Friday, 13 September 2013

Taipei Travelogue Day One.

You girls must have known by now I went on a short trip to Taipei a couple of weeks back! (: It was a super super impromptu trip as Scoot was having a 24 hours flash sale on ALL destinations regardless of dates! And because i'm heading to Europe at the end of the month, i was left with just that week, 4 or 5 days after i booked the tickets, so it was a take it or leave it decision. With tickets at $210 all in, it was too hard for me to say no.

Our flight was at 1.55 in the morning and here's us wide awake!
I know it's weird but i'm usually at my widest awake state at this timing, which explains the horrible insomnia i have. 
I insisted on bringing this "water bottle" from Ribena cos it's light weight!
And the boyfriend insisted on hanging it on the exterior of his backpack.
Talk about acting cute, haha.

I haven't been diligent in work trips since June and haven't been to the airport in the recent months, so i was quite surprised to see this at the terminal! Osim foot massage! :D We had hours to kill cos the smart ass me went into the departure hall though i wanted Fish & Co for dinner/supper, only to realize it's at the public area outside the departure hall. Food inside was horrible and we settled for Macs which was a chop chop thing.
He and his Ribena, haha.

Kept myself entertained with my dramas on the flight and i caught this beautiful sunrise!
So so so gorgeous beyond words righttt! :)
I'm a huge fan of sunrise and sunsets!

We arrived at Tao Yuan Airport bright and early at 630am! :)
It was pretty quiet and we managed to leave the immigration pretty quickly after we alighted! I've heard stories of how you can be stuck in there for HOURS due to the large crowd. So thank god we got out within 15 mins!

To get to our hotel, we took a bus!
Taxis and private cars can be quite expensive, approx 1000-1500 NTD so do google how to get to your hotel before your trip! There's also an information counter at level 1 where you can get help with directions! :) 

The ticketing kiosks to get your bus tickets are located at the basement.
Here you can get to various parts in Taipei via the different bus companies.
One thing i love about Taipei is how there's charging points at almost all metro stations! While waiting for our bus, we grabbed a cuppa coffee, charged our phones which were almost flat, and surfed on free wifi! Slaves of technology like how we'd say, but getting wifi overseas is cheap thrill! :D 

The boarding points for the different buses are just outside the ticketing kiosk so it's easy peasy to locate them.
Pretty much like a typical coach.

You can see how excited we were snapping tons of photos cos it's our first trip to Taipei!
And spot him acting like his Mickey tee. :p

The bus ride was a mere 40 minutes and we arrived at Zhong Xiao Fuxing station! Took the train and alighted at the next stop, Zhong Xiao Dun Hua where our hotel was located! All in all, we got to our hotel within an hour or so! (:
Another act Mickey pose.
Sometimes i think my boyfriend don't act his age, hahaha.

Because we reached so early, we explored our hotel surroundings!
We were so dead tired at this point cos we didn't sleep the entire night, and it was a horror of all horror moment when we found out that we could only check in at 3pm.
So a note to check with your hotel your check-in time!
I took for granted that check in will be 10am or 12pm like other cities i've visited. :(

Inner Top: Cable Knit Top in Black (TCL)
Jacket: Bershka 
Shorts: BKK
Shoes: Steve Madden

We chilled at Starbucks which was right below our hotel for a good 5 hours after "exploring" the surroundings for just a short while cos the shops weren't opened yet, and we were just dead tired.

One of the happiest moments from the trip was able to check in finally.
I can't describe the agony of killing so much time without sleep. And Starbucks didn't have wifi which was a killer. I was also excited to see our room for the next 7 days!

We booked our hotel, Vendome Hotel via Agoda as usual.
As our booking was done pretty late considering it was an impromptu trip, we weren't left with much choices. Most of the hotels which my friends recommended were all not available. Coincidentally, we chanced upon this hotel which was on flash sale! The usual price was $479 per night before tax, and going at only $120, so the first thing that came to my mind was "omg so cheap, get it before i really don't have a room to stay!" We were quite desperate and worried we won't have a place to stay cos 10/10 hotels our friends recommended were unavailable. :(

The mentality when you know it's a $500 room going for $100 is just, woah. Mind blowing.
So we booked it without thinking much and went YAY, we got a $500 room at $100.
The interior which greeted us.
Looks decent, but not something i'd expect for $500.

There's not much space to walk actually, esp if you're bringing along a big luggage like ours.
And wait till you step onto the carpeted floor.
It was damp and moist, and just ewww.
I wore my slippers when i was in the room, the entire stay, that was how bad it was.
They provided recyclable bedroom slippers which was basically just cardboard, like -.-
Might as well don't give.
And omg the bed has no support and spring, it's just SO UNCOMFORTABLE.
I was quite disappointed but i couldn't be bothered at that point cos all i wanted to do was flop into bed and SLEEP.

One good thing, and only good thing about the hotel it its strategic location.
The nearest metro station is just right at the entrance of the hotel building, which is accessible to most places, and there's tons of amenities around. There's a cinema and KTV, and a club too within the same building too, plus Starbucks and Zara, and BBT stores, so it's kinda a happening place. Over the next few days, i found out the hotel is used as a socialite meeting place too, like a collaboration between the KTV and hotel, if you get what i mean, which explains the eww-y feeling i got from the room. -.- And we heard non stop giggling and banging of walls on one of the nights too. Let your imagination run wild. I honestly think it was a scam! No one will pay $500 for such a room please, meh.

Anyway, we snoozed for a couple of hours and woke up at 8pm and headed to Shilin Night Market! It's like the must go night market when you're in Taipei so i'd high hopes and was looking forward! (:

To get there:
Take the MRT Dansuei (Red) Line to Jiantan station.
It's a short 5 mins walk from the station.
And this is the road junction to Shilin.

The food section is now located at the basement.
Every store sells pretty much the same food! If you don't know which is the best, do what i did; pick the store with the most people, hahaha, travel tip learnt from the pixie.

A quirky and cute Havaianas store spotted! (:
The designs they carry are quite different from SG and are just slightly cheaper!

My take on Shilin was that it was over hyped. 
(Note that i used was.)
I went there on day one (Tues) and it rained in the afternoon hence it was pretty quiet. Nothing like how it's so packed and crowded like seen in photos. Honestly, i left the place quite disappointed. But after exploring other night markets over the next few days, i felt Shilin is still one of the better night markets around! :)

I also made a second trip down on my 2nd last night, which was also a weekend to see how different i can be on a weekday, i was happy to see it crowded! :)

Like how you'd see in photos. 
Soaking in the atmosphere!

Shilin caters to the food and shopping crowd, where one section is the food/games section, and shopping on the other side. You can find super old school games, which the boyfriend claims brought back memories.
Games like this!
200 NTD for 8 bullets, super expensive!
It's game over in a span of a minute.

I play MJ weekly if possible, that's like my kinda of entertainment, so I was SUPER excited when i saw this okay, hahaha. Don't judge me. Asked the boy how to play and we sat there for a good one hour!

So how you play is to get tiles to get a straight line.
I know it's nothing related to MJ but i still enjoyed it! :p
And can i add i won a huge hello kitty stuffie tooooo? 
I'm no HK fan but i'm mega proud i won a big toy!

And that sums up day one!
Will be back with more updates again! (:

If there's anything you wanna know, you can find me here!


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