Thursday, 7 August 2014

My Taipei Trip [Part 1 - Planning]

Travelling to Taiwan is like one of the basic trip for us young people, as it is more tourist friendly and of course, COST FRIENDLY.

So I am going to share about my tips and tricks, and also mistakes that I made, for your reference during your future trip to Taiwan.

1. Understand Taiwan Map

Basically, Taiwan can be divided into 3 parts: Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan. Which literally means the north, middle and south parts of Taiwan island. Taipei is obviously the cities and more developed, and Taichung and Tainan is more towards agriculture and nature attractions.

If you wish to have sufficient time to go around Taiwan without rush, I would recommend you to stay in Taiwan for around 2 weeks. 1 week Taipei, and the second week for Taichung and Tainan. (And trust me, you wouldn't feel like going home after that lol) For me, I've decided to separate my Taiwan trip into 2 times, so my recent first trip only lasted 6 days, which only covers strolling through Taipei.


2. Accommodation

Stay in a hotel which is nearby MRT station in Taipei:

In Taipei, public transport is super duper convenient and you can basically reach anywhere you want without hesitates. So just stay somewhere nearby the MRT station to save your time and effort in the morning and give yourself a easier walk back hotel at night after a whole day of travelling.

I stayed in a small hotel named Cheers Hotel which is located at one of the busies part in Taipei-Ximending. This is an area where lotsa youngsters spend their time at night and during weekends it is super packed. Also, shit loads of good food even in the midnight.

My hotel is only 5 minutes walk away from Ximen MRT Station

There's a lot of small hotels in Ximending, and most of them go for the cozy feeling instead of big and pricey ones. They are all located in the alley, but no worries, alleys are all damn safe in Taipei, in fact, all alleys are meant to be walked in as there are small shops which sells tasty street snacks or nice clothing hidden inside. I am super happy finding out that I am staying in such a busy night place, which allows me to continue going lala after travelling at the other areas in the daytime.

Ximending in the early morning.

Exterior of Cheers Hotel.
It's not that good looking but pretty cozy inside. Also, their friendly service is a big plus point.

AND I think Ximending is the place where I met most of the handsome guys and pretty girls. 8 out of 10 person are considered good-looking, DANG! Awesome.

Hotel room wise, I stayed in a 4 person room with dearie and friends. It comes with air-conditioner, fridge, wardrobe, table, tv, private bathroom (with water heater), and 2 queen size bed. It is very comfortable and surprisingly spacious. There's pantry and washing machine upstairs that can be used for free. There's cleaning service everyday which will clear the rubbish can and provide a fresh set of towels. Price? NT2500 per night, which is around RM270, reasonably cheap after divided for four person.

Panorama shot of our room. Ignore my ugly pose.

Stay in a homestay when you are in Taichung or Tainan.
My friends who traveled to Taichung and Tainan all had great experience staying in their homestay. You will be able to feel the warmth of the Taiwanese closer and enjoy good view from your window if you chose a good one. Basically most of the homestay there are all not so 'home', they are all still cozy, but prettily designed for guests to have a comfortable stay. One of my friend even booked a room with auto ceiling that can be open up omg so canggih.

Well if you want to stay in a homestay in Taipei there's no problem too if you don't mind that the cost might be higher than hotel ;)

3. Public Transport

Taipei public transport system is very complete. You can reach any place by MRT and buses, or even cycle. Yup, they actually have a service called U-Bike, where you can rent a bike with your EZ-card and return it at the next bike stop.

Oh, what is an EZ Card?

It is basically like our Touch N Go card. You can purchase an EZ Card at MRT station, with NT1000 refundable deposit, and you are free to top-up any amount in the card. So just beep your card at the MRT entrance or when you get on a bus or when you rent/return a U-Bike.

But for my trip, I bought a Taipei Pass instead of EZ Card.

This is a card for tourist which allows unlimited usage in limited days. There's 3 types of Taipei Pass, which are 1 Day Pass, 3 Days Pass, and 5 Days Pass. I bought a 5 Days Pass at NT7000 (Around RM70), and I am free to beep all I want for 5 days! Taipei Pass is more cost saving if you are travelling around a lot and no worries of credit running out even you hop on to a wrong bus!

But please be noted that Taipei Pass are not eligible for U-Bike service. But you can still buy another EZ-Card just for U-Bike la since the deposit can be refund.

U Bike
Image from Google

Remember to grab a copy of MRT line map when you arrive in Taipei, to make sure you know where to transit.

About buses, well just ask the bus driver does he pass by the place that you want to go (better try to pronounce it in Mandarin la). They are all very friendly.

So basically after you figure out all these you are quite safe to explore Taipei! Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will be covering about the attractions that are worth to explore (and those that are not too lol)

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  1. If you see a tall white boy walking around Ximen, maybe it's me, maybe not. I like you articles, nice little guides, hope you had fun in Taiwan.

  2. Hi, Can you your hotel information? email or how to make booking?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. cheers hotel - do they accept late check ins?

  5. you went during which month?

  6. This page is very helpful. Thanks for posting!
    sharing my experience

  7. I am an engineer of software,I lived in Taipei, If you need local tour(No charges , in order to learning English),please let me know.(

  8. By reading this article I get a lot of lessons and this is very useful . cara menggugurkan kandungan


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