If you are one of the #TitasOfAsianovelas like me I am sure you will remember all the nostalgic feels Meteor Garden 2001 brought to us.
Meteor Garden was aired in the Philippines way back in 2003. I am still 9-10 years old back then. I am pretty sure this brought out my fangirl side. Meteor Garden started it all for me. I can still remember those times when internet was not accessible to all and you need to fangirl in a traditional way. What I mean is waiting for an episode preview via newspapers, rent VCDs at Video City (that’s per episode pa bes ha), wait for Myx daily top 10 to hear their songs, buy songhits with lyrics and collect so many F4 memorabilias (you can see their faces in almost anything bes hahaha). Very very nostalgic!
So when I heard that Taiwan is now Visa Free for Filipinos (until July 2020). I immediately booked a flight to fulfill my childhood dream.. to visit Meteor Garden related places. So here I am sharing my trip with you mga bes!
Here is a complete guide on how to go to their filming locations + some side trips you can also visit to maximize your stay.
First and foremost, the basics:
You need to book a plane ticket. I booked my roundtrip ticket via Air Asia (almost ~Php6,500 with baggage allowance).
Book an accommodation. Make sure that your place is near the subway station. Get the address and contact number of your hotel. You’ll need this information in the immigration.
Check with your hotel if their voltage is 220v. 110v kasi yung power in Taiwan so better make sure.
Their currency is Taiwan Dollars (TWD) / New Taiwan Dollars (NTD). When I convert it to PHP, I just multiply NTD x 2 = PHP.
Prepare payment for Travel Tax (Php1,620).
You can always buy tickets in Taiwan but it’s wise and money saving to book your entrance tickets and passes ahead of time. I always buy my must-haves from Klook.
1. If you are a traveling by group, you can choose to rent a pocket wifi. You can connect up to 5 devices. You can book it here.
2. Or you can rent a 4G sim here.
Airport to City
1. You can choose to go via bus or airport transfer especially if you will arrive at night. You can book here.
2. As for me, I chose the Airport MRT as I arrived in the morning and the Taiwan Metro is still open. You can book a roundtrip ticket beforehand from Klook. Book it here.
Getting around Taipei
1. It is easy go around Taipei because the MRT is not that complicated. They have 5 subway lines. MRT fare is ~20-25NTD.
2. You can choose to buy a single journey ticket or get an Easy Card. As for me, I recommend you get an Easy Card because it’s discounted and you don’t have to buy ticket every time you will take the MRT. You can also use this when taking their bus and buying on convenience stores. I bought an Easy card together with the Roundtrip Airport MRT tickets from Klook (bundle na sya, pero wala pang load yung Easycard when they give it to you). You can get yours here.
3. If you don’t want to get an easy card and load every time and if you are staying for only 2 days. Klook has an Unlimited Fun Transport Pass for 2 consecutive days. You just need to tap your card whenever you will take the MRT or bus. You can get it here.
Tourist Spots in Taipei
1. Taipei 101
This is a must go when you visit Taiwan. It’s where the fastest elevator in Guinness World Record can be found. It’s a mall so you can shop and eat inside. The observatory costs around ~900Php if you will book on site. I booked via Klook so it’s discounted, make sure to be there on your chosen time. Book your Taipei 101 observatory ticket here.
- Taipei 101 Station
2. Shilin Night Market
Street foods are popular in Taiwan that’s why it’s a must visit. You can buy food, clothes, and souvenirs here.
- Jiantan Station, Exit 1
3. Ximending Youth Shopping District
Ximending is a popular place for shopping especially for teens. There are many high end brands here. It’s also called Harajuku of Taipei.
But as a kpop and kdrama fan I am more excited to visit Jjiajjia CD Store. It’s a popular store because they sell kpop/kdrama albums.
- Ximen Station, Exit 6
- You can find the Jjiajjia Cd store in Ximending, just go to Ximen Station, Exit 3. Type the name of the store in Google maps. It’s an underground store.
4. National Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
The National Chiang Kai Shek Memoral Hall is a national monument and tourist attraction in memory of the former president of China.
- Chiang Kai Shel Memorial Hall Station
Meteor Garden Tour
And of course etooo na beees! This is the highlight of my trip! To relive my meteor garden feeels myyygaaaad!
1. PS Bubu
📍PS Bubu (Opens 12pm)— ANJ (@anjkalma) September 13, 2018
🚇 Shipai Station, Exit 1 ➡️ Cross the street ➡️ Take Bus 224 ➡️ Alight at Tianmu Bus Stop ➡️ Walk for 1-2min and you'll see the restaurant.
📺 This is where Dao Ming Si and Shan Cai went on their date. pic.twitter.com/MjwqOtKniY
It is located in Taipei so it’s easy to visit. You can go here before or after visiting Ying De since it’s near.
You can order banana split, medyo mahal lang ang bilihin bes, inflation rate lol! They require a minimum order worth 100NTD per person. Okay lang kasi nasa 250NTD yung Banana split. Also, they open at 12pm.
- Shipai Station, Exit 1
- Cross the street and board Bus 224
- Alight at Tianmu Bus Stop
- Walk for at least 1-2 min and you’re there. You can see the PS Bubu restaurant before the bus stop.
2. National Chung Cheng University (also known as Ying De University)
📍Chung Cheng University (Ying De University) located outside Taipei which is in Chiayi City— ANJ (@anjkalma) September 12, 2018
🚝 Chiayi Station via High Speed Rail (1hr / ~3000Php RT) ➡️ Take Bus #106 or Take a taxi (1hr ride / 1200NTD/~2400Php RT)
➡️ Book HSR here: https://t.co/FZkxZns4Qs pic.twitter.com/AmAaTz5WX5
It is located outside Taipei. It is in Chiayi City which is a 5-hour ride via bus from Taipei. But if you don’t want the long ride you can choose to take a 1-hour ride via High Speed Rail though it is expensive.
Personally, I recommend you to take the bullet train. Para you have more time to explore Ying De! Book (2) One-Way Taiwan High Speed Rail Tickets here (make sure to choose to and from Chiayi).
If you are already in Chiayi City. You need to take either Bus 106 or Taxi to National Chung Cheng University (NCCU).
It is almost an hour ride from the station. I took a taxi for 1,200NTD/2,400Php roundtrip (600-800NTD one way). Just tell the driver to take you to Chung Cheng University and they already know. They will drop you off at the entrance of the school.
Chung Cheng University is an open campus. You can go there any time. Grabe yung feels ko when I alight the taxi! Parang yung 9 year old self ko yung naglalakad around the campus. Super feels!
When you walk straight at the entrance, the first filming location that you will see is the Admin building (this is where the rooftop scenes were filmed).
Beside the Admin building is the Central fountain. This is where F4 graduated.
📍Chung Cheng University Fountain (Just in front of the library)— ANJ (@anjkalma) September 12, 2018
📺 Graduation Scene of F4 pic.twitter.com/kgLdnzWYWJ
Just beside the fountain is the Chung Cheng University Library where the lockers and cafeteria are located.
Just enter the library and go to the lower ground, on your left side, you will see the lockers!!! Alam na #150 locker ni Shan Cai! Hahaha.
Then just in front of the lockers is the cafeteria where F4 always sits. Tambayan nila hahaha. This is where Shan Cai put the red tag on Dao Ming Si’s forehead hahahahahaha. Marami pa rin scenes na shinoot dito eh.. hanapin nyo nalang hahaha.
📍National Chung Cheng University Cafeteria (Beside the lockers)— ANJ (@anjkalma) September 12, 2018
📺 This is famous F4 tambayan hahahaha pic.twitter.com/5qfCefPqRr
After the library, you can go to this building, I am not sure what this building is called but this is where the famous agawan scene happened hahaha.
📍Idk the name of the building but this is the building where this scene was filmed haha— ANJ (@anjkalma) September 12, 2018
📺 Agawan scene 😂 pic.twitter.com/mU1CqfCjvf
And lakad lang kayo then you’ll see the famous road where episode 1 was filmed.
After that, you can go to the Tranquility Lake. Just go back to the main entrance and you’ll see a Family Mart near, go inside and you’ll see the Tranquillity lake. This is where the bridge can be found.
📍Stairways beside the Tranquility Lake (there's a canteen here, you can eat there 😊) pic.twitter.com/CG8liYkBIU— ANJ (@anjkalma) September 12, 2018
Yung unang nagkita si Shan Cai and Xing Ha. Then you can also see the staircase where F4 walked. Waaaaa.
When you go down the stairs… there’s a narrow staircase there, that’s where the famous habulan was filmed hahahaha.
📍Stairways near the Tranquility Lake— ANJ (@anjkalma) September 12, 2018
📺 Dito yung habulan scene ni Dao Ming Si at Shan Cai pic.twitter.com/CCdG5eBa8a
Then you can go na to the Tranquility lake. Color brown na yung lake hahahaha.
📍Tranquility Lake— ANJ (@anjkalma) September 12, 2018
📺 Shan Cai and Xing Ha's scene pic.twitter.com/CA0j8fo0X3
That’s all! It’s a trip down to memory lane experience! My 9 year old self is crying out of happiness. Fangirl dreams fulfilled! ’till then Taiwan!