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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Singapore -- Taiwan

I have been wanting to travel to Taiwan since I've entered NUS and I've finally fulfilled my wish! As much as I anticipated the trip with my mother, I was very disappointed by the whole trip. I think it was because I looked forward to it and hoping we will have fun there, but certain events actually made me wonder, why did everyone want to travel to Taiwan again?

Mummy and I actually planned to head to Taiwan from 4th July to 12th July. But Sis's commencement was on the 8th and so we decided to postpone our flight a week later. We had to pay additional $75 each for the flight change. It was a bad idea to go to Taiwan on that week because there was a typhoon in Taiwan on one of the day. Also for every single place I went and things I did or bought, I was comparing Taiwan to Korea. I could say, I still prefer Korea over Taiwan, despite the language barrier.

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It was our first time taking Scoot and I feel that the seats were wider than Singapore Airlines. But it was not very comfy, especially when I tried to nap during the whole flight. Our flight was at 12.45am and we reached Taoyuan International Airport around 6am.

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Since it was still early, we headed down for breakfast at the food court. There are many food stalls to choose from and most of them were opened at that timing. We chose Hogan Bakery for breakfast because the aroma from the shop was pleasing.

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French toast and ice chocolate for breakfast!

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Trying out the selfie stick for once.

After waiting for time to pass, it was finally 8am! We headed to the area where there were 3 telecom counters. We bought the 10 days prepaid card deal for NT$500 from Chunghwa Telecom. Unlimited 3G data + NT$100 calling value!

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After purchasing the prepaid card, we took the airport bus Kuokuang 1819 to Taipei Main Station. In Korea, the bus driver would help to carry the luggage for us, but in Taiwan, they stood by the side and watched us struggle with our luggage.

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We arrived at Taipei Main Station East Exit and took quite a long time to find the way to our hotel. Since the direction given by the desk personnel wasn't clear, we went the wrong way and had to walk under the hot sun. Since there wasn't a lift at the nearest exit to the hotel, we exited from the Taipei Main Station West Exit, crossed the road and walked till the next junction. After crossing the road diagonally, we continued the path till we reached Exit Z6, or till we saw the hotel's signboard on the building. There are a few hotels in the same building. Hope Hotel is on the 4th floor.

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Hope Hotel's maroon signboard.

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The Bus Station Terminal where we took the Kuokuang bus back to Taoyuan on the last day.

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The nearest exit to the hotel. Exit Z8 is pretty near too.

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The front desk of the hotel.

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The room we book was for 2, with a queen sized bed. There were plenty of spaces and the toilet was pretty clean.

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Bought this for fun but didn't win.

We walked the underground mall from Exit Z6 to the main train station area. There were many shops selling mostly clothes and shoes. It's like a paradise, only there was not fitting rooms in the shops. So I couldn't decide whether to buy or not. The prices weren't that cheap as well.

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The drinks my friend bought on her last Taiwan trip and the cute bottles tempted me to get them for keeping.

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I managed to get the Youth Travel Card from the information counter, which is just beside the railway train ticketing counters. It's for tourists age 15-30 years old. More information at the website here. Do purchase your railway tickets at least one day before in order to ensure you have a seat on the train or not to rush just before your train timing as there might be a long queue.

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We waited for half an hour before it was our turn to purchase the tickets.

Since Zhongshan Metro Mall was a stop away, we decided to head there for a short shopping spree. Sadly, nothing caught our attention and we left empty handed. We also went outside which has more clothing shops and a departmental store.

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AKB48 official merchandise shop

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Try Happylemon's Kumquat Lemon Ice Smoothie (金橘柠檬雪冰斯). It's sour and refreshing on a sunny day.

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Address: 104, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Operating Hours: -
Admission Fees: -
Directions: Take subway to Zhongshan station (中山站).