Sunday, November 14, 2010

2009 Oct: Taiwan: Day 1: Arrival at Taoyuan Airport

Travel Date: October 19, 2009

After 7 months of preparation, my departure date finally came. I’m in NAIA Terminal 3, three hours before my flight schedule. I was the 3rd person who get into the plane (not that excited, huh!)


Have yourself a mask, just in case you wanted to use it because a lot of people are using it too in Taipei in general.


The plane arrived almost 20 minutes before the schedule time. After passing through the Immigration and the GREEN lane for the Customs (since I have nothing to declare), I have found my exit to roam around the airport. Sad, but there is nothing to see in Taiwan Taoyuan Airport Terminal 1 (unlike Terminal 2).







































T1 Flying flash picture.









Find your way to the Tourist Service Counter (located on your right side as you exit from Customs) to apply for the Youth Travel Card (http://www.youthtravel.tw/ke/ytCard/en/index.html). This is a discount pass open to 15-30 years old tourists. You can use this in Miramar Ferris Wheel, Museums and Restaurants. Just present your passport upon application.

I also exchange few bucks in the airport to be used on buying bus tickets and paying in the hostel upon check-in.



On the opposite side, you will see the Express Buses counter. Since my hostel is located near Taipei Main Station, I’ll be taking Kuo-Kuang Bus. I bought a one-way ticket to Taipei (Bus #61) for 125NT.

The driver will mark your baggage before he help you placed it at the bus trunk. After almost an hour, we reached the East Gate of Taipei Railway Station. You need to return to the driver your baggage number before you can get your stuff. After getting back my sense of direction, I was able to locate Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Mall, which is already near my hostel.


I booked at City Inn Hotel (http://www.gocityinn.com/). Confusing at first, is it an inn or a hotel? It is officially considered as Hostel, but I must say with a Hotel service. I reached the place before 3pm, I showed the email transaction I have with them. Then, they let me pay for the remaining nights that I’ll stay and requested me to return at 3pm which is their check-in time.


I’m really hoping, I’ll get the room with those beautiful paintings same as the one posted in their site, but I failed. Even though, I still get the room with glass windows and a non-smoking floor - mine was Room 501. The room is well lighted, sheets are clean and the bed is soft. They have tea making facilities, free coffee and tea sachets everyday. The bathroom area is medium sized, with toiletries (comb, shower cap, razor, cleaning set, toothbrush and toothpaste) and body and hand towels. The room has LCD tv (with CNN, only english channel) and emergency exit information. They also offer to clean your room and change your used towels everyday.


This is really a good room for solo travelers, why solo? The bathroom has no lock and has also a glass wall. So if you have other roommate, she/he may need to step out first before you do your thing.


Another, comment I have is that my room does not have a cabinet. Aside from that, I have no other issues. My room is just next to the elevator and the stairs. The reception is so friendly, as in all of them (3) will stand together when I get in or go out of the lobby, and they will stay standing not unless I leave the place (is it a local custom?). They even called me out at my room, when they noticed one time that I wanted to use the pc, but someone is still using it. Speaking of pc, I was able to use their free internet service at the lobby without issues. They can communicate in English as well. When I get a chance to return to Taipei, I’ll definitely stay here again.


After resting for a few minutes, I started my Taipei Adventure. First destination, to visit a Catholic Church. I was able to find Saint John Bosco Parish near Zhongshan Junior High School Station. On the way to the church, you’ll pass by The Sherwood Hotel (which was used in Wish to See You Again: http://www.mysoju.com/wish-to-see-you-again/episode-1/part-3/).


Next, I took Neihu train going to Miramar Mall (Why Why Love scenes were taken here: http://www.mysoju.com/why-why-love/episode-1/part-1/ ). I had a quirky trip at the Ferris Wheel.


Then I returned to Taipei Main Station to have dinner with my friend.


Summary of 7 days 6 nights Itinerary on 2009 Taiwan Trip


Day
Places to see
Food and Restaurants
Where to Sleep
Day 1
St. John Bosco Church
Miramar (Ferris Wheel)

Day 2
National Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
NTUniversity
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Taipei 101
 Lunch @ Mr. J Restaurant
City Inn Hotel
Day 3
Dinner @ Modern Toilet
City Inn Hotel
Day 4

City Inn Hotel
Day 5
Walking on Tianmu Area
Fisherman’s Walking Area
City Inn Hotel
Day 6
National Palace Museum
Taipei Story Land
City Inn Hotel
Day 7
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Taiwan Storyland

City Inn Hotel