Taiwan Just Extended Visa-Free Travel For Filipinos! Let Alex Gonzaga Show You Around With Her Recent Trip To Taipei
Get a ticket and let's go!
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The Taiwanese government has officially extended their decision to grant Philippine nationals visa-free travels to Taiwan. The Southeast Asian country situated north of the Philippines is often visited for its cultural sights, endless shopping, and lip-smacking cuisine.
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It's all part of Taiwan's "New Southbound Policy" aimed at strengthening relations with neighboring countries, particularly focusing on improving ties in the fields of tourism, investment, trade, education, culture, agriculture, and fisheries. First implemented in November last year in a trial period, the extension was announced by Taiwanese Ambassador to the Philippines Michael Peiyung on July 12, specifying that Filipinos can take advantage of visa-free travels to Taiwan until July 31, 2019.
Thailand and Brunei are two other countries currently enjoying the same travel benefits.
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With the beauty of Taiwan being more accessible than ever, it's unsurprising how local celebs have picked it as their newest travel destination. Actress, TV host, vlogger, and Metro.Style cover girl Alex Gonzaga is one of them, and her pictures from her quick Taiwan escape are definitely giving us a heavy dose of travel envy!
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Alex stayed at the S Hotel, which was named after Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu of the famous Taiwanese drama series, Meteor Garden, whose remake will soon be released. According to the hotel's website, Barbie's husband "created S Hotel as his own special present for her, a tribute to love and happiness, created to inspire the same emotions for every guest. You can see reminders of this pearl of a gift throughout the hotel, with necklaces accenting wall light sconces and even an oversized strand of 'pearls' strand adorning the hotel façade."
Accompanied by her best friends, the younger Gonzaga sister was out and about exploring Taiwan's capital, Taipei, giving us a glimpse of the sights and sounds we shouldn't miss when it's our turn to visit:
The National Palace Museum
Never forget that visiting a foreign land doesn't start and end with shopping, dining, and sight-seeing. Learning about a country's culture is an often forgotten item on itineraries, but one that definitely deserves to be there!
Taiwan's rich cultural heritage mirrors the complexities of the Philippines' own story, making Pinoy visitors able to relate to the many historic ups and downs that shaped Taiwan through the centuries. Gain a more meaningful understanding of how Taiwan came to be with the national Palace Museum's grand art and culture galleries that feature anything from painting to incense history, gems to archaelogical finds, to porcelain and religious artifacts.
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One of Taiwan's biggest accomplishments is being able to merge urban cityscapes with natural landscapes.
To those that value the beauty of nature, the Neihu District is a must-see. It's mostly known for its hiking trails and national parks: Dahu Park for its TV-ready footbridge and Bihu Park for its cherry blossoms. For an extra serving of Taiwanese culture, the majestic mountainside Taoist Bishan Temple is also located in this district and offers an unobstructed panoramic view of Taipei.
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Ximending Night Market, a.k.a. the Harajuku of Taipei
Who said shopping wasn't a sport? It certainly is at the Ximending Night Market where an explosion of unique fashion finds and delicious street food converge in one massive open-air space. Throw in a handful of engaging street performers, a stylish crowd, and an electric atmosphere, and you've got yourself one of the most fun places to be in Taiwan.
Fashion fanatics will definitely enjoy Ximending's shops that specialize in limited edition footwear as well as Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese fashion. Accessories, bags, and souvenirs actually worth buying are aplenty here, and when it's time to snack, there's always Taiwanese chicken pops coated in a special mix of mild spices, tasty savory pancakes with your choice of filling, or chilled fresh fruit to fill your tummy!
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If you wish to travel to Taiwan during the visa-free period, here's what you need to be ready with and keep in mind:
- An ordinary/regular passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry. (Note: Diplomatic and official passport holders are not eligible for visa-free treatment).
- A return ticket, or a ticket for the traveler's next destination plus a visa for the destination, if required.
- No criminal records or other records of misconduct in Taiwan.
- Proof of accommodation, such as a hotel booking, a sponsor's contact information, or official papers that show arrangements for a tour, official business, convention, or other similar events.
- Only a maximum of 14 days of a visa-free stay will be granted.
So what do you say? See you in Taiwan!
Photos from @fifthsolomon @cathygonzaga