A great thing about living in Hong Kong is being in the middle of Asia. It’s given us the opportunity to make day trips to Shenzhen and Macau, and several other destinations are just a short flight away.
The flight to Taipei was only two hours, and I wonder why I had never taken a trip to Taiwan till this April. 台灣其實有很多東西玩的!
Taipei’s airport isn’t very different from Hong Kong’s or Singapore’s. Clean, spacious, air-con blasting… what’s not to like?
The museums are filled with Chinese treasures, the small streets are full of character, and the night markets are lined with food stalls galore. The National Palace Museum (pictured) is huge, and you’ll need to cover a lot of ground. If you want to take in the sights and sounds (and smells) of Taipei, be prepared to walk a lot. Comfortable shoes are a must!
You could also rent one of these bikes to cycle around the city, although it’s best that you travel light. There’s only so much that the basket can take!
The metro and taxis were also convenient and fairly affordable. How cute is the interior of this cabin?
If you’re travelling to Taipei and looking for accommodation, I definitely recommend ARK Hotel, located in Dongmen. Location-wise, it’s great. The metro station is less than five minutes away, and the famous Din Tai Fung is across the street, if you’re interested. It’s also near Yong Kang Street, which boasts a number of restaurants and cafes, including James’ Kitchen (more about that in a future post).
The rooms are small but comfortable, with cute and cheery details. Basic amenities such as toiletries, hair dryer, and electric kettle are provided. You do have to pay a bit more for a room with a window. There isn’t much of a view, but you need to wake up to natural light, then it’s something to consider.
As you can see, ours was a windowless room, so we had to make do with several alarms on our phones to wake us up in the morning. Also, the walls are rather thin. You’ll be able to hear what’s going on in the corridor, and we had the misfortune of staying on the same floor as a very loud family.
Complimentary mineral water and snacks are provided as well. There’s a small supermarket across the street, in case you want to pick up more food and drinks.
I like that the hotel lobby looks like someone has put some thought into what guests might like. You can borrow the books and magazines for the night and return them the next morning. The concierge will take down your name and room number, so don’t think about bringing an extra “souvenir” home!
Feeling peckish? There’s free coffee and cake! I tried a cup and it tasted decent. Very convenient if you need a caffeine fix!
This, I love. The couch in the lobby is laden with huge stuffed toys, which we all know to translate to photo taking opportunities. And because the bear probably isn’t going to fit into your selfie, the staff on duty will be more than happy to help you take pictures.
The best part is that ARK Hotel is very affordable. It’s around S$100 a night, and it includes breakfast at a nearby MOS Burger.
You’re given a meal voucher which includes a breakfast burger and a hot drink. It’s not great, but it’s food. Plus, you’ll need the fuel as you go on The Great Food Hunt along Yong Kang Street. Tastes of Taipei will be coming up next, so stay tuned!