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Friday, January 12, 2007

welcome to taiwan

:::::: de mouse's footprint @ 10:50 PM Y

花蓮 :: hualien

i received many queries on hualien. i had added more info on home stay (民宿) and tour guide (導游).

what you can expect from home stay? usually the owner will ferry you to/from train station. but be noted that the cost do not include tour guide and food (except breakfast for some).
below are some of the 民宿 and tour guides i got from the forums:

Y 石头的家


Y 好望角海夜景民宿

Y 花蓮南濱觀海民宿

Y more 花蓮民宿.....

charges for tour guide usually based on per head count. a day tour for 2 pax is approx. NT$1800-2000 and 4 pax is approx. NT$2500. the price v
ary depends on individual tour guide

Ms Vivian Zheng (freelance tour guide)
Mobile: (886) 0937 832178
Tel: (886)-03-8346580

Mr Lu Lai-fu (cabby cum tour guide)
Mobile: (886) 0928-569081

Mr Zhuang (cabby cum tour guide)
Mobile: (886) 0932-142590

Mr Liu Wen-hua (cabby cum tour guide)
Mobile: (886) 0919-281878

Mr Chen Guang-fa (cabby cum tour guide)
Mobile: (886) 0937-167779
Tel: (886)-03-8611353
Tel: (886)-03-8566895

:::::: de mouse's footprint @ 10:42 PM Y

tour guide @ hualien

i hired Vivian Zheng as my tour guide during my last taiwan trip. she charged NT$2500 for 4 of us.

before the trip call her from singapore to check her availability and price. you may let her know which are the places you want to visit, but if you've no idea where to visit than let her plan the itinerary for you.

call her after you've bought your train ticket and give her the arrival & departure time. on the actual day she'll pick you up from the train station with her "not-so-new-but-acceptable-condition" saloon car (max 1-adult in front and 3-adults at the back).

usual places to visit in hualien are Taroko 太魯閣, 七星潭, 七星柴魚博物館, 南濱觀光夜市 and hualien city. she'll jagar the time for you so that you won't be late for the return train. she than sent us back to the station to take train back to taipei.

sidetrack a bit, vivian has stayed in singapore many years ago for more than 10 years. she was a singer than in some chinese restaurants, she even sang in getai (歌台) before. she knows singapore very well and can even speaks some singlish :)

:::::: de mouse's footprint @ 10:41 PM Y

hotel booking

popular budget hotels among singaporeans are rainbow, tashun and wonstar that are conveniently located near 西門町 mrt station. others are flowers, keyman and cityinn near 台北车站 mrt station.

to make reservation at the above budget hotels, call them from singapore to make the booking. but be noted that usually no confirmation will be given from them after confirmed booking; no fax or email. it's a common practice for taiwan budget hotels so if you're not comfortable with it, call them to re-confirm again when the date is near.

i stayed at cityinn (新驛旅店) and my 5-nights twin-sharing accommodation without breakfast cost me only approx. S$330 (divided by two and each paid only S$115 ^.^ ) but they might have adjusted their price now so please check their website.

i am very satisfied with the hotel and would recommend it to everyone. reasons are

(01) 1-min walking distance to 台北车站 mrt station

(02) 3-mins walking distance to taipei train station and taipei bus terminal

(03) a relatively new hotel that open for business in september 2006

(04) reasonable price and value for money

(05) rooms are clean with no funny smell and no crawlies running around

(07) facilities such as LCD TV, kettle and hairdryer are provided

(08) every room comes with tea, coffee, 2-bottle mineral water, biscuits and "condom"; they are all free and hotel replenishes them daily

(09) the toilet is nice and clean that comes with tooth brush, tooth paste, razor, comb, soup, shampoo, shower gel and shower cap

(10) surrounded with many shopping centres such as Taipei Underground Shopping Mall, K Mall, 新光三越, 後車站 etc

(11) many breakfast shops around such as 永和豆浆, 美而美, western bakery shop etc

but be noted that the hotel don't provide breakfast, but since there are many breakfast shops around so no worry ^.^

:::::: de mouse's footprint @ 10:21 AM Y

hot spring @ 新北投

we have our hot spring at asia pacific resort (亞太溫泉館).

on the actual day we took mrt to 新北投 to take their free shuttle bus; come out from mrt card exit, turn left and walk 5-steps down you'll see their signboard. they've pick-up point at both 北投 and 新北投 station but different pick-up time.

we booked the open air private room (露天個人湯屋), 1hr/2 pax for NT$1,250. i've wrong weather forecast for that day as it was a hot hot day and it's not a good idea to have outdoor hot spring on a hot day.

how is hot spring? while try it for yourself ^.^

:::::: de mouse's footprint @ 10:20 AM Y

how to call taiwan

Call SIN to TaiwanCall Locally in Taiwan
(without the '0')
(with the '0')
Local Line001-886-2-8346580
(without the '0')
(with the '0')

:::::: de mouse's footprint @ 10:01 AM Y

electricity & voltage

singapore voltage: 230 V / 50 Hz
taiwan voltage: 190 V / 60 Hz

we can use most of the electronic appliances in taiwan if the appliance indicate 110v-240v. but if the appliance indicate only 240v than it can’t be used in taiwan

:::::: de mouse's footprint @ 9:00 AM Y

currency exchange rate

recommended money changer (always the longest queue & best rates)
people's corner money changer
11 collyer quay
#02-07 the arcade
singapore 049317
tel : 6223 3040

updated exchange rates:

Oct 2004 : NT$1 = S$20.05
Oct 2005 : NT$1 = S$20.70
Nov 2006 : NT$1 = S$20.89
Apr 2007 : NT$1 = S$21.64

:::::: de mouse's footprint @ 8:00 AM Y