Taiwan 2014: #LetsGoCrayAtTaipei

14 Dec

They say that Taiwan is a boring country that could easily be done and over with in a weekend.

Taipei Skyline (from Tumblr)

I am guilty to be one of those people who thought the same. I thought that  Taiwan was just another bustling metropolis that wouldn’t have much to offer except for milk tea and night market shopping, both of which could be easily be found here in Manila. With low expectations, I was convinced by M to go ahead and book a flight to Taipei for an early birthday celebration.

And so, I was to #GoCrayAtTaipei….

My Companions: My Girl friend & Family

It would be almost two years since I’ve been single, but with all honestly, I am anything but because of my “girlfriend”. My girl friend, M, has been my support system through thick or thin, steady or crazy, even in times of work or fun. We’ve traveled together in several local trips and attempted to travel abroad together, this was the first time that our out of the country trip pushed through.  The Taipei trip was originally M’s family trip, with only a bit of convincing that M needed someone to have long walks with, I bought a ticket claiming that it was my “birthday gift to myself”. No regrets as the trip was definitely worth it.

Our Place: Xinyi

The Location

Thanks to airbnb, we booked an apartment strategically located near Taipei 101 and was in between the red and blue MRT lines. What I liked most about our location was that it was a quiet and a bit upscale residential area. The apartment had security monitoring 24 hours while the streets were less busy and filled with joggers or babies during their playtime.  Until now, I still do not know the name of the apartment we stayed at. At the immigration, I simply showed the officer the Taiwanese address and he wrote it down for me on my form. (I guess this happens often among its visitors.)

Getting There

YongChun Station (photo from wikimedia commons)

The host will request you to notify him your arrival details. If you will not avail of his airport service, he will arrange a meet-up at YongChung Station (Blue Line). He will accompany you to his residential unit because the condominium does not allow leasing to outsiders. When you arrive, he will tell the lobby that you are one of his friends and you will be staying there during your vacation.

We availed of the airport service. Despite being delayed for almost 5 hours, we were pleasantly surprised to our driver and a relatively new Volkswagen Caravelle to transport us to the city.

House Rules

Besides the usual policy on keeping down your noise and no stealing of their belongings (linen or towels), this apartment does not allow smoking nor pets. Also note that they only provide cleaning supplies for one-time use.

The Unit

The unit was new and clean with ample space for 6 individuals.  In the first floor, you will find a laundry area, a kitchen area, a bathroom, a small sala with TV and an area that has been converted into a bedroom. You can enclose the sala and bedroom area with a curtain. On the second floor, you will find a bathroom, a bedroom with a sliding door and a small sala that has a folding sala bed.  Upon confirmation, he will share with you his WiFi password and his unit’s lock code.

Rate

For 4 days and 3 nights, the unit was 370 Euros or PHP 20,100.

For a group of six, that’s PHP 1,120 per night per head.

How to contact A&E:

  • A&E Yh
  • +886 909040777
  • Unfortunately, when I tried to look for the posting on airbnb, I could no longer find the listing of the apartment. However, A&E Yh has numerous apartments for lease and I was to able to find another one of theirs closest to what we rented. Find it here.

The #LetsGoCrayInTaipei Adventure Begins

I can’t really put on a finger on what I love about Taiwan best. It may be its very good urban planning wherein visiting tourist spots are easily accessibly by public transportation. It may be its high-tech technology such as free Public WiFi nationwide. It may be its people who were refreshingly so laid back, chill and polite. No pushing in MRTs and people were willing to understand your query despite the language barrier. Or, it may be the literal walking food tour experience that just about in every step, there is a yummy looking delicacy that you have to try out.

It’s been a couple of months since my visit and everything is still fresh. Join me as I track back our #LetsGoCrayAtTaipei series in the following blog posts………

We missed out on a lot of other places due to weather conditions and time restrictions. Given this, Taiwan would definitely be one of those countries that I cannot wait to visit again! ❤

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