"The party will come to an end" , it is just like when there are a starting point in the journey, there are going to be the way back to the starting point again. This trip to Taiwan is similar to any other trips that I have had been to in which even though the place or the atmosphere are pretty attracting, we anyway have to leave in the end. For this last day trip in the capital city, "Taipei", I could only keep track of the main attractions because if I went to all the places, there would nothing much to explore on the next trip to Taipei. By the way, until my next trip to Taipei, let's read the review from my previous trip in Taiwan before.
Journey Alone in Taiwan
ตอนที่ 1 FIRST TIME @ เกาะมันเทศ
ตอนที่ 2 TAIPEI กับวันสบาย ๆ ของผม
และตอนที่ 3 ตะลุยเส้นทางทองคำ GOLDEN FULONG
My last day in Taipei, I wake up very early as usual, however, the atmosphere outside is really cloudy like it is going to rain. During the morning time of the year end month of 2015, apart from the cloudy weather, the wind is also really strong, thus, it is pretty freezing outside. The picture is the overpass that I usually take to cross between the hostel and Taipei Main Station and there is Taipei 101 building which we could see from a distance but today the haze obscured it all and only been seen just a lower part of the building.
When we enter the Taipei Main Station, we are stunned for few seconds as right now it is a morning time but the atmosphere seems like we are travelling in the midnight time. This picture would make people think that what are we doing during the night time for sure.
After we are surprised with the atmosphere in the Taipei Main Station then we take a walk down the stairs for the MRT ride to Xindian station. And of course travelling on the MRT during the weekdays, you will meet with the students who are on their way for schools. Today's they all seem to dress up all the same in the PE uniform for every school.
When we reach Xindian MRT station, we face with the heavy rain, however, in my heart feels so impatient like someone lit a fire, why does it rain at this time as I use so much of my effort to wake up to go and take pictures at the rope bridge but the rain just ruins all the plan.
We decide to wait until the rain almost stopห, as we already paid for the ride of MRT so we just don't want to waste it. We then get some picture of Bitan Bridge in the rain for you guys.
How to get to Bitan Bridge.
- Take the MRT ride to XINDIAN station (Green line) last station.
- Suggestion : Should travel during late evening time to see the last light and there would be many cuisines around the area.
We take some walk without umbrella or any rain coat, and we start to feel the rain is pouring hard once again so we quickly run to the train station to avoid the wetness.
Then we take a train to Taipei Main Station which during that time is pretty crowded as this is a rush hour for the office people in Taiwan. When we reach the Taipei Main Station, now it is time to pack our luggage for the check-out. We leave our stuffs at the hostel first as we would struggle if we take them with us for now.
The atmosphere in Taipei Main Station at this time is no different from this morning, it still look empty maybe it is because the shops that occupy in the square, are not open yet until 10am. There are calm feeling just similar to the allay in Siam Square during the morning time. After that I go and explore around the area of Taipei Main Station and found the To go rice box as well.
While we are lost in the Taipei Main Station, we then emerge to the entrance of the ESLITE mall. We came across this Chinese writing character board and take picture for you to see.
Wandering around the Taipei Main Station for a little while and I think next time I should plan a half day trip in the Taipei Main Station only, would be kind of awesome. There are many interesting things to see in this station, then we have came across this locker storage for luggage. (If I have left some of my stuff here,I guess I would get lost and it would take me some time to find this locker for sure)
After wandering for a little while, it is time to hop on MRT to Beitou station to visit the famous hot spring of Taipei.
How to get to Xinbeitou
- Take MRT Red line to BEITOU station
- Getting down the stairs and take a train in the opposite side to XINBEITOU.
The train to Xinbeitou is pretty fancy and really creative, hence, I talk to people who went to Xinbeitou before and they tell me that they usually take the common kind of train and this train is exceptional. I am quite confused as do they ever have the normal train for this line as well? If anyone know this, please tell me. By the way, I would say I am lucky that I cam across this kind of train then.
This is the exterior outside of a train to Xinbeitou, When I see those cartoon paintings, I just want to eat a Chinese Donut dips with the condensed milk instantly.
First Carriage : Brownish - Reddish Tone Color
It is in brownish wooden style tone which has a table set giving information for the hot spring, you could go and explore it.
Third Carriage looks very shady green and comfortable.
It doesn't take very long to reach Xinbeitou Station. The atmosphere is very quiet as it is weekdays and most importantly, it is freezing here because of the cold wind that blows like my fat is almost gone with the wind. Lol
This is the atmosphere at the front of Xinbeitou Station, you would see the female presidential candidate in the red billboard at the back. (I could not read Chinese, however, while writing this review it announces the person who wins the President in Taiwan at the time. Lol)
From the train station, we will pass the Beitou Library which the building is designed in an unique way. (Please follow at the end of this review.)
Beitou Hot Springs Museum.
Walking along the street from Xinbeitou Station, you will meet with the cross road. One is going straight and another would turn left which has Hi Life store at the corner. You need to make a left turn and you will see Beitou thermal valley.
When you reach Beitou thermal valley, you could smell the Sulfur from a far distance which means that you are pretty close to the Hot springs already. This is kind of the famous spot for people to take pictures.
The steam from the Hot Springs looks like a fog to us. If you guys come during the winter season would be awesome because when the cold wind blows through the warmth of the hot springs, it could make your body warm up immediately.
The area around the Hot Springs (Thermal valley) is the Green Hot Springs which they (not sure who) say that there are only two Green Hot Springs in this world only, one at the Akita Province, Japan and other is at Taiwan. People are very less during the weekdays and you could feel like the Japanese atmosphere somehow.
Then I take a walk to the remarkable wooden building which is the Beitou Library. The atmosphere feel quite isolated here.
The UBike bicycle, parking together is very cute.
Walking along the route to the building that we have passed at the first place which is the
BEITOU LIBRARY or Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch) This library is being named the greenery library as it is energy saving library. The rooftop of this building would be placed with solar panels and the library was built by wood that attracts all the tourist to come and visit this place.
In this splendid atmosphere and the weather is kind of awesome but unfortunately the library happen to be closed. We are pretty sad and want to cry out loud as we could only see the exterior outside but not inside. Let's see what is the reason why this place is closed on Thursday because normally it should be closed on Monday. Therefore, I do some research for more information for you all if you would like to go and visit.
- Open hours Tuesday - Saturday 8:30 am. - 09:00 pm
- Open hours Sunday - Monday 9:00 am - 05:00 pm
- And the most important part is that the library is closed every First Thursday of the month.
When I return back to Thailand, I research for more information and the shocking truth is that the library is closed every first Thursday of the month which is why the date I visited on the 3 December, it was close.
When we notice that the library is closed, we go dejectedly back to the MRT train station. However, we stop by to explore at the Starbucks and Familymart and straight to the MRT station.
This is the in front of Xinbeitou train station area. Actually, I admire the architecture of both Hongkong and Taiwan train station as they are pretty unique in their own ways.
How to get to Tamsui Station
- Take the MRT red line terminal station to Tamsui.
Finally, we are here at Tamsui station. The building here is quite different from Taipei Main Station as the building was built in brick with the beautiful Chinese style rooftop.
Let's try Chinese steamed bun which we bought from Hi-Life mini-store before we start our trip. Eat just a little to survive and then continue walking to Tamsui walking street.
The atmosphere seems like a portrait.
Oh!! Look it's Taiwanese Boyband, Oops..I am just kidding, these are the Taiwanese students in red dress with black slack that make me think of upcoming Christmas atmosphere.
Tamsui walking street during the late morning almost noon, I think it is pretty bustling and all the shops are open for selling. However, it is not as much crowded as in the late evening time as the students and the office workers are done with school and work place.
In the front of the street, I pass the red bean cake shop which not only the red bean filling but they also have custard filling as well. When we buy and have a try on the cake, it was not as sweet as we expected it to be but if taking about the size we would give it 10/10. Many people might like it because it is not too sweet but I think it is kind of tasteless for me on this one.
There are so many kids walking in this area which make us feel like want to turn back time to be a child once again as we do not have to care for anything or anyone, just responsible for the exam not to fail is enough. Today, we have meet with many students from many schools on the street.
Apart from the fried chicken you should not miss in Taiwan, you need to try the fried squid as well. The squid are in a very large size (I have heard that they are now selling in Central World but I do not have a chance to try just yet). However, I just order one order of one whole squid (price of one is at 160 NT) which I should order just only half an order, anyway, I could eat the rest at the airport. During the waiting, I take some pictures of the squid and mushroom for you guys, aren't they look yummy?
Tumsui atmosphere when the sky is close which make it looks like we are in the evening time. There are many people here like a student or couple that come and ride a bicycle along the scenic river view which look really relax.
Looking out of the sight, they are aren't many people around here so we find a seat to have our squid....Let's try some Taiwan squid.
Take a first bite, take a second bite...when continuing to eat my teeth start to hurt a little. Then while we are eating, there are two Taiwanese people that look like mom and daughter asking us for help to take the picture for them. Of course as a generous Thai people like myself, I am so willing to help them and then they repay me by saying Xie Xie (Thank you) and that is more than enough. After that we wandering around the area a little more.
During afternoon time in Tamsui area, we will meet with the couple riding bicycle together and there also Taiwanese students who come to ride or walk around the park. All the atmosphere around make my meal taste better, eating while watching the kids play and ride a bike and the great weather of wind blowing and not much sunshine like this also make me feel pretty relaxed.
During the walk to Tamsui train station, there are lots of people gathering around something and make me wonder what is it so I get up close to have a good look as well...Oh!!! it's a guy dress in Native American style and play Harmonica. I listen for a little while and then it is time for me to leave.
The atmosphere of Tamsui river overlook from the station are
Then we are heading back to Taipei Main Station, and between the ride I debate with myself whether should I get off at the Taipei Main Station or not, finally I decide to hop off at this station instead.
How to get to TAIPEI EXPO PARK
- Take MRT red line to YUANSHAN Station, a station that connect to the bus ride to Yang Ming National Park.
Taipei expo park is the expo garden which they always have exhibition setting at the place, however, we do not visit inside, we just wandering around the area as it could get a better view of a plane. Lol.
While we come inside the stadium, the wind is quite strong and we almost blown away by it. I see those children lying over there and really wondering don't they feel the cold??
This is a panorama design which in 2016 Taipei are chosen to be the host of the world of design that year. Walking around a little while and then we are heading back to the Taipei Main Station next as they might be something more interesting to see.
At Taipei Main Station, I would say that even I have walked here every day I still emerge to a different kind of direction every day and every time. How do I able to get lost every time, I am still confused. I walk pass the sushi take out shop which is 10 TWD per piece but I am kind of full right now so I will pass this time, the nearby shop is also a bakery place. I guess next time I would come and review the shops in Taipei Main Station then, don't you guys think so?
On the second floor of Taipei Main Station, it is the hub of all the restaurants and bakery that we are familiar with and not for example Krispy Kreme, Starbucks and many more.
The atmosphere on the second floor make Taipei Main Station looks like mini shopping mall somehow. Then there are still some more time left so we decide to go to Nangang Station next. First, I would like to tell you all that before visiting Taiwan, I get some suggestion from Taiwan admin page to visit Nangang Station to see Jimmy Liao's, Taiwan artist's painting. Therefore, I decide to take a look at this place because if I go to other places would take too much time as my flight will depart around 10pm tonight.
How to get to Nangang Station
- Take a MRT blue line to Nangang Station, almost last station.
Nangang Station or some might called Jimmy Liao's Station as this train station had a uniqueness which is different from the rest in which it will have Jimmy Liao's paintings all over the station. Anyone who like artwork or Jimmy Liao's artwork, this place would fulfill your need and the best place to visit for sure.
This is the outside area of the Nangang MRT station, opposite side is the Nangang train station which the building is beautiful but there are nothing much around the area as they seem likely are under-construction for the expansion of the city.
After done wandering around the Jimmy Liao's Station, now we will go to the hostel to get our bags and head to the airport. We have to spare some time to find the bus to the airport as well.
The temperature in Taipei at this late evening is around 17 degrees with the cloudy, windy and breezy weather all day long.
Oh!!! The Taipei 101 building is lost in the haze, nothing more than a shadow to see and I don't know why when I cross this overpass I would always capture this angle of it. Then I drag the bag to Taipei Main Station to take a bus to Taoyuan Airport, which I lost my way in the station nearly an hour even though I already ask for direction from the officer. I decide not to walk inside Taipei Main Station anymore and head outside to walk instead which take me just a little while to the bus stop. It was already dark when I get outside (Do I spend so much time losing the direction?) After that I buy a bus ticket to Taoyuan Airport and the bus drives us until reaching the airport. The exciting part happens once again as we do not know where are Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and the driver only speaks Chinese. Fortunately, at that time the driver shouts out ONE and then I yell back ONE to him and the foreigners that seat behind me shout TWO and we exchange glances, moreover, a driver yells back ONE once again to us and this is a sign that we should get off.
I will board on a V-AIR like before and when I arrive inside I have seen Air Asia Airline board. In the past Air Asia Airline used to fly route Thailand - Taipei but after that it closed and not sure when it is going to open this route once again as right now we have to via Kuala Lumpur first and then to Taiwan.
ตอนนี้ประตูเกทเปิดแล้ว เอ้ย ผิด ๆ เคาเตอร์เชคอินของน้องหมีวีแบร์เปิดแล้ว ก็ทำการเชคอินและชั่งน้ำหนักกระเป๋าซึ่งสนามบินไต้หวันเคร่งครัดเรื่องน้ำหนักมาก กระเป๋าไม่ว่าจะโหลดหรือ carry on ก็จะต้องนำไปชั่งตรงตราชั่งที่อยู่ข้าง ๆ เคาเตอร์ กระเป๋าขึ้นเครื่องผมผ่านฉลุยแต่ ๆ กระเป๋าสำหรับโหลดซื้อน้ำหนัก 15 kg แต่น้ำหนักเกิน 1 กิโลมองสบตาพนักงานชายว่าจะพูดอะไรไหม ปรากฏไม่พูดครับ พนักงานบอกโอเคให้เดินไปดูกระเป๋าว่าผ่านเอกซเรย์ไหมแล้วก็เข้าตม.ได้เลย สบายเลยเรา ขอบคุณพนักงานวีแอร์ด้วยนะครับ (จริง ๆ คงเป็นพนักงานทรานเอเชียเนอะ)
Now the gate is boarding...Oops no no just the check-in counter is open. We go to check-in and weight our luggage which they are pretty strict with the baggage weight here, both of the loading luggage and the carry on luggage need to weight on the scale beside the counter. I do not have any problem with my carry on bag, however, on my loading bag, I have bought 15 kg baggage load and it is exceeding limit by 1kg. I try to make eye contact with the airline staff but he did not say anything so I am good to go. Then I go through the X-ray process and immigration. Thank you once again for your help V-Air staff. (Actually I thins there are TransAsia staff)
When I get through the immigration process, I see a bench with the charger plug nearby the Starbucks.
I would board at gate B2 which is almost at the end of the terminal and this get me feel exhausted somehow. It is almost at the end of the way and it really make me think of Don Mueang gate 70 which is quite in a far distance as well.
The atmosphere around gate B2, which actually it also includes gate B1 and B3 in the area as well. The atmosphere at this gate would have a world map painting, a bicycle and a wheel hanging on the wall which is pretty cool.
Finally, it is time to leave the Taiwan Island. Happy time always flies quickly, and I wish to visit Taiwan again during the summer time, now I have to head back to our hometown. Today's flight is kind of empty, only around 20 passengers when I try to count. I then take a nearby seat to myself. Now I would like to end the review of Taiwan in year 2015 here, and see you again during the summer time in Taiwan.
1. Taiwan impresses me from the first day of arriving with the generous help from people here.
2. The lovely and friendly of the staff both in Taipei and SML with paying respect by a wai, the traditional Thai greeting, saying hello and thank you.
3. Losing the way in Taipei Main Station makes me realize that there are many different places I get to see.
4. I do not know what to say apart from see you next time Taiwan.