Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Taiwan Day 1: Shihlin Night Market

Finally, after the long anticipation, we were headed to Taiwan on a bright Saturday morning. I had originally bought the return air tickets during an Air Asia promotion for only RM300 in November 2009.

Having spent approximately four and a half hours on the plane, we finally reached Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at around 3 in the afternoon!! Eager and excited, we first got our Taiwan Youth Card at the tourist information counter which was right in front of the arrival hall. Then we went to get ourselves a SIM card for our phone (NTD345) and also a bus ticket to Taipei Main Station (NTD90).

1. Going to Taipei Main Station on Da You Bus     2. A school we passed by on the way     3. Taipei Main Station

Doesn't the school just look pretty? I wish our schools here looked as nice, or could have studied in Taiwan. Guess it's a bit too late for that now as I'm already long past that age =(  Took us about 1 hour to get to Taipei Main Station, where we got down and walked to the MRT. Originally wanted to buy the Easy Card but was advised against it by a lady we met there, who said it wasn't necessary.

We bought our tokens at the automated machine, which were really efficient. There are no counters selling these tokens, only these automated machines, unlike in Malaysia. Since most of the locals use their own card, there was never much of a queue when we needed to buy the tokens. Anyway, as it was our first day, we were unsure how to enter at the turnstile as we couldn't find the slot for the token. So embarassing, we were blocking the way there for ages, and with our big luggage too...

Anyway, finally found out we were supposed to tap the token to the sensor upon entering and finally, were on our way to Guting Station, where our hostel is located. I'd originally booked a room for two with Eight Elephants Hostel. However, they'd e-mailed me earlier to ask if they could upgrade us to bigger room in Dreaming Dragons Hostel as some of their current guests had extended their stay. Since they didn't charge us any extra, we of course didn't mind =p

I made all our reservations were made through this website (, which also contains the directions to the hostel. For only NTD1,560 per night, the hostel is quite good value for money as it is less than 5 minutes walk to Guting Station and there are lots of shops nearby where we can buy food and drinks as well. Anyway, after checking in and getting our keys, we just left our luggage and went to take the MRT to Jiantan Station.

Directly opposite Jiantan Station, there's this food court with lots of stalls selling food and drinks. Of course, we had to go and fill our tummies before shopping, right? As we weren't sure which stall was better, we randomly chose whatever looks good, and these really did taste good ^.^

1. Ma La Chou To Fu     2. Shen Chau You Yu     3. O' Chien     4. Peanut Butter Pao Pao Ping
5. & 6. Can't remember the name of this, but it's gooooddd. Only know that this is the stall we bought it from    
7. Tang Hu Lu     8. Yu Zhi Gan
After we finished our food, we headed on to Shihlin Night Market, which was less than 3 minutes walk away. The amount and variety of things they sell here is amazing, there were clothes, shoes, accessories, bags, etc. And these were all very cheap too!!

1. My haul for the day     2. & 3. Our room in Dreaming Dragons Hostel
Apart from the bag which cost me NTD200, the other tops and dresses only cost me NTD170 and below each. So cheap, right? I think I'm getting spoiled am I ever going to buy any clothes in Malaysia for this price?

Anyway, we headed back to the hostel around 11 something after we had our fill of the night market. Good thing as well, since our legs were already aching even though it was just our first day there.


  1. As I said to U in TripAdvisor forums: Fun read and snapshots!

    Sue, I'll be glad to share your Taiwan travel posts with my fans in my Weblogs.

    Shall we exchange links?
    Thanks. :-)

  2. Hi TAlive, thanks a lot =) And of course, I would be happy to ^_^

  3. Great, Sue.
    I can't locate yr email.
    Pls get in touch with me in

    Thanks. :-)

  4. Finally, I've linked up and featured your Taiwan pages in my Taiwan travel site:

    Have a Season of Love & a Rich New Year! :-)

  5. HI there, I am planning a trip (free and easy ) to Taiwan with my friends. We are currently searching and comparing hostels ( On a budget) . We would love to know about you experience and it would be even wonderful if you could shared with us which hostels did you pick and how was the overall experience( cleanliness, security , price) .

    Thank You so much and sorry for troubling you.

    Best regards,

    1. Hi, Sandra, sorry that it took so long...I haven't logged on here in a long while and didn't notice the comments here. Not sure if you still need this now, but I stayed at One2Stay Hostel during my last trip in 2012. Location was great (in heart of Ximending), with reasonable pricing and clean, good-sized rooms. Security wasn't an issue as there were access cards to get into the building for guests.