Crossing From Singapore To Malaysia

If you are on a Southeast Asian trip or just trying to maximize your trip in Singapore, a quick trip to Malayia can actually be done via land. Singapore is connected to Malaysia via a few entry points. From thee you can start exploring places like Joho Bahur or Melaka, or even as far as Penang or Kuala Lumpur via an overnight bus. Yes you can always book a flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, but if you are aiming for a cheaper alternative a night bus can save you a lot.

How To Book A Bus From Singapore To Malayia

While in Singapore I tried looking for a travel agency that where I can physically buy a bus ticket from. It was quite a challenge specially in the area where I was staying (Bukit Pajang). So after scouring the mall (Bukit Pajang Plaza) I went back to my accommodation and just checked online.

There are several sites that you can book your bu tickets, it is actually a lot more convenient it just my traditional thinking that’s kicking in. I choose BusOnlineTicket.com based on the price and departure times available. I booked a trip departing 12AM that night, cost was SG$28

Upon arriving at the pickup point, I just showed my phone with their email confirmation and I was admitted to board the bus. The same bus will be taking you from the pickup point, through immigration then all the way to your ultimate destination. It was Kuala Lumpur for me.

Immigration

The bus crosses the causeway bridge and takes you to the Singapore Immigration processing center. The center was large and well organized just like an airport. There were not much people at that time since it was midnight so everything went quickly. We went back to the bus and once every one was in we then journeyed to the Malaysian side of the border to be stamped in. The Malaysian immigration office was remarkably smaller compared to Singapore but since it was midnight everything was done quickly.

Timetable

Travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is about 5-6 hours. If you are traveling after summer you might consider a few things when you travel. You will arrive when it still is dark at around 5 AM and if you are getting off at Berjaya Times Square make sure that you have changed your money to Ringgit before you leave Singapore. There are no 24 hours money changer around the area.

 

Got more tips about crossing to or from Singapore and Malaysia? Leave them on the comment section and we’ll try to add them!

Travel Guide: How To Get To Taipei From The Airport

So just landed in the Taoyuan Internation Airport and you are ready to explore Taiwan. But then there you are standing in the arrivals area, over whelmed on all of the Chinese characters you see. Inside your head you are lightly freaking out asking your self How to do you get to Taipei from the Airport?

Thankfully, going to Taipei from the Airport has been more convenient over the past few years. The buses bound to Taipei that will drop you off at the Taipei Main Station is now operating 24 hours. The Airport railway link on the other hand has been recently opened after a few year of construction.

Best Way To Get To Taipei From The Airport

Honestly, it depends on your situation. Here’s what I recommend.

Cab

If you do not  trust your skills in taking public transport, you can always take the cab. However, I can assure you taking the bus and the Airport MRT is really easy. I also recommend that you take the cab if you have several bags with you and you are solo traveling. Yeah… I know people who travel with several bags for a three night trip. Believe me! Hahaha! It would also be more comfortable to take the cab from the airport instead of the bus. The cost shouldn’t be that much if you have friends to split the fare with you. A cab ride from the airport to Taipei main station should cost you around 900 – 1000 NT$  

Get To Taipei From The Airport photo by  koadmunkee used under CC Licence

Get To Taipei From The Airportphoto by  spencer341b used under CC Lisence

Bus

The most cost effective of all types of transportation. it only costs around NT$ 125 to get to Taipei from the airport which is really cheap comparing it from taking the train and more over to taking the cab. If you are arriving anytime between 12AM till 6AM, the bus would probably the best choice for you as the Airport MRT will not operate until 6AM. Some of the buses have luggage areas at front for small bags while you can always put big bags in the compartments on the side of the bus.

 

photo by   lyng883 used under CC Licence

Airport MRT

After several years of construction, the Aiport MRT is finally open. I was lucky enough to try the Aiport link on its first month of operation as the fares are still discounted. Regular fare from the Airport to the Taipei Main Station costs about NT$160. The train is fast and clean (buses tend to have a bit of a smell sometimes -just like everywhere). Only draw back that I think it has are its seats. The coaches have regular plastic seats instead of comfy cushioned ones.

Get To Taipei From The Airport

You will be arriving at the new A1 Terminal or the Airport Terminal of the Taipei Main Station. From there you can transfer to which ever line you need to be in to get to your destination.

Get To Taipei From The Airport

The Taipei Main Station is massive so don’t be shy to ask around. I for one still gets lost even if I’ve used the station several times. Be patient and be ready for an adventure! LOL!

We hope that this guide has helped you in some way. If you know any other way to efficiently get to Taipei from the airport, please let us know in the comment section.

 

Jiufen (Spirited Away)

I’ve always heard about this place and seen photos online. I wasn’t really that excited about the place but it did made me curious. The day that I was to see the old town of Jiufen came in a bit interesting for me. I originally wanted to see Shifen to fly a paper lantern, but the weather wasn’t agreeing. So when I saw this girl on Couchsurfing looking for companions  to Jiufen, I message her up to meet. After a few hours she responded on where we can meet up. I was like “Thank you God! you actually are going to make this birthday memorable for me!”. LMFAO. Well it wasn’t actually a date of some sort but meeting a cute girl was a reward enough for my birthday. Yep this was on my birthday.

The Old Street Jiufen

Jiufen’s main attraction (for non Spirited Away fans like me) are its century old streets. These streets are filled with stores selling interesting things. Food, tea houses, restaurants, Souvenirs, tourist spots of all sorts adorn the narrow streets filled up with people. The street has this Japanese feel of a market place, maybe because the town was developed further during the Japanese Gold rush era.

jiufen photo by Modale (used under CC)

There’s another class of tourist that goes to this old town, the anime fan tourists. As I learned from my new friend Jordana, some of the structures and places in Jiufen inspired the architecture and landscape of the movie Spirited Away. Without knowing I actually was impressed by the architecture of  the actual tea house where the author took inspiration from.

I guess if you are off for a trip to Jiufen, make sure that you come with a full wallet and an empty stomach. Going through the streets with rows and rows of awesome stores with free tastes will satisfy your cravings. Make sure to visit one of the coffee or tea houses that offers an amazing view of the port city of Keelung.

Jiufenphoto by arkiben used under CC

 

jiufenphoto by  ume-y used under CC

 

Jiufen Photo by Wei, Shi-Hang (used under CC)

How To Go To Jiufen

There are a few ways to get to Jiufen.

Option 1

Take the train to MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing station
Get on Bus 1062 that will take you straight to Jiufen
Bus fare is about NT$102

Option 2

Go to Taipei Main Station
Get on the Taipei Rail train to Ruifang
From Ruifang hop on a bus to Jiufen

jiufenphoto by andreakw (used under CC)

Travel Guide: How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

Being part of the main land Southeast Asia, Vietnam is one of the usual stops for backpackers. So aside from taking the plane to the country, to save money most travelers actually cross borders via land. If you are wondering how to go to Vietnam from Cambodia via land, you’d be surprised that it’s relatively easy. Let’s check on some things first.

VISA Requirements

If you are a non ASEAN citizen you might want to check Viet Nam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you are needing to secure a visa prior to your arrival. You will also notice when you buy your bus ticket that the staff will ask you some questions. This is to determine if you are aware of your visa situation and that you have secured one if necessary.

On the other hand, if you are an ASEAN citizen, all that you’ll be needing is your passport. ASEAN citizens with passports issued by member countries  are currently afforded visa-free entry into Viet Nam for a period of 21 to 30 days.

How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

check on google maps here

How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

screen cap from google maps

The Journey To Viet Nam

As you buy your ticket, the staff will actually ask you if you have ever been to Viet Nam. I think this is their soft probing if you are aware of the things that you need to know on how to go to Vietnam from Cambodia. They will also inform you if you need a visa, ergo they will not sell you tickets if you don’t have.

Say, you have your tickets already and its time to board the bus. Before the bus leaves, the steward will collect all passports to double check if you have the right documentation. As soon as you arrive at the Cambodian border, all passports will be redistributed. You will have to get off of the bus and line up for your passports to be stamped out.

After everyone has been stamped out and have boarded back on the bus, you will be taken to the Duty Free shop for dinner. Yeah, It’s a bit over priced but the food isn’t that bad and you have no other choice. After about an hour everyone jumped backed in the bus heading to the Viet Nam side of the border.

On the Vietnam side of the border, the bus steward will be the one to process your passports for you. You will actually be asked to bypass the immigration officers booth after handing you back your passport. As you exit the processing center, an immigration officer will then check your passports one at a time. This is to make sure that everyone was processed accordingly.

Your bus will be waiting at the exit of the processing center. Once everyone is back on the bus you’d be on your way to Ho Chi Minh city! There’s one difference that should be noted between the Cambodian and Vietnam border processing. As you exit, the Cambodian border center will just as yourself to step off the bus without your belongings. On the other hand, the Vietnam border will ask you to unload everything and have everything scanned. I guess the later’s immigration process is a lot stricter since you are entering their country.

Your journey ends at the Pham Ngu Lao street where everyone gets off. If you have not booked a room just yet, you are almost guaranteed to find one along the alleys of Pham Ngu Lao.

hopefully this gives you a good idea of what bus company to take and some insight on How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia.

Fare: $14 (as of 11/29/2016)

 

If you have any questions, suggestion or inputs please do let us know on the comments section!

 

How To Get To Pattaya From Aranyaprateth

Most travelers coming from Cambodia opts to go straight to Bangkok as soon as they cross the border to Aranyaprateth. But if you are looking for to have some time under the Thai Sun a quick stop over in Pattaya can satisfy your craving for some sand between your toes.

One can get to Pattaya from the border by booking a bus online, however most of the bus companies that I found are quite expensive. Good thing is that staff in the hotel where I as staying gave me directions on where I could catch a Van to Pattaya at a fraction of the cost.

After going through immigration find your way to the Star Plaza Mall‘s open air parking on the right side where van are located. You can buy a ticket from the terminal desk, they will issue a receipt so make sure that you don’t lose it because at some point of the journey they will be inspecting this.

Fare all the way to Pattaya is about 250 Baht.

Here are some photos of the terminal that you should be looking for.

Terminal Desk

Terminal To Pattaya

Do you know any other way to get to Pattaya from Aranyaprateth? Let us know in the comment!

How To Cross To Cambodia From Thailand

Crossing the Cambodian border from Thailand could be one of the most challenging border crossing one may experience, like how I did.

First off you need to get to Aranyaprateth, Your bus or van may drop you off at Aranya (possibly their nickname for the market area) and you would have to hire a tuktuk to get to the border it self. Some vans may drop you off at the Border like the one I took from Pattaya.

Find the entrance where it says departure and walk straight ahead. You’ll find a sign showing “Foreign Passports”, go up to the stairs -no photos and videos as soon as you enter the door; that’s the immigration area already. Line up and have your passports ready together with your departure cards to have it stamped. That’s it you are officially out of Thailand.

dsc06266

As you exit the immigration building you will see the Cambodian border arch, walk straight past it going to the arrival area. If you are a non-ASEAN citizen or are needing a visa you may secure your visa at the building near after the arch. There are a lot of people at the Thai border who will try to sell you or scam you in getting a Cambodian visa so be very cautious.

The arrival area is just a small office, immeadiately secure an arrival card, fill it up then queue for the immigration officers. No fees should be collected at this point. I have heard some horror stories from fellow travelers that immigration officers ask for at least $1 for different reasons ranging from so called “Processing fees” to rediculous “First timer’s fees”

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Be cautious of touts as well, do not answer any greeting or question from strangers or they will follow you up till you actually get on a bus or taxi. I made the mistake of answering to a “Hello” then the next thing I knew is that there are three men following me trying to have me get their service.

Once you have processed your arrival you either take a shared taxi or a bus to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or where ever you are bound to, at the international Bus Terminal (6kms away) by taking the FREE government bus or walk straight to the Vikram Buntham bus terminal just straight ahead down the road. Fare for this bus company ranges from 8-10 USD depending on what type of bus you will be taking.

map-cambodia-border-copy

Always remember to check for your visa requirements and have enough money , be it local or USD -which ever is acceptable to your country of destination. It is important to know what you need to do and your rights specially when traveling cross borders to avoid being scammed.

Do you have a story or different experience in crossing the Cambodian border from Thailand? Let us know at the comment section!

How To Get To Khao San Road From Airport

There’s a couple of ways to get to the city from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, it is really up to you how would you want to navigate the city depending on how much time and convenience you are willing to let go. Here’s a couple of ways on how to get to Khao San Road from the airport.

Via Taxi

The most convenient yet expensive way to get to Khao San Road from the airport is by taking cab. Flag down rate starts at ฿ 35 while ฿ 6 is charged for every kilometer while a surcharge of ฿ 1.25 for every meter is applied if your vehicle is moving under 6 kph. You will also need to shoulder the toll fees for the expressway while you will be at the mercy of Bangkok’s famous traffic jams.

Via Bus

There are buses at the arrival area that you can ride taking you directly to Khao San Road. Fare is about ฿ 150 – 180 depending on the bus company. Compared to taxis they are more comfortable with bigger seats designed for trips, but just like the taxi travel time will depend on the traffic situation.

Via Train

First off, the train will NOT take you directly to Khao San road. You can take the airport train up to the end of the Airport Rail Link line which is the Phaya Thai station. From the Phaya Thai station, walk to the Victory Monument or take another train (just one station away ฿15) and take the 509 or 157 bus. Make sure to tell the conductor to unload you at the right stop. Fare from the airport to Phaya Thai station is ฿45 and the bus to Khao San road is ฿13

Victory Monument Bus Stop

 

Vans From Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

The most popular way of  going to Siem Reap from Thailand usually is through Bangkok. But one route that is  not that popular because of the lack of information available is through Pattaya. This route is good if you are wanting to see the beach before you leave Thailand.

In Bangkok, go to the North or South Terminal Bus station and hop on  a bus bound to pattaya. Tickets cost 108 Baht from the east terminal while it’s 117 Baht if you’ll be taking the bus at the North Bus terminal.

You can spend a day or too in Pattaya and enjoy the beach before you move on in crossing the border going to Cambodia. I also absolutely recommend staying at The Big Five-O, It’s clean, they have a pool and their staff Opal is absolutely the best.

Van Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

Photo lifted from Five-O’s Facebook – trust me it looks this awesome in person

From Pattaya you can take a Motor taxi bike to the Van station(80 Baht). I don’t exactly know the name of the place but I was able to pin it down on the map and took a photo of the terminal that the hostel staff wrote down for me. Go ahead and have that printed to show to the motorbike taxi driver.

you can check out other Pattaya Hotels Here

From Pattaya the van will go through its route picking up and unloading passengers. There are no official stop overs as well just a couple of short ones to refuel and check on tickets. The van will take you to a Mall in Aranyaprateth that is walking distance from the border compared taking the train and bus-where you have to take a tuktuk to get to the border. It takes about five hours to get to the border so the earlier you leave the better. I took the 12 PM van and arrived in the border by about 5:30 PM – I would advise for you to check with the terminal first if you plan to leave on a later time since I am not sure if there are trips after 12 PM.

Here’s how my expense/itinerary looked like

Bangkok – Pattaya (ETA: 8AM) 117 Baht
Five-O Hostel 300 Baht
Motor Bike to Van Terminal 80 Baht
Pattaya – Aranyaprateth 250 Baht

 

This is the note that I gave to the motorbike taxi that the hotel staff wrote for me.

Van Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

 

This is the Van Terminal

Van Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

 

Map of where the terminal is located

Van Pattaya to Aranyaprateth

 

Easy Hong Kong Travel Guide

 

It’s that season again when Airlines are trying to fill up their seats with Seat Sales for the lean seasons or sometimes even better immediate travel. Here’s a Quick and Easy Hong Kong Travel Guide so you can do a quick escape to Asia’s World City!

Cheap Air Tickets

Airasia is running a promotion right now so we did a mock booking and here’s the cheapest that we could find.

Screenshot_2016-10-04-17-07-08

 

But there are more airlines out there, so download fare comparison apps on your phone like Skyscanner (my personal favorite) so you see who has the best prices for that dates that you are eyeing.

 

Where To Stay In Hong Kong

It actually depends in your budget, if you got some money to burn you can opt to stay in Central, the posh side of Hong Kong. But if you are all up for a Backpacking style adventure then stay at the Kowloon side of the city.

Best place that we recommend staying is at Dragon Hostel. We found them after searching every travel guide and reviews about accommodations in Hong Kong. Reviews are important part of searching since they are feedback coming from customers, people who are paying to stay there so it’s a good reference to gauge whether an accommodation is good or bad.

>>> Check our review of Dragon Hostel Here<<<

You can also find other great Hotels here!

Here’s a sample seach… you can click on the photo!

room

What to do in Hong Kong

Check with your hotel mostly likely than not, they can provide you with discounted tickets to amusement parks here’s what we got from ours at Dragon Hostel

hostel prices

 Where To Eat 

Din Tai Fung and Tim Ho Wan is out of the question, they are a must have. But one must roam around Hong Kong to actually see what there is to experience. We projected our budget for food at $100 per day (except for HK Disneyland where food was ridiculously expensive at $100 per meal) per head. Honestly we just ate at any restaurant we are near at when we were hungry.

 

 

Getting Around Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s MTR, their train system is actually one if not the best in the world that even Singapore envies its efficiency. The MTR will take you for the most part of Hong Kong where attractions are, then you’d have to walk. Taxis and private cars can be expensive and throw your backpacker’s budget off the gutter, so brace your selves for a whole lot of walking anyways this how locals roll in their city – they walk.

Remember to download the MTR app as well so you can plan ahead of time what routes you are taking and how much you’ll be paying and don’t forget to buy your Octopus Card in the airport for hassle free travel throughout the city.

 

>>>Don’t pay $100 HKD for the Airport Express, check this guide for the travel hack<<<

 

MTR App

Sample Expense Sheet

To give you an idea of how much you should be preparing here’s a rough estimate that we’ve made. The total cost may rise or go down depending on the attractions that you want to see, for example, you can just choose between The Peak or Madame Tussauds instead of seeing them both or go to Ocean Park instead of Disneyland which is way more expensive. So choose wisely of where you want to spend your day, remember there are a lot of attractions in Hong Kong that does not require you of paying!

sample expensesSo say that you don’t hell care about Dinseyland and/or Madame Tussauds, and you just want to experience the authentic Hong Kong life by going to their night Markets, parks and plazas. That could easily translate just a little over Php 11,000! Just know what you want to do and see efficiently.

Here’s our itinerary on our trip.

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Note: This post is based on the author’s trip last 2014 on a Php 21000 budget for two.

———————

Still got questions? Put them on the comment section and we’ll answer them the best that we can 😉

How to get to the city from the airport in Hong Kong

Every backpacker’s question upon arriving in an airport remains the same, “How the hell are we gonna get out of here”. Hong Kong actually offers an array of transportation option of getting to the city so it shouldn’t be a problem. But being the backpackers that we are, we always look for the fastest yet the cheapest option that there is and yes most of the time the answer is via the Train.

Luckily the Hong Kong airport has a train station WITHIN the airport, yep you read that right! So all you have to do is just buy your ticket/octopus card (we recommend buying the later) follow the signs then hop on the express train! That easy! BUT! It actually costs around $100 HKD.

how to get to the city from hong kong airport

But don’t despair, there is a way to massively cut down your transportation expense going to the city. Here’s how!

Go to the counter and buy an Octopus Card and load it with the estimated amount that you’d be using throughout your trip. Don’t worry about over loading your card since you can still refund the remaining amount and the cost of your Octopus Card in the airport as you leave.

Hop on the express train and get off at Tsing Yi station. Then from Tsing Yi station take the regular Commuter Train and get off at the station nearest to your destination or hotel.

how to get to the city from hong kong airport

Yep, that simple and you’ll be saving $40 HKD on your transportation cost! Taking the bus will give you some more savings ($40 HKD for A11 bsus service from HK Airport) but it will take you longer than the train of course. So weigh your options if you have enough time and not really in a rush or has a lot of luggage the bus maybe a good option, but if you are traveling backpacker style I say the train is the best way!

Do you have other suggestions on how to get out of the Hong Kong Airport going to the city? Let us know through the comments section.

Top Tips For Hong Kong

If you are planning for a trip to Hong Kong you might be in a situation that you don’t know how to decide on because you would only know the answer when you are already there. Well I’ve been in that situation, here are some useful travel tips that I learned on my recent trip to Hong Kong that I feel will be really helpful on making your decisions with your upcoming trip.

 

1. Buy An Octopus Card

The Octopus Card will not only let you travel conveniently but also saves you a lot as discounts specially for transfers are given when you switch lines. You don’t have to buy another single journey ticket at each station!

If you don’t have any $50 or $100 HKD bill go to the customer service counter and add value on your card there.

2. Airport To The City

If you want to save on money don’t buy an Express Train ticket, remember that you are there for vacation so no need to rush. An Airport Express ticket costs about $100 HKD from the airport to either Kowloon or Hong Kong stations. Using your Octopus card, hop on the express train and get off at the Tsing Yi station then transfer to the regular commuter train on to your destination. This will cost you $60 HKD from the airport to the Tsing Yi station but your travel from Tsing Yi to you final stop is going to be free! You just saved $40 HKD!!!

3. The Peak

According to my research and friend recommendations, it is best to go to The Peak between 4:00 PM – 6 PM. However, when I was there the line was really long that it crossed the street already. I think it was just a fluke and my luck just ran out that day. To avoid from suffering the same on your trip, buy a The Peak Tram-Madame Tussaud’s-Sky Terrace combo package ticket so you can skip the regular cue and go straight to the waiting area for the tram right away.

4. Buy Tickets At Your Hotel

Not necessarily your hotel, but buy your tickets in advance from a travel agency around Hong Kong or from another Hotel. I actually found that the rates of the tickets that my hotel was selling is cheaper than the travel agency’s price which are lower than buying from the attraction’s travel booth on location.

5. Wear Comfy Shoes

I say wear good rubber shoes! You will walk and walk and walk around Hong Kong, and I highly suggest that you do. Walking lets you experience the city more and feel the vibe than getting on a cab, I actually never rode a cab while I was there the MTR and buses were enough for me to get to my next location.

6. Bring Enough Money

And I mean enough, not too much or too little (of course). Bring enough money that you are willing to spend for your stay, sight seeing, food, attractions, other petty expenses and yes shopping. Make sure that you make a budget for your shopping, I am pretty sure that you’d want to buy cheap (I am referring to price not the quality) branded stuff while you go around the shops there. Create a separate budget for this because over spending is not easy to evade, it’s like being in a casino it would just tempt you over and over to spend more and more because of the great deals that you’d find.

7. The MTR App

If you have a smart phone download the app that will be your best friend while in Hong Kong, The MTR Mobile App. This app will help you navigate the MTR by telling you what station to get off to transfer lines (if needed), how much time travel you’ll spend and tell you how much you fare is!

Do you have a good tip for Travelers to Hong Kong or got a question that didn’t get answered? Share them on the comments section, we might just include it on our list!

 

Travel Guide: Taiwan

It is one of the places that really does not exist and as Anthony Bourdain said it, It could have been how China (PRC) is today who has turned its back from its culture and tradition. Taiwan lies at east of china bordered by

 

Culture Sensitivity 

Taiwan can be considered as a conservative culture in this modern day and age, and its for the better. Taiwan has preserved a lot of its tradition, culture and manners over the centuries. The Taiwanese people are extremely polite so be sure to reciprocate whenever in Taiwan.

Okay, since we got that one off, let’s see what you need to do for your trip to Taiwan

 

Visa Requirements

Taiwan has visa waiver programs for some countries depending on your countries diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. For Filipinos there are a few ways on how you can be granted entry to Taiwan.

A. Apply for an Travel Authorization Certificate. Approval is instantaneous and you can print the permit at the end of the process. Below are the conditions for this type of permit

  1. A valid or Expired (not beyond 10 years) OECD country issued visa
  2. The applicant’s passport must have remaining validity of at least six months starting from the date of arrival in Taiwan.
  3. The applicant must possess an onward/return air or ferry ticket.
  4. The applicant has never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan.

>>>Click Here To Apply For A Travel Authorization Certificate<<<

B. Apply online for an E-Visa 

>>>Click Here To Apply For An E-Visa<<<

C. Apply personally at TECO

You can apply for a regular passport stamped visa via the Manila Economic Cooperation Office (MECO) of Taiwan. You can start your application by gathering the requirements online application form and filling up the online application form. Once you finish the form you will be given a schedule (shown below) of when you will be needing to submit your documents in their office.

>>>Click Here To Start Application<<<

Note: Taiwan has moved the implementation of the VISA FREE entry for Filipinos to September with guidelines that are yet to be announced. It is better to assume as of now that you will be needing a VISA

For other nationalities please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs site to check how you can obtain yours or if you even need one.

Points of Interest

 Taipei

Transportation

Getting around Taiwan is easy as the whole island can be accessed through its well planned High-Speed Rail (HSR), Light/Metro Rail and bus systems and Airport MRT. The island has two metro systems one in Taipei and the other in Kaoshiung. Both cities are connected through their HSR so it’s actually like being in one big city.

You may buy a reloadable Easy Card  that you can use for trains and buses or buy a token each time you ride the train. You can also use your easy card in purchasing items from department stores, supermarkets and convenience stores. Check their website for other transport options that you can avail.

You can find the whole scope of usage for your Easy Card HERE

Accomodation

Though Taiwan is not a popular destination for backpacking, Taiwan especially Taipei hosts a lot of backpacking accommodation. There are popular booking sites where you can place reservations where some do not even ask for any reservations fee to secure a room!

My personal favorite though is

Food

Taipei is an absolute food haven. Even most of the street food that you’ll find anywhere will  amaze you. Infact, if you are into food, you can build an itinerary for days solely based on food!

Food can easily be found just about anywhere you look at. Taipei has a lot of foreign chains that has established good presence so there’s always some sort of safety net that you can turn to. But if you are going to look for Taiwanese food there’s always the night market and you can find food just about anywhere. Food prices ranges at about NT 60-100  and up for a good meal

>>>Read HERE: Shilin Night Market Travel Guide<<<<

Itineraries

So I got a little motivated to update this travel guide. Thanks to fellow backpackers who are interested in exploring my favorite country. So here’s a rough itinerary for you guys. This is based on LCC flights

Day 0

Assemble at NAIA T3
Depart Manila by 2300 HRS

Day 1

Check In at hostel (2AM)
Yehliu Geological Park
Quick rounds in Keelung (Transit)
Jiufen
Shifen
Rahoe Night Market

Day 2

Beitour District (Day Trip)
Beitou Hotsprings Museum
Taipei Library
Lung Nai Tang
Ketalagan Cultural Center
Soak Feet at stream in Beitou
Eat Ramen at famous Ramen shop
Shilin Night Market

Day 3

City Tour
Taipei Zoo
Maokong Gondola
Drink Tea and Chill out in Maokong
Elephant Mountain

Day 4
Depart for Manila (1am)

Travel Guide: South Korea

The Land of the Morning Calm as we know it, surely you will find the calmness of the Koreans even if the city is bustling. Everybody walks with a certainty in their aura that kinda tells you that they know that everything is going to be alright. It may be the most connected city in the world in terms of technological advances but it is also one of the most traditional and I am sure that as you experience South Korea you’ll never see how people live with technology and tradition the same way ever again.

Visa Requirements

The Republic of South Korea is an OECD member state and provides special considerations for visitors who are either citizens of member countries or have valid OECD member state visas.

Here are the countries with visa agreements with South Korea: CLICK HERE

For Philippine Residents South Korean visas are provided free of charge for short visits and a minimal fee is charged for work and long/business visas.

You may read more about visas for Philippine residents on the links below.

For visa requirements for other nationalities you may refer to the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs for more details

Points of Interest

Seoul

  • Coffee Prince Cafe [Links: Brownmantrips]
  • Nami Island [Links: AdventureAccounting]
  • The 5 Palaces of Seoul [Link: The Chosun Ilbo]
    • The Gyeongbok [Links: ]
    • The Changdeok Palace [Links: ]
    • The Changgyeong Palace [Links: Brownmantrips]
    • The Gyeonghui Palace [Links: ]
    • The Deoksu Palace [Links: ]
  • Jongmyo Shrine [Links: ]
  • N Seoul Tower [Links: Brownmantrips]
  • Bukchon Hanok Village [Links: ]
  • Korean War Memorial [Links: ]
  • Seoul Fortress [Links: ]
  • The Gates of Seoul
    • Namdaemun / Sungryemun (South Gate) [Links: ]
    • Dongdaemun / Heunginjimun (East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Seodaemun / Doneuimun (West Gate) [Links: ]
    • Bukdaemun /  Sukjeongmun (North Gate) [Links: ]
    • Dongsomun  / Hyehwamun (North East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Namsomun /  Gwanghimun (South East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Seosomun /  Souimun (South West Gate) [Links: ]
    • Buksomun /  Changuimun (North West Gate) [Links: ]
  • Cheonggyecheon Stream [Links: ]
  • Ehwa University [Links: rinicesillia ]
  • Myeong Dong [Links: ]
  • Han River [Links: ]
  • DMZ [Links: Kurtzky.com l AdventureAccounting ]
  • Mt. Bukhansan (Baegundae Peak)l [Links: weekendsidetrip.com]
  • Everland Amusement Park [Links: chyngreyes.com]

Busan

The Voice From Within: South Korea Trip 2013: Day 1 in Busan

Guiltless Getaways:  Busan City Tour

Ava Was Here: Touring around Busan in 28 hours

Jeju Island

Chyngreyes.com: Love, Sex, Magic at Jeju, S.Korea

Must Try Activities

Transportation

Going around South Korea is relatively easy as the government had made a good transport system not just going around cities but all throughout the country.

Upon arriving at the Incheon International Airport it is advisable to get as much information as you can at the tourist information counter at the left end of the arrival area. Before leaving the airport (if you can-lol) buy your selves a T-Card which will enable you to access the Subway and buses of Seoul and other major cities around South Korea. The T-Card is re-loadable and  if you are leaving South Korea already you can also refund the remaining credits of your card from the convenience stores in the airport.

A note though on Taxis, I was told that even though there are a lot of taxis around Seoul and that it is presumably convenient you would have to think twice first because they say that in Korea they really don’t find places with addresses but more of landmarks so make sure that you ask for landmarks before you hop on a taxi to your destination.

Accomodations

Here are accommodations that travel bloggers recommend

Food

You can’t say that you’ve been to Korea if you never tasted Korean food! It’s part of who they are and their culture so it is a must try. Food can be tough to order in Korea as really not all of them speak English, but I must say that they somewhat understand the language. Good thing about Seoul is that most of the places/restaurants have menus that have pictures so you can just point the food that you like and order!

Don’t forget to try their street food! They are awesome!!!!

Itineraries

If you blog and you have a post based from your experience that you would like us to link up here please do leave a comment below. 

Guiltless Getaways:  A Guide to Seoul Korea, a Life-Changing Trip

Neil Is A Wandering Soul:  The Best Tourist Spots in Seoul

ChyngReyes.com:  It’s Like Korea, But South!

Ava Was Here: 5 Things To Do In Seoul

 Adventure Accounting: Korea Winter Edition – Budget, Itinerary, Winter Preparation l Budget