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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Taipei Trip Day 1

At about a month ago, Feb 13 in the evening, we were still wandering around Taipei 101 mall and maybe looking for something to eat.  We no longer went up to 88th or 89th floor of the building to get a spectacular view of Taipei since it was rainy at that time and the view from the top is foggy, according to the receptionist.  And so we decided to just hang around Taipei 101 and do some shopping.  Besides, it would be a waste of NT$450 if you will not get to see anything.

Yes, I was in Taiwan last month from Feb 12-16.  I celebrated Valentine's Day with my single girlfriends in Taiwan.  Its not really 5 days since the flight was evening of Feb. 12 and we are expected to arrive at Taiwan at 12am of Feb. 13.  Then our flight back was also evening of Feb. 15 and we are expected to arrive in Manila at 3am of Feb. 16.  This is my first trip for this year.  It is also my first International trip.

Upon arriving in Taipei International Airport, I can already feel that I was in another country. The weather is really cold.  Colder than what I used to when inside an air conditioned room.  I love it.  We were fetch by the van contacted by my friend.  He welcomes us as we aboard his van.  The van was high tech with GPS attached!  It was talking and informing the driver where it is headed.  Well I'm not so sure as the language is Chinese.  My friends had a little chat with the driver as they know some Chinese (both Mandarin and Fookien).  From the airport, it was about 45minutes drive to where we will be staying, King Shi Hotel at Ximending District, the fashion district of Taipei.

 Standard Room at King Shi Hotel

Our driver got a quite hard time in finding our hotel.  Well I wouldn't be surprised since our hotel does not look like a hotel at all.  The hotel only occupies 7th and 8th floor of the building.  The other floors are for other businesses.  We availed 2 standard rooms since we are 5.  I payed at around Php 4,000 for 3 days 3 nights stay to my friend, she did all the bookings for us.  Sorry I can't recall the exact room charge per night :)

Our itinerary for today is Maokong Gondola, Sun Yat Sen and Taipei 101.  Fist destination is the Maokong Gondola.  We need to ride the MRT from Ximen (Tucheng, Banqiao and Nangang Line or simply blue line) to Taipei Zoo (Wenhu or brown line).  We will be transferring trains from Zhongxiao Fuxing on our way to Taipei Zoo.  Their MRT is very high tech.   All are connected so you can reach your destination easily.  We opted to buy chips rather than a card pass.  It is more cheaper.  MRT rates are about NT$25 on the average but it is still dependent on your destination.  Buying chips is quite easy as there are instructions indicated.  Another thing that amazes me is how disciplined their people are.  There are designated waiting line which people strictly follows.  They waited for passengers to come out from MRT before going in. 

Travel time from Ximen to Taipei Zoo is around 30 minutes.  From the MRT, we have to walk about 300 meters to get to Maokong Gondola.  There are paw prints in the sidewalk with some Chinese characters written on it.  Walking down the streets, you can also smell that you are indeed in Taipei Zoo, if you know what I mean :)

Maokong Gondola has 4 stations: Taipei Zoo StationTaipei Zoo South Station, Zhinan Temple Station and Maokong Station.  We skipped the first 3 stations and headed straight to Maokong Station.  It took us about 30 minutes or more. 

From the Maokong Station, there are a lot of tourist spots to be visited.  We just picked out a few.  There is also an information center where you can ask the distance from one point to another.  Bus service are also provided with a fee.  Since we're on a budget, we just walk.  But later we realized, we wished we rode the bus... we wasted some time walking :(  We were there from about 10AM to 5PM.  We ate at 2 different tea houses, visited some temples, went to the tea plantation, walk, walk and walk.  Its very tiring.  But we did enjoy our tea and street food! Yum!  Maokong area has also become real cold when it started to rain.

Of course we tasted their tea. Authentic!
This is very yummy with real fresh fruits!

Big serving of noodles from food court of Taipei 101. I ordered this via turo-turo language

Since we spent the whole day at Maokong Station, we skipped Sun Yat Sen as it closes at around 5PM.  We decided to visit it on our last day.  We went straight to Taipei 101 from our Maokong Gondola trip. We rode again MRT from Taipei Zoo (Wenhu line) to Taipei City Hall (Tucheng, Banqiao, Nangang line).

As mentioned earlier, we no longer went up to see the city skyline of Taipei as it was raining and even the receptionist informed us that there is low visibility of the city due to the fog.  Yes, it was still cold at that time.  The rain added coldness to the city.

So this is how my first day in Taipei went.  Tiring but enjoyable.  I really enjoyed the food and the weather!

Here's my post for Day 2 and Day 3.


  1. just added you sis para ma follow ko new posts mo on your TWN trip ;)

  2. thanks sis! sana nga matapos ko na blog ko!


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