This is our second trip to Taiwan in three years, despite having a considerable “long trip” during our first one (due to work, i consider any trip with more than 5 days a “long” trip already), I felt like there is still so much too see in Taiwan. (To check our 2012 Taiwan trip please click Kenting, Chiayi and Taipei). So this time around, we have prepared a 10D/9N “slow-paced” itinerary to enjoy other places in Taiwan.
Day 1 / 18-Sept-2015 : Singapore to Taoyuan
2015 is the year that Singapore celebrates her 50th birthday so even at Changi Airport, all the decorations are about the islands’ golden jubilee. Last time we flew by Scoot Airlines, this time we are taking EVA Air, departing at 3:10 in the afternoon.
Our flight was one of EVA Air’s Hello Kitty flight, so quite interesting what’s the difference compared to their “normal” flight.
Inside the EVA Air Hello Kitty plane, pillow is kitty, entertainment is kitty, even the nuts are kitty. I will not be surprised if a Hello Kitty mascot will come out and served our food ;-p
The food that was served during our flight, other than the spoon and fork, the food never had any trace of Kitty or whatsoever ;-p
After almost 4 and 1/2 hour, we finally get to see Taipei from our window.
The first thing we did after getting out of the baggage carousel area is to run to SIM card store area because its suppose to close at 9pm, good thing it is still located on the same place where we used to buy during our 2012 trip.
Just like last time, there are plenty of providers that offers different data plans, you just have to choose which one will suit your needs. We bought a data plan worth 500 NTD that includes a 10-day data connection plus 100NTD worth of local calls.
We planned to stay in Taoyuan area on our first night because of the late arrival time of our flight. We took a cab from outside the airport to City Suites Gateway Hotel.
After a little over 5 minutes drive and 160NTD, we have arrived at our hotel to rest to prepare for our early journey tomorrow to Alishan. For our “review” of our stay at City Suites Gateway at Taouyuan, please click HERE
Day 2 / 19-Sept-2015 : Taoyuan to Alishan
We wake up early the next day and had our breakfast at the hotel before we start our long journey to Alishan.
We arranged a cab from our hotel the night before to bring us to Taoyuan HSR Station, the fare was fixed at 250NTD.
This item which I failed to discuss in the Taiwan Travel Tips that I posted before, but yeah all HSR stations have lockers that you can rent to store your thing if you want to travel light.
So we took an HSR train that departs Taoyuan at 7:57am and is scheduled to arrive in Chiayi at 9:00am. We pre-booked this ticket online when we were still in Singapore because we want the earliest possible schedule.
The train left Taoyuan on time and surprisingly the cabin is almost full.
We arrived Chiayi HSR Station exactly at 9:00am, enough time for us since the first bus to Alishan leaves at 10:10am
At the tourist information kiosk at the first floor of Chiayi HSR Station, they provide a printed copy of the bus schedule and fare for Alishan trip.
Bus bay No.3 outside Chiayi HSR Station (Take exit No.2) where the Bus to Alishan picks up passengers.
The “Green” bus 7329, which travels from Chiayi HSR Station all the way to Alishan.
The trip is about 2 hour bus ride along Alishan Expressway.
Our Hostel/Homestay is located along Alishan Expressway so we alighted before the bus proceeds to Alishan Town bus station. For our review of our stay at Alishan Lauya Homestay, please click HERE
The view that welcomed us was so “heavenly”, literally you can see the clouds dancing in front of you 😉
The view of homestay when standing from the wooden deck.
We finished our welcome drink (hot tea) outside while enjoying the scenery.
Late in the afternoon, we tried to go back to the town that we pass by earlier when we were riding the bus from Chiayi. The bus schedule is very limited and taxi is scarce so we just walk while enjoying the cold weather. Later on, we found out that we can request the owner of the homestay to drive us to the town (for free) if we want to buy some stuff or eat.
As always, I am a fan of convenient store foods in Taiwan so we chose to buy our dinner from this store. When we were walking back to the homestay, the owner saw us so she pick us up and drive together back to the homestay.
Our first official dinner in Alishan courtesy of Hi-Cafe convenient store, just perfect! We will sleep early today because the next day, we need to be up at 2am to catch the Alishan sunrise 😉