(Still) Finding my way around Taipei

It’s a month and two weeks before the Taipei Adventure with my Unnie — and for the first time, my travel research skills is being put to the test.

photo not mine

photo not mine

the incredible, simply amazing view (pic not mine)

the incredible, simply amazing view (pic not mine)

I find it hard to believe but I noticed that there’s not a lot of information source about traveling on a budget in Taiwan. Yes, there were blogs here and there but not as much when I was researching about other countries. And honestly, I find it really odd. Based from initial research, Taiwan and yes, Taipei City seemed like a very beautiful and exciting place. This early, I was already overwhelmed just thinking where we will spend the limited 4 days while there. Shall we visit first the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, or the National Palace Museum where the biggest collection of Chinese artifacts are stored? What about a trip up Taipei 101? The Beitou Hot Springs? A visit to Elephant Mountain Trail for a magnificent view of Taipei? Of course, how can I pass up the chance to see the palm-lined boulevard of National Taiwan University — the same boulevard where a bullied Shancai rode her humble scooter while F4’s sleek cars were passing by? Shall I haunt for Jay Chou’s restaurant first or should I instead look for the restaurant where Dao Ming Sui brought Shanchai for their first date? (You know, the one where they have car cases as booths).

In one of the travel blogs I read, they said that not a lot of people go to Taiwan – maybe for varied reasons. For my kababayans, it might be the hassle of getting a visa. For others, it might be because Taiwan is more subdued and quiet compared to the marketing initiatives of countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand. The article states that NOT going to Taipei and NOT discovering its many beautiful places, the amazing culture and the awesome cuisine is something that all serious travelers should NOT do. Taiwan has so much to offer and so much beauty to share — maybe it’s time that we go beyond our usual comfort zones (multiple trips to HK Disneyland and Resorts World Sentosa, erm, hello?)

So, while I find it doubly hard to piece together a simple itinerary, I can’t help but feel excited. It’s another new experience, another adventure. This early, I already know where to go to mass (St. Christopher Church, a few MRT rides from Taipei Main Station. The church is called “Little Philippines” every Sunday due to the number of migrant Filipino workers attending services there.) I am also starting to get the hang of researching street names and the corresponding MRT stations near it.

I just need to tick off hotel reservations on my list, start preparing for the visa application and I am good to go.

* NOTE: We plan to stay at Keyman’s Hotel in front of Taipei Main Station. Feel free to drop me a note if you have recommendations on where to go!


2 thoughts on “(Still) Finding my way around Taipei

  1. SAL says:

    you can consider Tashun hotel: http://www.tshotel.com.tw/english/01_introduction.htm
    It’s only a 2 min walk to the Ximen station and right opposite the bustling Ximenting (which is the main shopping area with lots of shops and food). It’s also just a stop away from the Taipei Main Station which saves loads of travelling time. And it’s much quieter here. Oh, there’s also a 7-11 just across the road from the hotel. You have to email the hotel to book the room.

    The other hotel that you might want to consider, which might be cheaper is the Longstay hotel: longstay.hotel.com.tw
    This hotel occupies only the 6th-9th or 10th storey but the staff at the counter are extremely nice. They even helped to check for movie timings the last time I was there! As long as you have a query, they will try their best to find an answer for it. It’s situated right inside Ximenting and about 3mins walk to the Ximen station.

    Just sharing my experiences and thoughts… I stumbled upon your blog while researching for Seoul (I’m heading to Seoul soon for a week 😀 ) Hope the information helps and wish you’ll be able to have a happy holiday to Taipei!

    PS: there’re actually lots of things to do in Taiwan, just study the subway and railway map and you’ll find many attractions can be reached by taking the trains!

    • lanilakwatsera says:

      Hey Sal! Thanks for the great tip. I already booked rooms at CityInn Hotel Plus in Ximending. Great rates and near where the action is. Thanks anyway. I’ll definitely keep in mind your tip regarding memorizing and studying the subways. I somehow was able to get map of Taipei so I am studying that already.

      I have the same tip for you — just study the subway in Seoul. Everything’s very easy to find and SKoreans are very kind and helpful. They are the type who’ll even offer to accompany you to the correct subway hall just to ensure that you will not get lost. I hope my blog about our Seoul travel will be of help to you. I super loved it there and it is one of my wish to go back soon.

      Don’t miss out on the palaces — entrance fees are cheap (KRW 1,000) and oh, if you want to have your picture taken wearing their traditional costumes, you can check out the KTO office in Myeongdong, it’s for free compared to photo studios which charges KRW20,000 for a portrait. Anyway, have fun and keep safe! 🙂

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