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Monday, June 02, 2014

[Amaya Travels] ~Taiwan Trip Overview~

I have been back from my 21-day trip to Taiwan for a while now, but I was a bit tired out from all the travelling, so this post took me a while x) Some of you are interested to know what hostels I have stayed in throughout the entire trip, so this post acts as an overview post for the places I travelled to, and the accommodation.

On board one of their special trains with seat allocations (^^)
Since we assumed that most of the shopping would occur in Taipei, we decided on an anti-clockwise route round Taiwan:

Taoyuan → Sanyi (Miaoli) → Taichung → Puli (Nantou) → Chiayi → Tainan → Kaohsiung → Hengchun (Kenting) → Hualien → LuoDong (Yilan) → Yilan → Taipei

All touristy locations have stamps that you can collect~!

Accommodation Summary

Majority of our hostel accommodation was found on Hostelworld.com. *Travel TIP* If a contact number/email is available, you can actually try contacting the hostel directly, and save on booking/commission fees. (*^^*) English names for the hostels will be used where possible. All our hostels have free Wi-Fi. Furthermore, I believe that dorm mates and owners can make/break your hostel experience; thankfully I've not had very incosiderate/unhelpful ones (^^)

Sanyi (Miaoli)
Name: Futen-house B&B (福田瓦舍)
Type of Room: 经典单床二人 (Ensuite)
No. of Nights: 2
Rating: 10/10
Comments: As Sanyi is in a rural area, taxis are a common means of transportation as their buses only run on weekdays. It was a great start to our Taiwan trip as the bed was so comfortable xD Complimentary soap & shampoo packets were available, and the owner was really friendly in helping us plan our trip around Sanyi. The hostel has dogs as well, but they are quite tame. Plus, the hostel has a backyard you can view fireflies from!

Name: Unicorn Hostel
Type of Room: 4 Bed Female Dorm
No. of Nights: 2
Rating: 8/10
Comments: The hostel comes with lots of information on Taichung attractions, so you can always plan your trip in the common area (: The beds are comfortable, and the toilets are clean. It's an old building though, so sound proofing isn't very good.

Puli (Nantou)
Name: Guesthouse Puli
Type of Room: Standard 6 Bed Female Dorm (Ensuite)
No. of Nights: 1
Rating: 8.5/10
Comments: We couldn't find the hostel at the beginning xD There was only one other girl staying with us, so it was really lucky x) Run by a Japanese owner who is really friendly and also helped to plan our day at Puli.

Name: An Lan Jie Hostel
Type of Room: Standard 6 Bed Female Dorm (Ensuite)
No. of Nights: 1
Rating: 8/10
Comments: The location is rather easy to skip past because it's on the 14th floor of residential/office building. Owners were again helpful to introduce food places for us to go to. The toilet was rather small though; I felt like I had entered a toilet from an airplane x)

Name: AT Home
Type of Room: Deluxe 4 Bed Female Dorm
No. of Nights: 2
Rating: 11/10
Comments: The owners, Abby and Thomas, are amazingly friendly people! They helped to plan our days at Tainan & even Kaohsiung (because we had gone there rather cluelessly) and even drove us to a night market xD We also happened to have the whole hostel to ourselves for that two days, which was thoroughly enjoyable xD

Name: Backpacker 41
Type of Room: Standard 8 Bed Female Dorm
No. of Nights: 2
Rating: 7.5/10
Comments: The hostel actually sells by per bed, so although we had booked an 8-bed dorm, we got a 4-bed dorm instead. During our stay, there was a sports meet going on, so all the rooms were filled with students ._. A little noisy, but it was bearable. A little disappointed that the owners weren't very helpful in recommending places to go, but we later heard that they had an urgent appointment to attend a few days later, so preoccupied maybe? =\

Hengchun (Kenting)
Name: BlueHi Hostel (布魯海旅店)
Type of Room: 8 Bed Female Dorm
No. of Nights: 3
Rating: 5.5/10
Comments: The beds and the shared toilet were quite fine actually. The owners and helpers were very friendly and helpful in giving us advice, and delicious breakfast is prepared by them every morning! However, it was also the hostel where I got bitten by bugs and mozzies real badly, so if you're like me, you might want to reconsider =\

Name: Colorful Taiwan
Type of Room: Standard 6 Bed Female Dorm (Ensuite)
No. of Nights: 2
Rating: 8/10
Comments: (I'm running out of different things to say already xD) Owners were friendly, and you may see some students who work for the hostel in return for accommodation. Common area is a great place to chat with other guests. The dorm room and bathroom are quite spacious.

LuoDong (Yilan)
Name: Green Hostel
Type of Room: Basic 6 Bed Female Dorm
No. of Nights: 1
Rating: 8/10
Comments: As we found out later in the trip, it was a mistake to book only 1 night here and move to Yilan's city area, because LuoDong is actually the ideal place to begin travelling to other parts of Yilan ._. Owner was again, very friendly in helping us plan our day in LuoDong & in Yilan as well.

Name: Dansely Hostel
Type of Room: Basic 4 Bed Mixed Dorm
No. of Nights: 2
Rating: 9/10
Comments: This dorm as well, sells by per bed, so even though we booked a 4-bed, we got a 6-bed dorm. However, after some chatting with the owners and lots of luck, we got shifted to a 4-bed dorm \o/ Dorm mates were very considerate and the owners helped with trip planning :D

Name: Meander Taipei
Type of Room: Standard 8 Bed Female Dorm
No. of Nights: 3
Rating: 9/10
Comments: This dorm will let you understand why it's better to backpack than to bring suitcases xD This hostel was converted from an old hotel, has 6 floors and no lift, so be prepared to climb stairs!!! The workers at the hostel were not like, super friendly, but they would chat with you and help you with trip planning if you asked them nicely. ^^ Had a group of friends who stayed here before me, and they had good feelings about the hostel as well.

Feel free to comment/message/email me if you have any questions~ Please look forward to the individual posts that will come up (soon, hopefully!) ~

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*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.