Hong Kong and Taiwan Take 2: Taipei Day 1

After falling in love with Taiwan in 2012, I decided to head back for my biennial Asia Trip.

Hong Kong and Taiwan Take 2: Planning
Hong Kong and Taiwan Take 2: LAX to SFO
Hong Kong and Taiwan Take 2: San Francisco
Hong Kong and Taiwan Take 2: Cathay Pacific Lounge at SFO
Hong Kong and Taiwan Take 2: SFO to HKG
Hong Kong and Taiwan Take 2: HKG to TPE

I don’t know if I choose a bad day to fly into Taipei but immigration (passport control) took forever! Almost an hour hour in line! I didn’t remember immigration taking this long the last time I was in Taipei but the passenger in front of me mentioned something the immigration moving to a new section in the airport or something like that. After passing through immigration, I trekked over to baggage claim with slow steps. A part of me was doubtful my luggage would make it but a part of me was also optimistic that it did make it.

When I got to the baggage carousel, I couldn’t believe my eyes… my checked luggage made it! (I was really surprise our bags were still on the carousel given immigration took so long). Woo-hoo! After I passed Customs, I immediately headed out to buy a prepaid sim card. I purchased the 10 days of unlimited data for NT$500 (about $16 USD) from Taiwan Mobile. After that, I was on my way to purchase a bus ticket to take the bus to the High Speed Rail station. The ride from the airport to the High Speed Rail station took about 20 minutes and it only costs NT$30 (about $1 USD). The bus ride was uneventful, I was on my phone messaging people that I had arrived safely in Taipei.

Once we arrived at the Taoyuan Station, I walked in and purchased a ticket for the next train to Taipei. You can of course pre-purchase the tickets online for a discount up to 35% or you can also purchase the tickets using the kiosks. I didn’t pre-purchase because I wasn’t 100% sure what time I would get to the station. I mean, immigration took forever after I landed so I didn’t want to take that chance. With that said, the ticket was quite cheap, only NT$150 (about $4.70 USD). There is a business class NT$350 (about $11 USD) but I couldn’t justify spending $11 on a 23 minute ride.

For the Taipei portion of my trip, I booked 4 nights at the Y Hotel Taipei . I really love this hotel because of its proximity to Taipei Main Station. Of course when I arrived at the hotel, it wasn’t time to check-in yet so the front desk staff said I could store my luggage with them and I could go out to explore. I sent a quick message to Kathy and within 15 minutes, we were off to grab lunch.

Of course being in Taiwan, what did we crave? Dumplings! We found this little shop near my hotel that looked really good so we went in and ordered a bunch of dumplings.

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All this for less than $5 USD!

After eating, we bid each other goodbye and I headed back to my hotel for a quick nap before heading out later in that afternoon.

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Taipei 101 as I head back to my hotel.

After my afternoon of pampering, I literally went back to my hotel and knocked out.

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