July 22, 2002
All the rooms have heat and air-conditioning, TV, and en-suite bath, and breakfast is included. The hotel faxed me a price list of their room rates, which are all very affordable. The lowest rate is for a basic room with "no windows". I was going to choose this room, which would have probably been like a glorified closet. My co-worker heard about this and ridiculed me for choosing such a low-scale room type, so I then decided to book myself a single room "with window" for about eight dollars more per night. It is good to have a window in your room, is it not?
My room "with window" was basic but decent enough. The one window was a small one on the wall next to my single, firm twin bed. The window was high, so I had to kneel or stand on my bed to actually look out of the window. Once I did so, the view was of some apartment building back porch, with laundry strung on a clothesline. Well, it is always nice to have some daylight and ventilation. The small television set had a decent number of stations to choose from, above a small empty mini-fridge. The bathroom had a tub and hand-held shower head, but no shower curtain. The hotel did have a decent amount of toiletries. It seems that even the simplest Asian hotels like the Chair Man supply you with complimentary toothbrush, toothpaste, disposable razor, comb, along with packs of liquid soap and shampoo.
When you check in at the front desk, the clerk will hand you a breakfast coupon good for each night of your stay. The complimentary breakfast buffet is very Taiwanese, featuring goopy rice porridge, and sides like green beans, rice, tofu, and peanuts. You can also get "western" selections like cereal, toast and jam, and tea and juice too. There is a rack of newspapers for guests, and I was always happy to find a copy of the Taipei Times, the only one on the rack that was in English and not in Chinese.
The front desk clerk can also arrange tours for you. I booked an all-day trip to Taroko Gorge with the helpful clerk, who called a local travel agency for me at no extra charge. You can pay for your stay one night at a time or in one lump sum.
From journal Bill in Taiwan - TAIPEI