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Old 26-01-2005, 12:14 AM   #496
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cool man...
thanx for the pics lpkor...
haha anione else got photo of other hotels to share???
haha... yah... me interested to see other people's hotel exp...
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Old 26-01-2005, 10:26 AM   #497
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Just returned from my trip last night. Prior to travelling, I have benefitted immensely from the information provided by members here. I thought I should continue the goodwill and so I'm doing a Just Back Report (JBR). Hopefully some people may find it useful. And anyway, it is a pleasure to share.

I arrived on 31 Dec to a very cold Taipei evening. Ordinarily, Taipei winter is cool, but not cold. But there was a cold wave sweeping Taiwan for the next 3 days, with temperatures dipping to 5C in Taipei and it even snowed on Yangming Mountain, which is a rare occurence even for the locals. Those travelling now, should always bring an umbrella and sufficient warm clothings.

I stayed at the Keyman's Hotel, a recommendation by Naomi9112. No regrets. Excellent location, the airport bus station is just right across the road, and so are the railway station and MRT station. Plenty of shops around and lots and lots of eateries from local fares to international fast food joints, all around it. They charged me NT1660 per night.

Spent a night at Hualian minsu, this one recommended by Beyondgal. Again, no regrets. The hosts are a very hospitable couple. I think for them is more about hosting guests than making money. Not much to see around the house, but within walking distance away is a spectacular seaside. It has a coastal bike track that stretches I think 8km, offering spectacular costal views. I used the bike they provided and cycled to & fro much to the astonishment my hosts who had earlier warned me not many of their guests can cover that distance. The package also offered a near fully-day tour of Taroko Gorge which is a "must see" if you go hualian. To me, it should be one of the seven wonders. Very cold when I was there.

Also, spent a night at a jiufen minsu, recommended by a taiwanese friend. But while the property offers a stunning view of the moutains and sea, I was let down by the service. It is not minsu at all, I would call it a small hotel. I was left alone there for the night, no owner, no staff, no guests. Just me and one big property on a cold and stormy winter night that rained all night. But jiufen's misty moutains and the old streets are really romantic. Like it a lot. From there, I took a bus to Keelung's Miao Kou night market, very different from shilin, well organised, lively but not too crowded.

Also, visited Danshui's Fisherman's Wharf and the night market next the MRT station. I somehow didn't like Shilin night market because it was too crowded.

I took a day tour from a tour agency that covers keelung, Yeliu and jiufen where they dropped me off there to spent the night. Next day, it was easy taking the bus to ruifang and then the train back to taipei. I also bought my own train tix to & from hualian.

I've skipped the shopping centres, ximending, and the historical or cultural monuments. My main priority is sightseeing the natural beauty of taiwan. I managed to find time to go Yangming Moutain on my last day, and didn't regret it. The maple leaves were in shades of green, yellow, orange & red, not a lot of them, but enough cos I've never seen autumn colors before. The peach flowers and plum flowers too were just beginning to bloom.

Overall, despite the cold and rainy weather, I've thoroughly enjoyed my trip and am thinking of going back soon. And oh, yes, tried lots and lots of local food. Maybe I'm just lucky, but almost everything I ate, tasted real good. The street hawker food quality seem to be very high. And no problem on the stomach too.

Any question, just ask. Hope I can help other's Taiwan trip enjoyable too.



Hi, i am interested to go hualian first before going to taipei too. How do u get to hualian from taipei airport? And how to arrange with the minsu ah? Thanks
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Old 26-01-2005, 12:28 PM   #498
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Hi, i am interested to go hualian first before going to taipei too. How do u get to hualian from taipei airport? And how to arrange with the minsu ah? Thanks

Not sure how to go from taipei airport to hualian direct. But I took the train from taipei railway station, so I guess you have to travel from airport to the train station first, about 1 hour's ride and I think NT120 bus fare. Train to hualian is about 3 hours but can't remember price.

The hualian minsu contact is given by Beyondgal in one of the posts in this thread.

When are you going? If during chinese new year, then I'm sure train tix and minsu lodging hard to book now.
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Old 26-01-2005, 02:05 PM   #499
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Not sure how to go from taipei airport to hualian direct. But I took the train from taipei railway station, so I guess you have to travel from airport to the train station first, about 1 hour's ride and I think NT120 bus fare. Train to hualian is about 3 hours but can't remember price.

The hualian minsu contact is given by Beyondgal in one of the posts in this thread.

When are you going? If during chinese new year, then I'm sure train tix and minsu lodging hard to book now.

u can get to hualien from taipei airport direct by taking domestic flight.. but guess u haf to look up on the air ticket...
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Old 26-01-2005, 09:07 PM   #500
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hualian

Hm... think i will take train, guess it will be alot cheaper than domestic flight.... going in april... other than hualian which other rural areas do u guys recommand
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Old 26-01-2005, 10:56 PM   #501
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more questions

Anyway, a few more questions (sorry for the trouble, i am currently planning the details for the trip)

1. I am going to take jetstar asia, which will reach taipei at ard 1730, after that where shun i go first? Shun i go check into a hotel at taipei first or shun i travel directly from airport to railway station to Hualian??? However i realise that the timing will be weird if i travel to hualian direct. Anyone has a better plan for me???

2. If i decided to stay at taipei hotel all the way, am i able to travel to and fro to hualian and enjoy the place within a single day? I heard hotel provide one day tour to hualian... anyone has any idea how much it cost???

3. What is the arrival time if i take China Air? Issit better or worst than Garuda Air? ( btw, garuda air has become my benchmark for screwed up airline)


Thats for now, thanks everyone in this forum in advance.
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Old 26-01-2005, 11:15 PM   #502
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if im not wrong, calling directly to taiwan and book with the hotel will be cheaper right???
how much u all spent on the to call taiwan ah???
Actually you can book online. I booked my hotels online.

I just got back from Taiwan and stayed at Rainbow Hotel. It's 1580NT for twin, with B/f. Location is fantastic! right in Ximending. The room is good too, clean and not so old. Stayed at Guoguang hotel for first 2 nights also. It's not as good as Rainbow, but for that price, it's still alright.
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Old 26-01-2005, 11:31 PM   #503
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cool man...
thanx for the pics lpkor...
haha anione else got photo of other hotels to share???
I just got back today... will post the photos of rainbow hotel later.. no washroom photo though..
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Old 26-01-2005, 11:37 PM   #504
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Not sure how to go from taipei airport to hualian direct. But I took the train from taipei railway station, so I guess you have to travel from airport to the train station first, about 1 hour's ride and I think NT120 bus fare. Train to hualian is about 3 hours but can't remember price.

The hualian minsu contact is given by Beyondgal in one of the posts in this thread.

When are you going? If during chinese new year, then I'm sure train tix and minsu lodging hard to book now.
Actually alot of choices on bus from airport. I took the GuoGuang Bus (120NT) to Taipei Train Station from Airport. On the way back, I took another airport bus, at 160NT, and it picks us up from the hotel rather than having to go to Taipei Main Station, saves trouble.. esp if you got alot of luggage. Cos their Lift in the station not very convenient.

Ticket is about 400 NT, called 自强号. the fastest one to Hualien.

Will be good to get your tix in advance. I remember seeing that they have internet reservations.. I wanted to go Hualien on Sun initially, but couldn't get return tickets.. I managed to bring a train schedule back.. will scan when I got time...

Last edited by joanlee; 27-01-2005 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 27-01-2005, 09:46 AM   #505
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hee...
hope to see the pics soon...
btw can gimme the website which u booked rainbow hotel online???
cuz i've been searching arnd but the cheapest price online is USD60.

thank you!!!
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Old 27-01-2005, 07:53 PM   #506
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Hm... think i will take train, guess it will be alot cheaper than domestic flight.... going in april... other than hualian which other rural areas do u guys recommand
if u going to hualian, can try visiting taroko gorge.. very scenic.. but will be troublesome to travel around the place if u are not driving or not with a tour..
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Old 27-01-2005, 08:20 PM   #507
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if u going to hualian, can try visiting taroko gorge.. very scenic.. but will be troublesome to travel around the place if u are not driving or not with a tour..
Yup! Taroko Gorge is really pretty!! There's a half day tour which is 500NT which you can take. It starts at 10.30, end at 4.30. Brings you to the various sites in Taroko Gorge.

You can take the tour coach at the train station (Bus with "Tour Taiwan" on it), just go ask the Visitor Center, they will tell you where to board. You pay the driver(cum guide). It includes transport and tour. Food is not included, but they give you like an hour to eat your lunch and can arrange for you for a meal with a hotel and cafeteria. Else you can buy your own food if you wanna save money.

Would recommend this than taking cab on your own. You will be hound by taxi drivers when you come out of the train station... be Firm.

Last edited by joanlee; 27-01-2005 at 11:37 PM..
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Old 27-01-2005, 08:48 PM   #508
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stations....

thanks guys for the informations u all have provided......
btw.... is taipei train station and taipei railway station the same????
If they are different and i am going to hualian which one shun i go to?
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Old 27-01-2005, 11:39 PM   #509
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thanks guys for the informations u all have provided......
btw.... is taipei train station and taipei railway station the same????
If they are different and i am going to hualian which one shun i go to?
You need to go to the Taipei Train Station, they are all linked underground.

Metro is like our MRT here.
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Old 28-01-2005, 09:30 AM   #510
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I arrived at Jiufen on a cold, rainy evening. Walking through the old streets, I can really feel for it and especially after knowing its history, I can sort of visualise its past and certainly begin to feel very strongly for it. I dunno, it seems to have a very strong pull on me.

When I came back, I went around many video shops looking for this movie "A City of Sadness" 悲情城市, but its really sad, not only do the shops not have it, none of the people have ever even heard about it.

It was quite famous at that time, I'm sure. It starred Tony Leung and had been nominated for some awards.

Anyone knows where to get this movie?
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