The Budget Travelers Guide to Taiwan

There’s no need to sacrifice travel adventures and exciting experiences if you’re on a budget trip in Taiwan. One of the worst feelings you can have when traveling on a small budget, is that you’re missing out on a lot of things and not making the most of your time in a place due to your limited funds.

Travel doesn’t have to be this way, nor does it have to burn a whole in your pocket. There is an easier way to travel cheaply, more fulfilled and without missing out on valuable travel experiences and cultural delights.

With a little research, planning and careful spending, you can save a lot of money on your next trip to Taiwan, so you can stop worrying about money and enjoy the beauty, culture, food and people that Taiwan is so adored for.

From finding great accommodation to eating the some of the best food the country has to offer, we’ll show you how easy it can be to travel on a budget without sacrificing fun or comfort:


                                                  The Kaohsiung CIty skyline sparkles at night

The prices for mid-range hotels can vary widely, with rates ranging from NT$1800 to over NT$3000 (~SGD$75 – SGD$125). As usual, budget travelers will find the best value in hostels or B&B’s, with a bed in a dorm room costing around NT$450-NT$600. Furthermore, you will often get better value by booking a B&B compared to a two or three-star hotel, as the standard can often be just as high but for a fraction of the cost.


During the high season, accommodation in cities such as Kaohsiung and Tainan, and popular tourist destinations such as Kenting National Park, fill up quickly so you will need to reserve in advance. However, outside of these regions, even in the high season of summer, you will not need to book in advance and you can often find great deals.


                        Coastal drives in Kenting, in the south of Taiwan, are breath-taking.

Renting a car is about double the price of renting a scooter, but you can often find good deals in the low season, making it very good value, and of course, a lot safer if you have little or no experience on a scooter.

Buses serve the country very well too and are generally cheap, but if you want to get anywhere fast, especially along the west coast, then consider taking the High Speed Rail. The service runs from Taipei in the north to Tainan and Kaoshiung (Zuoying) in the south. Prices are reasonable, at NT$1,630 (SGD$67.88) for a standard adult single journey the whole way to Zuoying, just outside of Kaoshiung.

If you’re limited on time, we recommend taking the High Speed Rail for long distance travel on the west coast. Buses operate frequently for routes that are not served by train, but can often be caught by heavy traffic, extending travel times significantly.


                            Night markets in Taiwan are a hive of activity and excitement.

All cities in Taiwan have a few night markets, but Taipei, Kaoshiung and Tainan are particularly blessed with some incredible night markets offering an overwhelming selection of mouth-watering local eats. Visiting the night markets also provides a great insight into the huge importance of food and cooking in the Taiwanese culture.

Typical food at night markets includes the famous specialty, ‘smelly tofu’, among other Taiwanese classics such as soup dumplings, hot sticky rice rolls, egg cakes, tube rice pudding, Taiwanese hotdogs and an amazing assortment of seafood such as oyster omelet, fishballs, squid and sea urchins!

Lots of Taiwan’s best food chains serve up typical Taiwanese cuisine at great prices, and many independent restaurants can be found serving world-class dishes across the country. However, if you’re planning to stick to a budget while traveling in Taiwan, you’re not missing much by skipping the restaurants and chains and heading straight for the night markets. You might just need to change your eating schedule!


                                Awe-inspiring festivals in Taiwan include the beautiful Lantern Festival.

Some of Taiwans most iconic sights are free to enjoy, such as the Taroko Gorge in Hualien County. You can take the train there and enter the park for free, but you will need a permit if you want to explore more ‘off the beaten path’ areas.

In Kaoshiung, many of the most popular attractions are free to enjoy too, such as the Pier Two Arts Area (if you don’t enter the associated museums and galleries), and the serenely beautiful Fo Guang Shan Monastery.

In the south of the country, Kenting National Park’s admission fee is just NT$100 (SGD$4.16), meaning you can explore and relish in one of the most stunning parts of Taiwan for very cheap. Getting there is easy too, with regular bus services from Kaohsiung City, just 3-4 hours drive.

Taiwan also plays host to some fantastic festivals throughout the year; an amazing and budget-friendly way of getting to know the culture on a deeper and more fun level. Festival highlights throughout the year include the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, Hungry Ghost Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival, each with plenty of public celebrations, events and shows for tourists to enjoy.

There are lots of ways to enjoy traveling in Taiwan without spending a lot of money in the process. Visit the night markets, rent a scooter or take the bus, catch a public show or event during one of the festivals, research and book accommodation in advance; there’s no reason why your next trip to Taiwan can’t be the budget-friendly trip of a lifetime!

                           Sunrise over the stunning Hehuan Range Taroko National Park in Taiwan

China Airlines flies 4 times a week direct to Taipei from Sydney Australia. You can search your flight and book directly with us only at or call us on 02-9267-1308 or Email:

If you prefer a package deal, you can also take a look at our value for money package flying with China Airlines’ Taiwan 4 nights + Asia* Holiday Package  (price from A$980*) for free & easy packages to Taiwan + FREE BONUS side trip to one Asia City of your choice*.

For those prefer a worry free holiday package to Taiwan, please have a look at our carefully designed itinerary for different interests, seasons and festival celebrations in Taiwan. Click here for more information & departure dates on Taiwan Escorted Group Tours 10 Days.

For the independent travelers who want flexible dates but pre-arranged high quality tours, please have a look at Taiwan Holidays’ comprehensive range of Taiwan Tours Package on offer by clicking here.

(Source:, 10 April 2014)


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