Upcoming Trip: Taiwan August 2012 (5D/4N)

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This trip to Taiwan was initiated (mostly) by my friend, DramaQueen, who really wanted to go to Taiwan for the longest of times. Having started on a new job, it was probation for 6 months, which deprived her of her Taiwan dream. So once the opportunity arose, she was desperate to go somewhere… anywhere, and which destination better than Taiwan? 

August still being summer in Taiwan, prompted us to narrow our scope to just Taipei (food and shopping, plus a little sightseeing). With just 5 days it was just nice for a short holiday. Good thing Taiwan is only about 4 hours away from Singapore. This being our first trip to Taiwan together, and with me doing the planning, all reservations were made at least a month before the trip.

Adventurousness aside, I like to be as possibly prepared as possible. After all, to find that balance between maximizing what/how much you can do and at a leisurely pace takes some planning. I’ve seen enough disastrous and poorly planned trips that ruined holidays and/or moods to want to be such a high ‘risk-taker': 
  • To see/plan what we can do when we get there
  • Make reservations (for accommodation etc…) when we get there
  • Not knowing how to get to a destination and getting lost in the process 

At least with a (rough) plan in hand (mind) there’s always room to maneuver and tweak it along the way.

Air Flight 

At the time of research, Jetstar seemed to have the cheapest tickets for the dates that we wanted; it was about S$500++ per person. So we bought the tickets from Jetstar online and made payment at a 7-11 outlet. Payment at 7-11 was easy enough, and the confirmation was sent via email within the next two days. If you pay with your credit card, unless it is the Jetstar mastercard, you incur an extra S$18 processing fees per person.

Hotel 

Found a reasonable offer online and booked the Hotel Quote Taipei for 4 nights for the U room with breakfast and free wifii, much cheaper than the hotel’s website. Double confirming the booking with the hotel directly via email took about a week. We paid about S$400++ per person.

Hello Kitty Sweets Café Taipei 

Not wanting to spend (a little) money calling Hello Kitty Sweets Café Taipei for a reservation before our arrival, and yet not wiling to take the risk to make reservations upon arrival as it seems to be really popular, I attempted to make reservations via email (in Mandarin). And what would you know, it worked! The dinner reservation was made about 3 weeks in advance.

Hotsprings 

DramaQueen, really wanted to try out the hot springs. So after some research it was narrowed down to Villa 32 and Grand View Spring Resort. Unfortunately Villa 32’s website was down for some time (they forgot to renew their domain name and the email was not working), which resulted in us choosing Grand View Spring Resort over Villa 32 

Grand View Spring Resort seemed to have some pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor, and the photos looked ok. So I emailed asking (in English) on the rates and how to go about booking a private hotspring room. The reply and confirmation came about a week later. Grand View Spring Resort also has a Facebook page where it seemed that they respond to queries posted on the page much faster, but it is in Mandarin.

Concert Tickets 

Since there was a concert on the weekend we were there, we decided to go check it out. Purchasing the tickets online was an interesting process as everything was literally in Mandarin (something that takes time getting used to), but it was manageable. Overseas purchasers have to collect the tickets at the concert venue with passport for identification. Interesting...

With all that done, all that's left is to go! ^^


 

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    When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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    4 comments :

    1. Good pre-tour work you gals have put in.
      Well done!

      Enjoy a blast in Taipei! :)

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      1. We had a blast! And thankfully did not encounter the the typhoon. ^^ It was a good trip.

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