Monday, February 18, 2013 – Day 20
Heading to Taipei
After three weeks of being in Southern Taiwan, we finally took the bullet train up north to Taipei. Taipei is so different compared to Kaohsiung. Kaohsiung still has an old town feel while Taipei is just like any other big urban city. Taipei is surrounded by buildings, wide streets, lots of expensive shopping areas, lots of expensive restaurants, and people who are all trendy and stylish.
Our cousin helped us buy our High Speed Rail (HSR) round-trip tickets from Kaohsiung to Taipei. She got them online Taiwan High Speed Rail and received some confirmation text messages via her cell phone. The next day, we headed to the Zuoying HSR station in Kaohsiung, and when we got there, she entered the codes on the machines to print out our tickets.
Round-Trip Cost from Kaohsiung to Taipei – approximately $100 USD, or $3,000 NTD
One Way Travel Time– approximately 1.5 hours
The train ride was super fast and comfortable. This state of the art bullet train was clean and very spacious! I didn’t even feel the time go by – next thing I knew, we were in Taipei!
As soon as we arrived to the Taipei Station the culture changed from slow and relaxed in Kaohsiungto to fast-paced and stressful in Taipei. Made me remember what it’s like to be back in LA.
Your other option would be the regular train that would cost you a fraction of the HSR train price but it would take about 5 hours!
Hotel in Taipei
My cousin also booked us a room in United Hotel and it had the perfect location for us. It was really close to Taipei 101, lots of restaurants, Raohe Street Night Market, and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. The room was really modern and the bathroom was huge. I actually took a bath in there, and I never take baths in hotels cause it makes me feel gross. But at United Hotel, I couldn’t resist and the bath was very relaxing… You can see some of their room pictures in their website – United Hotel.
Quick Sight-Seeing for One Night
During the evening, another cousin who lives in Taipei came to take us out. We made a quick stop at the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. You can get really good pictures of Taipei 101 from the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. I read that it is a beautiful place to visit during the daytime, I took a two hour nap instead of seeing the memorial hall during the day lol Lazy ass…
Then we walked through the popular Raohe Street Night Market and enjoyed some finger foods like yakitori, drinks, and dessert. We also had a typical Taiwanese soup for dinner, which is lamb stewed in some very aromatic spices in one of the little restaurants nearby.
At the Raohe Street Night Market, we saw an older lady about to pass out because she was hyperventilating. Lots of people, including us, asked if they needed an ambulance but the family said no. I was so sad by the situation, it was really difficult to just be a bystander and watch somebody nearly die from asphyxiation. We just had to move along and leave since we couldn’t do anything…
I just kept on thinking, what if it was either one of my grandmas? Sad ending to our first night in Taipei.