Day 6: We were driverless from day 6 onwards as we decided to D.I.Y the rest of our Taiwan trip.
Took taxies from La Vida Hotel to Taichung High Speed Rail (HSR) Station to catch a train up north to Taipei again. I bought the tickets online and printed out redemption letters to collect the physical tickets.
More information on the HSR site: https://www.thsrc.com.tw/index_en.html?force=1
We wanted to give Xi En the chance to take a HSR as he was curious about trains when he was younger. One of his dreams is to be an MRT driver/planner.
We bought “railway bento” at the railway station while waiting for our train. Since it looks like a must-do, we bought a few variety of the bentos for lunch. They were a fairly huge portion but tasted quite mediocre. It was good to fill the stomach nonetheless.
Note that the bentos are only sold during specific timings. If you are not after the bentos, there are some cafes , McDonald’s at the station.
HSR train was clean, comfortable and fast of course. We reached Taipei in no time and made our way to the Airbnb I booked for the last leg of our trip.
The only Airbnb place I booked for this trip turned out to be a disappointment. The photos shown on Airbnb and the actual place were quite different. Furthermore, there were only 1 usable bathroom as the other were too cramped to shower in. All these were not stated in the descriptions. The comments on Airbnb seemed to be positive but I should have been more careful to sieve out the type of travellers and the ambiguity of the photos.
The host was also very mindful of asking us to keep our volume down once we stepped out of the unit. I strongly suspect he might have complains of hosting his place as a Airbnb. Many countries are still not for strangers going in and out of their shared premises.
Anyway, the risk of renting an Airbnb is as such. We had 2 good experiences in Melbourne. Maybe that led to a greater disappointment when Taipei’s turned out differently.
The saving grace was, we found a nice soya bean curb and you tiao (doughstick) breakfast joint nearby – and they tasted really good!
Anyway, it was afternoon after we settled down. We headed out on trains to visit Taipei 101 and did a little shopping. No one was really interested in Taipei 101 so only Kim took Xi En up as he was the curious one. That way, we saved some money too.
Dinner was a non-affair at Ding Tai Feng. The very first time I had Ding Tai Feng was in Taipei 13 years ago; way before their debut to Singapore! It just kind of make sense to have xiao long bao at Ding Tai Feng when you visit Taipei. As usual, I over-ordered and we ate a feast. Standard of the food was good in Taipei and the prices were slightly cheaper than in Singapore.
That marked the end of our uneventful 3/4 day in Taipei. Exhaustion was setting in for everyone especially Eizac as we were near the end of the trip.
Next up: Our last full day in Taipei before we head home.
Day 1: Taipei (Taoyuan) > Yilan
Day 3: Yilan > Miaoli
Day 4: Miaoli (Flying Cow Ranch)
Day 6: Taichung > Taipei
Day 7 & 8: Taipei