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“Tours by Locals (Christine Wu)” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Taipei-Tours

Taipei-Tours
Ranked #13 of 84 Tours in Taipei
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Tours by Locals (Christine Wu)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2013

While in Taipei, my husband and I booked two days of custom tours via Tours by Locals. I can't recommend the guide we got - Christine Wu - enough.

The two days we spent with Christine and her husband Jan and her brother Leo were the absolute highlight of our trip to Taiwan. We’ve traveled all over the world and hire guides almost everywhere we go. Until we met Christine, there were only two who we considered true friends by the end of our time together. Now there are three.

Not only is Christine a terrific person who is just fun to spend time with, she’s also a very adept guide. She was able to tailor two amazing days for us on the fly. We started the day with one agenda, but the more she got to know us, the more we changed things along the way. When she found out that I love hiking, she and Leo picked out four fabulous short hikes we could do in between the sites. We climbed to the top of a peak to watch the sun set on the coastline. We hiked into a waterfall and we ended the last day with a gorgeous walk along a river.

We also saw all the sights we wanted to see on the Northern Coast and in Wulai. All along the way, Christine and Jan told us all we wanted to know about the food (my husband’s passion), the land and Taiwan’s history.

Christine is a fabulous guide. And if you are lucky, she’ll be joined by her delightful husband Jan who is a treasure trove of knowledge himself. And if you are really lucky, Leo, an avid outdoorsman, will be your driver and you’ll get to discover Taiwan’s natural side as well as its cultural and culinary personas.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
13 Thank KimInDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
184 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Taipei Night Tour Including Mongolian BBQ Dinner”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2013

We booked this tour through our hotel and it was conducted by Edison Travel. We were picked up from our hotel. Tour lasted about 3.5 hours and there was only 6 of us.

Tour included:
Mongolian BBQ Dinner
Lunshan Temple
Hwashsi Street Night Market
Taipei 101

First stop was the BBQ dinner. Pick your own ingredients and hand it to the chef who then cooks it for you. This was ok. Other food was also available but there was no names on the dishes, so you didn't know what it was. No real dessert either only fruit. Dinner ok but nothing special. Temple was good.

Went to the market next but just for a walk through which was disappointing no time for shopping. Last stop was the Taipei 101. Ticket to the observatory was not included (but we knew this before taking the tour) so we paid the extra to travel to the top in the fast elevator (read my review on Taipei 101 on Tripadvisor)

Overall this tour was ok but was dissapointed about the dinner, being left by the guide to fend for ourselves when not being accustomed to the dishes. Would have like to have spent at least 30 minutes at the markets. Also felt the guide didn't want us to go to the observatory (all 6 of us went) and tried to hurry us along. Maybe the trip needs to be longer.

Probably wouldn't do this trip again and would visit the markets and Taipei 101 on our own

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Robyn A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kuala lumpur
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Touring Taiwan”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2013

In Taipei we visited the famous night market called the Shilin Market. The market was filled with people mainly tourist. There are many food stalls selling local Taiwanese food. One famous drink is the white bitter gourd or known as bitter melon made into fruit juice mixed with honey. It taste really good. Is a must to try. We have noodles with bean paste sauce, not really tasty and was too salty. We also tried the smelly tofu, it stinks and it smell like stinking socks. Not possible to eat it. The food court holds about 500 over stalls namely fried oyster, pork sausage, grill chicken, jelly drinks, bubble tea, fruits and many more. The fruits comes in giant sizes and they taste superb. Don't miss it. The grilled sausage are good too.

Another attraction in Taiwan is the Yehliu Geopark, a place in Northen coast with natural rock formation. It stretches approx 1,700 meters into the ocean and was formed as geological forces pushed Datun Mountain out of the sea. The scenery were beautiful and there are rocks that look like mushroom and of course don't miss the Queen's head. A number of rock formation have been given imaginative names based on their shapes. The Queen's head is an iconic image in Taiwan and an unofficial emblem for the town of Wanli. Yehliu is truly unique as we enjoyed the wild looking landscape nature's wonder. Seaweed, insects fish and crabs make their home here. We also visited Chiufen village located up the hills of northeast Taiwan once the gold mining center of Taiwan. The gold is gone but Chiufen built of closely packed houses clinging to steep mountain sides, continue to offer enchanting scenery, feature historical sites of Japanese styled architectures and a vivid old street that offers abundant local snacks and exotic traditional stores. Famous Chiufen snacks include sweet taro balls made by tapioca starch, rice cakes, Chinese herbs, Taiwanese meat balls, grilled mushroom, snails and many more. The grilled sausage sold here were delicious. If you are adventures, try all kinds of food here. Beside food, there are merchandise to shop for - perfumes, scented soap, handmade shoes that can be done in 10 mins, souvenirs and many more. Alongside Taiwan local foods, we were able to take photos from the highest ground of Chiufen village.

Don't miss the Taroko Gorge in Taitung too. The Gorge was formed by rushing river water which have cut straight through the marble and granite to create a beautiful narrow ravine with waterfalls and patches of midst clinging to the mountains surrounded by sub tropical forest. There is an eternal spring shrine and the trail was 2030 meters. It takes about 1 hour to get there, mostly open flat trails, however there are steep areas and is suitable for people with reasonable level of fitness. After the trail and feeling the coolness of the spring water, we settled with a wonderful cup of coffee Admiring the sceneries around us. The central cross-island highway's eternal spring shrine was the first highway to cross Taiwan's central mountain range. The main road is 192 km long and goes from Taroko to Dongshi.

Wild Lingzhi in Taiwan run by aborigines protected by Taiwanese government is very expensive but worth a try to buy some home. There are dried deer and different kinds of wild mushrooms and bee pollen Widely sold here.
We also visited Luye located in the east Rift Valley Scenic area. It is high in the mountains and we enjoy the un polluted air and cool breeze, also trying out their home made ice cream. At Luye, we experienced the hot spring bath. We choose the private facilities and booked two rooms, with private pool inside. Try staying at Master Bear Resort in a caravan. Is a great experience in the caravan.

In Kaohsiung, we visited their fruit farm. They provide free fruits for tasting and we bought some but realized that it was rather expensive. Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan. Here, we took the Cijin ferry across to Cijin Island, a popular attraction for fresh seafood. Don't miss this experience. We also visited the Lotus Lake and spring and Autumn Pavilions. Nothing special here, just some bargain begins. Shoes are cheap And they are hand made.

We tried the Taiwan bullet train. Really fast. The Checheng winery located in Shueili Township and is surrounded by Great Jiji mountain, Mt Danda and other mountains is another exciting place to visit.. It is intersected by the Shuelli river, giving it a beautiful scenery. Checheng developed during the Japanese occupation, thanks largely to the flourishing sugar industry in the area. They built a rail line from Puli to Checheng so that sugar cane can be transported here. We have lunch at the green tea house and food are served in a beautiful wooden container for us to take home. Don't miss the peacock garden, there are 200 blue and white peacocks as well as 100 other valuable birds including the Formosan blue magpie, golden pheasant and coot. The best time to visit is summer which is the breeding season. Near to this place is the sun moon lake, a popular scenic spot known for the captivating beauty of its emerald water surrounded by Jade mountain. In the evening, we visited Fengjia market which is Taichung biggest night market. Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

Also in Miaoli, we witnessed the changing of guards ceremony at the National revolutionary Myrtyr's shrine built in 1969 dedicated to the war dead of the Republic of China during the Xinhai revolution, Northern expedition, second sins Japanese war, Chinese civil war and the first and second Taiwan Strait crises. We went up to Taipei 101 tower observation deck for a better view of Taiwan. We took the world fastest elevator with a speed of 1010m/min. Near to this area, we have Our lunch at a French restaurant owned by Jay Chou located in Taipei medical university. Apart from all above, we visited the Taiwan greenhouse, victory chapel and President Chiang Kai Shek memorial park. finally, we visited Xi Men Ting, a shopping paradise and popular hangouts for youngsters. We bought biscuits to bring back home, we tried Taiwan's roti canai, Taiwan motel experience with unique interior design complete with spa, jacuzzi and Balinese garden.

It was a great trip to Taiwan with my family.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Belle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Level Contributor
124 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Things you may want to know when you first arrive in Taoyuan International Airport”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2013

If you are first time in Taiwan, arriving in Taoyuan International Airport, get the following in your check list.

If you plan to take high speed rail to the north Taipei or to the south Kaohsiung (Zuoying station), follow the sign to bus station after you exit from the Customs. NT$31 per person from the airport to Taoyuan HSR station. It takes about 45 minutes ride.

Now you are in the city. If you plan to take the MRT or the bus, buy the Easycard NT$100 (non-refundable) from 7-11 or FamilyMart. Of course you need to reload about NT$200 to begin your trip. You can reload additional fund at 7-11 and MRT stations later. Do note Easycard is totally USELESS in Tainan, Kaohsiung and East coast of Taiwan e.g. Hualien.

They really encourage you to use Easycard. Easycard users get 20% discount on all fares. You can also use Easycard to pay for your purchas at 7-11, FamilyMart and those stores accept it.

Don't worry when you are about to leave Taiwan and you still have balance in your Easycard. Consider the following:
If you do plan to revisit Taiwan in future, bring the card home and the fund will be stored in card unless you burn it.
If you don't, you can ask for refund at the Easycard office at B1 floor, Taipei Interchange building station. Ask for direction to Z zone. The office is not too far from the Z1 exit. No administration fee charged.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank bambooKK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KL
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Taipei Outskirts - Day Trip from a Family Perspective”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2013

Hi
We (a family of 4 with 2 kids aged 10 & 6) recently did a Taipei outskirts day trip by Taxi. We visited the following places

- Yehliu : Highly recommended, kids loved all the rock formations (and the setting next to the sea)
- Shifen falls : while the waterfall is nice, it is not worth the steep drive up and surely not worth the NT$75 per person that is charged for entry (first time we paid money to watch a waterfall!!)
- Jiufen : Nice place although very commercial and really crowded, good place to have a coffee (provided you can find a place to sit)
- Ying Yang Hai : A good scenic spot by the side of the road as you drive from Jiufen to the other side
- Golden Waterfall: much better then Shifen waterfall (and they don’t charge a dime)

Overall it was a good day out of Taipei with the kids.

I strongly recommend taking a taxi (the public transport and bus changes are mind boggling, and potentially a nightmare if you are travelling with kids)

I would highly recommend Ms. Yu + 886910236967 @ NTD 3300 for the full day (8:30am to 8:30 pm). She is really nice and patient with the kids, not rushing or pushing different places, we gave her the itinerary and she just followed it through (interestingly we decided to return early as kids got tired and were surprised when she only took NTD 2800 since we had come back earlier)

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
10 Thank Indresearcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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