Nothing like missing a flight for a Taipei whisky
February 7, 2008 11:36 AM   Subscribe

7 hour layover in Taipei. Should I even leave the airport?

Don't speak a lick and I doubt my ability to get back to the airport on time to leave. Is there anything worth doing nearby, or should I morosely shuffle about the terminals?
posted by OrangeDrink to Travel & Transportation around Taiwan (8 answers total)
I haven't been through Taipei but had a 10 hour layover in Incheon once. I got out to see Seoul, had a good time, and came back in time for my flight. 7 hours is more of a pinch but I think it is doable if you figure out transportation ahead of time.
posted by pravit at 12:07 PM on February 7, 2008

There's the Shilin Night Market which is interesting if you want a slightly exotic experience, and Taipei 101 which you may enjoy for shopping. Of course, this depends on the time of day/night of your layover. If you can stay overnight and catch a flight the next day without penalty, why not...
posted by Blue Buddha at 12:08 PM on February 7, 2008

Response by poster: I should probably mention that I'll be there at 6 in the morning. Not exactly a lively time, I would guess.
posted by OrangeDrink at 12:18 PM on February 7, 2008

I know there was a city tour especially for transit passengers, although i can't seem to find it now. It left at around 8am. Maybe have a chat with your travel agent? This was a free service from memory.
posted by chromatist at 12:45 PM on February 7, 2008

You've got to go try "shiao long bow." Translated literally as "small basket dumplings." They're dumplings that explode with soup when you bite into them. Apparently, the famous restaurant is called Din Tai Fung. Honestly though, I have no idea about timing. I've never been to this place myself and can't tell you for certain if 7 hours is enough time. If you think you'll have time, it's definitely the restaurant to check out.
posted by poq at 3:01 PM on February 7, 2008

I don't know if it's smart to leave or not, but having just had a ten hour layover there in November, I can say that that airport gets boring FAST. Unless you want to shop at one of the 65,000 Coach, Burberry or perfume stores that is. (Side rant: Why do some airports insist on having primarily high end stores in their concourses? People who have to deal with long layovers aren't generally the exceedingly rich who can actually shop there! If I had $625 dollars to spend on a sweater, I would have gotten a better connecting flight to begin with. Taipei is especially annoying because there aren't ANY newsstand/snack places at all.) There is a funny Hello Kitty departure lounge/store and thank god for the free internet terminals. There are some sit-down restaurants, and I seem to recall a number of Reward Plan Lounges...but of course, we weren't actually allowed inside one. But if you have a good miles/reward plan, you might be better off then we were.

So I guess what I'm saying is this - if you can leave, do something fun and get back in a reasonable time frame, do it. You will not long for more time inside the terminal.
posted by allieger at 3:22 PM on February 7, 2008

Response by poster: Sweet. You guys, as always, have been emmensly helpful. I'll get out if I can, but I'm thinking this is a wander-around-the-airport-and-think-about-Taiwan sort of a thing.

Thank you, each.
posted by OrangeDrink at 6:46 PM on February 7, 2008

There is (or was, last time I was there--in late 2005) a cafeteria that serves much better and cheaper food in the basement. Just take the elevator down from international departures. Maybe ask people where "Burger King" is, but don't eat there!
posted by pantagrool at 8:15 PM on February 7, 2008

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