Sansia & Zushih Temple
Sansia is about 22km southwest to Taipei, a bustling town with narrow, winding streets and historical brick buildings. The main attraction is Zushih Temple, popular known as the Sanshia Bird Temple, built in honor of Song Dynasty (960-1279) loyalist Cheng Chao-Ying. Cheng was a famous General knitted as "Protector of the Country" for his achievements and value. This temple was in ruins at the end of World War II, and a meticulous restoration project had been underway for some forty years. The temple is known for its intricately carved stone and bronze columns and statues, especially the temple's unique bird art. There are also carved stone lions, camphor wood carvings, and exquisite bronze bast-reliefs.
Yingge: Pottery Heaven
A short trip to the lush countryside southwest of Taipei brings you to Yingge, where hand painted replicas of elegant Ming (1368-1644) and Ching (1644-1911) vases, along with other types of artistic and functional ceramics are produced. The small town is Taiwan's pottery center and its narrow streets are lined with shops selling everything from earthenware tea sets to delicate statues.
Taiwan Taoyuan Int'l Airport - Taipei 101 Mall - Longshan Temple - Presidential Office Building - Chiang Kay Shek Memorial Hall - Martyrs' Shrine - Return to Airport
Taipei 101 Building
It stands 508 meters tall with 101 stories on a site area of 30,278 square meters. The development comprises an office tower, a shopping mall and an observatory. It has been certified the world's tallest building and was opened to the public on 31 December 2004.
Taipei is home to many old temples. Longshan Temple is the oldest and most famous. It is one of Taiwan's finest example of temple architecture.
Presidential Office Building
The building which houses the Office of the President of Taiwan was inaugurated in March 1919, about seven years after construction began. Its architectural design features an elegant and majestic symmetry. Inside the building there are tall pillars, refined ornaments, long corridors and exquisite arches, all Baroque characteristics which prevail in the Renaissance period. Since the central government was relocated to Taipei in 1949, this building has been used as the Office of the President.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
An impressive monument built in commemoration of the late President Chiang. The majestic hall towers over 25 hectares of landscaped gardens, graceful pavilions, and ponds. The elegant Ming Dynasty styled arch at the main entrance is flanked by two classic buildings: The National Theater and The National Concert Hall. The square between the two buildings is a popular gathering place during festival occasions.
This is an excellent example of classic Ming dynasty architecture, dedicated to the fallen heroes of China's wars. There is an hourly changing of the guard ceremony Time before the entrance, which many people find interesting.
Schedule of Tours
Return to Airport (Depending on traffic)
* Note: Each tour is limited to 18 passengers on a first come, first served basis. Minimum group numbers of passengers are 5 people or more. The service provider is not responsible if the schedule return time is unable to keep on time due to traffic ...etc.
Who Can Participate the FREE Half-Day Tour:
Transit or transfer passengers with at least 8 hours to spare within a 24-hour period before their next connecting flight, and who have a valid ROC visas or come from countries eligible for Visa-Exempt Entry or Landing Visa.
Countries eligible for Visa-Exempt Entry: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Newland, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Sitzerland, U.K. and U.S.A. Countries elogible for Landing-Visa: Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.
Travel Documents Required: 1. Passport valid for at least six months
2. Completed Immigration Embarkation / Disembarkation Card available at the Immigration Counter.
Registration: Tourist Service Centre, Arrival Lobby at Taoyuan International Airport
Sponsored by Taiwan Tourism Bureau. For more information, please call its call centre 0800 011 765.
Long layovers in Taiwan can be rewarding: Taiwan Tourism Bureau
(pdated: Taipei, June 1, 2015 (CNA) )
Taiwan has long offered free half-day tour packages to travelers with long layovers while transiting through the country to help them kill time, but the service remains little known to both local residents and overseas visitors.
The service, launched in 2004, is available to passengers with seven to 24-hour layovers at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport before their next connecting flight.
The only catch is that travelers must have a valid Taiwan visa or come from countries given visa-free entry into Taiwan to be eligible for the tours, according to the Tourism Bureau.
Despite being a fixture at the airport for 11 years, the tour service, which includes free transportation and a tour guide, is not widely known.
"There's plenty of room for usage to increase," a Tourism Bureau official in charge of the half-day tours told CNA on Monday.
Tourism Bureau Deputy Director-General Wayne Liu (劉喜臨) said Taiwan is a transit stop for many people traveling from the west coast of the United States to Southeast Asia, and his agency hopes to leave travelers with a good image of Taiwan through the half-day tours.
Once the MRT line connecting Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei is put into service by the end of this year, travelers wanting a shorter outing will have even more convenient access to attractions in Taiwan's capital city, about a 40-minute drive from the airport, Liu said.
"In the future, it won't be difficult for tourists who want to experience Taipei metro rides, visit the National Palace Museum and taste local delicacies," he said.
Two tours are available at present. The morning tour from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. covers Sanxia and Yingge in New Taipei, and the afternoon tour from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. takes visitors to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei.
Sanxia, situated about 22 kilometers southwest of Taipei, is best known for Zushi Temple, built in honor of Song Dynasty (960-1279) loyalist Chen Chao-ying. The temple is prized for its refined and colorful reliefs and sculptures.
After visiting the temple, morning tour participants will head to Yingge, Taiwan's ceramics hub, and the Yingge Ceramics Museum, which chronicles the 200-year evolution of ceramics and folk culture in Taiwan, according to the bureau.
Details of the service are available on the bureau's web page at http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/tour/index.htm.
Please call us now on +612 9267 1308.
Toll Free: 1300 TAIPEI (1300 824 734)
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Testimonials from guest of the FREE Taiwan Stopover Tours:
Perhaps the most underrated travel opportunity, the stopover can be a rewarding experience. In Taiwan, this precious period of waiting, usually marked by impatience and boredom while anticipating a connecting flights, has been turned into a remarkable tourism draw.
Taiwan Tourism sponsors free half-day tours directly from the airport for passengers who have 7 to 24 hours before their connecting flights. From 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. you can sign up for ready-made tours by bus to local sights. With no more than a small fee to store luggage, these free trips offer a delightful diversion from stopover
The Morning Tour departs at 8:00 a.m. and returns by 1:30 p.m., depending on your terminal. The five-hour jaunt takes the rapid tourist on a short trip to the countryside southwest of Taipei to Yingge.
Just 30 minutes south of Taipei, this small town is Taiwan’s center for pottery. There is the Yingge Ceramics Museum which houses traditional pottery, prehistoric/aboriginal ceramics, and contemporary and “high-tech” ceramics as well as maintains the history of the development of ceramics in Taiwan. The narrow streets are lined with shops where you can find everything from hand-painted replicas of Ming and Qing Dynasty vases, to earthenware tea sets and intricate statues.
The second half of the tour takes you to historic Sanxia where the main attraction is the Zushi Temple. The temple was built in honor of a famed Song Dynasty general, Chen Chao-Ying, knighted for his valor as “Protector of the Country.” By the end of World War II, the temple was in ruins and has been undergoing restoration for over 40 years. The temple is known for its unique bird art, just a part of intricately carved stone columns and statues.
The Afternoon Tour, 1:45 to 6:30 p.m., takes the short-term visitor on a historical photo op journey which includes several must-see sights in Taipei. It begins with the 101 Building, Taiwan’s tallest and the world’s tallest at over 1,600 feet complete with an observatory. Next is the Longshan Temple, the oldest and probably most famous in Taiwan. It is known for its fine architecture, and it houses hundreds of statues of Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian deities. The next stop is the Presidential Office Building, whose interior features an interesting mix of Renaissance, Baroque, and Neo-classical design. After restoration from war damage, the building has been used as the Office of the President since 1949.
Following this grand sight is the impressive Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, built in honor of the late President Chiang. The hall is surrounded by over 61acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, graceful pavilions, and ponds. Last but not least is a stop at the Martyrs' Shrine. The shrine, dedicated to fallen heroes in Chinese history, is a fine example of Ming Dynasty architecture.
The final stopover opportunity is a six-hour tour of the Taoyuan area. This includes a visit to the Cultural Resort of the Chiangs (Former President Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo). The resort features the Cihu Mausoleum, commemorated in 1975 when the former president’s remains were placed there. Surrounded by mountains and water, the mausoleum is built in a style reminiscent of courtyards in Fujian and Zhejiang in mainland China. The changing of the guard ceremony here is a great photo op.
The next stop is Daxi “Old Street,” where traditional crafts like woodcraft, iron mongering, stone working, and even dried bean curd making can be seen. The shops are built in Japanese “baroque” style with white-washed stone, and exquisite carvings of birds, animals, and flowers.
The last stop is a veritable shopping and recreational holiday at the Taimall Family Entertainment Shopping Center. The center features over 968,750 square feet of choices. There are counters offering designer products and a department store for the savvy shopper. It also houses a theater, an entertainment center, a sports stadium, and restaurants. With so much to do, this Taoyuan marvel is the perfect place for even all day family fun.