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First time to Taipei and need help planning 4 days.

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My husband and I are going to Taipei for a business trip and we are going early to spend a few days just for us. We have already booked the Westin (where we are staying for business), however after doing more research I am wondering if we should stay a night in Hualien? We definitely want to see the Taroko Gorge & National Park - the scenery looks just beautiful!! How long of a trip is Hualien from Taipei, and how would you recommend getting there? We aren't big bus tour people..and would much rather do it on our own. Train? Plane? Is it doable for a day trip or recommend spending the night? I read that a family of 3 took a private taxi for 8 hrs for 60.00 US, however that couldn't be from Taipei?! I've also read really good things about Judy's Kitchen cooking class. I think this is on Elephant Mountain close to Taipei?

Our trip is from Feb 11-Feb 19th. We fly into Taipei Saturday evening at 9:30pm and have free time until Tuesday evening, where we'll need to be back in Taipei for a business dinner (we might be able to skip this!, hopefully.) And then have all day/night free Wednesday. Thursday - Saturday will be mostly Taipei and nearby sights as we'll have on and off meetings throughout the remainder of our trip. *Another thought might be to cancel our first few days at the Westin in Taipei, and fly directly into HUN (hualien), Saturday night for 1 or 2 nights. We are flying business class so should be well rested.

Any suggestions would be SO appreciated!! We have never been to Taiwan and looking forward to mixing a little fun and beautiful sights.


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