I traveled to Taiwan for four days and three nights. This time, I visited Taipei and its surrounding areas. In this article, I will write about flight to Taipei with China Airlines and Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung as part of Day 1.
[Visit Places (series of articles)]
* Day 1: Flying to Taipei & Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung [This article]
* Day 1: Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, National Taiwan Museum and National Museum of History
* Day 1: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (Light-up)
* Day 2: Pingxi Line (Jingtong)
* Day 2: Pingxi Line (Shifen)
* Day 2: Pingxi Line (Houtong)
* Day 2: Jiufen
* Day 3: National Palace Museum
* Day 3: National Martyrs’ Shrine
* Day 3: Xinyi District
* Day 3: Taipei 101
* Day 4: 228 Peace Memorial Park, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Longshan Temple and Ximending
* Day 4: Huashan 1914 Creative Park & Return to Home
It has been a month since I posted the previous article about Hida Takayama and Shirakawa-go and now I will start a new series. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I went to Taiwan at the end of April. I had been to Taiwan on business once before, but I didn’t have any time to go sightseeing at that time. Since then, I have longed for visiting Taiwan for sightseeing and this time, my dream has come true.
Fly to Taipei with Chine Airlines Flight 223
When I searched for flights between Tokyo and Taipei, I was surprised to see there were a lot of options. Many airlines, including Japanese mega carriers (Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways), Taiwanese mega carriers (China Airlines and EVA Air) and LCC (Scoot, Vanilla Air, Tigerair Taiwan, Jetstar Japan and Peach Aviation), are operating their flights. In particular, Japanese mega carriers (Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways) and Taiwanese mega carriers (China Airlines and EVA Air) have two routes, (1) Narita International Airport – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and (2) Haneda Airport – Taipei Songshan Airport, so travelers are able to choose their flights depending on their needs.
Among a variety of options, I chose China Airlines for both onward and return flights. This is mainly because China Airlines has many flights between Tokyo and Taipei and air tickets were less expensive than Japanese mega carriers. Above all, China Airlines’ flight 223, which departs from Haneda Airport at 7:10 a.m. and arrives at Taipei Songshan Airport at 10 a.m., is the earliest flight to reach Taipei, so I thought this flight is suitable for travelers who want to stay Tapei as early as possible.
So now I arrived at Haneda Airport.
Check-in counter of China Airlines.
Customers of China Airlines are able to use online check-in 24 hours before their departures. I completed my check-in online in advance and dropped off my checked baggage.
Since I had some free time before departure, I just walked around the airport. This is “Edo Komichi”, a shopping and restaurant arcade.
Check-in counter of Singapore Airlines.
I just recall I traveled to Singapore with Singapore Airlines last August.
Then, I moved to the departure gate.
I didn’t expect so many passengers, as this was the earliest flight in the morning among major airlines. Actually, the flight was almost fully occupied.
Arrival at Taipei
I arrived at Taipei Songshan Airport almost on time.
Going to passport control.
In Taiwan, travelers are able to submit online arrival card instead of filling in paper disembarkation card (related link). So, I submitted online arrival card in advance and I just needed to present my passport at immigration examination.
After I passed the customs, there were money exchange counters.
When I gathered information for my Taipei trip on the Internet, I saw lots of similar comments that money should be exchanged after arriving at Taipei rather than in Japan. I realized this was true. The exchange rate at Narita Airport was “1 new Taiwan dollar = 4.1 yen” while that at Taipei Songshan Airport was “1 new Taiwan dollar = 3.8 yen”.
At the arrival hall.
Taipei Songshan Airport used to be a domestic airport, so it is smaller than Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. However, Taipei Songshan Airport has an advantage over Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in terms of easy access to the central area of Taipei.
I used a taxi to move to the central area of Taipei.
In the taxi.
View on the way.
I reached Caesar Park Taipei, which I stayed at for the trip. It took about 20 minutes from Taipei Songshan Airport by taxi and the taxi fare was NT$250.
The reason why I chose Caesar Park Taipei is mainly because the hotel is located in front of Taipei station.
I think Taipei station is the best location for tourists, especially tourists who visit Taipei for the first time, as travelers can easily move from Taipei station to most of the famous tourist spots.
After I checked in some of my baggages at the hotel, I started to go around Taipei. To begin with, I bought an “Easy Card” at MRT counter.
Easy Card can be used for not only MRT, but also bus and convenience stores. So, it was very useful during my trip.
I got into Tamsui-Xinyi Line from Taipei station.
In the MRT.
Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung
I got off at Zhongshan station and reached Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Taipei Nanxi Store.
I visited this department store, because there was a branch store of Din Tai Fung (Din Tai Fung Nanxi Store).
Din Tai Fung is a Chinese dumpling restaurant and Xiao Long Bao is its signature dish. In 1993, Din Tai Fung was selected as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by The New York Times.
In the restaurant.
Shaoshing Wine Marinated Chicken as a starter.
Pork Xiao Long Bao.
There was a paper that shows how to eat Xiao Long Bao.
Xiao Long Bao was as delicious as I expected.
I also ordered Shrimp and Pork Wonton Noodle Soup.
After lunch, I took photos outside the restaurant.
Visitors are able to see how Pork Xiao Long Bao is made.
That’s it for the article about flight to Taipei with China Airlines and Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung as part of Day 1.
As I just used an economy class of China Airlines, I was not so much impressed at its service and meal, but I had an impression that China Airlines is a good choice to fly between Tokyo and Taipei in terms of cost-performance 🙂
Regarding Din Tai Fung, I was satisfied with its service as well as cuisine. I have visited Din Tai Fung in Japan and Singapore before, and in terms of customer service, I felt Din Tai Fung in Taiwan is better than any other locations 🙂
In the next article, I will write about Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, National Taiwan Museum and National Museum of History.