How I Travelled 4 Days in Taiwan with Less Than US$200 Pocket Money

How I Travelled 4 Days in Taiwan with Less Than US$200 Pocket Money

This Filipina budgetarian celebrated her birthday by travelling to Taipei, Taiwan for 4 days & 3 nights under USD$200.

Contributed by I Travel Rox

taipei budget solo travel

Hi, everyone! Since I’ve been receiving messages on how I did my 4 Days 3 Nights Taipei, Taiwan solo travel for less than US$200,  I’ll share with you a summary of my trip. Everything was DIY or Do It Yourself, and I had no itinerary at first, but I just wrote a list of possible things to do.

My flight happened on 8 Nov 2016, with departure time at 9.45pm and arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 at 12.25am. This flight schedule is not okay for everyone so I ended up sleeping at the airport.

Also read: How I Travelled 3 Days in Taipei for Only PHP 9,620 (All-In)

Initial expenses

  • AT (Airport Tax) – ₱1,620
  • TF (Terminal Fee) – ₱750
  • AFT (Airfare Ticket) – ₱1,020.80 from Cebu Pacific
  • Visa – free with ROC travel authorization certificate, although Taiwan visa is expensive
  • ₱10,000 converted to US$200 – US$1 was around ₱46
  • US$200 converted to NTWD or New Taiwan Dollar which is NT$6,199 (minus charge of NT$30 from NT $6,229)

Purpose of this trip

A solo travel in Taiwan on my birthday week — it’s a first time experience. I should be travelling with a friend, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she had to cancel.

2 Easy ways to reach Taipei Main Station

  • From the airport, there is a bus bound to Taipei Main Station
  • To experience the HSR, take a bus to HSR Taoyuan Station, purchase ticket going to Taipei Main Station

Where to stay in Taipei?

I stayed at Main Inn Taipei which I booked through Hostelworld.

4 Days 3 Nights Taipei – Budget & Itinerary

Day 1 – 9 Nov 2016

  • Sleeping at the airport arrival at 12.25am
  • EasyCard – Top up with NT$200 (Easy Card borrowed from Jeremy, a friend, who had been to Taiwan)
  • Taking a bus to HSR Taoyuan Station in the morning – swipe with EasyCard
  • Taking the High-Speed Rail from Taoyuan Station to Taipei Main Station for NT$155
  • Arrival at Main Inn Taipei – paid NT$1581 for 3 nights
  • Meet up with Janice – we got acquainted through a travel forum and met in person at last in Taipei to show me around
  • Beef noodles for NT$140, Bubble Tea Milk for NT$40, water for NT$20 c/o by Janice
  • Taking the MRT going to XianXiang for Elephant Mountain
  • Elephant Mountain with no cost
  • Family Mart lunch or snack c/o Janice
  • Taipei 101 Building
  • Chiang Kai Shek Hall at night (best to go in broad daylight)
  • Dinner at Ximending Night Market c/o Janice
  • Back to hostel at Main Inn Taipei
  • Drinking beer during my birthday eve c/o Yoshi from Japan until midnight

Day 2 – November 10, 2016

  • Hey shawty, it’s my birthday!
  • EasyCard top up for NT$100
  • Woke up late because of tired legs from hiking
  • Sushi breakfast for NT$60
  • Conversation with Tony from the US talking about Philippines and US politics
  • Meet up with Kohei from Japan in the afternoon
  • Beef Ramen – Late lunch at Taipei City Mall for NT$59
  • Sun Yat Sen Hall at night (best to go there in broad daylight)
  • Taipei 101 Observatory at night for NT$600 c/o Kohei as a birthday present
  • Food hopping at Shilin Night Market
  • $50 chao fan plus drink (Chao fan is $90 c/o Kohei / drink is $30)
  • $40 Fresh Fruit juice
  • $90 (2 bubble tea milk), as you can see Kohei paid almost everything
  • $60 potato fries ($120 per serving)
  • Back to hostel

Day 3 – November 11, 2016

  • $60 sushi for breakfast
  • Easy Card top up for $100 (should have top up $200 or more)
  • $40 bus ($90 bus to Jiufen – use Easy Card or pay exact amount of cash on the bus as there is no change)
  • $400 souvenirs in Jiufen
  • $800 to $1000 Jioufen Tea House
  • $100 bus back to Taipei
  • Dinner at Din Tai Fung c/o Kohei
  • Back to hostel

Enjoying my cup of tea in Jiufen #TheTravelIntern #Jiufen #Taiwan #happy28th #happybirthday

A photo posted by Roxanne Tamayo (@itravelrox) on

Day 4 – November 12, 2016

  • $100 sushi for breakfast
  • Meet up with Ghing and Princess
  • MRT to Taipei Zoo
  • $120 Maokong Gondola
  • $60 Taipei Zoo entrance
  • McDonald’s late lunch c/o Ghing
  • Meetup with Kohei and friends
  • Ice cream waffles c/o Kohei
  • $1300 taxi going to the airport due to unnecessary circumstances
  • $40 locker because I accidentally brought Kohei’s pocket wifi and earphone 😂
  • Fortunately, I was able to catch up my flight at 1.00am the next day
  • A bus and HSR is going to the airport which you could pay less.

Itinerary and breakdown of expenses

Please visit this Google doc: Taiwan Itinerary and Expenses to see my itinerary and breakdown of expenses.

Personal budget in Taipei

  • Accommodation for three nights – NT$1581
  • Daily food budget right for three meals multiplied for four days – NT$500 x 4 days = NT$2,000
  • Daily MRT fare multiplied for four days – NT$200 x 4 days = NT$800
  • The rest would be miscellaneous for shopping and souvenirs


Four days in Taipei is not enough. I missed visiting some places because of the rain; I preferred staying in bed while waiting for the rain to stop.

Travelling on a budget in Taipei is possible. Taipei 101 Observatory, High-Speed Rail and Dinner at Din Tai Fung are optional. You might want to consider doing the FREE activities instead.

Also read: Travel Cheat Sheet: 10 FREE Things to Do in Taipei for Budget Travellers

I thank my friends for the birthday treat: Jeremy for the Easy Card, Janice for meeting me and showing me around, Yoshi for the beer, Kohei for the reunion meet-up from Cebu, Ghing and Princess for the fun at Maokong Gondola and Taipei Zoo.

About Author

Roxanne Tamayo
Roxanne Tamayo

Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad, a freelance online worker since 2009. She made her first solo travel in Japan and made it to five countries in 2015. She also loves travelling while doing volunteer work. She decides to be more adventurous and is now a certified scuba diver. Get to know more about her at!