fee!

Seriously! It is a no brainer. You need to keep yourself internet safe whenever you travel.

Oh. And one final (but amazing) feature is the ability to change your location, so it looks like you’re in a different country.

This allows you to access the Netflix library from that country, and you can unlock access to tons of shows and movies you can’t get in the country you’re in.

4. Easy to Get Around

One of the best parts about a Taiwan solo trip is that it is incredibly easy to get around Taiwan.

Whether you are travelling within a city or between cities, the Taiwan transportation system makes it a painless process!

Taipei and Kaohsiung have metro systems that cover the entire cities. Tainan and Taichung are in the process of constructing metro systems.

And every city in Taiwan no matter how small has a comprehensive bus system!

The country also has a world class high-speed rail system that zips you across the country 300km/hour.

You will be amazed at how easy solo travel in Taiwan becomes when you take advantage of all the transportation options!

And if you’re like me and are obsessed with walking, the cities are fairly walkable. Many tourist attractions are grouped in similar areas, so if you plan your days correctly, you won’t even need to rely on public transportation!

5. Cash is King

Cash dominates the market in Taiwan.

Lots of restaurants and convenience stores accept credit cards and debit cards, but if you buy any street food or shop at a street market, you need to have cash on hand.

This may seem like an odd tip to include in a post about solo travel in Taiwan, but it is a very important thing to know.

When you travel with someone else, they can bail you out and loan you cash if you’re in the situation where you don’t have enough cash to pay for something.

You don’t have that luxury when you’re travelling alone in Taiwan.

You are 100% responsible for having enough cash to pay for any cash-only purchases you make.

It just comes with the territory of solo travel.

I highly recommend you covert some of your local currency into New Taiwan Dollars before you leave your home country.

This gives you the security of knowing you have the ability to pay for anything that comes up before you can get to an ATM in Taiwan.

Plus you avoid the stress of searching for an ATM and risking it not accepting your foreign card or having a lot of fees.

Moral of the story: always have some cash in your wallet when you’re in Taiwan!

National Concert Hall Taipei, Taiwan

6. Google Maps Isn’t Always Accurate

95% of the time Google Maps works like a charm in Taiwan, but it is that 5% that makes you want to pull out your hair.

Google maps is great when you want to use the metro, catch a bus, or walk to a major sight.

The problem comes in when you try to use it to get to a lesser known night market or somewhere with alleys.

You can find yourself walking in circles for hours growing frustrated that Google Maps isn’t showing you the way.

Trust me. It took me two days and a lot of determination to find one specific clothing market in Kaohsiung!

A Taiwan solo trip can become a bit frustrating when your map doesn’t tell you where to go.

You have to rely on having a general idea of where to go, local street signs, and following that little blue dot hoping you keep getting closer to your destination.

This can be a little frustrating when you’re alone in Taiwan.

You don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of and are stuck with only yourself to figure out where to go.

Google Maps has your back most of the time but be prepared for the odd time it stabs you in the back and leaves you in the lurch.

Just please know the address of where you’re staying and have a solid idea on how to get back there in case Google Maps really does you dirty!

7. Inexpensive Compared to Rest of East Asia

Taiwan is in East Asia, which is the most expensive region in Asia.

Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong all have reputations for being expensive, and Taiwan breaks that mold.

The prices in Taiwan are very inexpensive compared to the rest of the region.

It is by no means as affordable as Southeast Asia, but you won’t break the bank in Taiwan either.

You can get a full meal at a street market for less than $10, transportation is $1-$2 per ride, and I didn’t pay more than $50 per night for mid-level hotels.

I have very surprised at how affordable Taiwan is. I came home with money to spare, and that is something that never happens when I travel!

The fact that Taiwan is inexpensive but still super modern and semi-Westernized is why I think Taiwan is the perfect introduction to Asia as a solo traveller.

Lotus Pond Scenic Area Kaohsiung Taiwan

8. Cafés Aren’t Very Common

This is without a doubt my least favourite part about solo travel in Taiwan!

I love hanging out in cafés and reading when I travel, and that simply isn’t a popular thing to do in Taiwan.

There are tons of places to grab tea, but most of them are window stores with no place to sit.

Honestly, I’ve never been to a country where I’ve seen fewer Starbucks than in Taiwan! Not that I like Starbucks, but it gives you a sense of how uncommon cafés are!

If you’re like me and relish the opportunity to relax, read, and unwind in a café when on a solo trip, Taiwan isn’t the place to do it.

Leave your book at the hotel because you likely won’t find a place to sit down and read it.

I know this isn’t a big issue for most people, but it was definitely a shock for me (and a disappointment if I’m honest).

9. Night Markets are Your Best Friend

Taiwan is known for its incredible food. In fact, the country is often touted as a foodie’s dream destination.

Every city in Taiwan has multiple night markets where you can try out a bunch of food and indulge.

Night markets are a big part of Taiwanese culture, so you don’t have to worry about them being too touristy and unauthentic.

Visiting night markets is one of the best things you can do while on a Taiwan solo trip.

A lot of solo travellers are nervous about eating at restaurants alone, and visiting night markets is the easiest way to eliminate that!

It is 100% street food, and you either sit at a table or eat while you walk.

Many locals visit night markets alone, and you won’t feel uncomfortable or weird wandering around a night market alone.

Not only are night markets the perfect solution to any qualms you have about eating alone, but they are also super affordable!

You can have a full meal for less than $10!

Night markets are a way of life in Taiwan, and you haven’t experienced Taiwan until you’ve been to at least a couple of night markets.

PS- be sure to read my post on everything you need to know about night markets in Kaohsiung!

Ice Cream Burrito Taipei Taiwan

10. Taiwanese People are Very Friendly

You will be blown away at how kind and friendly Taiwanese people are!

I arrived in Taipei and immediately went to Taipei Main Station to catch a train to Hualien. I stopped to look at the train departure board, and within seconds, an old man came up to ask if I needed help figuring out what platform my train was departing from. It was really sweet of him.

And that isn’t an isolated expereince!

People are always willing to help. Employees at museums are excited to tell you about the artifacts, street food vendors make sure you’re 100% happy with your meal, and hotel employees go above and beyond.

Sometimes when you’re travelling alone in a country it can feel a bit awkward if you need to ask for directions or help of any sort.

That isn’t the case in Taiwan!

If you need any sort of help or are lost, I can guarantee you won’t have to look far to find a local who is willing to help you out!

The Fear of Solo Travel

Conclusion

You are now prepared to embark on your solo trip to Taiwan!

You’re an expert in all things travelling Taiwan alone and can conquer your Taiwan solo trip like a boss!

There is absolutely nothing scary about taking a solo trip to Taiwan!

It is without a doubt on the friendliest countries in Asia for solo travellers.

Taiwan definitely isn’t an obvious choice for solo travel, but I guarantee you won’t regret booking a trip there!

The country is completely safe for solo travellers- including solo female travellers. It is affordable, unique, full of good food, and has an awesome vibe.

Taiwan is without a doubt one of the most underrated countries in Asia, but I don’t think it will be underrated for much longer.

So get there while it is still a hidden gem before it gets overrun with tourists!

And don’t forget to be internet safe and install a VPN on all your devices!

PS- be sure to check out my post on the dress code in Taiwan, so you don’t commit a fashion faux pas!

Taiwan Dress Code for Women (It May Surprise You!)

I have to admit that I did not do a very good job packing the first time I visited Taiwan. The Taiwan dress code articles I read online led me to believe certain clothing articles and styles were common for women to wear in Taiwan, but it was an entirely different story when I arrive.

I ended up wearing the same two shirts every day for three weeks because I didn’t understand the Taiwan dress code for women before I arrived in Taipei.

And, yes, in case you were horrified reading that last sentence, I washed those two shirts multiple times during those three weeks!

This post gives you nitty-gritty details about the Taiwan dress code for women you need to know.

No full. No bull. Just the facts you need to properly pack for your trip to Taiwan!

PS- if you’re wondering where to stay in Taipei, check out this post!

National Concert Hall Taipei, Taiwan

Essential Taiwan Dress Code Knowledge

Taiwan is a modern and progressive country.

The dress code for women in Taiwan is very similar to dress codes in Europe and North America, but there is one huge exception. It isn’t as common or acceptable for women to show their shoulders. The majority of Taiwanese women wear t-shirts that cover their shoulders or a light shawl over their shoulders if they’re wearing a tank top.

Every article I read before visiting Taiwan for the first time said the dress code for women was exactly the same as Europe and North America.

They made no mention of the fact that women typically don’t show their shoulders in Taiwan, and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

In all my time in Taiwan, I’ve never seen a local woman wearing a tank top or shirt that showed her shoulders. The only people I’ve noticed with exposed shoulders were clearly tourists.

You won’t be confronted by any locals or denied entry into any tourists attractions if your shoulders are exposed, but you may get stared at.

And you definitely won’t blend in and look like a local!

The other important thing you need to keep in mind when packing for Taiwan as a woman is you need to wear appropriate bottoms if you’re visiting a temple or religious site.

This means you should avoid short shorts and short skirts.

The best rule of thumb is to wear bottom that cover your knees or at least hits just above the knee.

You probably won’t be denied entry into a temple if you’re bottoms don’t come to your knees, but there is no guarantee. I witnessed a woman being asked to leave Kaohsiung’s Martyrs Shrine because her skirt was too short.

Taipei, Taiwan

What to Wear in Taiwan as a Woman

A good basic rule to live by is cover your shoulders and cover your thighs.

But that poses some difficulties when trying to navigate the humid, tropical climate of Taiwan with respecting their dress code.

Even if you visit Taiwan during the fall and winter months, it is still really warm and humid.

My recommendation is to pack long, flowing skirts or dresses. They are much more comfortable and breathable than shorts or jeans.

In terms of tops, you shouldn’t need to pack a sweater. You’ll be sweating to death if you’re anything like me.

A cotton t-shirt that covers your shoulders is perfect and one of the best ways to be respectful while still staying cool(ish).

Another extremely important thing you need to consider is what shoes you’re bringing.

There is a lot of hiking to be done in Taiwan. You can hardly visit a city without there being at least a small hike you can go on.

You need to bring a good pair of running or hiking shoes with you to Taiwan.

It won’t take long for you to regret not packing them if you leave them behind!

So, really, the dress code in Taiwan is pretty straightforward and makes it easy for you to pack.

Leave your tank tops at home, pack a long skirt, and make sure you have a good pair of running shoes in your suitcase.

You’ll be good to go!

Just make sure you pack more shoulder-covering shirts than I did!

PS- you need to know this about wifi in Taipei before arriving!

Fo Guang Shan Big Buddha

What Not to Wear in Taiwan as a Woman

Technically, you can wear whatever you want in Taiwan, but you may not want to.

There are definitely some articles of clothing that will make you stick out and turn the locals’ heads.

The two top rules (as you know) are cover your shoulders and cover your thighs.

Make that a mantra and repeat it every time you leave your hotel room.

PS- check out this post if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Kaohsiung.

Two other things you may want to avoid are:

  • Very low-cut tops
  • Crop tops that show a lot of your stomach

Some younger women in Taiwan wear these clothing items, but they are still pretty uncommon.

This is doubly true during the day! Most locals wear these items at night when partying rather than out and about during the day like in North America and Europe.

Again, you’ll probably just be stared at, but it is best to leave these items behind.

Finally, the last thing you should think twice about packing are your heels. You’ll be walking a lot in Taiwan, so your feet will get sore quickly.

They’re alright to wear on a night out, but don’t plan on wearing them out all day.

There aren’t many things you can’t wear in Taiwan as a woman, so it isn’t a difficult trip to pack for.

There a few things you shouldn’t wear, but the majority of you closet can be used to pick and choose outfits from.

Lotus Pond Scenic Area Kaohsiung Taiwan

Conclusion

As you can see, Taiwan has a pretty relaxed dress code for women. The country is very Westernized, and you see a lot of the same styles in Taiwan as in North America and Europe.

You can wear pretty much anything you want without having to worry about offending a local.

Out of respect for the locals, you should avoid showing your shoulders and wear a longer skirt or shorts.

Follow those basic rules, and you’re good to explore Taiwan and blend in with the locals!

If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan, be sure to check out my catalogue of Taiwan articles. They’ll help you plan the perfect trip!

How to Travel from Taipei to Jiufen (The Easy Way!)

Jiufen is the most popular day trip from Taipei. It is charming, full of delicious food, and the best place in and around Taipei to buy souvenirs. The best part is that it is incredibly easy to travel from Taipei to Jiufen!

Not having to worry about figuring out transportation makes a day trip so much better!

The best and easiest way to travel from Taipei to Jiufen is to take the bus. It takes just over an hour and costs 90NTD (approximately $3USD). Most bloggers will tell you to take the train, but it isn’t nearly as convenient since you have to transfer to a bus at the end of your trip since the train doesn’t go all the way to Jiufen.

This post outlines all the different ways you can travel from Taipei to Jiufen. Knowing all your options will help you choose the best method for you and your travel style.

We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each options, so you know all the information before you commit to a transportation method.

It may only take an hour or so to get from Taipei to Jiufen, but it can feel like a lifetime if you choose the wrong transportation method!

I suggest visiting Jiufen in the morning and early afternoon. It gets uncomfortably busy in the afternoons, and the trip isn’t as enjoyable.

You’ll also have better luck with transportation earlier in the day. It won’t be as crowded, and you’ll be able to get on the first bus that stops rather than waiting in a long queue and it taking multiple buses before you can get it. You’ll also be more likely to find a seat on the train rather than having to stand.

National Concert Hall Taipei, Taiwan

Before We Get Started

I write a lot of these transportation guides. There is hardly any aspect of travel I hate more than figuring out how to get from one place to another.

I write these comprehensive posts, so you can have all the information you need in one place and don’t have to waste a lot time figuring out what transportation method you want to take.

Here are the other Taiwan transportation guides I’ve written:

Hopefully they come in handy when you’re planning your trip to Taiwan!

But, now, back to our regularly scheduled content on how to travel from Taipei to Jiufen!

Temple in Taipei, Taiwan

Option One: Taking the Bus from Taipei to Jiufen

Taking the bus is the easiest and most convenient way to get from Taipei to Jiufen.

You just get on the bus and hop off when you get to Jiufen Old Street.

You don’t have to worry about transferring like you do on the train. It is so easy, and it is impossible to get lost.

There are two types of buses you can take from Taipei to Jiufen. You can take a tourist shuttle bus or a regular public bus.

The tourist shuttle bus is a coach bus, and the public bus is just like any other normal public bus in the city.

Both work perfectly fine, and it comes down to which bus comes first, is closest to where you’re staying, and whether you want a guaranteed seat on the tourist bus or are willing to possibly stand on the public bus.

The number of the buses that travel from Taipei to Jiufen are:

  • 795 (tourist shuttle)
  • 856 (tourist shuttle)
  • 956 (public bus)
  • 1062 (public bus)

PS- don’t forget to check out my where to stay in Taipei post and my best hotels near Taipei Main Station post if you haven’t decided where you want to stay in Taipei yet!

How Long Does the Bus Take?

The bus ride from Taipei to Jiufen takes between 1 hour and 1.5 hours.

The length of your journey depends on which bus you take and where in Taipei you’re departing from.

From Taipei Main Station, it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

You can expect anything departing from central Taipei will take about that long as well. If you’re departing from New Taipei City, the journey will take closer to an hour.

This all depends on traffic, of course.

Your journey could take a lot longer if there is a traffic jam.

How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?

This, again, depends on what type of bus you take.

The tourist shuttles are slightly more expensive than public buses, but the difference isn’t big enough that it will impact your decision.

The public bus costs 90NTD (approximately $3USD) and the tourist shuttle costs 100NTD (approximately $3.50NTD).

Where to Purchase Bus Tickets

You pay for your bus ride when you get on the bus.

You can either pay by cash or by tapping your transportation card (known as EasyCard) when you get on and off the bus.

Using your EasyCard is the easiest and most convenient way to pay your bus fare.

You don’t have to worry about having exact cash. Bus drivers don’t have change, so you need to have the exact cost of the bus fare in cash or live with slightly overpaying for your ride.

You can purchase your EasyCard at any metro station in Taipei or at most convenience stores.

If you want to choose your design rather than getting a generic EasyCard, you’ll want to purchase it at a convenience store.

It isn’t expensive to purchase an EasyCard, and it is well worth the convenience to get one.

You can reload it with money at any metro station or at any convenience store.

Where Does the Bus Depart From?

Buses depart from many different locations.

There are stops all over the city, so there is most likely a bus stop near where you’re staying in Taipei.

I was staying near Taipei Main Station, and there was a bus stop across the street from Taipei Main Station.

The bus also stops near Ximending Shopping District, Banqiao in New Taipei City, near Taipei 101, and so many other places.

The easiest way to figure out the closest bus stop to you is put “Jiufen Old Street” into your GPS and walk to the bus stop it tells you to.

There are often many buses that stop at one bus stop, so you need to be sure you’re standing in the right place. There are signs at each bus stop telling you which bus stops where.

Read the signs and stand near the stop that has your bus number on it.

Jiufen Old Street Taipei Taiwan

Where Does the Bus Arrive at?

The bus drops you off right outside of Jiufen Old Street.

It is super convenient! You just step off the block, walk about a hundred feet, and you’re in Jiufen Old Street!

It is important to note that the bus picks you up in a slightly different location.

The pick up location to return to Taipei is up the hill from the drop off location. When you exit Jiufen Old Street, turn to the right, walk for about 200 feet, and the bus stop is on the left.

There is a shelter and sign at the bus stop, so it is easy to find. There are also people waiting there basically all day there.

Since there are two buses that pick people up at that station, there are two lines (and markings on the pavement to show you where to stand).

Be sure you’re in the right line (there is information and maps at the bus station to help you figure out what bus you want to take).

Advantages of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Jiufen

  • Most direct route (no transfers required!)
  • Basically have a guaranteed seat (outside of peak hours)
  • Inexpensive

Cons of Taking the Bus from Taipei to Jiufen

  • It takes slightly longer than the train
  • The bus is slightly more expensive than the train

Option Two: Taking the Train from Taipei to Jiufen

Your next option is to take the train from Taipei to Jiufen. Most other bloggers list this as the best option, but I disagree.

The train doesn’t take you all the way to Jiufen.

You have to transfer to a bus for the last part of the journey, and it isn’t the most convenient option. A lot of the time, you have to wait for a few buses to arrive and depart before you’re able to get on one.

The buses are busy because they are already full of the people they picked up in Taipei and New Taipei City.

It is true that the train costs slightly less than the bus and takes slightly less time, but it comes down to convenience for me.

I’m willing to pay a few extra pennies and sit on a bus a few minutes longer to have a direct journey. It is nice to get on the bus and get off at Jiufen.

Not having to worry about transferring always makes the journey more enjoyable in my opinion.

How Long Does the Train Take?

It takes about 45 to 70 minutes to travel from Taipei to Jiufen on the train.

The train ride itself takes about 30-40 minutes, and the final bus to Jiufen takes about 10-20 minutes. It could take even longer if you have to wait for multiple buses before you get a seat.

The train ride can also take longer- especially if you’re travelling during rush hour. You have to take a slow train from Taipei, so it often has to wait at stations for a few extra minutes to let high-speed trains pass.

Psst- be sure to check out my wifi in Taipei post to learn about how to access wifi while you’re in Taipei!

How Much Does a Train Ticket Cost?

The entire trip (bus and train ticket included) will cost you less than 100 NTD (less than $3.50 USD).

It is a pretty good deal considering it takes at least 45 minutes to get to Jiufen from Taipei.

The train ticket costs between 50 NTD and 75 NTD (approximately $1.50 USD to $2.50 USD).

The bus costs about 15 NTD (approximately $0.50).

Where to Purchase a Train Ticket

You purchase your train ticket at the train station, and you pay for your bus ticket on the bus.

No need to worry about getting your ticket in advance or sticking to a set schedule based on what time your ticket is for.

Easy peasy!

Where Does the Train Depart from?

Train

You can catch the train at basically every train station in Taipei.

This doesn’t mean every metro station in Taipei.

There are some metro stations that have train stations attached to them, but not every one does. Make sure you’re going to an actual train station because it is different than a metro station.

You can find the closest train station by putting it into your Google Maps, and you’ll be on your way in no time!

Bus

You need to get off the train at Ruifang Station.

After you get off the train, you need to walk a few hundred feet to the bus station.

The bus departs from outside the police station, so it is really easy to find. You need to get on the bus that picks you up on the side of the road that has the police station.

You’ll be headed in the wrong direction if you get on the bus across the street from the bus station.

You need to get on one of the following buses:

  • 788
  • 825
  • 827
  • 965
  • 1062

All 5 of those buses stop at Jiufen, so it doesn’t matter which one you get on.

Just hop on the first bus that comes, and you’ll be at the entrance of Juifen Old Street in about 15 minutes!

Taipei, Taiwan

Where Does the Train Arrive at in Jiufen?

Since you’re taking a bus to Jiufen and not the train the entire way, the arrival location is the same as in the first section of this post.

You will be dropped off right at the entrance of Jiufen Old Street. The entrance is less than 100 meters away from where the bus drops you off, so it is super convenient!

Advantages of Taking the Train from Taipei to Jiufen

  • Least expensive option
  • Quickest option
  • Doesn’t get delayed if there is a traffic jam

Disadvantages of Taking the Train from Taipei to Jiufen

  • You have to transfer from the train to a bus for the last leg of your journey
  • May have to wait for multiple buses to arrive before you get on one
  • You may not get a seat on the train and have to stand for over half an hour

Option Three: Taking a Guided Tour from Taipei to Jiufen

Your next option is to take a guided tour from Taipei to Jiufen.

This isn’t my favourite option. I find tours overpriced and not my cup of tea. I very much prefer to travel alone and travel on my own schedule.

But if you enjoy tours, there are plenty of tours to choose from.

Most tours to Jiufen include stops of Shifen and Yehliu as well, so you’re seeing more places than you would on your own.

I found this tour particularly interesting. It includes a pastry baking class, so you get to learn a new skill in addition to sightseeing.

It is pretty cool!

Klook is the top tour provider in Asia. They have a bunch of half and full-day trips from Taipei to Jiufen. You should be able to find a tour that suits your interests!

If you don’t find one on Klook, Get Your Guide is another great place to look.

Ice Cream Burrito Taipei Taiwan
Ice cream burrito from Jiufen Old Street- A MUST try!

Option Four: Taking a Taxi or Uber from Taipei to Jiufen

Your final option is taking a taxi or Uber from Taipei to Jiufen Old Street.

This is a great option if you want to travel on 100% your own schedule and not be held back or reliant on a bus or train time schedule.

It is surprisingly inexpensive to take a taxi or Uber to Jiufen.

This is especially true if you’re splitting the cost between a few people.

A taxi will cost you about 1,300 NTD (approximately $45 USD), and an Uber will cost you about 1,000 NTD (approximately $35 USD).

That’s a really fair price considering the distance you’re travelling.

I’ve taken a number of Ubers in Taiwan and have had nothing but amazing experiences. I only took one taxi in Taiwan, but it was a great experience as well.

Taking a taxi or Uber is a great option for people who are in a rush or larger groups of people.

If you have a family of four, it may be more economical and relaxing to take an Uber or taxi than piling onto a bus or train.

It is definitely and option to consider when planning your trip from Taipei to Jiufen Old Street.

Taipei 101

Conclusion

There you have it!

The four best and easiest ways to travel from Taipei to Jiufen.

Visiting Jiufen Old Street is one of the best day trips from Taipei. It is so different from the city and is extremely beautiful with the mountains in the background.

It may seem daunting to travel from Taipei to Jiufen, but it really isn’t. I almost didn’t go to Jiufen the first time I was in Taipei because I didn’t want to have to transfer from the train to the bus.

To be honest, I really don’t like transferring if I can avoid it.

I honestly didn’t even know there was a direct bus from Taipei to Jiufen Old Street until I put it into Google Map.

So it doesn’t have to be complicated, and is, in fact, very easy to get to Jiufen Old Street from Taipei.

Just hop on a bus and get off in a little more than an hour. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

If you’re considering not going to Jiufen because you’re not sure if the journey is worth it, take it from somebody who was in the same boat and go!

You’ll regret not going. It is truly one of the best places in the Taipei area!

As a side note and important safety reminder, don’t forget to install a VPN on your phone before you start travelling and connecting to public wifi. You’d be surprised how many people want to steal your online information and how easy it is to do!

A Tourist’s Guide to Wifi in Taipei

Taipei is an amazing city and is becoming more and more popular with tourists. One of the most common thing tourists wonder about when planning their vacation is what is the wifi in Taipei like.

Is there an abundance of free public wifi? Can you only get wifi at cafe, restaurants, and hotels? Should I rent a pocket wifi when in Taipei? And perhaps most importantly how do I protect myself when I’m using public wifi in Taipei?

This post is going to answer all of those questions and more!

There is a network of free public wifi in Taipei known as iTaiwan. It is run by the government, and you can connect to iTaiwan in government-run buildings and most public places. iTaiwan is a great option, but many tourists (including me have trouble connecting to it. You have to create an account online before you arrive in Taiwan or go to a tourism office in Taipei and register in person with your passport. Renting a pocket wifi device in Taipei is a better option if you need more reliable access to wifi.

You can also connect to public wifi in Taipei at many cafes, restaurants, malls, and at the airport.

PS- check out my post about how to travel from the airport to central Taipei

My preference is to not rely on iTaiwan for my internet in Taipei.

It is great when it works, but if you’re in a situation like so many tourists are where you aren’t able to properly create and access your account, then you’re hooped.

Renting a pocket wifi device or using Skyroam are more reliable options.

No matter how you choose to access wifi in Taipei, you need to protect your online data by installing a VPN on your devices.

National Concert Hall Taipei, Taiwan

Public Wifi in Taipei

There are basically two ways you can get free wifi in Taipei.

You either connect to iTaiwan or connect to complimentary wifi at restaurants and other businesses.

iTaiwan

As mentioned earlier in the post, iTaiwan is a government-funded wifi system in Taiwan. It allows locals and tourists to access complimentary wifi at government-run buildings and in a lot of common areas.

iTaiwan pretty much connects the entire country through one wifi system. It is the best way to access free wifi in Taipei assuming you’re able to connect to it properly.

There is a very specific process you have to follow in order to setup, activate, and use your iTaiwan account.

Finland’s Taiwan Consulate website is the best overview of the system I could find. You can check it out here, but I’ll summarize it for you as well.

There are two options if you want to use iTaiwan as a tourist. You can either register for an account online before your departure or create an account in person at a tourism office or visitor information centre in Taiwan.

You can register your account online here. All of my internet browsers block this website because it “is not secure”. That is a serious issue for people who want to create an account before they arrive in Taiwan.

You can’t create an account if your internet browser won’t let you access the webpage. Your web browser may let you access it, but I tried on multiple browsers on multiple devices and had no luck.

No matter how you register your account, you need to provide your passport information and other personal information.

Once you have your account setup, you simply find the iTaiwan signal in your phone and connect by entering your username and password.

It should connect automatically every time you’re in an iTaiwan hotspot after your first initial login.

Taipei 101

Public Wifi at Businesses

Your other option is relying on businesses you visit for free wifi in Taipei.

Many restaurants, cafes, and malls have free wifi that you can connect to. In most cases, you have to purchase something from them to get access to the wifi, but it can be worth it.

Especially if you were planning on eating or stopping for a drink in any event.

A lot of businesses use iTaiwan, but you should be able to tell who does and who doesn’t. In most cases, businesses who use iTaiwan will have the iTaiwan logo in their window. Businesses who provide independent wifi will normally have the generic wifi sign in their window.

There is no guarantee though!

Some businesses may display the generic wifi sign but rely on iTaiwan.

It is a bit of a guessing game!

Most malls and museums have their own wifi and most metro and train stations rely on iTaiwan. Restaurants and cafes vary greatly, and it is pretty much luck of the draw.

I’ll touch on this at the end of the post in detail, but it is so important to have a VPN installed on your phone when you’re connecting to public wifi in Taipei.

Even wifi at your hotel!

You never know when there might be a hacker in the next room or at the next table. You don’t want the heartache and headache of having your online data stolen!

Taiwan Night Market

Renting Pocket Wifi in Taipei

Your next option is renting pocket wifi in Taipei. It is the perfect solution for people who want reliable access to wifi all the time and everywhere.

Pocket wifi is a small device you carry around with you that allows you to access the internet. It is basically walking data that comes from a device so small you can stick it in your purse or pocket.

You can access the internet as long as you’re within range of the device.

It is super convenient and easy to use. You simply connect to it as you would any other wifi provider. There is a password on the back of the device. You enter it, and you’re good to go!

You can even connect multiple devices to your pocket wifi at once!

Everybody in your group can stay connected for one low price.

If you rent your pocket wifi through Klook, you pay less than $2 per day!

It is a heck of a deal and way easier and more reliable than iTaiwan.

You simply pre-order your pocket wifi in Taipei through Klook (or another provider) and pick it up at the airport when you arrive in Taipei!

Taipei, Taiwan

Important Information About Renting Pocket Wifi in Taipei

There are a few important things you need to know before you rent pocket wifi in Taipei:

  • You have to show your passport to verify your identity when you collect your pocket wifi
  • You need to have a credit card in order to rent pocket wifi in Taiwan. The employee helping you collect your pocket wifi will charge a small amount to your credit card to verify that there is room on your card. The charge will be immediately revoked.
  • If you do not have a credit card, you’re out of luck. Visa/Mastercard debit cards do not work. It needs to be a traditional credit card not connected to your chequing account.
  • You have to pick up and return your device during business hours. Normal business hours are 10am to 7pm.
  • The employee will have to see your confirmation receipt before giving you your pocket wifi. You can either have an electronic or paper copy of your confirmation.
  • There are pretty hefty fees for lost or damaged devices. Be sure to treat your pocket wifi with respect and try not to damage it.

As long as you keep all that in mind, renting pocket wifi in Taipei is super easy and surprisingly affordable.

Renting pocket wifi will cost you less per day than lunch!

I’m a big fan of renting pocket wifi. It makes life so much easier, and you’re able to be more flexible with your travel plans.

It is nice to be able to look up what is around you or completely change your mind and get directions to a whole new part of town.

Skyroam

I used Skyroam last time I was in Taipei. It is for more serious travellers, but it works great and really changed the way I travel.

Skyroam is your own personal pocket wifi device. You own it and can take it with you wherever you are in the world.

The only thing you have to pay for wifi. You can purchase day passes or purchase monthly passes. It just depends how long you’re travelling for.

I love Skyroam because it gives me complete freedom.

I know no matter where I am I’ll have access to the internet. Knowing I have access to Google Maps all the time has made me more spontaneous and adventurous.

I don’t have to worry about wandering around a strange neighbourhood lost because Google Maps is always at my side!

It took me a long time to decide to purchase my Skyroam.

Read my full Skyroam review here.

Temple in Taipei, Taiwan

It isn’t cheap, and it is definitely an investment, but it is worth it if you travel a lot.

You can connect up to 6 devices at once, so you can, in theory, provide wifi to your entire group with just one Skyroam.

One of the major downsides to the Skyroam device is that you have to charge it every night.

The battery only lasts about a day, and from my experience, there is no way you can get two full days of travel in without charging it.

So be sure to have enough charging cords and outlets to charge your Skyroam every night!

I think the device itself is fairly priced, but I wish the day passes were a little less expensive. They start to add up quickly, and if you’re travelling for more than 11 days, it is worthwhile to get a monthly pass.

There are also frequent promotions that allow you to get a deal on day passes. Watch out for those, and you can potentially save a lot of money on your Skyroam wifi costs!

Please Take Your Online Safety Seriously!

One of the most important (and often forgotten) things to do while travelling is protect your online data!

Every single time you’re connected to public wifi, you need to use a VPN.

And by public wifi, I mean any wifi that is not your secure home wifi.

Even password protected wifi at hotels and restaurants is public wifi. iTaiwan is considered public wifi as well.

There is nothing worse (expect for physical injury and death) than having your online information stolen when you’re travelling.

You can be hacked and have your banking information stolen in a blink of an eye. That is a major mess you don’t want to deal with when you’re on vacation.

A VPN puts up an invisible forcefield around your internet use and keeps in completely safe and private from prying eyes.

Your VPN makes it just as safe to use the internet while connected to public wifi in Taipei as it is to use the secure wifi at home that only you know the password to.

It is a small investment to make to protect your online information when you’re not at home.

My Favourite VPN

I’ve used a lot of different VPNs in my time. Most of them slow down your internet speed to a crawl and cause a lot of frustration and annoyance.

That all changed when I found NordVPN.

NordVPN is the only VPN provider I’ve liked, and the only VPN that I’ve renewed my subscription with!

It doesn’t slow down my internet connection at all. I can browse the internet and stream things just as quickly with the VPN turned on as I can with it turned off.

You can also use NordVPN to cloak your location. Not only does that add an additional level of security, but it also comes in handy when you’re streaming shows.

By setting your location to show you’re in a different country, you’re able to access their Netflix (and other streaming services) catalogue and watch shows you may not be able to get in the country you’re in.

It also works really well if you’re trying to watch sports, but the country you’re in isn’t showing the game you want to watch. I’ve been able to watch many a hockey games by changing my location that I wouldn’t have been able to watch otherwise!

You can connect up to 6 devices on one Nord account, so you can protect all your devices (and perhaps family member’s) with one account.

NordVPN often has sales running where you can save nearly 70% on your subscription. You only pay a few dollars per month to protect your online data!

It is well worth the investment.

A few dollars a month can save you having your banking information hacked!

I didn’t have a VPN the first year I travelled, and I cringe at the thought of how stupid I was!

Don’t make the same mistake I did and get yourself set up with NordVPN.

Conclusion

At first glance, it seems like Taipei has an impressive public wifi system, and it is a traveller’s dream city.

But when you look closer, you realize that isn’t quite the full story.

A lot of tourists have trouble connecting to iTaiwan and aren’t able to access the wifi in many places across Taipei and Taiwan. It is annoying and can hinder your travel plans.

You might be very disappointed if you rely too much on iTaiwan for wifi in Taipei.

If you need reliable internet access while in Taipei, renting pocket wifi is probably the best option. It gives you a lot of freedom and costs less than a couple dollars a day.

Skyroam is the perfect wifi solution for serious travellers. You have reliable wifi no matter where you are, and it gives you complete travel freedom!

All three options for wifi in Taipei are great. The option you choose depends on you and your travel style.

No matter how you get your wifi in Taipei, you’ll have an amazing time! Taipei is an incredible city with a surprising amount of things to see and do.

Be sure to check out my post on where to stay in Taipei if you’re looking for the perfect hotel.

Or my best hotels near Taipei Main Station if you’ve already decided to stay in the best neighbourhood in Taipei for tourists (in my opinion).

Where to Stay in Kaohsiung (For Every Budget!)

Kaohsiung is (in my opinion) the most beautiful city in Taiwan. It shouldn’t be missed when you’re visiting the country, and I’m going to help you figure out where to stay in Kaohsiung and help you find the perfect hotel for your budget!

There are two main areas of Kaohsiung that are perfect for tourists to stay: near Formosa Boulevard Station or near the harbour. These two areas are the best places to stay in Kaohsiung because you are near public transportation and can easily get to every major tourist attraction quickly. You can also walk to a number of Kaohsiung attractions from Formosa Boulevard Station and the harbour.

My preference of where to stay in Kaohsiung is definitely near Formosa Boulevard Station.

It is the only metro station where both metro lines intersection, so it is the best area in Kaohsiung to stay in if you plan on using the metro system a lot.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Kaohsiung for amazing views of the city, there is no better place than near the harbour.

The scenery in the harbour area is unbeatable. You have a view of the water, Cijin Island, and Kaohsiung city.

Both the areas near Formosa Boulevard Station and the harbour are great, and you have to decide where to stay in Kaohsiung based on your travel style and preferences.

This post will help you figure that out!

Fo Guang Shan Big Buddha

Other Kaohsiung Articles You May Find Helpful

I love Kaohsiung and have written a number of articles to help you plan the perfect trip to Kaohsiung.

Here are some of my other posts you may want to check out to help you plan your trip:

Taiwan Night Market

Formosa Boulevard Station

Formosa Boulevard Station is where I always stay when I visit Kaohsiung.

It is centrally located, near Liuhe Night Market, and has the best transportation options.

Formosa Boulevard Station is the only metro station in Kaohsiung where the Orange and Red metro lines intersect. You’ll most likely be using both metro lines when in Kaohsiung, so staying in this area makes getting around the city a breeze!

If you’re wondering where to stay in Kaohsiung that allows you to get to tourist attractions quickly and easily, there is no better place than the area around Formosa Boulevard Station.

In addition to being the best place to stay in Kaohsiung in terms of transportation, you can also walk to a number of tourist sights.

You can walk to:

  • Liuhe Night Market
  • Kaohsiung History Museum
  • Love River
  • Central Park
  • Zhongxiao Night Market
  • Kaohsiung Library (it is a beautiful building you may want to walk through)
  • Formosa Boulevard Station (which is a tourist attraction in and of itself)
  • Xinjuejang Night Market (my favourite night market in Kaohsiung)

Clearly, there is a lot to do near Formosa Boulevard Station! You’ll have no trouble keeping yourself busy in the area!

The Formosa Boulevard Station area is also where to stay in Kaohsiung if you’re looking for affordable hotels!

The neighbourhood doesn’t have great views like the harbour area, so the hotels tend to be less expensive.

The hotels are good quality, but you can often find a similar hotel to the hotels near the harbour for less money.

Who doesn’t want that?!

All in all, I love staying near Formosa Boulevard Station. I think it is the best place to stay in Kaohsiung.

The convenience of having access to both metro lines at one station makes all the difference!

Formosa Boulevard Station Kaohsiung Taiwan

Pros of Staying Near Formosa Boulevard Station

  • Access to both metro lines
  • Super affordable (but still has nice hotels)

Cons to Staying Near Formosa Boulevard Station

  • Isn’t a particularly beautiful part of Kaohsiung
  • Can’t walk to the biggest tourist attractions like Lotus Pond and Pier 2 Art Centre
  • Lots of traffic (but I’ve never had an issue with the sound of traffic disturbing me in my hotel)

Best Budget Hotels Near Formosa Boulevard Station (Under $50USD/Night)

Kindness Hotel

This is where I stayed last time I was in Kaohsiung.

I was on a pretty tight budget and didn’t need anything fancy, and Kindness Hotel exceeded my expectations.

The hotel is just a few blocks from Formosa Boulevard Station, so it is in the perfect location. It is so easy to get everywhere you need to go!

The rooms are pretty basic, but they are still quite nice. The bed is super comfortable, the room is spacious, and (most importantly) the bathroom is clean!

My favourite part of Kindness Hotel is the complimentary all day dessert, ice cream, and tea!

I came back to the hotel a number of afternoons to beat the heat, get some work done, and have a snack.

They have a grape flavoured ice cream that is amazing!

It sounds odd, but give it a try. It is so much better than you imagine. I ended up having it almost every evening before I went to my room for the evening.

On top of the comfortable room and complimentary snacks, the service at Kindness Hotel is amazing. You often don’t get great service at budget hotels, but that isn’t the case here.

The staff are super friendly and attentive.

I highly recommend this hotel to everybody visiting Kaohsiung.

It isn’t anything fancy, but it gets the job done!

Skyone Hotel

Skyone Hotel was built in 2017, so it is still super fresh and new.

The hotel has a London theme, which is kinda cool. There are a lot of communal areas as well. It is almost like a mix between a hostel and budget hotel. You get your own room, but there is still a social aspect.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Kaohsiung for a great time mingling with other travellers, this may be the perfect choice for you!

There is a children’s play room, a billiards table, and a seating area.

I love the approach that Skyone Hotel has taken where they combine privacy and socializing.

Gone are the days where you have to choose between having your own room and privacy on one hand and socializing and meeting new people on the other.

Jia’s Inn Liouhe

This hotel has a unique decoration style.

The hotel bar kind of looks like a speak easy, but the rooms are pretty cookie cutter with white walls. There are a few accent stickers on the wall that make it more fun, but the rooms are not what I expected based on the hotel bar.

That being said, Jia’s Inn Liouhe is a wonderful hotel.

The showers in the bathroom are amazing. They have a rainfall shower head, and it is so relaxing to jump in a hot shower after a long day of exploring Kaohsiung.

The location of Jia’s Inn Liouhe is unbeatable.

It isn’t along the main road so many other hotels in this area. It feels more private and removed from the hustle and bustle of Kaohsiung.

Even though it is a bit removed from the main road, you can still easily walk to the night market and Formosa Boulevard Station in less than 5 and 10 minutes, respectively.

Most rooms come with a view of the city, which is another huge plus. I love opening the curtains in the morning and seeing the city rather than a parking lot or something like that.

A lot of the rooms also have a couch in them. This is such a nice feature that I wish more hotels had!

It is so nice to have a place to stretch out and sit other than the bed. It is nice to have a little bit of separation between your sleeping area and where you watch tv or work.

Best Mid-Range Hotels Near Formosa Boulevard Station ($50USD to $150USD/Night)

Hotel Indigo

If you’re wondering where to stay in Kaohsiung for stunning views of the skyline and is near Formosa Boulevard Station, look no further than Hotel Indigo.

There is a rooftop bar and seating area that has unbeatable views of Kaohsiung’s skyline.

Seriously, even if you don’t stay at Hotel Indigo, you need to stop by for a drink at the rooftop bar!

The building itself is unlike anything else I’ve seen before. It is really funky.

I’m not quite sure how to find the words to describe it, but you should definitely view a photo of the property, so you can appreciate the architectural design!

Outside of its structural beauty and rooftop bar, the rooms at Hotel Indigo are quite nice. They are modern, clean, and fairly spacious. You may even be lucky enough to get a room with a bathroom that faces the skyline.

They have gigantic windows, and you can relax in the bath with a glass of wine and take in the view.

It is luxurious!

I’m honestly surprised that it is so affordable!

Brio Hotel

I love the design of this hotel.

It is sleek, modern, clean, and uses a lot of greys, which is my favourite aesthetic.

The rooms at Brio Hotel are generously spacious and much larger than other hotel rooms you’ll find in the area. It is a great option if you like to spread out or have a lot of luggage.

The hotel towers over the other buildings in the area, so you get stunning views of Central Park and Kaohsiung city.

A lot of the times you get complimentary breakfast for two when you book your stay through Hotels.com.

I highly recommend you take advantage of that complimentary breakfast. Not only are you getting a delicious meal included in your stay (seriously, the food is amazing), but you’re also getting an unbeatable view.

The restaurant is located at the top of the hotel and even has outdoor seating. It is the best way to start off your day.

Or end your day if you stop by for a cocktail before bed.

Brio Hotel is a little bit further away from Formosa Boulevard Station than the other hotels on the list, but it is so lovely that I had to include it.

It is located close to Central Park, which is about a 15 minute walk from Formosa Boulevard Station. There is a metro station right at Central Park, so if you don’t feel like walking, you can ride the metro one stop and be at Formosa Boulevard Station.

Walking still may be faster when you factor in having to wait for the next train to arrive.

This hotel is absolutely stunning. They could 100% charge a lot more per night than they do.

Hotel Dua

Hotel Dua is the perfect alternative to Brio Hotel.

It has a very similar vibe to Brio Hotel, but it is way closer to Formosa Boulevard Station. The metro station is just a 5-minute walk away!

I think the decor at Hotel Dua is a little bland compared to Brio Hotel, but it is still quite nice. It isn’t shabby or run down at all!

Just a little generic whereas the decor at Brio Hotel was a little more modern.

No matter what your decor preferences (because does it really matter if you’re only there a few nights?), Hotel Dua is a wonderful stay.

The staff is super friendly, the rooms are huge, and they have a rooftop restaurant and bar area as well.

Complimentary breakfast for two is also included in most bookings made through Hotels.com!

You can’t beat that. I love a good complimentary breakfast, and the breakfast at Hotel Dua is way better than your average hotel breakfast!

Best Luxury Hotels Near Formosa Boulevard Station (Over $150USD/Night)

All things considered, there aren’t many quality luxury hotels near Formosa Boulevard Station.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Kaohsiung for a luxury experience, this neighbourhood is not the one for you.

I think the mid-range hotels are a much better option than the luxury hotels in the area. They are more affordable, are stylish, and are of the same quality (sometimes higher) as the higher-end hotels in the area.

I’m only going to recommend one higher-end hotel near Formosa Boulevard Station. The recommendation is more for the location than the fact that it is a “luxury” hotel.

I would personally characterize this hotel as a mid-range hotel, but it is priced a bit higher than the mid-range hotels on this list.

Joho Hotel

Joho Hotel is a really cute hotel located a few blocks away from Formosa Boulevard Station.

The hotel is in a fairly unique location because you can easily walk to both Formosa Boulevard Station and Kaohsiung Station. These are the two major metro stations in Kaohsiung, so it is lovely to be able to walk to both of them!

Joho Hotel is nicely decorated with lots of greys and modern decor. The rooms are spacious, and there is a rooftop bar and workout room.

I really like the location of this hotel, and that is the main reason I recommend it.

In terms of value, I think some of the mid-range hotels are a better option. Joho Hotel feels like a mid-range hotel, but it is priced slightly higher than one.

It is by far the least expensive “luxury” hotel on this list.

It may be a good option if you’re looking for something a little more expensive than the mid-range hotels, but I would personally opt for one of the mid-range hotels over Joho Hotel.

Joho Hotel is still an excellent hotel, and you won’t be disappointed if you stay there.

I mean it made this list, so it has to be good! I only recommend the best to you!

PS- you receive a complimentary mini bar if your room if you book through Hotels.com!!

The Harbour

The harbour area is one of the most beautiful areas in Kaohsiung. There are beautiful views of the city, Cijin Island, the water, and so much more.

It is definitely one of the most laid back areas of the city as well. The vibe is unbeatable!

My main argument for staying near Formosa Boulevard Station is the amazing transportation options, but you won’t be stuck if you stay near the harbour.

You have access to the Orange metro line, the light rail system, and buses. You can still easily get around Kaohsiung, but it may take a little longer if you have to transfer to the Red metro line.

The ferry to Cijin Island is also just steps away, so you can beat the crowds to the island or easily pop over whenever you feel like it!

Just like Formosa Boulevard Station, you can walk to a number of tourist attractions from the harbour area:

  • Kaohsiung’s Martyr’s Shrine
  • Pier II Art District
  • Railroad Museum

You can’t walk to as many tourist attractions compared to Formosa Boulevard Station, but you can walk to some of the most popular tourist attractions.

The harbour is definitely where to stay in Kaohsiung if you’re looking for a great view and a chill vibe.

The area kind of has its own vibe and culture outside of the city’s overall vibe.

Kaohsiung Martyrs' Shrine

Pros of Staying Near the Harbour

  • Great views and vibe
  • Access to Orange metro line, ferry, light rail, and buses
  • Can walk to a number of popular tourist attractions

Cons of Staying Near the Harbour

  • Have to take public transportation to most tourist attractions
  • No direct access to the Red metro line

Best Budget Hotels Near the Harbour (Under $50USD/Night)

Citysuites Kaohsiung Pier2

I’m never not surprised by how good of a hotel you can get in Kaohsiung on a small budget.

I cannot believe how inexpensive Citysuites Kaohsiung Pier2 is and how nice it is. You would without a doubt be paying quadruple the price if you were in North America or Europe.

The rooms are decorated with faux exposed brick and all the accents are copper. It is so sleek, modern, and attractive.

Many of the rooms have a view of the water, and it is the perfect sight to see first thing in the morning and get your excited for the day.

One thing to note is that most of the cheapest rooms in the hotel don’t have a window.

I think it is well worth the couple extra dollars per night to upgrade to a room with a window. A window makes all the difference, and that is doubly true when you have a view of the water!

Citysuites Kaohsiung Pier2 is in a great location. It is really close to the water and harbour, but it is a little bit removed from the busiest area.

This gives you a little more of a relaxing vibe, and you feel like you’re removed from the city.

Urban Pier2

Urban Pier2 is a bit of a unique one, and that is because the beds are futon style.

The mattress is placed directly on the floor rather than having a bed frame under it. This is a pretty common practice in many East Asian countries, and it is cool to get to participate in the tradition!

The rooms at Urban Pier2 are also unique. Each room has a difference theme or coloured decor, so you never know what you’ll see when you open your door for the first time.

Makes it kind of fun and exciting!

The hotel has an unbeatable location. You’re so close to the water, and you’re basically guaranteed a great view from your room!

The metro station is just outside the hotel and is less than a 5 minute walk away. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Urban Pier2 is probably my least favourite of the budget hotels on this list, but it is still a great option!

OX Suites

This hotel is so simplistic and modern. I absolutely love it.

You will no doubt feel calm and relaxed at OX Suites.

The rooms are huge, the staff is nice, and the location is perfect. It is hard to beat OX Suites when it comes to budget hotels near the Kaohsiung harbour.

The best part is without a doubt the bathrooms. They are huge. Like bigger than the bathroom in my house.

It is so relaxing to come back to the hotel after a long day of walking around Kaohsiung and be able to jump in a hot shower to relax and get cleaned up.

OX Suites is in the same neighbourhood as the other budget hotels on this list, so you know it is in a great location! You can walk to all the nearby tourist sights and jump on the metro within minutes.

Not bad at all for less than $50USD per night!

Best Mid-Range Hotels Near the Harbour ($50USD to $150USD/Night)

Chateau de Chine

Ah. Another Kaohsiung hotel that is modern and uses a fair amount of grey in their decor. I am digging the overall vibe and style of all the Kaohsiung hotels on this list!

The rooms at Chateau de Chine aren’t only nicely decorated, but they are way larger than the average hotel room. All the rooms include chairs, a workspace, and plenty of space to store your luggage.

The bathrooms at Chateau de Chine are stunning and the perfect cherry on top of the entire room.

They are quite large, and many of them feature a grand tub where you can relax and unwind at the end of the day.

There is a Japanese restaurant in the lobby of the hotel that is known for its amazing food. If you’re staying at Chateau de Chine, you must eat there. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you may want to stop in for dinner.

This hotel is a little further away from the harbour and water than the other hotels on this list, but it is still in a great location.

It is in the heart of the art district, so you’ll get to experience the young, hip atmosphere.

If you’re a young person wondering where to stay in Kaohsiung, this may be the perfect hotel for you!

Harbour 10 Hotel

This hotel is an absolute beauty!

It is modern, sleek, and (again) has a huge bathroom. If you’re lucky, your bathroom will be facing the water, and you can enjoy the view when you’re getting ready in the morning!

Harbour 10 Hotel reminds me of a Hilton property. It has a similar vibe, design, and standard of service.

You know you’re going to have a good stay and great customer service when you stay at Harbour 10 Hotel!

The hotel has a few additional perks as well!

It has:

  • A children’s play room (a really cool and large one!)
  • A workout room
  • Complimentary breakfast for two when you book through Hotels.com

Those are some pretty nice extras to come with a hotel room that has such a fair price!

One of my favourite parts of the hotel is the dining area. There are plants hanging from the ceiling, and it is such a relaxing way to start your morning!

Harbour 10 Hotel is located a little bit further away from the ferry terminal, but it is still near the water. Many rooms have a water view, but you’ll have to walk about 10 minutes to catch the ferry to the island.

Best Luxury Hotels Near the HarbourStation (Over $150USD/Night)

In all honesty, there aren’t any luxury or high-end hotels near that harbour I want to recommend to you.

Kaohsiung isn’t really the place to go if you’re looking to stay in a luxurious hotel.

You’re much better off staying in a really nice mid-range hotel than splurging and staying in a high-end hotel in Kaohsiung.

The value simply isn’t there in the luxury hotels in Kaohsiung.

How to Choose Where to Stay in Kaohsiung

Deciding where to stay in Kaohsiung boils down to figuring out what works best for you and your travel style.

You need to consider:

  • Whether being near public transportation is most important
  • If you’re okay staying in an area that is a concrete jungle or if you prefer to stay someone near the water
  • Are you like me and try to walk as much as possible? If so, you’ll want to pick a hotel nearby the attractions you’re most interested in
  • What your budget is

All of these factors play a role in deciding where to stay in Kaohsiung.

My personal opinion is that if you’re okay staying in a hotel that probably doesn’t have the prettiest view, Formosa Boulevard Station is the best place in Kaohsiung to stay.

The transportation and walkability of the area far exceeds the harbour, and that is why it has my vote.

The hotels are also slightly less expensive near Formosa Boulevard Station, and I think the hotels tend to be a bit nicer.

Plus those rooftop bars are hard to beat!

But you may have a different opinion.

It is worthwhile to take the time to weigh the pros and cons of staying in both neighbourhoods and then decide where to stay in Kaohsiung.

You don’t want to get to your hotel and immediately regret your decision!

Lotus Pond Scenic Area Kaohsiung Taiwan

Why I Love Hotels.com and Recommend Them to You

I love Hotels.com and have been using them to book 90% to 95% of my travel since 2015!

Yeah. You could say I’m really happy with them to stick around for so long.

I love Hotels.com because they’re really easy to use. It is incredibly simple to search for and find hotels in any city, and you can put a bunch of filters on your search to make sure you find exactly what you’re looking for.

That’s not even the best part!

The best part of Hotels.com and the reason I’m obsessed with using their platform is their rewards program.

They run a program where you get a free night’s stay voucher after you’ve stayed 10 nights at (nearly) any property you booked through Hotels.com.

You don’t have to stay all 10 nights in one booking. You could collect the 10 nights through 10 single night bookings.

It doesn’t matter as long as you’ve stayed 10 nights.

Your free night certificate shows up in your customer profile a few days after you complete you 10th night’s stay, and you’re free to use it on any booking going forward.

The value of your free night certificate depends on how much the 10 nights you stayed to earn the certificate cost.

If you stayed 10 nights at inexpensive hotels, your voucher won’t be worth that much. If, however, you stayed 10 nights at a luxury hotel, your voucher will be worth a fair amount of money.

You simply “apply” your free night at check out when you want to use it, and you’re good to go! If your free night certificate doesn’t cover the entire cost of the night you’re booking or you’re booking for more than one night, you simply have to pay the difference.

It is that easy!

The downside to their program is that you have to use your free night certificate all at once, and it can’t be applied to multiple bookings or multiple nights on one booking.

If your free night is worth $150, you have to book a night that is $150 or more.

You can’t use it for 3 $50 nights.

But even that isn’t too big of an inconvenience.

Just use it for a night at an overpriced airport hotel. That’s what I normally do!

A Quick Note on Internet Safety

Internet safety is no joke!

You’re putting yourself at serious risk of having your data stolen/sold if you’re using public wifi.

THIS INCLUDES USING PASSWORD PROTECTED WIFI AT HOTELS!

You need to protect yourself and your online data anytime you’re not using your own personal at-home wifi.

You never know who is trying to get into your digital devices and access your private information.

I know people who have had their banking information stolen from their devices while travelling.

That is a headache you don’t want to deal with!

The best (and really only) way to fully protect your online data and information is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

A VPN puts up an invisible forcefield around your online activity so nobody else can see what your’e doing or access your information.

It is basically like using your own personal at-home wifi but out in public or in different countries.

Complete safety and anonymity.

Plus you can change where you’re browsing from and access content from Netflix or Disney+ that isn’t available in your country!

My Favourite VPN

I’ve used a number of difference VPNs during my travels.

I didn’t really like any of them until I started using NordVPN.

It is the first VPN that I actually enjoyed using and the only VPN that I’ve ever renewed my subscription with!

What sets NordVPN apart from its competitors is how quick it is. VPNs have a reputation of slowing down your devices to snail speed and make browsing the internet a bit frustrating.

That isn’t the case with NordVPN.

I don’t notice any slowdown on my devices when I’m using my VPN.

Not even when I’m in China!

The internet in China is notoriously slow, but it is even slower when you’re using other VPNs. The first time I was in China I gave up on browsing social media or watching YouTube because the internet was so slow with the VPN I was using at the time.

I didn’t have that issue when I was using my NordVPN in China. The internet speed was the normal speed of Chinese internet, and it was a much more enjoyable experience.

No matter where you plan on using your VPN, it is essential to have one whenever you’re using non-secure or public wifi.

Taiwan is notorious for having amazing public wifi, so you’ll probably be using that frequently when you’re visiting the country.

You’ll want to make sure you have a VPN on your devices before you start using the iTaiwan public wifi system!

NordVPN often runs sales where you get up to 70% off your VPN, so there is no reason not to get a VPN and start protecting your online data!

Conclusion

It is quite easy to decide where to stay in Kaohsiung.

The hardest part is deciding what neighbourhood you want to stay in. From there, you just have to choose whatever hotel suits your budget and needs the best.

Kaohsiung is a pretty compact city, so you’ll be in a good location no matter whether you choose to stay near Formosa Boulevard Station or near the harbour.

You can’t go wrong with choosing any of the hotels on this list. They are all top notch and known for their good service.

Every hotel (no matter where it is in the world) has pros and cons, so you have to weigh them to decide what is best for you.

If it were me choosing, I would stay in a mid-range hotel near Formosa Boulevard Station.

I stayed in a budget hotel near the metro station last time I was in Kaohsiung, but I think it is worth the extra money to upgrade to a mid-range hotel.

The benefits you get far outweigh the additional cost per night!

Where to Stay in Taipei (Best Neighbourhoods)

Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and one of my favourite cities in Asia. There are so many things to see and do in Taipei that you can’t see them all in one trip. The fact that there are so many things to do in Taipei and the city is fairly spread out makes it difficult to decide where to stay in Taipei.

There are three main areas that I recommend staying in Taipei. They are Taipei Main Station, Ximending Neighbourhood, and near Taipei 101. These three neighbourhoods are conveniently located near the top tourist attractions, public transportation, and the amazing food Taipei is known for.

If you’re trying to figure out where to stay in Taipei, focus your search on those three areas, and I guarantee you’ll love the area you’re staying in in Taipei.

Taipei 101

Just like in any city, there are good hotels and bad hotels even in the best neighbourhoods.

This post will help you figure out where to stay in Taipei. Not only the perfect neighbourhood but also the perfect hotel in Taipei.

There is nothing worse than thinking you booked the perfect hotel and then being disappointed when you arrive because it isn’t as it seemed to be online.

I’m going to share with you the highlights of the three main areas you should stay in Taipei and give you my top recommendations for hotels in every budget.

You’ll be well on your way to deciding where to stay in Taipei by the end of this post!

Taipei Main Station

Taipei Main Station is my personal favourite place to stay in Taipei. I stay near Taipei Main Station every time I’m in Taipei and absolutely love it!

Taipei Main Station is near a number of Taipei’s top attractions, and you can easily walk to multiple tourist attractions in less than 15 minutes!

You can easily walk to:

  • Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
  • The North Gate
  • 228 Peace Memorial Park
  • National Taiwan Museum
  • Ximending Shopping District
  • Multiple temples
  • Street food markets
National Concert Hall Taipei, Taiwan

If you love walking from sight to sight like I do, then there is no better place to stay in Taipei than near Taipei Main Station!

In addition to being able to walk to many of the top tourist attractions in Taipei, you’re blocks away from the main transportation centre, and you can get anywhere you want to go from Taipei Main Station!

You can use the metro to travel within Taipei, the local train to go to place the metro doesn’t reach, the bus to visit attractions like Jiufen, or take the high-speed rail to other cities in Taiwan.

Taipei Main Station is the most convenient area in Taipei to stay!

I love staying near Taipei Main Station so much, I wrote an entire article dedicated to the best hotels near Taipei Main Station.

If you’re planning on staying near Taipei Main Station, be sure to check it out.

It goes more in depth about the best hotels near Taipei Main Station than this post!

Pros of Staying Near Taipei Main Station

  • Centrally located
  • You can walk to many of the top tourist attractions
  • Taipei Main Station is blocks away
  • Very affordable
  • Tons of great street food and restaurants around

Cons of Staying Near Taipei Main Station

  • Doesn’t have a ton of atmosphere
  • Limited number of table-service restaurants (most food is either street food or in food courts- but still incredibly delicious!)
Taipei, Taiwan

Top Hotels Near Taipei Main Station

Top Hostel Near Taipei Main Station

Miniinn

Miniin is the top hostel near Taipei Main Station.

The hostel is super clean, modern, and safe. It is a huge step up compared to the hostels you tend to find in Europe and Southeast Asia.

If Miniinn didn’t have dorms, it would definitely be a very nice budget hotel to stay at.

But because it has dorms, it is on my top hostels near Taipei Main Station list.

If you enjoy staying in hostels but don’t like how unclean and outdated they can be, this is the hostel for you!

I’m genuinely impressed at how much this hostel is. Especially considering the price!

Top Budget Hotels Near Taipei Main Station (Under $50USD per Night)

191 Hotel Ningxia

I adore this hotel. It has such a fun personality, and the decor really elevates the experience of your stay.

The rooms at 191 Hotel Ningxia have different decor, and you never know what you’ll see when you open your door for the first time!

Some rooms are decorated with book wallpaper to make it look like you’re in a library. Some rooms have funky-coloured chandeliers as the wallpaper.

My personal favourite are the rooms that are decorated with purple deer wallpaper.

So adorable!

The downside to 191 Hotel Ningxia is that the least expensive rooms in the hotel don’t have windows.

This isn’t the most desirable, and I would highly recommend you spend a few extra dollars and upgrade to a room that includes a window!

Other than the window situation, this hotel is in the perfect location, and you can walk to all the nearby tourist attractions in about 15 minutes!

It doesn’t get much better than that!

hotel relax v

I love Hotel Relax V, and it is the highest-end budget hotel on this list.

It is the perfect mix of being very affordable without feeling cheap.

The hotel is decorated in a modern style with monochromatic grey, wood detailing, and huge windows in the rooms.

The downside to Hotel Relax V is that the rooms are quite small compared to other hotels on this list.

The rooms are more European-sized than the size you typically find in Asia.

But they aren’t uncomfortably small.

I love the style and location of Hotel Relax V, so I think it is worth having a slightly smaller room.

Top Mid-Range Hotels Near Taipei Main Station ($50USD to $150USD per Night)

via hotel taipei main station

This is without a doubt my favourite mid-range hotel near Taipei Main Station.

Via Hotel Taipei Main Station is where to stay in Taipei if you’re looking for large beautiful rooms, great service, and a surprisingly inexpensive price.

They could without a doubt be changing quite a bit more per night than they are it is that nice!

The rooms at Via Hotel Taipei Main Station are significantly larger than your average hotel room, feel very open and spacious, and have a really nice bathroom.

The shower is incredible, and it is so nice to jump into a hot shower and relax after a long day of sightseeing in Taipei.

Via Hotel Taipei Main Station is a short 10-minute walk from Taipei Main Station, so you can’t beat the location!

There really isn’t any downside to this hotel.

morwing hotel

If you’re wondering where to stay in Taipei that has a super cool vibe and reasonable prices, this is the place for you!

Similar to 191 Hotel Ningxia, Morwing Hotel is bursting with personality and is a really fun place to stay.

The rooms are decorated with incredible floor-to-ceiling wallpaper. Many of the rooms have wallpaper from popular cities around the world, and you feel like you’re actually in those cities rather than in Taipei!

My favourite city wallpaper scene is set at a cafe in France, and you legitimately feel as if the people on the wallpaper could be sitting across from you in Paris.

There are a few rooms that have rather peculiar wallpaper, and these are my favourite!

In particular, there is one room that is neon green and features a cat in a baseball uniform throwing a baseball.

It is incredible and so, so much fun!

There are other rooms that feature animated squid or penguins, and they are really fun as well!

Adorable decorations aside, Morwing Hotel has an outstanding reputation for service and cleanliness.

You get an outstanding hotel and great decorations. What more could you ask for?!

Top Luxury Hotels Near Taipei Main Station (Over $200USD per Night)

palais de chine

This hotel is absolutely gorgeous!

Palais de Chine has a really nice vibe. It feels very modern but still feels old-timey and classy.

The walls and ceilings in the common areas are wooden and make the hotel feel even more luxurious than it already does.

My favourite part of the hotel is the reception area.

It is stunning!

Even if you’re not planning on staying at Palais de Chine, it is worthwhile to click through the hotel’s photos and admire all the hard work and craftsmanship it took to design the lobby.

The service at Palais de Chine is just as high-quality as you would expect at a luxury hotel.

It is immaculate, and you feel like royalty by the way they treat you.

This hotel is in an amazing location, has great service, and stunning decor. It will definitely make your stay in Taipei that much better if you choose to stay here!

The okura prestige taipei

Rooftop pool with views of Taipei’s skyline.

Need I say more to sell you on The Okura Prestige Taipei?!

If the pool doesn’t sell you on this hotel, there are many other features that will.

The Okura Prestige Taipei drips luxury and wealth. It is honestly the type of place that I feel very uncomfortable and out-of-place at because I know I don’t belong in such a nice place.

The guest rooms are gigantic and by far the biggest rooms you’ll find in a hotel near Taipei Main Station.

They are gorgeously decorated and are simple yet luxurious.

You can tell that every detail (no matter how small) is thought out and is intentional.

I highly recommend The Okura Prestige Taipei to anybody who is looking for a luxury hotel in Taipei.

Ximending

If you’re wondering where to stay in Taipei for the best atmosphere and young crowd, then Ximending is the perfect neighbourhood for you!

Ximending is a huge shopping district full of restaurants, shops, and street food vendors.

It is a lively area that stays open late into the night and is popular with both tourists and locals alike.

This area has tons of personality and is my second favourite place to stay in Taipei.

I love this area because it is bursting with personality, and you never know what you’ll stumble across.

If you’ve been to Japan, Ximending would be the Shibuya of Taipei. It certainly isn’t near as large as Shibuya, but it has a similar vibe.

Even if you’re not staying in Ximending, you should swing by and check the are out while you’re in Taipei!

Ximending is about 1 km from Taipei Main Station, so you can easily walk to many of the major tourist sights from the area.

It does take a little while longer to walk to tourist sights because it is an extra kilometre away, but is a nice walk and doesn’t fell like you’re walking endlessly.

Pros of Staying in Ximending

  • Amazing atmosphere
  • Lots of restaurants and shops nearby
  • Can walk to Taipei Main Station and many popular tourist attractions

Cons of Staying in Ximending

  • A bit further away from tourist attractions than Taipei Main Station area
  • Lively nightlife and can be noisy late into the night
Taiwan Night Market

Tops Hotels in Ximending

Top Hostel in Ximending

To be honest, there aren’t really any quality hostels at a decent price in this area.

The hostels that are in Ximending are either not very high quality or the same price as a budget hotel.

I wouldn’t recommend staying in a hostel in the Ximending area. It isn’t worth the price or staying in subpar accommodation.

Top Budget Hotels in Ximending (Under $50USD per Night)

Green World Hotel Zhonghua

This hotel has such a cool vibe!

The walls are painted with bright colours and there are unique and modern decorations throughout the hallways and common areas.

The rooms at Green World Hotel Zhonghua are huge and well above industry standard. You can easily fit a family of four in one room and not feel cramped!

There are two downsides to Green World Hotel Zonghua though.

The first is that the hotel is located right next to a busy street, so it can be a bit noisy during high traffic times. It shouldn’t be an issue when you’re trying to sleep though!

The other is that some of the rooms don’t have a window in them. I always prefer to have a window in my room, so this is a bit unfortunate.

The good news is that you can upgrade to a room with a window for a few extra dollars a night.

It is well worth the extra cost!

Green World Hotel Zonghua is in a great location (minus being near a busy street, but is isn’t that much of a problem). You can walk to many tourist sights, Taipei Main Station, and countless restaurants and shops with no issue.

It is hard to beat this hotel. Especially since it is so reasonably priced!

Inhouse boutique

This hotel is located in the heart of Ximending shopping district right by the pedestrian street.

Inhouse Boutique is the ultimate budget hotel for people looking to stay in Ximending.

The hotel is quite modern- especially in the common areas. The dark brown walls and flooring makes the hotel feel more luxurious and expensive than it actually is.

The downside to Inhouse Boutique for me is the in-room decor. I don’t care for the curtains or headboards they chose.

But if you can overlook that, this is an amazing hotel. This is where to stay in Taipei if you’re looking for a modern yet affordable hotel in the hippest part of town.

The rooms are Inhouse Boutique are quite large, and they have a much nicer bathroom than Green World Hotel Zonghua.

All the bathrooms feature a rainfall shower head, and it is amazing to jump in such a nice shower after a long day of exploring the city.

This is my go-to budget hotel in Ximending.

Top Mid-Range Hotels in Ximending ($50USD to $150USD per Night)

via hotel

Via Hotel is clean, modern, and fresh. It feels quite upscale and elegant without being in-your-face.

It is a very understated hotel.

I personally love the decor that Via Hotel uses. Sharp lines, simple decor, and nice flooring. It really speaks to me!

The bathrooms are spacious and nice, which is a very important feature when deciding where to stay in Taipei.

A lot of hotels in Taipei have small bathrooms, but that isn’t the case here!

In terms of location, Via Hotel is right in the heart of Ximending. You really get to immerse yourself in the area when you stay here.

A few guests have reported that they have been able to hear people talking on the streets, but that appears to be an issue when you’re staying on a lower level.

Ask to have a room near the top of the hotel, and this won’t be an issue. Plus you’ll be treated to stunning views of Taipei and the Ximending Shopping District.

amba taipei ximending

amba Taipei Ximending really stands out from all the other buildings around it. It has a grey, geometric-esque exterior that is unlike anything else in the neighbourhood.

With an exterior as modern and monochromatic as it has, you would expect the interior to be similar.

But it isn’t!

The interior is still modern, but it is more classic. The rooms are painted with bright white and the flooring is a very nice light wood colour.

Total opposite from the exterior, and that adds to the charm of amba Taipei Ximending.

One really cool feature about this hotel is that you get to choose your room size.

You can choose from a king, queen, or twin room in either standard, large, or extra large.

This allows you to choose the perfect room to meet your travel needs. If you’re travelling as a family, you can get a large or extra large room and not feel cramped. If you’re a solo traveller like me, you can choose a standard room.

Even the standard room is quiet spacious, but it is nice to have the option to upgrade to a larger room if that is what you prefer.

Top Luxury Hotels in Ximending (Over $200USD per Night)

citizenm Taipei north gate

Even though this is a chain hotel, CitizenM Taipei North Gate is an excellent place to stay in Taipei.

I really like this hotel because it is in a unique location. It is almost halfway between Ximending and Taipei Main Station, so you get the best of both worlds.

It is in a quieter location than the hotels right in the heart of Ximending but also retains the culture and atmosphere of Ximending.

You can book a room with a view of a city, and I highly recommend you pay for the upgrade. The views from these rooms are stunning and really add to the enjoyment of your trip to Taipei.

The downside to CitizenM Taipei North Gate is that the common areas don’t feel as luxurious as they could.

There are plastic bar stools, and it has more of a budget hotel vibe in the common area than a luxury hotel vibe.

One cool part of the common area is that there is a spiral-esque staircase up to a library/sitting room that is very nice.

If you’re a literary nerd like I am, you’ll love it!

This is a fine hotel, but if you’re looking for a luxury hotel in the Ximending area, the next hotel is a better option in my opinion.

westgate

This is the most expensive hotel in the Ximending area, and it is shockingly inexpensive.

Technically, there is one hotel in the area that is more expensive, but it has notoriously bad reviews, and I’m not sure how it is even still in business.

So for all intents and purposes, Westgate is the most expensive and luxurious hotel in the area.

The rooms are decorated in a nice grey colour, but the carpet in the rooms is fairly ugly. The flooring at both mid-range hotels was nicer than the flooring at Westgate.

Westgate is a nice hotel, but, in all honesty, I would you either choose a mid-range hotel in Ximending or a luxury hotel near Taipei Main Station or Taipei 101.

The luxury hotels in Ximending simply aren’t that great and probably aren’t worth the price.

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 is iconic and basically everybody who visits Taipei visits Taipei 101. Even if they just walk by it and don’t go up (like I did), not trip to Taipei is complete without stopping by this iconic building.

No “where to stay in Taipei” article would be complete without mentioning the area surrounding Taipei 101.

I have this area on my best places to stay in Taipei list not because of Taipei 101 but because of the are surrounding Taipei 101.

There is so much green space in the area surrounding Taipei 101. It was the most green space I saw in all of Taipei.

There are parks and hiking trails within walking distance of Taipei 101, and that is why this area is one of the best places to stay in Taipei.

It is an incredibly laid back area even though it is home to one of the most popular tourist sights in the city.

Temple in Taipei, Taiwan

The downside to staying near Taipei 101 is that is is fairly far away from the majority of Taipei’s most popular tourist attractions, so you’ll have to rely on public transportation more than walking.

But that also means that the area is quieter- especially when Taipei 101 isn’t open.

The other major downside to staying near Taipei 101 is that is is the most expensive area on this list.

It is difficult to find a decent budget hotel and hostels in the area are basically non-existant.

If you’re asking yourself where to stay in Taipei on a budget, the Taipei 101 are is not the place for you.

Pros of Staying Near Taipei 101

  • Lots of green space
  • Quiet community
  • Near malls and other shopping centres

Cons of Staying Near Taipei 101

  • Far away from most tourist attractions, so you need to rely on public transportation
  • Commercialized, so you won’t find many local restaurants, street food, or shops
  • Is quite busy when Taipei 101 is open
  • The Taipei 101 area is the most expensive area to stay on this list
Taipei 101

Tops Hotels Near Taipei 101

Top Hostel Near Taipei 101

As mentioned in the introduction to the Taipei 101 area, it isn’t easy to find a decent hostel in the area.

So just like Ximending, I’m not going to recommend a hostel in this area.

If you’re interested in staying in a hostel in Taipei, the Taipei Main Station area is the best area to find a nice hostel for a decent price.

Top Budget Hotels Near Taipei 101 (Under $50USD per Night)

This is a tough one.

There are a few hotels in the budget range near Taipei 101; however, they aren’t great, and I don’t feel comfortable recommending them to you.

Like the type of hotel where you can rent a room by the hour if you get what I’m saying.

I’ve accidentally stayed in hotels like this in Korea, and I don’t wish that upon you. Even though they are clean and safe, they tend to be loud during the times you’re wanting to sleep, and they personally make my germaphobe heart feel awkward.

Top Mid-Range Hotels Near Taipei 101 ($50USD to $150USD per Night)

royal palace hotel

This hotel lives up to its name and does feel a bit like a palace.

The decor and attention to detail at Royal Palace Hotel is impeccable, and you feel like you’re staying in an ornate palace.

Without the price tag that normally comes with a palace!

The hotel is right next door to a MRT station, so you can easily jump on the metro and get anywhere in the city pretty easily.

Royal Palace Hotel is a bit further away from Taipei Main Station, but it is still near a park and located in a quiet neighbourhood.

Tango taipei xinyi

You feel like you’re walking into the future when you enter Tango Taipei XinYi.

Everything is ultra modern and feels space-like through their use of bubble-shaped decor. The guest rooms are less futuristic than the common areas, but they are still really nice.

I love their use of light greys and light brows to decorate the guest rooms and bathrooms. It is weirdly calming even though they are darker colours that don’t normally equate to calm.

Tango Taipei XinYi is in an amazing location. It is walking distance from multiple parks, Elephant Mountain hiking train, and is right on the MRT line.

It is super easy to get anywhere in Taipei from this location!

The hotel is located just off a main street, but you won’t experience any noise issues since it is a fairly easy going neighbourhood.

There aren’t any bars nearby that draw a crowd late into the evening.

All-in-all this is a really nice hotel that won’t break the bank!

Top Luxury Hotels Near Taipei 101 (Over $200USD per Night)

artree hotel

If you’re wondering where to stay in Taipei to experience really unique hotel that you won’t find anywhere else, this is the hotel for you!

arTree Hotel is unlike anything I’ve seen before.

The lobby has floor to ceiling LED panels that project the image of trees on them, and the entire hotel has an emphasis on nature.

The chairs in the restaurant are giant leaves. Wooden carvings made to look like tree trunks are the decor in the lobby, and there is a huge tree sculpture at the front door.

Each guest room is themed to a different part of nature whether it be trees, flowers, or leaves.

You can really tell when you’re at arTree Hotel that nature is something they care about and celebrate.

It is a breathtaking hotel, and I’ve never seen anything like it before!

w hotel taipei

Rooftop pool and floor to ceiling windows in guest rooms.

That’s enough to sell you on W Hotel Taipei right?!

I mean who doesn’t want to wake up, pull the curtains back, and have an incredible view of Taipei 101?! I know I sure do!

W Hotel Taipei is the definition of beauty. The decor is beautiful and timeless, the guest rooms are lovely, and the staff is known for going above and beyond for their guests.

This is without a doubt the hotel I would choose to stay at near Taipei 101 assuming I had the budget.

Not only does it have breathtaking views of Taipei from the guest rooms, but it is also in the perfect location.

You can walk to nearby parks, Elephant Mountain hiking trail, Taipei 101, night markets, temples, and tons of shopping and eating.

There is really no downside to W Hotel Taipei!

How to Decide Which Neighbourhood to Stay In

One of the most difficult parts of booking a hotel in a new city is deciding on the perfect neighbourhood to stay in.

Once you’ve figured out what neighbourhood you want to stay in, it is easy to choose what hotel to stay in. It just takes a little bit of research.

When deciding where to stay in Taipei, you have to evaluate what is important to you.

Do you care more about being in a quiet neighbourhood or staying in a lively neighbourhood with a lot of night life?

Do you want to be able to walk everywhere or are you okay on relying on public transportant?

And most importantly, what is your budget and what amenities are important to you?

These are all essential questions to ask yourself before deciding where to stay in Taipei.

For most people, the Taipei Main Station neighbourhood is the best bet. It has the best combination of being close to tourist attractions, food, shopping, and being budget friendly.

People looking to partake in local night life and want to experience a younger side of Taipei will probably prefer Ximending.

And people who value a quiet area and being near nature more than anything else will enjoy staying near Taipei 101.

It all comes down to you and what you prefer and value in a hotel.

National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

Why I Recommend Hotels.com

I have been using hotels.com to book 99% of my hotels since I started seriously travelling in 2015.

My love for hotels.com is rooted in their loyalty program. After every 10 nights you book through hotels.com (and complete your stay), you get one free night!

That’s right! You get a free night just for booking and staying in hotels you were going to book and stay at anyways!

I love getting my free night certificate, and I’ve used it to stay at hotels all over the world. It really helps me out when I’m on a tight budget!

The value of your free night is determined by how much the 10 hotel nights you booked to earn your free night certificate cost.

If you booked mostly budget accommodation (guilty!), your free night certificate will be on the lower end of the price scale. Most of my free nights have been values between $40 and $100.

If you stay at higher-end hotels or in expensive cities that cost more, your free night certificate will be much higher in value. I’ve had free nights that were valued upwards of $200!

You can apply your free night certificate to nearly every hotel on hotels.com. There are some properties that don’t allow you to redeem your free night, but they are few and far between.

The downside to this program is that you can’t use your free night certificate to pay for multiple nights in a less expensive hotel. You have to use it for a single night’s stay.

But this also comes in handy when you have to stay at an airport hotel or in a more expensive city. You just apply your free night and don’t have to worry about breaking the budget!

And it the hotel you’re booking costs more than your free night certificate is valued at, you can still use it and just pay the difference!

I figure I’m going to be staying in hotels no matter what, so I may as well be rewarded for my hotel stays!

And hotels.com is the only hotel loyalty program that offers real value that most people can take advantage of in my opinion.

A Note About Protecting Yourself Online

No matter where you choose to stay in Taipei, you’ll be relying on a public internet connection and putting yourself at risk of having your online data stolen.

Yes. You’re still at risk even if you’re using hotel wifi that is password protected!

I’ve met multiple people while travelling who have had their banking information stolen and have had to go through the hassle of canceling their bank cards and trying to get new bank cards while on the road.

It isn’t fun, and you want to avoid having your online data stolen!

The good news is that there is a really easy way to protect yourself, and that is using a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN puts an invisible forcefield around your online activity and prevents any prying eyes from seeing what you’re doing online.

I’ve been using a VPN since 2016 and wouldn’t dream about not having one on all of my devices. In fact, I have my VPN on while writing this article!

You can never be too safe!

I’ve used multiple VPNs over the years, but the only one I’ve ever really liked is NordVPN.

It is the fastest (even in mainland China where internet access is severely restricted and slow) and the most user friendly.

You can connect up to 6 devices on one NordVPN account, so you can easily protect all of your devices in one swoop.

NordVPN is almost always running a sale, so you can often get your VPN for 65% to 70% off, so there is no excuse not to protect your online data!

NordVPN

Conclusion

It can be difficult to decide where to stay in Taipei, and I hope this article made that decision a little bit easier for you!

My personal favourite place to stay in Taipei is near Taipei Main Station, and I imagine that is the only area I’ll stay in whenever I go back to Taipei in the future.

If you choose to stay in the Taipei Main Station area, be sure you leave time to explore the station. It is basically an attraction in and of itself! And make time to eat at the food court in the basement of Dream Mall. There are some incredible food stalls!

PS- If you’re landing at Taoyuan Airport and want to know how to get to Taipei Main Station and downtown Taipei from the airport, check out my detailed transportation guide here that walks you through everything you need to know!

Best Hotels Near Taipei Main Station (For All Budgets!)

The area surrounding Taipei Main Station is my favourite place to stay when I visit Taipei. It is super central, so it is easy to get to all of Taipei’s main attractions. There are tons of hotels near Taipei Main Station, and it can be difficult to choose where to stay.

Just like any tourist area, there are some amazing hotels near Taipei Main Station and some hotels that when you arrive at them you instantly regret booking them.

You don’t want to end up in one of those hotels!

This post will keep you from regretting your hotel choice and help you choose the perfect hotel near Taipei Main Station.

Why Taipei Main Station is My Favourite Area of Taipei to Stay

As I mentioned, I love staying near Taipei Main Station.

It is central, so you can easily hop on the metro or bus to get to any sight in the city. Taipei Main Station is also home to the high-speed rail and the slower local trains.

You can literally get anywhere in the country from Taipei Main Station.

There are also tons of popular attractions you can walk to from the Taipei Main Station area. They include (but certainly aren’t limited to):

  • Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
  • Ximending Shopping District
  • The North Gate
  • 228 Peace Memorial Park
  • Many temples
  • National Taiwan Museum

The Taipei Main Station area is also really laid back. It is a great area to come back to after a long day and relax. Once you get off the main road, there aren’t many people, and you can enjoy exploring the area without any crowds.

Hotels near Taipei Main Station are also extremely affordable!

That is definitely one of the many reasons I love staying in a hotel near Taipei Main Station.

Affordable, laid back, super safe, surrounded by delicious food, and centrally located.

It doesn’t get any better than that!

National Concert Hall Taipei, Taiwan

All The Reasons I Love Staying Near Taipei Main Station

In case you want a skim-able version of what I said in the last section, here is a bullet point list of all the reasons I love Taipei Main Station and basically always stay in a hotel near Taipei Main Station:

  • Super central (can get around Taipei and Taiwan from Taipei Main Station)
  • Safe (I feel 100% safe staying near Taipei Main Station as a solo female traveller)
  • Walking distance to top attractions
  • Affordable (You can find some astonishingly low prices at hotels near Taipei Main Station)
  • Laid back area where you can relax after a day exploring Taipei
  • Amazing restaurants and street food all around

Top Hostels Near Taipei Main Station

Miniinn

This is the top hostel near Taipei Main Station.

It is clean, modern, comfortable, and takes security seriously. Each person has their own high-quality locker in their dorm to store all their belongings.

A lot of hostels have lockers you can use, but the lockers at Miniinn are much higher quality than you’ll see at other hostels around the world.

They also have women only rooms if you’re a female traveller and feel more comfortable sharing a room with just women rather than a co-ed room!

On top of the hostel being very safe, it is also modern and comfortable. The rooms and common areas feel much higher class than most hostels I’ve stayed at before.

It feel more like a budget hotel than what you normally think of when you hear the word hostel.

Taipei Main Station is only a 7-minute walk from Miniinn, and you are within a 10-minute walk of three other metro stations.

It is very centrally located.

I really like the vibe of this hostel and appreciate that the owner has made the effort to make it feel more upscale compared to a standard hostel.

Caveman Hostel Taipei Main Station

Caveman Hostel Taipei Main Station is another really modern hostels.

It is just a couple of blocks away from Miniinn, so it is also in the perfect location to explore Taipei.

The hostel also has high-quality individual storage lockers, but they are quite a bit larger than the lockers at Miniinn.

It features female-only rooms as well!

One of my the best features of the hostel, in my opinion, is the common area. It is huge and has a variety of different seating areas.

If you need to work on your laptop, there are table where you can do that. If you want to have a drink and chill out, there are large comfortable chairs for there. And so on and so forth.

It is the perfect arrangement. It is so refreshing that a hostel understands that a fair number of its customers need access to a workspace, and the provide it!

The major downside to this hostel is the price. It is nearly the same price as the budget hotels in the next section.

If it were me, I would spend the few extra dollars per night and book a budget hotel over this hostel- especially if there is more than one person travelling together.

Taipei, Taiwan

Top Budget Hotels Near Taipei Main Station (Under $50USD per Night)

Inn Cube Taipei Main Station

Inn Cube Taipei Main Station is a great option for budget travellers.

It is a short 5-minute walk from Taipei Main Station and just a 10-minute walk from three other metro stations!

The location is absolutely perfect. You can walk to most of the top tourist attractions, but the hotel is in a quiet neighbourhood where you won’t be disrupted by honking cars or people on the streets in the middle of the night.

In terms of the hotel itself, it is a basic hotel with nothing too fancy going on.

You have your own private room, but in most cases you have to share a bathroom with other people.

The Inn Cube Taipei Main Station has a reputation for being super clean, so you won’t encounter any sketchy shared bathrooms here.

It is definitely a major step up from the hostels near Taipei Main Station.

Every room and common area is equipped with complimentary wifi and air conditioning. Air conditioning is a must-have in Taipei since it is always hot and humid in the city.

All-in-all, Cube Inn Taipei Main Station is a great option for budget travellers who just want a place to lie their head and don’t need anything more than a bed, wifi, air conditioning, and a share bathroom.

191 Hotel Ningxia

This hotel is absolutely adorable and one of my all-time favourite hotels near Taipei Main Station.

You never really know what you’ll get when you walk into your room.

Some rooms have book wallpapers. Others are decorated with purple deer wallpaper. A few rooms have funky chandelier wallpaper.

The unique decorations makes the entire stay even more fun!

In terms of amenities, 191 Hotel Ningxia is a step up from Cube Inn Taipei Main Station.

Each room has its own private bathroom, and the bedding and beds are higher quality.

The downside, though, is that the least expensive rooms don’t have a window. Rooms with windows only cost a few dollars more, so I would recommend you pay for that upgrade.

You don’t realize how much a window adds to your hotel room until it is gone!

191 Hotel Ningxia is a little further away from Taipei Main Station, so you’ll have to walk about 15 minutes from the station to the hotel.

But it is worth it!

The hotel is in a great location and within steps of a local night market. And anybody who has been to Taiwan will tell you that night markets are a way of life.

Staying so close to a night market is amazing. You’ll always be able to grab a quick dinner or snack in the evenings!

Hotel Relax V

This is the most modern-looking budget hotel on this list.

Hotel Relax V is decorated with monochromatic grey, huge windows, textured faux wood elements.

It is super sleek and modern.

The major downside is that the rooms are tiny.

By far the smallest rooms on this list.

But the hotel is super clean, blocks away from Taipei Main Station, has friendly staff, and laundry facilities!

You can pay for breakfast at the hotel, but it isn’t worth it. It is a much better use of your time and money to find a local place to grab breakfast. The local food around and in Taipei Main station is delicious!

The hotel offers a shuttle from the airport. It is 10 times more expensive than taking public transportation, so please don’t pay for it!

If you want to learn how to travel from the airport to Taipei Main Station, I have an in-depth article that explains all your different options!

But aside from overcharging you for breakfast and airport transfers, Hotel Relax V is a great option if you’re booking a hotel near Taipei Main Station.

I love the modern design of the hotel, and you get some great views of the area from your giant windows!

Hotel Relax V

Top Mid-Range Hotels Near Taipei Main Station ($50USD to $150USD per Night)

Amando Inn

Amando Inn is bursting with charm and is by far one of my favourite hotels near Taipei Main Station.

It is very unassuming from the outside and can be difficult to find.

But it is a hidden gem!

Armando Inn is hidden in plain sight on the 3rd through 5th floors of a concrete corner building.

The bottom floor is a local store, the second floor is a hostel, the next three floors are the hotel, and the top two floors are occupied by another company.

The sign is in Mandarin, so I’m not sure whether the top two floors are office buildings or residential homes.

Even though there are all these different businesses one on top of the other, the hotel still feels seculded.

Your sleep isn’t interrupted by a bunch of noise or traffic even though the hotel is located on a street corner.

The inside of the hotel feels very traditional and like you’ve stepped back in time. There are traditional wooden chairs, Chinese-style wallpaper, and beautiful tile work in the bathrooms.

It is an amazing experience and so much more than just a place to sleep at night.

Amando Inn is a 5-minute walk from Taipei Main Station and is right in the heart of street vendors and local life.

I am obsessed with the location of it!

The hotel offers a breakfast for a reasonable price of less than $5USD per person. I normally recommend people find a local breakfast, but this is a great option if you need something quick and convenient for a decent price.

They also offer an airport transfer, but, just like Relax V Hotel, it is very overpriced.

Taking public transportation is definitely the best way to travel from the airport to downtown Taipei.

Amando Inn is one of the very best mid-range hotels near Taipei Main Station, and it is also one of the least expensive!

Hotel Relax II

If Hotel Relax IV interested you, but you wanted something more upscale and with more room, then Hotel Relax II is the place for you!

It is the higher end sister hotel to Hotel Relax V.

Hotel Relax II has a super modern style. The common areas feature dark walls, floors, and accessories while the rooms are bright and open with light walls and floors.

The contrast between the two is beautiful!

Most rooms come with complimentary breakfast, which is a nice addition.

Even if you don’t plan on eating breakfast at the hotel, you must check out the restaurant. It is so cool, and you feel like you’re hanging out in a speak easy rather than a hotel.

I’m obsessed with the huge couch they use as a table.

Relax Hotel II is a bit further away from Taipei Main Station than most of the other hotels on this list.

It is about a 15-minute walk from the station, but it is well worth it if you choose to stay here.

The vibe is definitely unique and classy.

Hotel Relax II

Morwing Hotel

If you’re looking to stay in a hotel that has personality, Morwing Hotel is the place for you!

The walls are highly decorated, and you never know what you’ll find when you open your door for the first time.

Many rooms are decorated like famous world cities, some have famous amine characters on the walls, some rooms are floral and calming.

My two favourite rooms are one based in Paris where there is a giant mural on the wall that makes you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of the a cafe. The other one is more strange and features a neon green wall and a cat diving to catch a baseball.

It is absolutely fantastic and so odd. But I love it!

Not only are the rooms at Morwing Hotel fantastically decorated, but they are also a fair amount larger than other hotel rooms in the Taipei Main Station area.

If you want to be able to spread your stuff out around your room and not feel cramped, this is the hotel for you!

Morwing Hotel - Culture Vogue

Orange Hotel

This hotel is perfect if you’re looking for something that feels like home.

It has a Best Western or Hampton Inn vibe and is the sort of hotel you can find anywhere in the world.

It doesn’t have much personality, but it has all the comfort and familiarity you could ask for.

Orange Hotel is known for its clean rooms, quiet location, and helpful staff.

You really can’t go wrong with this hotel!

City Suites

Sleek is the first word that comes to mind when I think of City Suites.

It has a modern design and decorations, but it isn’t as in your face as some of the other modern hotels on this list.

City Suites is very tastefully decorated and comfortable.

The major downside to this hotel is that many of the rooms don’t have a window.

Be sure to pay attention to what room you’re booking if you want a window!

Earlier in this article, I wrote that you really miss having a window in your hotel room. I 100% believe that; however, the rooms are so big at City Suites that you don’t notice you’re missing a window as much as you do in a smaller hotel room.

I still highly recommend you spend the little extra money to get a room with a window, but having a windowless room in City Suites isn’t too bad due to the size of the room.

One other important thing to note about this hotel, you do not want to stay on the first floor.

There is a public restroom on the first floor, and some guests have mentioned that it was loud and used late into the night.

If you are assigned a room on the first floor, politely ask the person checking you in if you can have a room on a higher floor.

They’ll be able to accommodate your request most of the time.

In terms of location, City Suites is located on the opposite side of Taipei Main Station than the other hotels on this list.

It is just a few blocks from Tamsui River, but it is a bit further walk to the nearby tourist attractions.

The Tango Taipei Nanshi

If you want champagne on an orange juice budget, this hotel is a great option for you!

The Tango Taipei Nanshi is a gorgeous hotel with great service, lovely rooms, and a near perfect location.

The owners could easily charge double the current price and still have people lined up to stay!

I’m honestly blown away by how inexpensive this hotel is!

I wouldn’t be surprised if the price went up in the coming years, so book now if you’re looking to get a deal!

The one downside of the hotel that makes it feel a little less luxurious is the carpet. It is a bit ugly and tacky in my opinion, but the rest of the guest rooms and the common areas are lovely.

Rooms have a giant jacuzzi tub, so that more than makes up for the carpet!

The Tango Taipei Nanshi is only a 15-minute walk from Taipei Main Station. It is in the perfect locations for exploring Taipei on foot!

All-in-all, this is one of my favourite mid-range hotels near Taipei Main Station!

The Tango Taipei Nanshi

Via Hotel Taipei Station

This is my favourite mid-range hotel near Taipei Main Station.

I love the location (less than a 10-minute walk from Taipei Main Station), the atmosphere, the rooms, and the service.

The rooms are very bright with lots of white and light colours. It feels very open, and the rooms feel larger than they actually are.

The rooms are fairly big compared to other hotels in the area, but they feel even bigger thanks to all the bright colours.

I’m obsessed with the huge bathroom and incredible shower. It is so refreshing after a long day exploring Taipei!

I highly recommend Via Hotel Taipei Station.

You won’t have a bad experience if you choose to stay here!

Via Hotel Taipei Station

Luxury Hotels (Over $250USD per Night)

Palais de Chine

This hotel is absolutely gorgeous!

It is timeless, and almost has an earthy vibe to the rooms through the way they use the wood they use to decorate the rooms.

My favourite part of Palais de Chine is the reception area. I love the chandeliers, seating area, and the grandness of it.

The common areas are almost like walking back in time whereas the rooms feel more modern. It is the perfect combination of old and new!

In terms of location, it is a little bit further away than some of the other hotels near Taipei Main Station, but it is still less than a 20-minute walk from the station.

Palais de Chine is the least expensive luxury hotel on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth staying at! It feels like a hotel that would cost upwards of $400 in North America.

But is is significantly less expensive than that!

Palais de Chine Hotel

Double Tree by Hilton Taipei Zhongshan

I’m a big fan of Hilton hotels and have stayed in Hilton properties all over the world.

I love how sleek and spacious they are, and you always know you’ll get incredible service. This Double Tree is no exception!

You know exactly what you’re getting when you walk into a Hilton property.

The downside to this hotel is that is it the furthest away from Taipei Main Station. In fact, it is almost a 30-minute walk from Taipei Main Station.

I almost didn’t include the Double Tree for that reason, but I wanted to include at least one international hotel chain to my list of best hotels near Taipei Main Station.

And the Double Tree by Hilton Taipei Zhongshan is the best internationally operated hotel in the area.

Do I recommend staying in an internationally owned and operated hotel while on holiday? Sometimes but not always.

I like to stay in locally owned hotels the majority of the time when I travel, but there is certainly circumstances where I choose to stay in internationally owned hotels.

In this scenario, I think there are locally owned hotels that are just as good as the Double Tree that you can stay in.

But if you prefer to stay in internationally owned hotels, this is the hotel for you!

Be sure to sign up for a Hilton Honors account, so you receive complimentary wifi during your stay!

The Okura Prestige Taipei

I’ve saved the best for last!

The Okura Prestige Taipei is my favourite luxury hotel near Taipei Main Station.

It is dripping with luxury and class.

The Okura Prestige Taipei is honestly one of those places where I feel uncomfortable and awkward walking into because it is very clear that I don’t belong there.

The rooms are gigantic and the common areas are done up to the nines.

The best part is the rooftop pool with stunning views of the Taipei skyline.

You honestly can’t beat it, and the price of the hotel is worth those views alone.

It is about a 15-minute walk from Taipei Main Station, so it is extremely conveniently located, and you can easily walk to most of the major tourist attractions within 20 minutes.

This is the hotel I would choose if I were splurging. I absolutely love it!

The Okura Prestige Taipei

Why I Love Hotels.com and Recommend You Use Them

I love Hotels.com and have used them to book 95% of my travel since I discovered them in 2015.

They have an easy to use interface, run fantastic deals to get you the best price on their rooms, and have very helpful customer service representatives if you need to change or cancel your reservation over the phone.

The crowning jewel of Hotels.com (and why I love them so much) is their rewards program.

You receive on complimentary night’s stay after you have stayed 10 nights.

To earn your free night, you simply have to book and stay 10 nights in a hotel you booked through Hotels.com. You don’t have to stay in the same hotel for 10 nights.

You just have to stay 10 nights at any hotel in any city.

10 one-night stays is the same as one 10-night stay.

10 nights equals 1 night free!

The value of your free night is determined by taking the average cost of the 10 nights you stayed to earn your free night.

You can apply your free night to nearly any booking (a very few hotels don’t let you redeem your free night) before you confirm your booking.

If you want to stay in a hotel that costs more than your free night, you can still redeem your free night!

You just have to pay the difference.

I adore this program, and I’ve earned tons of free nights through the Hotels.com rewards program.

If you’re going to stay in hotels when you travel, you may as well be rewarded for it and get a free night every now and then!

A Quick Note on Internet Safety

One thing that comes with travel is the need to connect to public wifi.

Whether it is in a hotel (yes even password protected is still public!), cafe, or on the streets (Taiwan has a great public wifi system), you’re putting yourself at risk by using public wifi.

Not-so-friendly people take advantage of people who use public wifi networks and access their online data (and often sell it).

You don’t want to fall victim to this!

And that is where a virtual private network (VPN) comes into play.

A VPN puts up an invisible shield around your electronic devices and keeps any and all prying eyes out of your online data.

With a VPN, you can rest assured that your online activity is completely private.

I’ve used many VPNs over the years on the road, and I kept changing every year because I wasn’t satisfied with the product.

That was until I started using NordVPN.

NordVPN is the only VPN that I’ve used and actually enjoyed. The mobile and tablet apps are super easy to use, and you can protect your laptop and desktop with a single click.

You can connect up to 6 devices with one account, so you can protect all of your devices for one low price.

You can also cloak your location to show you’re in a different country, so you can access Netflix libraries from different countries. I use mine to access my Disney+ account when I’m in a country that doesn’t support it!

One of my favourite things about NordVPN is that they often run sales where you can get up to 70% off your purchase!

It is impressively affordable, so there is no excuse to not use a VPN when you travel!

NordVPN

Conclusion

Taipei is one of my favourite cities in eastern Asia. It has so much personality but is often overlooked by tourists.

When it comes to where to stay when visiting Taipei, the Taipei Main Station is my absolute hands down favourite.

It is in the perfect location where you can access everything either by foot or by metro within a few minutes.

The area is filled with amazing food and an overall laid back vibe.

There are tons of hotels near Taipei Main Station to choose from. There is something for everybody in every price range!

Taipei is such a fun city. There are so many things to see and do that you won’t be able to cover see it all in just one trip!

So pack your walking shoes and get ready for an amazing trip to Taipei.

Be sure to try some bubble tea while you’re there!

How to Travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei

If you fly into Taipei, you’re going to need to figure out how to get from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei city. It isn’t difficult to travel from the Taoyuan to Taipei, but it definitely isn’t something you want to figure out once you land.

You’ll be tired after your flight to Taiwan, so it is a good think you’re reading this before you get to Taipei, so you already have a plan on how to get from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei.

There are many different ways to travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. You can take the MRT, bus, airport transfer, taxi, or high-speed train. Every transportation method has its pros and cons, but for the average traveler, taking the MRT is your best option. It is the fastest and easiest to travel from Taoyuan Airport to downtown Taipei.

I normally let the reader choose the best transportation option for them when I write a transportation guide like this one. In this post I’m taking a different approach and listing the transportation methods from best to worst.

This is one of the rare occasions where I genuinely believe there is a big enough difference between the transportation methods that I wouldn’t be doing you a favour by not ranking them.

But, of course, the final decision is up to you and what works best for you and your travel style and budget!

Other Taiwan Transportation Guides

Before we get into the nitty gritting and determining the best way to travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei, I wanted to leave the links to other Taiwan transportation guides I’ve written.

They’ll help you easily plan your inter-city transportation when in Taiwan!

Taipei 101

Option 1: Take the MRT from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei

The MRT is the quickest and easiest way to travel from Taoyuan Airport to downtown Taipei.

There are two different MRT options from Taoyuan to Taipei. The express train and the commuter train. It is ideal to take the express train because it takes nearly half the time as the express to get to Taipei Main Station.

The express train takes between 35 and 38 minutes depending on whether you’re getting on at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, and the commuter train takes approximately 50 minutes.

The express train only makes three stops once it leaves the airport whereas the commuter train stops at 10 stations.

Quick Facts About the MRT

  • Both the commuter and express trains arrive at Taoyuan Airport every 15 minutes
  • The ride costs 160 NT (or approximately $5 USD), and you can purchase your ticket at a ticket booth manned by an employee or a ticket machine. You can only pay with cash if you’re purchasing a ticket at the booth rather than the machine.
  • Both the commuter and express trains have luggage storage areas, but the express MRT has significantly more storage.
  • All MRT stations have wireless internet you can connect to (there is not wireless on the MRT)
  • The express train has wireless charging capabilities, but the commuter does not.

Why is the MRT the Best Way to Travel from Taoyuan to Taipei?

The MRT is the best method to travel from Taoyuan Airport to downtown Taipei because it is affordable and super easy for tourists to get from the airport to downtown Taipei.

It is fool proof. You simply get on the MRT at the airport and get off at Taipei Main Station.

Taipei Main Station is the biggest train station in Taipei, so you’ll easily be able to find your way to your accommodation once you’re at Taipei Main Station.

National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

Option 2: Taking the Bus from Taoyuan to Downtown Taipei

The next option is taking the bus from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. It is the second most popular way to travel from the airport to Taipei.

The bus station is just a short walk from the arrivals hall, so it is really easy and convenient to get it.

In some instances, it may even be a shorter walk to the bus station than it is to the MRT!

The bus is the most affordable way to travel from Taoyuan to Taipei. A bus ticket costs only 125 NT or approximately $4.25 USD.

It is definitely the best option for people who are traveling on a budget and don’t have a lot of luggage with them.

You’ll want to know what bus you need to take before you arrive at the bus station. It was suck to get on the wrong bus, end up somewhere you weren’t expecting to, and then try to figure out how to get to your accommodation.

The two buses that drop you near Taipei Main Station are 1819 and 1961. The 1819 runs 24/7 and will be your only option to downtown Taipei from midnight to 6am.

The bus fare is slightly higher during the middle of the night so be sure to keep that in mind when you’re planning how you want to get from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei.

Quick Facts About the Bus

  • You’ll need to have cash to pay for your bus ticket if you don’t have a transportation card. If it is your first time in Taiwan, you probably won’t have a transportation card (but you should get one) when you land so be sure you have enough cash to pay for the bus
  • The bus ride takes approximately 50 minutes, so it is quite a bit longer than the express MRT. You could be stuck on the bus a lot longer than that if there is a traffic jam though!
  • Bus in Taiwan are normally freezing cold so you’ll want to have a scarf or something like that to cover your arms and stay warm

Why is the Bus the Second Best Way to Travel from Taoyuan to Taipei?

I think the bus is the second best way to travel from the airport to Taipei beucase:

a) it is the cheapest option available and

b) the bus station is basically connected to the airport, so it is extremely convenient

The downside is, of course, that the bus takes significantly longer than the MRT. But if you’re adamant that you don’t want to take the MRT, then the bus is probably the best option for you.

Taipei, Taiwan

Option 3: Taking an Airport Transfer from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei

An airport transfer is the perfect option for people who are:

  • Traveling with a larger group
  • Have a lot of luggage
  • Get motion sick on public transportation
  • Aren’t on a ticket budget and want a more luxurious transportation option

It is a service that you pre-book (and pre-pay for), and you’re picked up at the airport by a driver and driven to the front door of your hotel.

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the scene from the movies where there is a person waiting for you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it, this is the option for you!

The best part of an airport transfer is that it is slightly less expensive than a taxi ride!

That’s absolutely incredible deal and is a pretty good value for your money. Especially if you aren’t interested in taking public transportation.

The only downside to an airport transfer is the need to book it ahead of time, but it isn’t really an issue. Its not like you don’t know that you’re flying to Taipei at least a day or two in advance!

Quick Facts About the Airport Transfer

  • A regular airport transfer costs about 800 NT (or approximately $27 USD)
  • A luxury airport transfer costs about 1,200 NT (or approximately $34 USD)
  • There is a small surcharge of a few hundred New Taiwan Dollars if you arrive late in the night or in the early morning hours, but it isn’t more than a couple of US dollars
  • You can book your airport transfers here
  • A regular airport transfer can hold 4 people and a luxury one can hold 8
  • All of the cars/drivers have insurance, so you’re covered in case there is an accident

Why the Airport Transport is the Next Best Way to Travel from Taoyuan to Taipei

The convenience factor.

It is as simple as that. There is no more convenient way to get from the airport to Taipei.

You get in a car, and when you get out, you’re at the front door of your hotel. It literally doesn’t get any easier than that!

I also appreciate that you pre-pay for the airport transport before you even land at the airport, so you don’t have to worry about having enough cash to pay your driver if you don’t have any local currency on you when you first arrive.

It is also a great option for people who are traveling in a group. It isn’t that much more to pay for an airport transfer versus four MRT tickets.

If there are 8 of you in the group, you’re actually saving money by booking a luxury airport transfer instead of taking the MRT.

An airport transfer is also a great option for less experience travellers who are nervous about using public transportation- especially if they’re inexperienced solo travelers.

In most cases I don’t recommend airport transfers because they tend to be overpriced, but in this case, I think it is a great option to consider.

Temple in Taipei, Taiwan

Option 4: Taking a Taxi from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei

The next option on the list is taking a taxi from Taoyuan to downtown Taipei.

I don’t really recommend taking a taxi because an airport transfer is less expensive and more convenient, but a taxi is a decent option if you didn’t have time (or forgot) to book your airport transfer in advance.

A taxi ride should cost you around 1,000 NT (or about $34 USD) during the day and 1,500 to 2,000 NT (or about $51 to $68 USD) in the late night/early morning hours.

Most Taiwan taxi drivers are honest, and you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off and paying too much. It is always best practice to try to find an official taxi stand, so you know you’re getting into a legitimate taxi.

Quick Facts About Taxis

  • The fare is based on a meter, but you also have to pay a surcharge and highway tolls. So wait until the driver is done adding the extras to the fare before you go rummaging for cash to pay with
  • The ride takes about 40-60 minutes depending on traffic and where in Taipei you are staying
  • If you’re having trouble finding the taxi stand, you can go to the tourist services booth, and they will point you in the right direction

Why a Taxi is the Second Worst Way to Travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei

It all comes down to cost for me.

I don’t think a taxi is worth the price when you can pre-book an airport transfer for less money.

A taxi is a fine option for people who are arriving late, have a lot of luggage, or are traveling with a group of people and didn’t have a chance to pre-book an airport transfer.

But I wouldn’t recommend it for the average traveler. I would personally opt for the MRT or an airport transfer before I took a taxi.

National Concert Hall Taipei, Taiwan

Option 5: Taking the High-Speed Train from Taoyuan to downtown Taipei

The final option on this list is taking the high-speed train.

I personally see no reason why you would take the high-speed train from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. It is very inconvenient compared to the other options on this list, and that is why it is in last place.

You have to take a 20-minute bus ride from the airport to the high-speed train station and then take a 20-minute train ride into Taipei.

You also have to purchase a separate ticket for each mode of transportation, which just adds to the inconvenience of taking the high-speed train into Taipei.

I can’t really think of a reason why you would choose this mode of transportation unless you’re obsessed with trains and are dying to ride a high-speed train as soon as you touch down in Taipei.

But I’m guessing there aren’t many people with that passion for trains out there.

Quick Facts About the High-Speed Train

  • You have to take the U-Bus to the THSR station, and a ticket costs 25 NT (less than $1 USD)
  • Once you get to the train station, you need to buy a train ticket for 180 NT (about $6 USD) and wait for the next train to arrive
  • The train stops at both Taipei Main Station and Banqiao, which makes it easy for you to get to your hotel whether you’re staying in Taipei or New Taipei City
  • The entire journey takes about 40 minutes (not including the time you have to wait for the bus and the train)

Why the High-Speed Train is the Worst Way to Travel from the Airport to Taipei

I don’t like the fact that you have to take a bus to get to the THSR station and then take a train into Taipei.

It doesn’t seem worth the extra effort to me when all of the other ways to travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei leave directly from the airport.

The fact that you have to purchase two tickets instead of one also adds to the added hassle of taking the high-speed train from the airport to Taipei.

Taipei, Taiwan

Conclusion

As you can see, there are quite a few different ways you can travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. There is a transportation option to fit everybody’s needs and travel style.

I personally always take the MRT from the airport to downtown Taipei. It is super easy, fast, and convenient. It is hands down my top recommendation!

If you’re using any form of public transportation, just be sure you’re following the rules. There is no eating or drinking and be sure you’re not sitting in a seat designated for the older population!

I have a blog post full of Taiwan travel tips you might want to check out.

It goes more in depth about public transportation norms and how to blend in and not look too much like a tourist.

Happy traveling! I hope this guide makes it super easy for you to get from Taoyuan to Taipei, so you can start your Taiwan adventure.

Let me know in the comments below what transportation method you think is best!

How to Travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park

Let’s talk about how to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park. It is easier than you might think, so there is no excuse not to visit Kenting National Park!

Kenting National Park is one of the most popular day trips from Kaohsiung (although you could easily spend two to three days in Kenting). It is one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan and shouldn’t be missed!

One of the most frustrating parts of planning a day trip (at least for me) is figuring how to travel from one city to another. And that’s where this post comes in!

You’ll learn the easiest way to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.

Your day trip to Kenting National Park will be stress free after reading this post, and you can enjoy the beauty of Kenting without stressing about how to get there.

There are three ways to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park. They all require taking the bus, and it is just a matter of whether you catch the bus at Kaohsiung Station or Zuoying Station (the high-speed rail station), or the airport. The express bus leaves from Xin Zuoying Station and is the most popular way to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.

PS: If you’re looking to take multiple day trips from Kaohsiung, you might want to check out my posts about Fo Guang Shan Monastery (one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been) and Cijin Island (a must for anybody visiting Kaohsiung).

Before We Get Started

I hate figuring out how to travel from one place to another, but I love writing transportation guides for you!

I would love to have an all-in-one resource that goes over how to travel from one place to another, and that’s why I write them. Hopefully they make your travel experience better.

If you’re traveling throughout Taiwan, here are the transportation guides I’ve written to date to help you navigate Taiwan public transportation:

Fo Guang Shan Big Buddha

Option One: Taking the Bus from Zuoying HSR Station

This is the best and most popular way to get from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.

You can take the express bus, which is spacious and comfortable, and that is the reason it is such a popular choice for tourists and locals.

The bus ride from Zuoying Station to Kenting National Park takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic. It will take longer during rush hour and on weekends than it will during off-peak times on a weekday.

It isn’t uncommon for the buses to be delayed by 20-30 minutes so keep that in mind and budget your time accordingly.

How Much Does the Bus from Zuoying Station to Kenting Cost?

A one-way ticket costs on average 371 NT (or approximately $12.50 USD).

Compared to other bus tickets in Taiwan, it is pretty expensive to take the express bus from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park, but it is so worth it! I’m guessing the bus is a little more expensive because it is taking you to a national park and one of the most beautiful places in all of Taiwan.

You can save a little bit of money by purchasing a return ticket. A return ticket costs 650 NT (or approximately $22 USD).

Where to Purchase a Bus Ticket

You purchase your ticket at Zuoying HSR Station at a ticket booth.

Take Exit 2 towards the bus stop, and you’ll walk right into the ticket booth.

The bus from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park is one of the rare instances where you’re not able to use your transportation card and have to purchase an actual ticket from a ticket booth.

Your EasyCard will not work on this bus!

You have to purchase your ticket before you get on the bus, so you’ll want to leave enough time in your schedule to wait in line, buy a ticket, and get on the bus.

I suggest allotting 15 minutes to purchase a ticket. You probably won’t need that much time, but it is better to have extra time than be rushed and stressed about not catching the bus you want.

How Often Does the Express Bus to Kenting National Park Leave?

The express bus to Kenting National Park runs every 15 to 30 minutes from 8:30am to 7pm.

This means you can basically show up to the bus station whenever you want and not have to wait too long to catch a bus!

It is the perfect bus schedule for people who are laid back and want to go with the flow rather than plan exactly when they need to get on the bus because it only leaves every 90 minutes.

I recommend you try to get on an early morning bus. You’ll have more luck at avoiding traffic congestion, and you’ll have more time to spend at Kenting National Park if you’re only doing a day trip.

What About Getting Back to Kaohsiung from Kenting?

The express bus leaves Kenting National Park for Kaohsiung every 15 to 30 minutes from 8am to 7pm.

You do need to pre-buy your ticket before you get on the bus, which is the main reason you should purchase a return ticket rather than a one-way ticket.

Kaohsiung Night Market

Option Two: Taking the Bus from Kaohsiung Station

This is the second most popular way to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.

The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours, so there is no difference between the time it takes to get from Kaohsiung to Kenting whether you depart from Zuoying HSR Station or Kaohsiung Station.

You need to get on either bus 9117 or 9188. Both take you to Kenting National Park. The difference is in where they drop you off. 9188 drops you further south, so if you want to explore the southern part of Kenting, this is the bus for you!

How Much Does the Bus from Kaohsiung Station to Kenting Cost?

The bus from Kaohsiung Station to Kenting National Park costs:

  • 352 NT (approximately $12 USD) if you take bus 9117
  • 362 NT (approximately $12 USD) if you take bus 9188

Unlike the express bus, you are not able to purchase a return ticket. You can only purchase a one-way ticket from Kaohsiung Station to Kenting.

It isn’t that much of an inconvenience, but it is something to keep in mind when you’re planning your trip and budgeting.

Where to Purchase a Bus Ticket

You can either purchase your ticket in cash on the bus or purchase it at the bus station before you get on the bus.

Both payment methods work well, and it comes down to your personal preference more than anything else.

If you only have larger bills and need to get change made, I suggest purchasing your ticket at the station rather than on the bus, so your bus driver doesn’t have to make a lot of change.

A Note About Where to Catch the Bus:

Both the 9177 and 9188 depart from Zhongshan Bus Station at Kaohsiung Station.

The bus station is located one block south of Kaohsiung Station on Jiangguo 2nd Road.

You won’t have any trouble finding the bus station. There are signs in Kaohsiung Station to point you in the right direction, and there will be a crowd of people heading towards the bus station.

Plus it is only one block away from Kaohsiung Station, so you should be able to see the buses as soon as you start walking towards the bus station.

If you’ve walked more than a block, you know you’ve gone the wrong way! But you shouldn’t have any issue finding the bus station.

How Often Does the Bus to Kenting National Park Leave?

The buses departing from Kaohsiung Station are less frequent than the express bus that departs from the HSR station.

There are currently 35 buses a day to Kenting National Park that depart from Kaohsiung Station.

The up side to the buses departing from Kaohsiung Station is that their hours of operation are much longer than the express bus.

The first bus departs at 4:15 am (yes, you read that right!), and the last bus departs at 10:30 pm.

This is perfect for the extra early birds (like me) who want to have as much time as possible at Kenting National Park and have no problem getting out of bed long before the sun is up.

A Note About Bus Time:

You can try to find an English version of the bus timetable online, but my recommendation is to use Google Maps.

Google Maps works really well in Taiwan, and you can easily and accurately find when the next bus departs and even plan your trip days in advance by changing your departure time in the app.

I rely heavily on Google Maps when I’m in Taiwan, and I love it. It makes traveling through Taiwan so easy, and it is nice to not to have to do any Googling to try to find bus timetables (that may or may not be up-to-date and accurate).

Kaohsiung Martyrs' Shrine

Option Three: Taking the Bus from Kaohsiung Airport

The final bus option (and the least popular) is to take a bus from Kaohsiung Airport to Kenting National Park.

It takes two hours to travel from the airport to Kenting, so all three buses take about the same amount of travel time.

I don’t know whether or not there is a place to store your luggage on the bus, but if there isn’t, you can rent a locker at the airport if you’re coming back to Kaohsiung that evening.

How Much Does the Bus from Kaohsiung Airport Cost?

This bus is unique because the price you pay depends on how you pay.

  • Cash: 367 NT (approximately $12 USD)
  • Credit Card: 418 NT (approximately $14 USD)

It is nice to have the option to pay by credit card- especially if you’re running out of NTD cash. It is a little bit more money, but it is still cheaper than paying an ATM transaction fee to get some cash.

You can’t purchase a return ticket on this bus either, so a one-way ticket is the only option for you.

Where to Purchase a Bus Ticket

You have to purchase your ticket before you get on the bus to Kenting.

The ticket counter to purchase a ticket is located near the arrivals lobby near Exit 5.

The ticket counter is inside the terminal so don’t go outside looking for it!

The ticket counter is really easy to find, and you should be able to spot it at Exit 5. If you’re having trouble finding the ticket booth, you can always ask one of the airport employees roaming around or at the help desk.

But you shouldn’t need to because the ticket booth is so easy to find!

How Often Does the Bus to Kenting National Park Leave?

There are only eight buses a day from the Kaohsiung Airport to Kenting National Park.

They depart at:

  • 10:10 am
  • 11:10 am
  • 12:50 pm
  • 1:50 pm
  • 4:10 pm
  • 5:10 pm
  • 6:50 pm
  • 7:50 pm

If one of those time slots doesn’t match your schedule, you’ll have to head into Kaohsiung and catch a bus from either the HSR station or Kaohsiung Station.

Lotus Pond Scenic Area Kaohsiung Taiwan

Other Ways to Travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park

There are, of course, a few other ways you can travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.

I’m not going to go to talk about them in this post because they aren’t all that common and/or cost a lot more money than I think they are worth.

They are:

  • Renting a car/scooter and driving yourself
  • Renting a taxi to drive you
  • Going on a private tour

Conclusion

I hope this post illustrates how easy it is to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park!

You now have no excuse not to visit Kenting and take in all its beauty!

I personally recommend taking the express bus from Zuoying HSR Station. I think it is the most convenient because it leaves on a regular schedule, is very comfortable, and you’re able to purchase a return ticket.

No matter what bus you choose to take, your trip from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park will be stress free. You just need to get on the bus and get off once you get to Kenting National Park.

It doesn’t get any easier than that!

One final tip before I leave you to your Taiwan adventure:

The buses will be cold!

Taiwanese people enjoy having very cold and air conditioned buses and trains. I’m always freezing whenever I’m on a Taiwan public transportation even though it is hot and humid outside.

You might want to bring a scarf or something light to put over your arms to keep you a bit warmer. Otherwise your bus ride from Kaohsiung to Kenting might not be as enjoyable as it could be.

12 Essential Tips for Visiting Kaohsiung Night Markets

Night markets are an essential experience to have while visiting Taiwan! They’re the best place to try local street food and experience a taste of local life.

There are a number of Kaohsiung night markets you can visit while exploring the city, but there are a number of things you should know before you visit any Kaohsiung night market.

And that is where this post comes in!

It gives you all the information you need to navigate the Kaohsiung night markets like a local and have the best experience possible!

The only place I’ve ever eaten dinner in Kaohsiung is at a night market. There is no better place to indulge in Taiwanese food without breaking the budget.

Before we get started, if you’re heading to Kaohsiung, be sure to read my 3 day Kaohsiung itinerary. It is the only itinerary you need to plan the perfect trip to Kaohsiung.

1. Don’t Haggle

Haggling is a common practice in many Asian countries, but you shouldn’t haggle at the night markets in Kaohsiung (or anywhere in Taiwan for that matter).

It is considered very rude to haggle in Taiwan, and you could seriously offend the person selling you their food.

The prices at Kaohsiung night markets are already set at a fair price, so there is no need to try to negotiate a lower price.

Haggling, in general, isn’t common in Taiwan, so you shouldn’t expect to haggle no matter where you are.

The exception to this is you can sometimes haggle with a street vendor selling goods (not food) if there isn’t a price tag on the item. And even in that scenario is isn’t common practice.

Be prepared to pay the listed price at the Kaohsiung night markets.

You’re getting a fair price and don’t have to deal with the stress of haggling. It is a win-win situation!

Taiwan Night Market

2. Be Prepared to Eat at Communal Tables

All of the night markets in Kaohsiung have communal tables in the middle of the street where you can sit to enjoy your food.

They’re plastic tables and plastic chairs that are pulled out of storage and set up every evening for the night markets.

You share the table with whoever else happens to be walking past and wants to sit down to enjoy their food.

It is kind of fun but can be a bit awkward if you’re sitting along eating like I was, but the Taiwanese are really nice.

You never know what type of fun conversation you’ll end up having!

The communal table approach to sitting is common at nearly every night market across Taiwan. The only night market I’ve been to that had a different arrangement was the Hualien night market.

At that market, there were tables behind the food stalls, so it was a more private and relaxing place to eat.

3. Bring Your Own Napkins

Napkins aren’t usually provided at the food stalls when purchasing food at a Kaohsiung night market, so you’ll need to bring your own.

There are a number of street food dishes that are served in sauce and are messy to eat. It is likely that you’ll need a napkin at some point while visiting a Kaohsiung night market, so you better be prepared.

I personally bring a reusable cloth napkin with me because it is better for the environment.

But any type of napkin or Kleenex will work!

You just don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you have to use your shirt sleeve to wipe your face.

4. Take Food Risks

You’ll notice a distinct smell when you visit any Kaohsiung night market. It wafts through the air and, frankly, doesn’t have the most pleasant smell.

That, my friend, is stinky tofu, and you need to try it.

The smell of stinky tofu can turn you off, but once you get past the smell, it tastes incredible.

There are a number of other Taiwan street food dishes you may be hesitant to try because they are unfamiliar to you, but you should take the risk and try them.

What’s the worst that can happen?!

You take a bite, don’t like it, put it in the trash, and then try something else.

But at least you were brave enough to try something new. You never know when you’ll find your new favourite food!

A few other dishes that may seem unfamiliar but are worth a try are:

  • Oyster omelette
  • Deep fried milk
  • Taro balls
  • Aiyu jelly

It should be your goal to try at least one new dish when you’re visiting the Kaohsiung night markets.

You might be surprised which one you like the best, and you’ll be so glad you gave it a try!

It would be a shame to go home and regret not trying more traditional food while you were in Taiwan.

Taiwan Street Food

5. Use the Washroom Before You Visit a Kaohsiung Night Market

This is a very important tip that not many people are talking about.

There aren’t any washrooms at the night markets in Kaohsiung, so you’ll want to be sure you use a washroom before you head out to a night market.

You don’t want to have to leave early just because you have to use the washroom!

If you do need to use a washroom while visiting a night market, you should look for the nearest metro station. They all have public washrooms you can use, so you don’t have to go back to your hotel.

6. Brings Your Cash

Kaohsiung night markets operate mostly in cash.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a vendor who will accept your debit or credit card (I’ve never personally seen one), so you’ll want to bring cash with you to the market.

It is best practice to bring cash in smaller denominations, so it is easy for vendors to make change, but most vendors will be able to make change in a pinch.

7. Look for Long Lines

Long lines are an excellent indicator that the vendor is selling something delicious.

If you’re not quite sure where to start or what your want to eat, keep an eye out for a food stall that has long lines. Then jump in the line if the food looks like something you’re interested in trying.

It is hard to go wrong with your choice if the locals like it enough to queue up for it!

You’ll often see the longest lines at black pepper bun stalls. They’re an incredibly popular street food found at all the Kaohsiung night markets.

It is essentially a bun filled with black pepper and either beef or pork that is cooked in a clay oven right in front of you.

Black pepper buns are on every list of foods you need to try in Taiwan and for good reason!

There is a vegetarian version of black pepper buns made with potato as the filling, but it isn’t that great. You can find much better vegetarian and vegan options at night markets, so I don’t recommend you give the vegetarian black pepper bun a try.

Other dishes that often have a long line are:

  • Fried chicken
  • Braised beef cubes

You should, of course, give less popular dishes a try as well.

Just because a vendor doesn’t have a long line, doesn’t mean the food isn’t worth trying.

One of my favourite night market foods is corn on the cob. It sounds basic, but the spice they put on the corn is incredible. The corn on the cob stalls never have a long line, but they are still delicious. And the same goes for many other street food.

In general, searching for food vendors that have a long line is a great place to start if this is your first time visiting a Kaohsiung night market.

You’ll be able to get a sense of what you like and don’t like, and you can choose less popular stalls with the information you learn by trying the most popular food.

Kaohsiung Night Market

8. Take Time to Play a Few Games

Games are available to play at all Kaohsiung night markets. They’re similar to the typical carnival games you’ll find at a county fair, but they’re a little more DIY.

They’re still really fun though!

The most common game you’ll find at Kaohsiung night markets is trying to throw a ball into small baskets behind a counter.

It is fairly difficult to win but is a lot of fun.

Another popular game is the balloon popping game where you’re given darts and have to try to pop the balloons behind the counter.

It is also quite difficult to win but is a great way to kill some time while you’re digesting your food before you head in for another round of eats.

The games are inexpensive, but it can still add up if you play a lot. Be cautious of how much you spend on them, so you don’t blow your budget. Plus the prizes aren’t that great, so they’re more for fun rather than winning something of value.

I suggest playing a game with your travel companion(s) (if you’re not a solo traveler), and the loser has to buy the winner their favourite Taiwan street food!

9. Bring Your Own Tea

What is a day in Taiwan without a nice refreshing glass of bubble tea or iced tea?!

Tea is an essential Taiwan experience, and I guarantee you’ll be sipping more tea than yo ever imagined!

Tea is so refreshing on a hot, humid Taiwan day, and it is absolutely delicious.

The fact that it is incredibly inexpensive doesn’t hurt either!

But, interestingly, it isn’t so easy to find tea at the Kaohsiung night markets!

You’ll need to bring your own tea to the night market if you want to sip on it while wandering through the vendors and trying food.

There are normally tea stalls within a block or so of all the Kaohsiung night markets, so it isn’t difficult to find a place near the market to grab a tea before heading into the market itself.

You’re more likely to find fruit juice vendors than tea vendors at all the Kaohsiung night markets.

The juice is super fresh and squeezed in front of you, so it is a great alternative to tea.

I suggest trying the freshly squeezed juice at least once while you’re at a Kaohsiung night market, but I personally find that the flavour of tea goes better with the street food than the fruit juice.

I personally enjoy grabbing a fruit juice as I’m leaving the night market and enjoying it as I walk back to my hotel. It is the perfect way to cap off an evening of food!

10. Don’t Arrive at the Night Market Too Early

Kaohsiung night markets normally open around 6 pm or 7 pm, but you don’t want to get there right when they open!

The markets are officially open at that time, but they aren’t fully set up and ready to go.

Some of the vendors will be open and ready to sell you food, but the majority won’t be. You want to arrive at the night market about an hour after it opens.

That way nearly all of the stalls will be open, and you can have any food your heart desires.

If you arrive at a Kaohsiung night market right when it opens and it is pretty dead, you can wander up and down the stalls to see what you might want to eat once the market gets going.

Exploring the area around the night market is another great way to kill a little time before the night market is fully operational. I love wandering around side streets and alleys while traveling. It is one of the most fun ways to get to know a more local (and less touristy) side of the country.

Taiwan Street Food

11. Bring Your Own Bag

You’ll be offered a plastic bag on a regular basis at Kaohsiung night markets. Nearly every time you purchase something, you’ll be offered a plastic bag.

It is terrible for the environment.

But, lucky for you, there is a simple way to combat this excessive plastic use and that is by bringing your own reusable bag!

It is a small thing you can do, but it makes a big difference in the long run.

I like to bring a water resistant bag to the market just in case anything spills out of a container while I’m walking.

12. Kaohsiung Night Markets Aren’t a Tourist Trap

It isn’t uncommon to hear stories of a traveler who has gone to a market and gotten scammed. It is an unfortunate thing, but it can happen if you’re not careful and aware of your surroundings.

But that isn’t the case with night markets in Kaohsiung.

Kaohsiung night markets (and all night markets in Taiwan) are legitimate, safe, and fairly priced.

Locals frequent Kaohsiung night markets, so you know they are legit. The night markets in Taiwan are not designed as a way to lure unsuspecting tourists in and scam them out of a bunch of money.

Of course, there is the risk of being pick pocketed. It is a risk you take wherever you go- even while walking in your home town. But petty crime rates are very low in Taiwan, and you’ll be safe by exercising a basic level of awareness of your surroundings.

So you can rest assured that the Kaohsiung night markets are not a tourists trap. You can explore them and enjoy everything they have to offer without a worry!

They’re one of my favourite things to do in Taiwan, and it would be a shame if you missed out on them because you had the misconception that they are a tourist trap!

Conclusion

There you have it! 12 essential tips you need to know before visiting a Kaohsiung night market.

Every tip on this list is purposeful, and if you follow all of them, you’ll have an amazing experience at the Kaohsiung night markets.

What might seem obvious while reading this post isn’t always as obvious when you’re on the road exploring a new country.

You’ll thank me for these tips when you don’t have to run to find a washroom in the middle of a night market!

I hope you enjoyed these tips! If you have any other expert Kaohsiung night market tips, drop them in the comments. I’d love to read them!

Now stop reading (unless you’re going to read another one of my blog post *wink wink*) and get out there and eat some delicious Taiwanese street food!