Monday, January 28, 2013

TRAVEL: Pre-Taiwan (Part II)

Here's Part II, where it's all about hotel booking and some websites I found. (:

M and I decided to spend our entire trip in Taipei because we didn't want to lug our luggage around. For Dor and her friends, they traveled around Taiwan and stayed in various homestay inns民宿. These inns usually have websites. To make a reservation, all you have to do is to email them directly. Dor mentioned that she paid S$20 per day, if I remembered it right (I'll check with her again!).

Anyway, we booked our hotel accommodation via Agoda because that was where Audrey booked hers. And it's really easy to navigate the website. First, you key in details of your stay.

Second, pick the area of Taiwan that you will be staying in.

And you get a long list of hotels, along with their ratings, that are available. You can also filter your search with the checklist on the right. (: Little boxes will also appear from the bottom on the right to tell you which room was booked ___(insert number)___ minutes ago.

We picked the Star Beauty Resort. Located in the Shilin士林 District, it is a 5-minute walk from the Taipei Metro Jiantan劍潭 Station. Around the hotel, you have (I'm just listing the more important ones!):

A huge fruit store (With the SWEETEST fruits.),
Bank of Taiwan (Which allows the conversion of Singapore dollars to New Taiwan dollars.),
Family Mart,
7-Eleven and

And right on one side of the station is Shilin Night Market士林夜市! How conveninent! For me, this was the best night market and we visited it on 5 nights (Out of 10.)! We would go back to the hotel around 9pm, deposit ourmy loots and then, head down to the night market for a walk and well, supper! Haha. Explains the weight gain, huh? Haha. Photos will be published in the next few entries (Have yet to edit them. Heh.)! :D

Lilin and Jessica stayed in CityInn Hotel when they were there. This hotel is located near the Taipei Main Station, which is where all the train lines in Taiwan meet; Taiwan High Speed Rail (Bullet train.), Taiwan Railway and Taipei Metro. It is a really convenient place too, where travelling is concerned. It is also near the location where the Airport Bus drops passengers (Click here for the schedule and fare (M and I took the cab to our hotel instead.).

Anyway, here are the websites which I thought were really helpful:

Taiwan Railway Administration:
This website allows you to check the railway schedule for Express and Ordinary trains to the different parts of Taiwan. You can book your tickets here using credit cards. Alternatively, you can purchase the tickets from the machines at the railway stations.

How to Book (Railway) Train Tickets:
This author wrote a really detailed description on how to book railway tickets online. He has also penned down his 8-day Taiwan trip in 2009.

Tourist Kitty:
This author provided tons of tips on travelling in Taiwan! Do click on her Taiwan label to check out the places she visited. It was a joy reading her blog. (:

Hardwarezone Forums: Prepaid 3G Data Sim Card:
Hardwarezone is a rich source of information for tons of stuff! People there are really helpful. In this thread, they gave information about the prepaid phone cards you can purchase in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

For iPhone users who are going to be in Taipei, you can download the Taipei Metro (MRT) and Taipei Street Map Offline apps.

I hope these 2 entries have been helpful. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment, drop me an email or tweet me! Will start blogging about our trip later in the day (Or maybe on Tuesday!). Goodnight! (:

P.S.: We changed money at The Arcade in Raffles Place at 23.3808. Do shop around for money exchangers on the 2nd floor!


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