This is a summary of all our travel expenses for the 31 nights / 32 days we spent in Taiwan during April / May 2019. You should keep in mind that if one travels at a slower pace it's easier to make savings as especially transportation can eat into your budget quickly. That said, we found that if one can contain accommodation costs and avoid specialised or fine-dine restaurants, Taiwan need not be an expensive destination. Travelling full-time changes the way one travels and it becomes less of a quest to tick off the 'popular' sights than it becomes a way of experiencing your surrounds in a slower, relaxed fashion. Many further cost savings are indeed possible, but one should also not completely deprive oneself of unique local experiences that ultimately add value to your visit to a foreign country. However, more often than not, the events, encounters and connections with people that stand out, are those that you do not foresee or could even have planned for. Like most things in life, a balance between being frugal and making use of opportunities should be sought.
You can also listen to our podcast on this topic here:
As the southern parts of Taiwan were experiencing loads of rain we kept to the North East of the island. Although we would have loved to stay longer, the unpredictable weather made us decide to rather move on and we hope to return at a drier time of the year.
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(Note that the following spending does not include flights to and from Taiwan.)
Taipei 4 nights - Fun Hotel Linsen
(Double room with buffet breakfast included)
The room was very compact with a modern bathroom. Everything was extremely clean and the rooms are serviced daily. There was free water, coffee and tea available at all times, a pool table, chill-out zone and even 3 free massage chairs to enjoy some relaxation! The breakfast buffet is Chinese style and plentiful. Location is close to public transport and plenty of eateries.
Hualien 7 nights - Arch Inn
Nicely decorated room with en-suite bathroom and separate shower. Although there is a tiny fridge, it is more of a "cooler" than a fridge! There are two common areas downstairs with coffee, tea and snack noodles available at all times. We really enjoyed the outside (undercover) area where we could sit and work while enjoying the free freshly ground coffee - especially on those rainy days. Well located close to the Hualien train station and with plenty of local eateries nearby. Just note that this is not in the downtown area!
Qixingtan Beach 4 nights - RainBow BnB
Spacious room with a small balcony and en-suite bathroom and shower. This was great value for money, but there is not much in the immediate vicinity in terms of local budget eateries. One can choose between a few pricey tourist restaurants or a Family Mart convenience store for the more budget-oriented travellers! Great location for enjoying Qixingtan beach and the coast, just note that Qixingtan is not a swimming beach. To get here from the Hualien Train Station will be around NT$ 200 by taxi and NT$ 160 from downtown.
Hualien 3 nights - Xiang Pin Hotel
(Double room with breakfast included)
Lovely spacious but minimalist room and wet room style bathroom. The breakfast is a simple, but tasty toasted sandwich, small salad and tea. Water and tea are also freely available throughout the day. The rooms were recently renovated and great value for money as the location is very close to the popular Dongdamen Night Market and also situated right in the downtown area of Hualien so everything is within walking distance. It's also just a few kilometres from the Hualien train station and a taxi will be around NT$ 140 from there.
Loudong Yilan 3 nights -