Monday, December 10, 2012

Taiwan backpack trip Day 1

I went on my first backpack trip last December to complete things which I didn't mange to complete in last June. I decided to blog about this trip since my friends need more information about it.

Day 1
I arrived at the airport around 12pm and went to get top up card from 台灣大哥大哥. U would need 2 identification to get the top up card so remember to bring ur IC along. Initial purchase is NT500, value NT500. To have 5D unlimited data, it cost NT350 which will only be deducted on your balance after confirm the selection. This means that you can choose 1D, 3D or 5D respectively. Just nice that my backpack trip is 5 days so I choose the 5 days plan. If u are bring money to exchange at taiwan, it is better to do in airport as it would be hard to find money exchanger in the city. The rate of money exchanger at airport is also comparable to The Acrade at raffle place.

After that, I took bus service 1819 to taipei main station since my hostel is just beside it. There are also other bus services catering to different places. U can go to this website to find out the route and timing.
Taipei 101 is so tall that I can even see it from taoyuan city.
My hostel is 你好@台北 which was recommended by my friend. It is just near to subway located near M3 exit. It is just next to taipei main station underground shopping mall so u can really shop at night :) It is so big that u can take at least 30 minutes just to walk from one end to another end without shopping. There are also a lot taiwan snack store nearby for u to grab a bite. As I arrive around 1pm which is pretty early and the check in timing is 4pm, I decided to put my luggage and went out to have my lunch. The first stop I went is Long shan temple.

Long Shan temple
How to go there: Take train to Long Shan temple station and alight. It is just located outside the underpass.

Longshan Temple is a famous old temple in Taiwan for worshiping Guanshiyin Budda and other divine spirits. Everyone like to come here and pray hoping their wishes will come true. The temple has a lot nice sculpture, Chinese poems, verses and lyrics on signs. There are also many traditional streets/shops, antique shops, Buddhists article shops, and Chinese medicine shops surrounding the temple for u to sightseeing. It is worth visiting in the morning especially when the shops in taipei don't open that early in the morning. After temple, I went back to hostel to check in.

你好@台北 hostel
I forget to take photo for this hostel but I guarantee the staffs are really nice and helpful. At main lobby, there is a lot leaflets and guides book which can help u in planning your trip and staffs are willing to help u. We are given a card to access our own room and a watch-like key to open your locker. It is really cool as u can wear it and don't need to worry about key getting lost. I am stay in 6 people bunk where everyone has their own bed with curtain, lamp and power point. It really gives us privacy while we are sleeping. The shared toilet is damn clean unlike other hostels I stayed before. The standard of toilet is comparable to hotel standard. There is also water cooler and hair dryer provided so u wont need to bring anything.
From the photo, you can see why it is good :)

shida night market 師大路夜市
How to go there: Take the Red/Green Line to Taipower Building Station . After leaving Exit 3, make a right turn, then make another quick right to reach Shi-Da Road. The market is located along both Shi-Da road and in the alleys off both sides. It can be quite confusing so just ask people along the way. They are really friendly and helpful.

After checking in, I decided to go shida night market. Although it has shrinks in size compared to the past, they still offer quite a lot taiwan snacks and large selection of cheap clothes from stylish boutiques. It is quite popular among the students in taiwan as it is really affordable. When I arrived at night market, it was really crowded with a lot students.
When I arrived at night market, it was really crowded with a lot students. *sorry for the bad photo as I was walking while taking it.

When u come to taiwan, one of most popular drink: MILK TEA!!! Haha I drink milk tea everyday whenever I go taiwan. It is really cheap. This time I ordered "panda bang milk" which only cost 30NT less than 2SGD. It is really yummy and similar to koi standard.

Remember to try the waffle which is quite unique. I ordered chocolate waffle which is quite delicious and crispy. What make this waffle different from other is the mixture. If u ordered chocolate waffle in Singapore, they would apply the chocolate sauce on top. However, this store incorporate the chocolate sauce into waffle.

There are a lot other popular taiwan snacks store along the night market which u can slowly explore and try out. Taiwanese are also crazy over Korean food as there is long Q outside the Korean store. As for fashion clothing, most of the stores are for female :( Walking around the whole night market would take around 1 to 1.5hours

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