Taiwan Trip - Summary (21st June to 30th June)

Sunday, July 27, 2008 Posted by YY on 12:43 PM

Trip Details:
Location: Taiwan, Taipei.
Date: 21/06/08 to 30/06/08
Season: Mid Summer
Airline: Cathay Pacific with stopover in HK.
Accomodation: East Dragon HotelS$1 = NT22.0
Exchange rate:
People going: K,YY,YH,YJ

1. Travel Insurance: About $34 from Great Eastern for a 9D taiwan trip.
This is important cos Taiwan is in the typhoon season and disasters like earthquakes can happen anytime.

2. Trip Research
* Trip Advisor - Taipei
* Google Map
* Backpackingtaiwan.blogspot.com
It would be prudent to check out the transport system and how-tos before going there, else precious time will be wasted in finding road names cos Taipei road signs are hard to find!
* A guide for Cats/Dogs Cafes in Taipei are listed on this japanese site. Of the cafes mentioned, we visited Minimal Cafe and Cafe Dog & Cats .

3. Accomodation
Before booking accomodation, please check out their reviews on Tripadvisor.
Do take note of the following points when choosing your hotel:
* Whether drinking water and hot water is provided everyday.
* Whether there is internet access in the hotel room
* Is there any computer terminals available within the hotel for short usage like checking in online?
* Is the hotel located within walking distance from the train stations?
* Is there laundry services provided by the hotel?
* Is there daily breakfast provided by the hotel?

There are many hotels in 西门町 area, however we chose East Dragon Hotel because it responded to us promptly with a booking voucher unlike the rest which requested us to book only 1 month in advance. One more thing to note is that, East Dragon and Rainbow both have Quad rooms(4person->2 double beds) which cost like $35 per night per person on average(they have slightly higher rates for weekend stays) which is more cost effective. Will elaborate more about East Dragon Hotel later.
Some of the other recommended ones are:
* Neijiang Hotel
* TS Hotel
* Rainbow Hotel (located in the heart of 西门町)
* TaiwanMex Hostel (About $18 per night but not located at 西门町)

4. For travelling around Taipei, please get a YouYou Card(悠游卡)from 7-11. Its NT500 with NT100 as deposit which is refundable at train stations. Do not worry, you can refund 100% of whatever that is left in your card incl your deposit. For cabs, please ask them to go by the meter as we had an experience of boarding w.o negotiating and ended up paying NT30 more than the metered fare -.-'

For one day trips to places like Jiufen/Yeliu , Hualien..you may want to hire a cabbie who will drive you around for the day(like from morning 0830 to 1800 evening). We booked a female cabbie, named Vivian for our day trip to Hualien and Meeky yang for JiuFen/Yeliu trip. The cabbies cost NT3000 each, regardless of the number of travellers. If you divide this by the number of people going on the trip, it works out to about S$35 per person for an entire day of fun! As these cabbies are pretty hot, it will be good to confirm your booking and date of travel at least 1-1.5 month in advance.

5. Food is great almost everywhere, by the roads and inside the alleys you can find some queues for 小吃. Will elaborate further in another post on what we tried.