Truth be told, travel post is the hardest to write because it’s very time-consuming with lots of photos to edit and publish. Nonetheless, I’ll try my best to share our 8D7N Taiwan summer vacation on this blog. Hopefully, it will be useful for readers who’re planning for a trip to Taiwan. Even if you’re not, I hope you’ll enjoy reading it too.
We departed from Singapore at 7am and arrived at Taipei around 12noon via JetStar. The first thing we did after we collected our baggage was to activate our iTaiwan account and get the password from the Travel Service Center. One week prior the trip, I applied for iTaiwan online at http://itaiwan.taiwan.net.tw. So, we just need to present our passport at the Travel Service Center to activate our account. We didn’t even purchase a pre-paid SIM card.
iTaiwan is a free WiFi service rolled out by Taiwan Tourism Bureau since 2013 to make it easier for international visitors to get online during their stay in Taiwan. With about 5,100 participating hotspots throughout the island, the service provides widely available online access in a user-friendly environment. Accounts are effective for 30 days and can be extended to 60 or 90 days as needed.
Next, we had a leisurely lunch at the airport before heading to Xinbeitou. Currently, there is no MRT station at Taoyuan Airport. The best and most economical way to get to Taipei from Taoyuan Airport is by express bus. We took the Kuo-Kuang Bus, alighted at Kulun Street (about 25 mins journey), and took a 5 mins walk to Yuanshan MRT. From there, we took the MRT to Xinbeitou.
The journey via public transport was easy and fuss-free, so we tried not to rely on taxis on this trip. First thing on our itinerary is to enjoy the thermal hot spring at Xinbeitou. That’s the perfect relaxation after a long journey and flight!
The unique hot spring themed train that brought us to Xinbeitou
The icons of Xinbeitou welcoming visitors at the station
The hot spring resort that I booked was Bei Tou Hot Spring Resort; the main reason is its strategic location. It’s located adjacent to Xinbeitou MRT Station (less than 5 mins walk) and near to some historical sites such as Beitou Park, Beitou Hot Spring Museum, and Geothermal Valley.
Beitou Hot Spring Resort
The hotel is newly renovated, and the rooms are elegantly furnished and well-equipped with TV, air-conditioner, refrigerator, in-room WiFi, toiletries and many other pampering details to create a cozy environment. What I love most is the private in-room hot spring tub and steam bath. Yay, we can all enjoy the luxurious thermal hot spring in private.
The hotel also has a public hot spring area. Japanese style bath robes are provided for guests to enjoy the public hot spring at s floor. Free breakfast is provided with one main course set per person with free flow of porridge, bread, cereal, salad, fruits, drinks and juices. The staffs are nice and polite, and we really enjoyed our stay at Bei Tou Hot Spring Resort. We paid $190 for the Superior Room (breakfast inclusive), and overall, I think it’s a good choice.
The cosy and beautiful hotel restaurant
Xinbeitou Town Area
At night, we took the MRT to the largest and most popular night market in Taiwan – Shilin Night Market. The night market consists of two major elements – general merchandise and local cuisine. It was bursting with activities and visitors. I don’t really enjoy the night market because it was too crowded. I had to hold Edison’s hand tightly, just to make sure that he didn’t get lost in the crowd.
Nonetheless, we perfectly grasped the ‘feel’ of a Taiwanese night market here. It was a good start for the many more night markets that we planned to visit in the next few days.
Bei Tou Hot Spring Resort
Address: No.3, Zhongshan Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City 112, Taiwan.