Good morning! The day of the long awaited, epic 14 days around Taiwan has finally begun. Months and months of anticipation, planning and all the tiresome admin has finally led to this day. Today is really really going to be one heck of a tiring day cos we will be TRAVELLING the whole fricking day 😦 Super shagged also cos i was at my university Christmas party a few hours earlier. So yes first up, boarding our 6am ish flight to Hong Kong for transit.
So after landing in Hong Kong (took Cathay Pacific), we realised we had no HKD, hence we were stuck in HK international with no legit money to spend. Luckily, transit only 1hrs and soon after a pretty short flight, we reached Taoyuan airport… in which we were only halfway done with the final destination being at Hualien.
After a rather lame lunch at the airport cos we were literally starving and it was 2 ish in the afternoon, we manage to navigate with some difficulty to the Kuo-Kwang bus terminal to catch the bus to central Taipei. HIGHLY ADVISE not to eat at the airport and wait till you reach Taipei to eat. If u landed in Taoyuan and want to get to the Taipei Main train station, purchase your tickets for kuo Kwang bus 1819 first at the counter inside the airport, then queue outside at Berth 5 to wait to board the bus. Bus frequency was every 15 minutes so its kinda frequent if you miss one or if its too crowded.
The seats on board are rather comfortable and it was a pleasant ride which took around 1 hours to get to Taipei Main station. As you probably predicted, i fell asleep throughout the majority of the journey.
So yay finally after reaching central Taipei, my family was finally at the last part of today’s epic journey. THE TRAIN RIDE TO HUALEIN CITY! The train company that operates the express trains to Hualein station is by TRA (Taiwan Rail Association) and once u arrive at Taipei station, just follow the signs towards TRA ticketing booth to purchase your train tickets. I would reccomand taking the Puyuma express trains which cost 100 TWD more and takes around 2 hours to reach Hualein station instead of the local trains which take 3.
Oh yeah, people always advice to book your train tickets before you arrive in Taiwan as this route is rather popular but i choose not to as we were unsure about the exact time we would reach Taipei station so we just bought our tickets on the spot. From my knowledge, there are a number of trains leaving about half an hours apart from the timing we reach Taipei station, which was around 4pm. Anyhow, we boarded the 1630 train outta Taipei. Train was on time, seats were comfortable and overall it was an uneventful ride to Hualein. So far so good!
The first thing upon coming out of the station… Hualein was cold and windy! Having sat for almost the whole day, we choose to lug all our lugguage and Barang Barang through the streets and use Google Maps to navigate to our hotel. After around a ten minutes walk which led us through some ulu and scary back lane, we arrived! After an epic 13-14 hours journey from SG, we FINALLY reached. All that stands in our way between our rooms and beds was checking in!
By the time we settled down and wash up, we were close to starving to death. After all, our lunch was horrible so we head out to the streets again to find some grub. It was already around 10pm and i dunno if we were hunting for supper or dinner lol. Alas, we decided on some steamboat Shabu Shabu place. Hot steamboat in the cold dark night of Hualein.
So its Goodbye and Goodnight after dinner as we headed back to the hotel to crash! Been up since 4am and tomorrow’s tour starts at 830am. Wan An and stay tune for more exciting updates tomorrow =D