Explore Taipei on a budget - MRT 1-Day Pass [Travel in Taiwan 170716: The 150 Taiwan Dollar Challenge] | Travel in Asia

Monday, July 17, 2017

Explore Taipei on a budget - MRT 1-Day Pass [Travel in Taiwan 170716: The 150 Taiwan Dollar Challenge]


One hundred fifty New Taiwan Dollars (NTD).  You can wander in Taipei with this small amount of money.  But if you are going to spend it for food, then two orders of 7-Eleven Spaghetti plus red tea for drinks would solve your problem for lunch and dinner. Loading an adult EasyCard with NTD 150 will also allow you to board the bus ten times for short distance rides.  At an exchange rate of 1 NTD = 1.67 PHP, it is equivalent to 250 pesos and 28 centavos. One hundred fifty Taiwan Dollars. A small amount of money but it can get you to many places.

At the ticket booth of MRT Nangang Station. Travel Buddy Rob asking about the 1 Day Pass.

The Taipei MRT 1-Day Pass with its Summer Universiade design

Thanks to Taipei MRT's 1-Day Pass, anyone can go around the city without the fear of spending so much. You can see the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, feel the heat of the hot spring in Beitou or even have a selfie at Taipei 101 even though you are on a tight budget. All for just NTD 150! Add your lunch and dinner to your budget and you can form a travel plan that suits your need.

Travel Buddy Rob joined me in this budget saver adventure. We visited many tourist spots in a span of fewer than 12 hours starting at 12:15 pm. For first-timers, it might be difficult to travel in Taipei in just a short amount of time. But with a well-planned itinerary before coming to Taiwan, exploring Taipei is just a piece of cake. You don't even need a pocket wifi to bring with you!

There are different kinds of Taipei Pass ranging from a single-day ticket to ones bundled with a Maokong Gondola trip and unlimited bus ride. Prospective visitors in Taiwan sometimes could not decide on which type of card to buy either if they would just use an EasyCard which has a balance to maintain or take advantage of an unlimited day pass. It all depends on the places that you want to visit. 

If you want to wander in the National Palace Museum then you will need to ride a bus. A roundtrip from MRT Shilin Station will costs NTD 30 so a day pass with unlimited bus rides in Taipei and New Taipei City will be practical. This special kind of one-day ticket card costs NTD 180 and is best for itineraries that require transferring from an MRT to a public vehicle. Take note that in order to fully appreciate the collections in the National Palace Museum you will need at least 3 hours to read and get to know all of China's greatest treasures that are being kept in Taiwan.

If you are also interested to see Taipei Zoo then riding the Maokong Gondola is highly recommended. Like the National Palace Museum, its size is too big to explore in a day. The Taipei Pass which includes the Maokong Gondola can help save a lot of money. However, there is a catch for this kind of one-day ticket. The operations of the cable car can be suspended anytime if there is a strong wind or a threat of a thunderstorm. Buy this card if you want to lose money. Haha! The best thing to do is to just buy the tickets at the cable car station. In this way, you will have the liberty to adjust your itinerary depending on the weather advisory for Muzha District. You will know that you cannot ride the cable car when the TV screens in the platforms of the Taipei MRT flashes a bad news about the operations of the Maokong Gondola. 

See below our itinerary. We wanted to maximize our 1-Day Pass so we went to many places as fast as we could. Major attractions like Taipei 101, Chiang-kai Shek Memorial Hall and Sun-yat Sen Memorial Hall were part of the travel plan. To check if we really saved money, I calculated the actual fare for each MRT ride that we made.

Start @ 12:15 pm

Sun-yat Sen Hall [Google Map]

[1] Nangang Station → Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station: NTD 20

The Visitor Information Center at Taipei Main Station.  The nearest MRT exit to this tourist center is Exit M5.

The lobby of Taipei Main Station [Google Map]

For our lunch, we bought "pientang" at this store in the ground floor of Taipei Main Station.

boxed lunch 

Travel Buddy Rob and I opted for this NTD 60 "pientang". 

[2] Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station → Taipei Main Station: NTD 16

Longshan Temple [Google Map]

[3] Taipei Main Station → Longshan Temple Station: NTD 16

at Ximending [Google Map]

[4] Longshan Temple Station → Ximen Station: NTD 16

[5] Ximen Station → Zhongshan Station: NTD 16

[6] Zhongshan Station → Minquan West Road Station: NTD 16

MRT Beitou Station

[7] Minquan West Road Station → Beitou Station: NTD 24

The old Xinbeitou Station.  Back in the days when there was no still MRT,  a TRA line runs along the route of the current Tamsui-Xiangshan MRT route.  Of course there was also a TRA Xinbeitou line! When the MRT was constructed, this Japanese-style building with its eye-catching windows at its roof was dismantled and then transferred to Changhua.  After many years of cultural protest, it is now back again at Xinbeitou.  [Google Map]

Ketagalan Culture Center [Google Map]

Beitou Public Library [Google Map]

Beitou Hot Spring Museum [Google Map]

Beitou Stream.  Back in December 2014, you can dip your fee here.  Now, you cannot! 

Hell Valley [Google Map]

[8] Beitou Station → Xinbeitou Station: NTD 16

While waiting for the train at MRT Xinbeitou Station

[9] Xinbeitou Station → Beitou Station: NTD 16

MRT Tamsui Station

sunset at Tamsui [Google Map]

A local caught a fish from the river!

[10] Beitou Station → Tamsui Station: NTD 24

at MRT Jiantan Station

while walking towards Shilin Night Market

One of the games here in Shilin Night Market.  You just have to make the bottle stand to win a prize. 

That is if you can! Haha!

Shilin Night Market [Google Map]

at the underground food court

[11] Tamsui Station → Jiantan Station: NTD 32

MRT Chiang-kai Shek Memorial Hall Station

CKS Memorial Hall at night [Google Map]

[12] Jiantan Station → Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Station: NTD 20

MRT Taipei 101 Station

Taipei 101.  We did not enter inside.  [Google Map]

Another attraction beside Taipei 101 is the Moon Bus.  [Google Map]

[13] Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station → Taipei 101/ World Trade Center Station: NTD 16

[14] Taipei World Trade Center Station → Daan Station: NTD 16

[15] Daan Station → Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station: NTD 24

Back at home!
End @ 11:00 pm

Taipei MRT 1-Day Pass: NTD 150
Lunchbox at Taipei Main Station: NTD 60
Stinky tofu: NTD 50 (shared with Rob)
Oyster omelet: NTD 60 (shared with Rob)
Total expenses if we used an Adult EasyCard: NTD 403 {288 + 110/2 (dinner) + 60 (lunch)}
Total expenses with the Taipei 1-Day Pass: NTD 265 {150 + 110/2 (dinner) + 60 (lunch)}

If we had used an adult EasyCard, our total expense for our MRT rides would be NTD 288. We could have also explored more tourist attractions if we had started as early as 6:00 am when the Taipei MRT opens. The earlier, the better! Even though we started at noon at least we were able to save some money with our 1-Day Pass. That’s the aim of most travelers in Taiwan. To see a lot of places in one day without spending so much.

So are you excited now to visit Taipei? Get ready to pack your bags as soon as the visa-free grant for Filipinos and other Southeast Asians become official. Get to know this country as you familiarize yourselves with the different attractions of the capital through the luomujie blog. Be prepared! Now is the time for you to accept the 150 Taiwan Dollar Challenge.

Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Japan

Maple Series

Yehliu to Jiufen? Yehliu to Shifen? Cheaper than yellow taxis

The "Taipei kong mahal" (My beloved Taipei)

Other attractions in Taipei

New Taipei


  1. If you start your day aroud 8am. What will your itin look like?

    1. Hi Rey! It might be the same. The only difference is that I will have extra time to visit the Taipei 101 Observatory and hike Elephant Mountain at night.


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