A March 1989 trip
to Taipei by panda2
Quote: Taipei is highly industrialized. The people are very nice and hardworking. It is much easier getting around Taipei now that the MRT is operational.
I ordered myself a "Chop", a signature stamp carved in stone or plastic. I guess tusk may be unavailable. I got the characters right, except the type-style was wrong. I was trying to order this with my very limited Cantonese where Mandarin is the spoken standard. Still, I was amazed that I did the transaction fairly well. The local food is generally very good and healthy, much better than the fast foods. Look for food vendors having disposable paper trays and food on steam tables or on display. These places charge either by the items on the plate or by weight. You can at least see what you're choosing to eat. I avoided these places at first, but once I understood their system, it was pretty easy and good.
The eating out at local places is very reasonable, but look for places a lot of people go to--the food turns over quickly, and it's a sign the people there like it.
It's almost overwhelming with loving kindness from their hearts. But its climate is generally too hot for my comfort except during their coolest months.
They now have a subway system which, when I was last there, was a series of large, open trenches in the streets, as it was still under construction. MRT subway works quite well. The MRT Main Taipei Station is overwhelming, whether it's crowded or not, with its breath and depth. Don't bother with the day pass, as you have to go to the designated gate agent for entry and exit, which defeats the purpose of convenience. Buses work pretty well. Walking is also acceptable, but be on guard all the time for obstacles. Ask for help getting around whenever possible, and always be polite if possible.Train travel is very common and recommended if you can figure out the timetable and schedules all in Chinese, doable by matching its destination with a Taiwan map in both Chinese and English. Trains run promptly on time.
My impression of my room was that it was very dark, though I'm not sure if it was furnished with dark wood or if there was simply not enough light. The other thing was the humidity -- I constantly felt sweaty, no matter if I was in the hotel or somewhere else.
The convenient location of the hotel meant that it was fairly easy to get to other places.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 29, 2003
26, Hsi Ning South Road
+886 2 3141181
The problem is not being familiar with where the hotel is. The taxi driver asking if you have been here before should be an alarm that they'll be taking you for a ride and rack up the meter or negotiate a fare that's unreasonably high. When that happened to us, my partner pulled out his pen and wrote down the taxi's license number, which is mandatory, boldly and clearly legible on the rear window. The driver saw that, pulled over, and took the pen and pad of paper with the information.We stayed here in the past, once while they were remodelling, and another time after they finished remodelling but then boosted their prices, so we checked out to a cheaper place. We stopped by to check their rates and found they were "discounting" their higher rates and discovered we could afford to stay here again.Their restaurant in the hotel serves a traditional Chinese breakfast with a pleasing visual display of jook (aka Chinese poridge or congee,) with several tiny bowls of condiments to add to enhance its taste, depending on your preferences, while overlooking the very familiar street traffic that's instantly identifiable as Taipei's with its Chinese drivers on motor scooters.The staff had only a two digit number lapel pin to identify the employee by, no name tags.Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 24, 2004
41 Kang Ting Road
The hotel has eight floors with 77-rooms. The lobby has no visitor lobby seating. By the floor map, rooms ending in 09 and 12 seem to be the larger rooms. Our room came with a double and a twin bed, able to accommodate three adults. There were stains on the wall, a mini-fridge, TV, piped canned music available. There's a metal assembly bolted to the floor next to the sofa. This turned out not to be a fire escape but rather a hoist guessing for moving large heavy objects too big for the stairs or elevator. This place had seen better days. The beds are too firm, and I couldn't sleep very comfortably. We saw a smaller room done in Japanese-style.There are lots of nearby activities available without having to leave the immediate area, and next to the entrance a Nova computer arcade which is the place to buy computer stuff. Lots of local food vendors and even a McDonald's nearby if you prefer that, else there's no need, as the Chinese food is great. This is an excellent central location to be based out of.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 5, 2004
1 Hwaining Street
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 22, 2004
Yun Hsien Resort
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 24, 2004
45 Chungsiao W Road Sec 1
Most of the dishes we ordered were already prepared. The fried rice, fish ball soup, vegetable dish, and a couple of drinks were served quickly and prices were very reasonable. There are plenty of nearby common tables, which are shared by all the restaurants.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 25, 2004
Taipei Main Train Station, 2nd floor
There is a salad bar included in your entrée selection, unless you want only the salad bar, which may be the best deal. The entrée came after a long while and wasn't all that great, and it was accompanied by a very small, unripened cherry tomato. The salad bar is a pretty good deal. It includes such items as spaghetti, fresh fruits like watermelon, oranges, ice cream, coffee, tea, and artificial grass juice. You definitely shouldn't go away hungry. I recommend only the salad bar selection. Skip any entrée.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 26, 2004
2F, NO. 28, Sec. 2 Hsinkuang Road
Attraction | "228 Peace Park (New Park)"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 14, 2004
228 Peace Park
Taiwan Provincial Museum
Phone: +886.02.23587706, Fax: +886.02.23587701Email email@example.com
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 14, 2004
2F, No. 7 Sec. 2, Chinshan S Rd.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 22, 2004
2/F No.142 Kun-Ming St/Cheng-Du Rd
Attraction | "Babylon Sauna"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 22, 2004
B1, No. 20 Lane 353, Linsen North Road
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 22, 2004
Imperial Palace Sauna
20, Hsi Ning South Road
Phone: +886.02.2331.4578, Fax: +886.02.2371.1032
78 Chunghsiao Rd.
Attraction | "Lantern Festival"
Shang Yuan (Lantern Festival)
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
+886 2 2349 1635 (To
You are greeted by uniformed staff member who takes your ticket and guides you to your elevator car. The ride is brief, about 30 seconds, but the wait for the elevator is much longer. An automated announcement is made in both Mandarin and English, but it sounds a little garbled and unclear.You step out and see the city's outline through a haze of pollution; the view may look better at twilight. There are few people up on the observatory floor. I think it's good to go one time just to see it, but I don't think I would bother with this again, and I personally think you can spend your money better elsewhere. If you didn't plan in advance and purchase a cappuccino from McDonald's before coming into the elevator, there's an overpriced café, a tea shop, a snack shop with ice cream and stale popcorn, a souvenir shop, and a cultural display.Hours: 11am to 10pmPhone: +886.02.2388.6132, Fax: +886.02.2375.8902Email
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 24, 2004
Shin Kong Life Tower Building
Attraction | "Cupid (Ming Fan)"
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 25, 2004
56, Lane 346, Guang Fu South Road
+886 (0)2 2731 0300
Hours: 9am to 5pmPhone: +886.02.2881.2021Fax: +886.02.2882.1440
National Palace Museum
221 Chih-shan Rd. Sec 2
It just so happens that the back entrance of this business center is next door to Keyman's hotel.We went looking for a SIM card for our mobile phones. The price we found it for is the fixed standard price. But as we were shopping, comparing, we came across one vendor that wanted to charge more than the standard rate. The SIM card is common enough that even the 7-11 convenience stores will sell you one for the same price. But they won't fill out your paperwork or fax it in for you, as the vendor we ended up buying the SIM cards from did for us. The SIM card is good for up to 6 months from the last use, then it becomes deactivated.
Another item we went looking for was an extra battery for a laptop. We didn't find anyone who had this particular brand in stock, as it had to be ordered and would take a several days. I can understand that the vendors don't want to have the kind of items that aren’t big sellers.
Another item was a 512mb xD memory card; either the merchants didn't carry it or the price was more than what I was willing to pay. I'd check the price on Ebay for this item and bought it off Ebay after returning from this trip.We bought a PCMCIA wifi 802.11b card from a vendor occupying the basement or lower level. They were kind enough to handle our transaction after their official closing time, install the card and its driver, and test it to see that it worked before we purchased it. Now that's service, and with a smile.
I completely forgot about looking for a cable Prolific offers that allows file transfers between two computers at the higher speed USB 2.0. I had bought their earlier PC-Linq USB 1.1 version and liked its software interface.It was fun to look at this place, but it's even more useful when you have something in particular to shop for.Monday to Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday 10:30am to 10:30pm, Sunday and holidays 10:30am to 9:30pmPhone: +886.02.2381.4833
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 29, 2004
2 GuanQian Rd.
After paying the admittance fee, remove your shoes and descend one floor to the locker area to store your belongings. You're issued a set of towels on a tray. There's a sliding glass door to the shower and the communal pools. There are separate entrances and pools for men and women. Shower first to clean the skin and hair prior to entering the pools.There are several pools; the largest pool has hot water, and two smaller pools have warm water (one with water jets and one with spouts from above, which provides a wonderful, vigorous, relaxing water massage on your head, shoulders, and body if you're under one of the four large spouts). I didn't try another pool. The water didn't smell of any minerals.There's no limit to how long you may stay. However, check with the clerk about when the last bus leaves Wulai -it's sometime after 9pm; otherwise, you may check-in for a room for the night.These types of hot springs are quite common all over Taiwan, and some have minerals. This is particularly nice. Though not really a luxury, I think of it being a luxury to treat yourself to this.It's a long bus ride to this place, but I'd consider returning. It's quite nice and very relaxing. The Wulai bus will take you to the nearest MRT station from the resort (about 40 minutes), or ride it back to the Taipei Main Train Station, be prepared to stand on the bus most if not all the way.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 22, 2004
Shiau Chuan Yuan
There’s a coin changer. Laundry supplies are available for purchase from the vending machines, with scissors for cutting open the packaging. There's a small basin to rinse your hands and a small counter provided for folding your laundry if it isn't being used. There are front-loading washers and dryers. The washers do an excellent job of extracting the water out of the clothes at the end of the cycle.A business that lets you do your own laundry is a rare find, and there's a fast food restaurant very close by, so you can eat while doing your laundry (the restaurant closes at 8pm).Phone: 0952-76-3132.
We purchased a day pass for NT$150, but this is not recommended. We had to show the pass at a designated gate for entry and exit, which is less convenient than buying a regular ticket and using any available fare gate.
You purchase the regular fare ticket by first looking at the start and end destinations to determine your fare, then selecting how many ticket(s) to dispense, depositing your money, and taking your ticket(s). The MRT helps getting around Taipei. It’s easier, cheaper, and cleaner.
Address: 7, Lane 48, Sec.2, Zhongshan N Rd., Taipei, TW
Phone: 0800-033-068, Fax: 2511-5003
Ground transportation offers buses and taxis. Bus service has destinations that include Taipei, Taichung, Banciao, Taoyuan, and Jhongli. Taxis operating out of the airport have been screened and approved by the Aviation Police Bureau.
After exiting customs, get cash from an ATM and follow the crowd to the bus booths selling tickets. We chose Taipei Main Railway station (the last bus stop), which is for us idiots who don't know. Our hotel was right nearby. There are a string of taxis we hopped aboard for all of a 2-minute ride after the driver called on his mobile phone to find out where it was and even pointed it out to us.