Thursday, January 17, 2013

Taiwan 8 days trip - Day1! (Departure–> Cityinn Hotel–> Shilin night market) 八天台彎游-台北

This is the 1st post of my 8 days Taiwan trip. I will try to be as detailed as possible, so people who are also traveling to Taiwan will find it good and useful! During this winter trip to Taiwan 台彎 , we covered both Taipei 台北 and Taichung 台中! For this post, I will be covering our first day, actually first night itinerary. Which includes our departure from Singapore and Arrival in Taiwan-Taoyuan airport, checking in to Cityinn Hotel and going to shilin night market!  

 

Around October 2012, Mr Gan and I booked our tickets to Taiwan because i wanted to go to somewhere colder for holiday. Just nice SQ was having a promotion for 2 people so we booked it! We were so looking forward to this holiday! And it turned out pretty awesome! 


Jane TanJane TanJane Tan

While waiting for Mr Gan to arrive at my house to go off to the airport together!

Singapore Changi Airport Jane Tan
Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 Jane TanSingapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 Jane TanSingapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 Jane Tan

Hahahahah series of camwhore shots taken while waiting to check in.  Anyway I think we queued at the wrong place cause internet checked in should be another place.

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YAY CHECKED IN!

Throughout Mr Gan was niaming me for doing internet check in because
#1 We still ended up queuing for the same duration compared to people who didn’t
#2 Our boarding pass is not the nice nice boarding pass but the ugly paper kind.

Oops. My bad. Note to self: Don’t do internet check in next time if we are flying SQ.

Then we proceed to have McDonald's breakfast!! Kick start our super unhealthy journey! HAHAHHA. Sinful indulgent~ BUT NICE!!

Mcdonalds breakfast

SEE THAT JAM?? My sisters and I love having hash brown with jam!

I forced all my closer friends to try the combi but none of them like it!! Unbelievable!! Even Mr Gan doesn’t like it.  (He gives me his hash brown most of the time anyway cause I love hash brown!!)  Well I guess it’s a acquired taste~ 

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Singapore Airlines SIA SQIMG_1419IMG_1424

SQ!

Taiwan Taoyuan Airport 台湾桃园国际机场

TAIWAN 台彎!!!

Upon touching down, we proceeded to sign up for our youth card at the visitor information counter in front of the arrival hall. The youth card will entitle you to discounts when you visit certain places in Taiwan like the viewing tower in Taipei 101. For us it was pretty useless. HAHAHA.

And since we are travelling on our own, we thought that it would be useful to buy a Taiwan Sim card, so we can access google maps while on the go, and also make calls to the locals. We bought ours for 600+NT which includes unlimited data usage for 8 days and also 100+NT worth of talking time. 


I’m not sure whether this is the best deal because we didn’t do any research on this aspect and we also didnt want to look through the different counters. There’s only 3 counters there anyway! So you can look around and see which is more worth it if you have the time! They offer nano and micro sim card so if you are holding a iphone5 like me you can use it!

 

After which we followed the signs in the airport and walked to the airport bus shuttle to buy a UBus ticket to go to Taoyuan HSR. I can’t remember the price exactly, but it should be NT60 per person. There's also buses that fetch you all the way to Taipei Main Station. However because it's a sunday, which increased the chances of jam, and the fact that I generally hate long bus rides, we decide to take the HSR. HSR is indeed more expensive, but also faster!


UBus from Taiwan Taoyuan Airport to Taoyuan HSR 桃园机场到桃园高铁

This is how the bus looks like!

The bus journey is around 15mins. After reaching Taoyuan HSR, you can proceed to buy your tickets from the counter. We did not buy our tickets beforehand because we didn’t know how long we will take. And luckily we didn’t buy our tickets because our plane touched down at 4.30pm and we only reach the HSR at 6pm. HAHAHAH. I think if we bought the tickets we would have bought the 5.30pm tickets. 

Taoyuan High Speed Rail (HSR) Station 桃园高铁

So we bought the next train to Taipei which cost NT160 each. You can save 10NT each if you decide to buy the tickets with no allocated seats. But 10NT is only around SGD$0.50? I think you can just get the allocated seats. 

Taoyuan HSR Station to Taipei HSR Station
Taken using Mr Gan’s Nikon d800

Taoyuan HSR Station to Taipei HSR Station

Taken using my iphone. HAHA 

Taoyuan HSR Station to Taipei HSR Station

The HSR

Taiwan HSR Cabin

This is how the interior of a HSR looks like. Something like the plane with retractable seats and table. It also comes with a stewardess selling food and drinks onboard! Although its a Sunday, the train is still not very packed. 1 problem with the HSR is that there is not much space for people to put their luggage.  

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station II

Our Hotel in Taipei was Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2/新驛旅店台北車站二館. The first two words are pronounced as xin(1)yi(4) if you ever need to ask for direction or give directions to cab driver! They wouldn't understand if you say cityinn! Alternatively you can just copy paste the address from their website and show the cabbie! That's what I did when we went bangkok. 

 

We booked the hotel through Agoda after reading many positive reviews on TripAdvisor, and the price was also within our budget, at SGD$418 for 4 nights. Here are some photos I took from their website since we did not take any decent photos of it. HAHAH. I think I messed up the room upon stepping into it so Mr Gan can’t take any nice photos. 

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2 新驛旅店台北車站二館

This is the exterior of the hotel. But during our stay the sky is definitely not that blue.

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2 新驛旅店台北車站二館

PC with internet connection if you need. I think I saw a printer there too.

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2 pantry 新驛旅店台北車站二館

A mini pantry on level 1 if you ever need to warm up your food. I used it to warm up my bread. HAHHAHA. I know it’s strange to eat bread when you are in Taiwan. You will know about the bread later on.

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2 pantry 新驛旅店台北車站二館

Due to the lack of fridge in the rooms, they have a common fridge. Like office style. Didn’t use it though, cause we didn’t buy anything that need to be kept overnight. IT’S TAIWAN!

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2 laundry room 新驛旅店台北車站二館

They also have a laundry room where you can use it from 9am to 10pm. It’s quite hard to find time to wash because we are normally back after 10pm. And in the morning we are just in a hurry to get out. 

 I Just checked the website and ours is apparently the Fashion room, which is the cheapest and the smallest. And by small, it is really small. I think if you are ever going to stay there, you should go for the second tier room, which is the twin room. Also I heard from friends that it would be cheaper if you booked through the hotel instead of booking sites. Not too sure about it, but you can always give it a try.

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2 room 新驛旅店台北車站二館

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2 room 新驛旅店台北車站二館

Cityinn Hotel Taipei Station Branch 2 toilet 新驛旅店台北車站二館
The last photo of CityInn Hotel - Taipei Station Branch II is courtesy of TripAdvisor.



After staying there, I told Mr Gan that I will prefer staying at their Minsu (Apartment style lodging) next time, because it’s cheaper and more spacious. You will know what I mean after you read my post on my Taichung’s Minsu.

As for my thoughts on this hotel. I think I wouldn’t stay in this hotel the next time. Firstly, for the price we are paying, there is no breakfast buffet. Secondly, the room is really very small for the price. Thirdly, Minsu is really very popular in Taiwan. Fourthly, we didn’t sleep well for all nights.

Last and the most important reason. There is serious problem with the aircon ventilation in the hotel rooms. We actually smelled cigarette smoke in our room at 6am. Wah lao. Damn pissed that I called the reception to complain. I must say their service is really good cause they immediately brought a air purifier to our room for us. But as you know, air purifier produces a weird smell also. So nono. I won’t put myself through this again. 

Shilin Night Market 士林夜市


After checking in and putting down our luggage, we proceeded to Shilin Night Market/士林夜市! You can take their JieYun, metro, which is like our MRT to Jiantan Station and there will be signs to direct you to the market! 

Oh ya! If you intend to travel mainly by public transports, be sure to buy their easycard/悠遊卡/youyouka, which is like our ezlink. There will be a 100NT deposits, which will be refunded to you when you return the card! You can buy the easycard from their ticketing machine! This will make your trip so much more convenient! You wouldn’t want to be digging for coins when boarding the bus.

We didn’t take a lot of photos there because it’s very crowded. Here are some photos that we took!


Taiwan Taipei Shilin Night Market 台北士林夜市

Scene of Shilin when walking from Jiantan Station

Taiwan Taipei Shilin Night Market Fried Milk Ball 台北士林夜市


Fried milk ball which is rather meh.

Taiwan Taipei Shilin Night Market Hao Da Da Ji Pai  XXL Chicken Hotstar Chicken 台北士林夜豪大大鸡排



The famous fried chicken cutlet! 台北士林夜豪大大鸡排 (Hao Da Da Ji Pai / XXL Chicken ) !! Which is really nice! But very big and filling!
Taiwan Taipei Shilin Night Market Hotplate Steak 台北士林夜


There are many stalls selling this. Hotplate beef with pasta and egg. Personally I ate nicer one in Shilin last time. But because of the renovation, I could not locate it anymore.

Taiwan Taipei Shilin Night Market New Wing 台北士林夜

One of the newer parts of Shilin.

Shilin changed quite abit after the renovation but the shopping area remained rather the same. Mainly are the small stalls that are relocated to different places like the basement food center. Like the HaoDaJiPa you see earlier, it was relocated to a physical stall. It used to be those push cart kind. Oh ya haodajipa is not at the basement. It’s along the main road!

Look out for my next post on Taipei day 2, where I set off the sky lanterns with Mr Gan at Shifen and visited RaoHe night market!




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You are currently reading Day 1. Continuing reading!
Day 1 on Cityinn Hotel Branch 2 and Shilin Night Market: here
 
Day 2 on ShiFen and Raohe Night Market: here


Day 3 on FuHangDouJiang, XinBeitou and Tamshui: here
   
Day 4-5 on YongHeDouJiang, MaoKong, Ximending, SiHaiDouJiang, Taichung, Tomato Rooms and Fengjia Night Market: here

Day 6 on Xinshe- Lavender Cottage: here

Day 6-8 on Xinshe- Summit Resort and Carton King and rest of my Taichung Trip: here

5 comments:

  1. Read your entry on the wonderful trip, really appreciate the great work of penning everything down with great detail and the photos. Definitely gave me an impression of TPE

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:55 PM

    hi can i ask u that isit very cold when u go during January? :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hihi!

    It's not very cold! I think with proper clothing it will be just fine! :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi

    It was wonderful reading about your trip? Do you think you could share your itinerary in excel or word? I would like to replicate it

    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I will consider putting it up on my blog!

      Delete