Taipei, Taiwan Itinerary: Modern Route Walking Tour

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: HISTORIC ROUTE WALKING TOUR

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: GOLDEN AGE ROUTE WALKING TOUR

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This is a non-sponsored article of the Taipei Free Walking Tour Modern Route I had with Like It Formosa.

Most of my friends and followers know that I am such a history and politics geek, and I would not miss learning about a country’s history and politics whenever I visit a new one. However, despite the fact that I am getting tired of the bustle of the concrete jungle, little did they know that I still looooove the cityscapes and modernity (well, depends on whether it brings the city more good than bad hehe).

Well, my desire to learn about history won’t make sense at all if I will not be able to see how it affects the present state of a city or a country, right? That is why, I made sure to squeeze in a modern route tour of Taipei, Taiwan when I went there.

As I was researching for my Taiwan trip itinerary, I came across Like It Formosa, an organization that conducts free (but tip-based) walking tours around Taipei. Apparently, they offer three free walking tours around Taipei: Historic Route, Golden Age Route, and Modern Route. Of course, I cannot miss all of these and I joined all of them.

What I liked about the tours offered by Like It Formosa is that it’s led by young and very intelligent guides. For this specific route, we were guided by a very intelligent lady who’s now at Columbia University for her Master’s Degree in Data Science (hi Viv!). The way they share information about Taiwan is very passionate and really coming from locals.

Apparently, Taiwan, being one of the top economic hubs in the world, is still having a lot of challenges and controversies related to modernity. I liked how our tour guide shared us a lot of trivia, historical backgrounds, nightlife tips, and even ghost stories! Here is the itinerary of the Modern Route tour. Obviously, all of these are walking distance away from one another and all located at Xinyi District. (Spoiler alert: the magnificent Taipei 101 building is seen from all destinations we went to!)

(Please forgive my nighttime mobile photography skills. I was too lazy to take out my point and shoot camera, which I regret up to this day huhu!)

Are you ready to start our Taipei Modern Route Tour?

Taipei Dome

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Dome June 2018
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Dome s of June 2018

The first stop of our tour, which was just right at the Sun Yat-Sen Station of the Taipei Metro, is the Taipei Dome. The structure obviously looks unfinished, and there is so much story about it. Apparently, the construction is supposed to start in 2007 and finish in 2011, but a lot of controversies affected the timeline of its construction. In fact, in 2015, the Taiwan government ordered the suspension of the dome.

Among the issues include the overcapacity, absence/poor design of enough emergency exits, and how the ground floor of the dome was planned to become a commercial complex with hotel (which would affect the traffic situation of the area). Well, I hope this dome will be built to serve its original purpose and not for some commercial pursuits that are hazardous to the people and the city.

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei 101 at Taipei Dome
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: A view of Taipei 101 from the Taipei Dome

Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Modern Route Tour: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: The facade of the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall is so busy at night!

Sun Yat-Sen is considered as the “Father of the Republic of China” and this building was built in his memory. When we went there, a lot of students are doing dance and performance rehearsals (I found out that the building administration is under the Ministry of Education), and people are relaxing at the nearby Chung-shan Park. The said spot is a nice place to have a view of the Taipei cityscape.

We were told some things about Taiwan history, including Sun Yat-Sen not being present during the actual revolutions (sounds familiar! Emilio Aguinaldo, is that you? Charot.). The building design includes the basics of Chinese architecture and was a result of a contest won by a Taiwanese architect. A popular reason why tourist go here is to witness the hourly changing of guards of the statue of Sun Yat-Sen.

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei 101 at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: A view of Taipei 101 from the Chung-shan Park and Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

Taipei City Hall

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Modern Route Tour: Taipei City Hall
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei City Hall Building at Night

This seat of the Taipei City Government is a very nice structure, but I would love seeing it more during the morning to appreciate how the movement of people and business usually go in this area. In this part of our trip, I learned more about how the Taiwan Parliament is notorious for brawls, and the most extreme one so far is the throwing of water balloons and chairs by the members of the parliament themselves (see here). Moreover, we were told some ghost stories from nearby hotels which served as a nice bonding point for the people joining the tour (in short, nagtakutan kami haha).

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei 101 from Taipei City Hall
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: A view of Taipei 101 from the Taipei City Hall

Eslite Bookstore (Xinyi Bookstore)

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Modern Route Tour: Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: History of Taiwan and Religion Section of the Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: MY HEAVEN! World and Asian History Sections of the Eslite Bookstore Xinyi

My happy place!!! This is Taiwan’s largest bookstore and is open from 11AM to 10PM! 🙂 There is one branch which even operates for 24 hours (the Dunnan branch), how’s that! I feel sad that I forgot some of the trivia that our guide shared us about this place, but it has something to do with the banning of some propaganda materials (oooh, smells political!). There are books in Mandarin and a few ones in English.

I found a big section for Asian History and I wish I have a lot of money that time huhuhu! I have no idea we’ll be visiting a nice bookstore like this. 🙁 It has a big food court at the basement, and the queue for the milk tea shop was soooo long! This place is definitely my heaven! And oh, in front of the bookstore building is a nice view of Taipei 101, which is our next destination.

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Cute Barbapapa Merchandise at Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Ten Ren Tea Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: I had some legit Ten Ren Tea at Eslite Bookstore Xinyi

Taipei 101

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Modern Route Tour: Taipei 101 Up Close at Night
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei 101 up close at night

Who does not know the beautiful and magnificent Taipei 101? It has been a dream of mine to see it in person because I’ve only been seeing it on TV every New Year’s Eve because of its magnificent fireworks display. It was the world’s tallest building upon its completion in 2004 until before Dubai’s Burj Khalifa was constructed in 2010.

This building is also known for its very fast elevator which can take you to higher floors in a matter of seconds. Moreover, the design looks very Asian, right? I really admire this building! However, our guide told us that more offices have been moving to newer buildings, but it does not take away the fact that Taipei 101 is still a building that can withstand disasters like earthquakes. Plus, it’s a very environmentally-friendly building.

How to End the Taipei Free Walking Tour Modern Route: Eat at Din Tai Fung!

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Din Tai Fung Taipei 101
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Din Tai Fung at Taipei 101

Eating is a perfect way to cap off your Taipei modern route tour. There is a Din Tai Fung branch at Taipei 101 Mall but it could get really crowded and the queue was usually long. However, since the tour ended up around 9PM and Din Tai Fung is about to close by 10PM, we chanced upon a time where there’s no more queue. Time for a legit xiao long bao!

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung Taipei 101!

There you have it! Who’s not gonna love Taiwan because of all these trivia and features? How much more if I mention the foooood? 😀 Taiwan’s current modern state is really interesting and I hope other developing cities can also try to duplicate Taipei’s practices. I never felt stressed the whole time I was in tour here. The train system was efficient, the Taiwanese people were so calm, and there are enough pedestrian lanes in the street. Definitely a perfect place to live in! So what are you waiting for? Plan your Taipei modern route tour now!

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7 TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI, TAIWAN, COMPARED: A Basic Review

Taipei is a very vibrant city with an interesting political history as well. Most people would agree with me that the food was the best thing they could compliment about Taipei. It is also a very tourist-friendly city and most tourist destinations are very accessible either by foot or by the very efficient Taipei public transportation system. Moreover, options on where to stay, such as top hostels in Taipei, are on the rise and are very convenient to find.

I have compiled my walking tour itineraries in Taipei which you can check out by clicking on the list items below:

So, are you looking for top hostels in Taipei, like, right now?

top hostels in taipei
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: The Bar at Taipei Taipei Hostel

Are you planning a backpacking trip or perhaps you are a solo traveler to Taipei? I saw you just Googled “best hostels in Taipei”! Kidding! But I’m sure you are looking for a hostel to stay at this point in time. Well, the good news is, I did the research for you and picked the top hostels in Taipei that you could choose from! I extracted the basic and essential information for you, and I even compared them side by side! So are you ready to choose your hostel in Taipei? Let’s go!

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: SHERLYN’S CRITERIA

Personally, whenever I would visit another city and look for hostels, I usually use the following criteria:

  • LOCATION AND DISTANCE FROM LANDMARKS: As a backpacker/solo traveler on a budget, I would choose a hostel that is in a good location because I want to explore the cities by foot as much as possible and have access to basic establishments, such as convenience stores, public transportation, and such.
  • DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT: Factors such as time of our flights are important to consider choosing a place to stay vis-a-vis their distance from the airport. Some of us are staying in hostels for a layover and some of us just want to make sure we do not miss our next flights. Also, if we fly in or out at wee hours, public transportation is possibly not available and taxi is our only option, which can be more expensive depending on the distance of out hostels.
  • WI-FI CONNECTON: Most of us need an internet connection to do research about places to go and eat and things to do, or update out social media accounts with details from our travels, or connect with our loved ones. Whatever our purposes are, having a wi-fi connection at our hostels is a big factor.
  • FREE BREAKFAST: I am a morning person and I need to have breakfast, so this factor personally matters to me. I believe other budget travelers also consider getting their tummies full with a complimentary hostel breakfast before going out to explore the city.
  • RESTAURANT/COFFEE SHOP/BAR INSIDE THE HOSTEL: Some of us just wants to have access to these facilities at the comfort of being inside the premises of our hostels (especially after a long day of exploring!).
  • FREE BOTTLED WATER: A hydro homie here! This may not be popular in hostels, but most hostels have water dispensers provided but you have to bring your own bottle.
  • TOILETRIES: This is a deciding factor to me since as much as possible I don’t want to experience the hassle of bringing in liquids inside my carry-on luggage (only to get confiscated at the airport! Ouch!), so if basic toiletries are available at the hostel, I might only bring what I really need.
  • WASHING MACHINE/LAUNDROMAT: Light packers usually bring enough set of clothes, but any type of packer might run out of clean clothes to wear. Hence, it is a big deal for me personally if the hostel has a laundromat or a washing machine.
  • ACTIVITIES: Hostels are also places for socialization with other travelers, right? I am an introvert, but if I ran out of things to do or if I feel like socializing or maybe do something inside the hostel, this criteria matters.
  • AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Some hostels offer free airport transfer and we all should maximize this! However if I indicated a ‘yes’ answer for the airport transfer criteria here, please check with the hostel first if it is free or not.

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI

So, without further ado, let’s proceed to reviewing and comparing the hostels picked!

TAIPEI SUNNY HOSTEL (2-star hostel)


LOCATION: INSIDE CITY CENTER (TAIPEI MAIN STATION)

No.92-2, Huaining St., Taipei Main Station, Taipei, Taiwan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 4.5 km from Songshan Airport
  • 28.1 km from Taoyuan Airport
  • 240 m from NTU Hospital Metro Station
  • 540 m from Taipei West Bus Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesYes
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesDart Board
Airport TransferYes
top hostels in taipei

TRAVEL TALK TAIPEI HOSTEL

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Travel Talk Taipei Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Travel Talk Taipei Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Travel Talk Taipei Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Travel Talk Taipei Hostel


LOCATION: INSIDE CITY CENTER (ZHONGSHAN)

2F, No. 96, Section 2, Minquan East Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei, Taiwan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 2 km from Songshan Airport
  • 29.7 km from Taoyuan Airport
  • 330 m from Xingtian Temple Subway Station
  • 550 m from Zhongshan Elementary School Metro Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenNo
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineNo
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferNo
top hostels in taipei

LUCKY ONE HOSTEL (2-star hostel)

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIWAN: Lucky One Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIWAN: Lucky One Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIWAN: Lucky One Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIWAN: Lucky One Hostel


LOCATION: INSIDE CITY CENTER (DATONG)

No.1, Changji Street, Datong District, Taipei, Taiwan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 3.4 km from Songshan Airport
  • 28.3 km from Taoyuan Airport
  • 370 m from Minquan W Road Metro Station
  • 590 m from Daqiaotou Metro Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenNo
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineNo
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferYes
top hostels in taipei

TAIWAN YOUTH HOSTEL AND CAPSULE HOTEL (2-star hostel)

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Taiwan Youth Hostel and Capsule Hotel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Taiwan Youth Hostel and Capsule Hotel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Taiwan Youth Hostel and Capsule Hotel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Taiwan Youth Hostel and Capsule Hotel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Taiwan Youth Hostel and Capsule Hotel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Taiwan Youth Hostel and Capsule Hotel


LOCATION: INSIDE CITY CENTER (TAIPEI MAIN STATION)

No.11, Qingdao W. Rd., Taipei Main Station, Taipei, Taiwan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 4 km from Songshan Airport
  • 28.5 km from Taoyuan Airport
  • 140 m from Taipei Main Metro Station
  • 310 m from Taipei Main Railway Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastYes
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesYes
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room, Library
Airport TransferYes
top hostels in taipei

FORMOSA 101 HOSTEL (2-star hostel)

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Formosa 101 Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Formosa 101 Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Formosa 101 Hostel
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Formosa 101 Hostel


LOCATION: INSIDE CITY CENTER (XINYI) (2-star hostel)

5F, No. 115, Jilong Road Sec.2, Xinyi District, Taipei city, Taiwan, Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan,

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 3.9 km from Songshan Airport
  • 32.7 km from Taoyuan Airport
  • 480 m from Taipei 101 World Trade Center Metro Station
  • 690 m from Liuzhangli Metro Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastYes
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room
Airport TransferYes
top hostels in taipei

NEXT HOSTEL TAIPEI-XIMENDING (2-star hostel)

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Next Hostel Taipei - Ximending
TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: Next Hostel Taipei – Ximending


LOCATION: INSIDE CITY CENTER (XIMENDING)

2F, No. 63, Sec. 1, Chongqing S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City, Taipei Main Station, Taipei, Taiwan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 4.9 km from Songshan Airport
  • 27.5 km from Taoyuan Airport
  • 320 m from Ximen Metro Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room
Airport TransferYes
top hostels in taipei

TAIPEI TAIPEI HOSTEL (2-star hostel)

TOP HOSTELS in Taipei: The Bar at Taipei Taipei Hostel
TOP HOSTELS in Taipei: The Bar at Taipei Taipei Hostel


LOCATION: INSIDE CITY CENTER (TAIPEI MAIN STATION)

2F, No. 63, Sec. 1, Chongqing S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City, Taipei Main Station, Taipei, Taiwan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 4.4 km from Songshan Airport
  • 28.1 km from Taoyuan Airport
  • 340 m from Taipei West Bus Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastYes
CafeYes
BarYes
KitchenNo
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room
Airport TransferNo
top hostels in taipei

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: COMPARISON

Now, let’s try putting together all these information to see which hostel suites your preferences.

Taipei Sunny HotelTravel Talk Taipei HostelLucky One HostelTaiwan Youth Hostel and Capsule HotelFormosa 101 HostelNext Taipei Hostel XimendingTaipei Taipei Hostel
Wi-FiYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Free BreakfastNoNo NoYesYesNoYes
CafeNo No NoNoNo NoYes
BarNo NoNoNoNo NoYes
KitchenYes No NoYesYesYesNo
Free Bottled WaterNo No No NoNo NoNo
ToiletriesYes No NoYesNo NoNo
Washing MachineYes No NoYesYesYesYes
ActivitiesDart Board No NoGame Room, LibraryGame RoomGame Room Game Room
Airport TransferYes NoYesYesYesYesYes

TOP HOSTELS IN TAIPEI: YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE WELCOME! 🙂

There you have it! I hope you were able to decide by now and book your corresponding chosen hostel in Taipei, based on the criteria I picked. Btw, if you think other criteria needs to be included in this list, or if you want me to add more hostels to compare, please let me know! 🙂 Happy travels to Taipei and please share me your experiences with your chosen hostel from this list!

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Taipei, Taiwan Itinerary: Golden Age Route Walking Tour

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: MODERN ROUTE WALKING TOUR

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: HISTORIC ROUTE WALKING TOUR

Every city or country has it’s so-called “Golden Age” and it’s usually considered as the height of a country’s politics, economy, or culture. In the case of Taiwan, 1920s was considered as their Golden Age where their commerce really soared high, among others. This is something historical and I want to learn more about it. Hence, it’s mandatory to a history geek like me to squeeze in some Taipei Golden Age Route Tour when I visited the city. After all, knowing what happened during the Golden Age of Taiwan was the only way to make sense of how it became one of the most economically-advanced areas in the world.

As I was researching for my Taiwan trip itinerary, I came across Like It Formosa, an organization that conducts free (but tip-based) walking tours around Taipei. Apparently, they offer three free walking tours around Taipei: Historic Route, Golden Age Route, and Modern Route. Of course, I cannot miss all of these and I joined all of them.

What I liked about the tours offered by Like It Formosa is that it’s led by young and very intelligent guides. For this specific route, we were guided by two intelligent young guides (Hi Nancy and Paul!) who did not only provide us historical facts, but also how was it to grow up in a city like Taipei, including the system of education there (which was really impressive, by the way). The way they share information about Taiwan is very passionate and really coming from locals.

So, without further ado, let’s start our virtual Taipei Golden Age Route Tour!

Taipei North Gate

Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Taipei North Gate, Taiwan

Taipei North Gate was something I’ve been noticing during my first few nights in Taiwan because it’s very well-lit at night and very noticeable. Apparently, it’s not the only gate in Taipei. If there’s a North Gate, there must be South, East, and West Gates, right? However, when Japan invaded Taiwan, they destroyed the other walls and only North Gate was maintained from its original state. I kinda forgot the whole story of these walls because it requires a background of Taiwanese history, but as far as I can remember, it somehow symbolizes or encourages economic activities in Taiwan.

Taipei Post Office

Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Taipei Post Office, Taiwan

Just across the Taipei North Gate, you will see this beautiful architectural wonder that is the Taipei Post Office. Those who love sending postcards to their loved ones back home, this is definitely the place to be. Taipei Post Office is considered as one of the oldest buildings in Taipei and it was able to preserve itself to its original glory back in the days. In front of this building is the Beimen Bus Stop where you can ride a bus going to St. Christopher’s Catholic Church (which we were able to go for the Sunday Mass).

Tianma Tea House

Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Tianma Tea House, Taipei, Taiwan

To be honest, if I did not know about the history of this place, I will just ignore it and pass by it. Thanks to this walking tour, I was able to find out that Tianma Tea House is a very historical place and a lot of revolutionary incidents happened here which significantly defined the history of Taiwan. It is no longer a tea house today, and it actually was the place where the February 28 uprising started (And eventually the 228 Memorial Peace Park was built in honor of those who died during the uprising. 228 Memorial Peace Park is part of the Taipei Historical Route Walking Tour Itinerary).

Xia Hai City God Temple

Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Xia Hai City God Temple, Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Xia Hai City God Temple, Taipei, Taiwan

Upon reaching the Xia Hai City Hod Temple, I can already feel the beautiful chaos around the area. It was apparently one of the busiest temples in Taipei because it’s located right at the heart of a very busy commercial area. I found out that this temple has the most number of statues and this is where the Chinese Cupid is housed. Oh, btw, single people, this place is your chance to wish for a love life! I thought Longshan Temple already got the back of single people regarding this aspect! (Longshan Temple is part of the Taipei Historic Route Walking Tour)

Dadaocheng District and Dihua Street

Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Textile Market, Dadaocheng District, Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Dadaocheng District, Taipei, Taiwan

Filipinos, if you happen to have visited Divisoria, the vibe is the same here, except that it’s cleaner at Dadaocheng. 😀 This is where you can buy a lot of Taiwanese goods, from dried fruits and fish, teas, and medicines, among others. Moreover, you can find a lot of cute cafes and restaurants around the area.

I found out that this is like the ancient port area of Taipei and this is where goods arrive from maritime trading activities, and some of the businesses here operate for a hundred years already. Also, some of the architectural features of the buildings here are preserved, like walls, signs, pillars, etc. This is what I love about Taiwan, it really cares about up to the smallest detail of their cultural heritage. Awesome!

Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Dadaocheng
Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Dadaocheng
Taipei Golden Age Route Tour
TAIPEI GOLDEN AGE ROUTE TOUR: Flexing my Mike Wazowski plushy by this beautiful mural at Dihua Street, Dadaocheng District, Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Golden Age Route Tour: Takeaways

There you have it, a tour of the Golden Age of Taiwan! Every city or country has its own respective ‘Golden Age’ and for Taiwan, I think it explains why Taiwan is one of the most economically-developed areas in the world and at the same time not neglecting their history. Even if you are not a history lover, I am very positive that you will enjoy this tour. So what are you waiting for? Plan your Taipei Golden Age route tour now!

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Sherlyn’s Practical and Honest Overseas Hotel Reviews: To Stay Again or Not to Stay Again?

To be honest, I have been planning on writing hotel reviews of all the hotels and hostels I I have checked in during my overseas travels (meaning outside the Philippines, because I’m based in Manila). However, I never had the time to actually take photos to help my readers appreciate my reviews. Most of the time, right after checking in, I would jump in the bed and throw away my stuff all over. I am either very tired, had no sleep, or just not in the mood to do the effort of taking photos.

But don’t worry! Here I am, and I will try to make use of the limited photos that I took from the hotels I stayed in, together with a very quick review. I will also tell you if, based on my standards (which are not really so high, believe me), I will consider checking in again in these places. Also, feel free to click on the hotel names for more info and booking. Enjoy!

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STAR LODGE, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Star Lodge Hotel Brunei
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? YES!

The hotel is a little far from the airport, but don’t worry too much about road distances in Brunei. You can get there in no time. The hotel is located in Jerudong area, a very quiet and peaceful part of Bandar Seri Begawan, and you will definitely enjoy your time there. The rooms are beautiful and elegant. When I stayed there during the Christmas holidays, I saw that they were preparing a backdrop for the New Year’s Eve, so I guess they were planning an event then. I wish I was able to witness it. There was just one morning when I woke up to the sound of the mass at the mosque, but it was really calming and I did not really mind.

TIMES HOTEL, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Times Square Hotel Brunei
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Why not?

This is a hotel within a mall. On the Ground Floor, you will find restaurants and shops, and there are a lot of restaurants to choose from! Above the hotel are more shops and the cinema. You don’t need to go out of the building and it has got everything you need. It’s also very close to the airport. I stayed in a room with a window but no view, and if you got assigned to a room close to the elevator, you will hear the noise of the people. I did appreciate their complimentary newspaper, though. Breakfast buffet was a little meh.

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KOLAB SOR PHNOM PENH HOTEL, PHNOM PENH

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF KOLAB SOR PHOM PENH HOTEL)

Kolab Sor Phnom Penh Hotel Cambodia
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? YESSS!

I love Kolab Sor! The design was very minimalistic and the lobby was super big and beautiful! They have desktops that can be used by guests at the Ground Floor. The rooms were so minimalist and cozy. The shower was very spacious, and I remember clearly that they have a good set of toiletries. It is also near establishments like restaurants.

NEW ANGKORLAND HOTEL, SIEM REAP

hotel reviews

Will stay here again? Haha! Please, no.

To be fair, this hotel is near Pub Street, but I had a lot of issues. The hotel is old and I feel like dusts are everywhere. The oldness of the hotel is like more of ‘woods and red carpets’ type. Elevators and hallways are a little creepy, but the rooms were surprisingly okay. They have a big pool but the water is dirty and mossy. Breakfast was served outdoor by the pool, but it doesn’t even look good, I did not trust its cleanliness, and they lack so many utensils and necessities.

They have a mini-outdoor gym but the equipment are just dumped in one side and accumulating rust. Oh, there was a power interruption exclusively in that hotel only for two nights and it scared the heck out of us! I feel like the place used to be very elegant (like Manila Hotel-type) but it just lost its former glory. Our shower’s ceiling also has a huge hole and we had to cover it in a plastic just to make sure nothing bad will happen.

Don’t trust the photos of this hotel you see in Agoda.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Hong Kong

AH SHAN HOSTEL, HONG KONG

hotel reviews
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Sure.

This place is located right at the heart of Mong Kok area and very close to the Mong Kok MTR station. There are so many establishments and big malls around and it is a busy area. The rooms resemble a typical Hong Kong tiny apartment, but it was clean and the view outside was great. They provide hot and cold water in a dispenser outside the room. The price is good for a private room in a hostel.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

DTEGALE HOMESTAY, BALI

Dtegale Homestay Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? YES.

This is located in Central Bali (therefore far from the airport). It is situated in an area where a lot of farms are located, and it was really quiet there. I was told by the cab driver that the area is a favorite retreat spot of Westerners, so no wonder the vibe is like that. I rented a very nice rustic room for a very affordable price, and a healthy breakfast was served. The staff went the extra mile to help me with my broken luggage lock and even assisted me with my luggage upon check-in and check-out because the homestay was a few walks from the main road.

VILLA KORU, BALI

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF VILLA KORU)

Vills Koru Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? DEFINITELY, YES!!!

If you have been dreaming of a #thisvillalife Bali vacation, this place is perfect for you! Situated at the heart of Seminyak area, Villa Koru is a luxury 3-bedroom villa with a big and beautiful pool that can accommodate solo, couple, and family travelers! The staff were very helpful and efficient, and the owner was one of the kindest host I have met so far in all of my travels abroad! He will make sure you are provided with everything you might need: from floaters, to day tours, to airport transfers, and many more!

SIGURAS LIVING GUEST HOUSE, BALI

Siguras Living GuestHouse Bali Indonesia

Will stay here again? Uhm, okay.

To be fair, the hotel has a relaxing vibe at the outside. There were trees, and the corridors are white. However,the room I stayed in was a little small, the AC unit was broken, there were no toiletries provided, and the water pressure was meh. The rooms have sliding doors and will not completely close, therefore you’ll hear all the sounds from the outside. I did not like my stay there hence I took back my payment for the next succeeding days I checked-in and went to another hotel. But, they have a big potential to improve.

HARRIS HOTEL RESIDENCES, SUNSET ROAD, BALI

Harris Hotel and Residences Sunset Road Bali Indonesia
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Yes.

You can literally walk from this hotel to the airport! It was a big hotel with many rooms, and I liked its swimming pool. It has a nice vibe with great music. The rooms are very clean, great, and comfy as well. The staff are very friendly and will give you tips on where to go around the area. Oh, they have free transfers to and from the airport, since it’s literally a couple of meters away.

hotel reviews

MINI S HOTEL, VIENTIANE

Mini S Hotel Vientiane Laos

Will stay here again? OMG YES!

Laos in general surprised me! And this hotel is part of all the surprises I had. The room I had is very, very cheap! The same quality in another country could cost 3 or 4 times I paid for Mini S Hotel. The staff, even though finding it hard to understand my accent, were very patient enough, and they were kind enough to help me out in terms of places to see. The small outdoor pool is also beautiful and every corner is clean and Instagrammable. I had the perfect chill vacation because of Mini S Hotel. they provided a porridge breakfast which was good and the hotel is near convenience stores, restaurants, and that al fresco restaurants by the Mekong River. They also provide shuttle services to the city center.

hotel reviews

MACAU HOTEL S

Macau Hotel S

Will stay here again? OMG YES!

The moment I was looking for an accommodation in Macau for my very quick trip, Macau Hotel S caught my attention when I saw that it participated in a street art activity and its vicinity has a lot of beautiful street art (street art enthusiast here!). Macau Hotel S was not the cheapest deal, but it was the best deal.

The room I booked was so big and nice and I love their toiletries! I also love the complimentary jasmine tea they provide, and from my room window I have a nice view of the Macau Tower. It is also a few walks away from the bus stop which you can wait for a bus which could drop you exactly at the airport. It is a walking distance from tourist spots such as Senado Square. Lastly, I can’t stress enough that the hotel restaurant has a very creative interior and good food! I will definitely stay here again.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

VIPOD RESIDENCES, KUALA LUMPUR

ViPod Residences Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
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Will stay here again? Yes yes yes!

ViPod residences is a walking distance from Pavilion Mall and the KLCC train station, and it also has a club/bar just across, which also explains the presence of street food vendors around the area. Entering the building feels like you’re entering an Embassy or something. The security is a little tight, and there are several doors leading to the lobby. The room we stayed is very tidy and spacious and the price was really affordable. There is a convenience store at the ground floor (where I bought some Maggi Kari) and wait until you go to the rooftop pool and gym! The view of Petronas Towers is perfect!

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Myanmar

OWAY GRAND HOTEL, MANDALAY

Oway Grand Hotel Mandalay Myanmar
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Yes.

This hotel is right in front of the Mandalay Railway Station which is very, very convenient! I love the whole ambiance of the hotel, from the reception area to the rooms. They serve a good breakfast, and the place is near many establishments, including a mall and the Ocean Supermarket. Staff are very friendly as well.

GOLDEN CROWN MOTEL, BAGAN

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF GOLDEN CROWN MOTEL)

Golden Crown Motel Bagan Myanmar

Will stay here again? Yes!

This hotel is just like a typical provincial home. The price is very cheap but you will be provided with a quality stay. It is located at the Old Bagan area which is near the market and the temple complex. They have bike and e-bike rental services. The staff are very kind and friendly. When we left our keys inside the room, one of the staff was kind and patient enough to climb the window just to get access to our room. We also saw squirrels through our windows and they are amusing.

EAST HOTEL, YANGON

East Hotel Yangon Myanmar
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Okay.

What I love about this hotel is its interior design. They have a lot of artworks hanging around the entire place. Moreover, this hotel is right at the center of Yangon and everything is really accessible from there, from market to cinema, to the zoo, and the Sule Temple in particular. Their breakfast area and the way going to the rooms were a little tight, though. But if you are catching a flight at Yangon International Airport, I think this place is a strategic and practical one to choose.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

CLAREMONT HOTEL

Claremont Hotel Singapore
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? Uhm I don’t think so.

To be fair, this hotel is located at the main road (Serangoon Road) right at the heart of Little India, which is a good starting point if you want to go around the district. Their breakfast is also great (I have a bias towards Indian food because it’s delicious and healthy at the same time). The staff are accommodating and friendly as well. However, I think the entire building is a little old and therefore needs improvement. When we entered the room, we were greeted by cockroaches and the room was dimly lit. The shower also looks untidy. Good thing we only stayed there for a layover.

CUBE BOUTIQUE CAPSULE HOTEL @ KAMPONG GLAM

Cube Capsule Hotel Kampong Glam Singapore

Will stay here again? YES, DEFINITELY.

There are several Cube Hotels around Singapore, but I think location-wise, this one at Kampong Glam is the best. It is located right at the heart of the Kampong Glam tourist area, very near the Masjid Sultan. The hotel is quite new and it was my first time staying in a capsule. At first I thought it’s going to make me claustrophobic, but I had the most comfortable stay. The idea of capsules give you the privacy that you need. The bathroom and shower is clean and well-maintained, and their toiletries are good! They also have a washing machine and dryer where detergent and fabric conditioner are provided. Breakfast is also awesome!

THE GREAT MADRAS

hotel reviews

Will stay here again? Yes.

I heard that this hotel was newly-renovated and I think they did a great job doing it. The Great Madras has a very friendly staff and the location is near establishments, including the Indian Heritage Centre. The have millennial-friendly Instagrammable interiors. They have nice bathrooms with good set of toiletries. The swimming pool area is a nice place to chill and the poolside is good for doing some yoga. I love their breakfast (also given my bias with Indian food).

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Taiwan

XIMEN HEDO HOTEL KAIFENG, TAIPEI

hotel reviews

Will stay here again? YESSS!

In a nutshell, this hotel is very affordable and yet you will be provided a good quality of stay! It is located right at the heart of Taipei (walking distance from the Taipei Main Station), and very near establishments and tourist spots. The reception area is so nice, it’s literally a pink beetle with a lot of cute plushies. The rooms were clean and nice, and the room we stayed has a bathtub. The breakfast is so good and the brewed coffee is the best thing there!

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

THE JOURNEY HOTEL, LAKSI, BANGKOK

(CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF THE JOURNEY HOTEL)

The Journey Hotel Laksi

Will stay here again? Yes!

This hotel has a very clean and minimalist look. It is located near the Don Mueang International Airport but a little far from the city center. Do not worry because the area where the hotel is located is very secure, quiet, and elegant. We were able to find several good coffee shops, convenience stores, and restaurants around, as well as yummy street food! The rooms are very spacious, and the toiletries there are the best ones I had so far!

SALIL HOTEL SUKHUMVIT SOI THONGLOR 1, BANGKOK

Salil Hotel Bangkok Thailand

Will stay here again? Can I instead stay here for good? 🙂

I love, love, love this hotel! The staff were really friendly, and they embody the Thai hospitality. I was assisted very well from check-in to check-out. They also gave me a room closest to the reception desk, which was favorable and convenient for me. I could walk from here to so many establishments, like restaurants, pharmacies, groceries, fastfood chains, coffee shops, etc. I can’t stress enough how colorful and Instagram-worthy the place was! The pool was beautiful! The breakfast area was very relaxing and the food selection was very heavenly! My room has a bathtub also! I wish I could live here!

JOSH HOTEL, BANGKOK

Josh Hotel Bangkok Thailand
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? I want to, but I really don’t know.

I’ve been seeing nice photos of the hotel on Instagram and other online sources, and it’s a little popular among young travelers, given its location which is very near a lot of bars and restaurants. The room photos in the booking sites were also good. However, upon arriving at the place, the door men will not even provide you a little assistance with your luggage and will not even open the doors for you. The reception area was great, the staff were friendly, and upon the looks of it, the hotel is really a beautiful hipster place. However, I was given a room at the topmost floor and at the other end of the elevator which was a loooooong corridor walk and you will be greeted by creepy life-size mural of people as you walk.

They have no telephones at the room, so when my keycard did not work, I had to go back to the reception area myself. The room was a little dim and the vibe was a little heavy. I want to give the hotel another chance by seeing how good their breakfast is, only to find out that the breakfast is only available at 0730, which was a little late. Since I had to leave before 7AM for my flight, I was only provided bread and coffee (which was okay), but did not really get what I paid for.

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

DRAGON PALACE II HOTEL, HO CHI MINH CITY

hotel reviews
Image from agoda.com

Will stay here again? I think I’m gonna pass.

I had a short but good stay in this hotel. The rooms are spacious and homey, and there are some furniture items made of bamboo. The hotel is just right across YOLO Bar (which is a good bar!) and near a lot of convenience stores and restaurants. The breakfast was awesome (you can make your own banh mi sandwich!), but the lady at the breakfast area was a little rude and yelled at me.

Taipei, Taiwan Itinerary: Historic Route Walking Tour

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: GOLDEN AGE ROUTE WALKING TOUR

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: MODERN ROUTE WALKING TOUR

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvGysWjnr1W/

Whenever I travel on practically every place (inside or outside the Philippines and Southeast Asia), I always make sure to get to know the place by reading about its history. Aside from the fact that I teach history in the university as a profession, I think the best way to make sense of all my observations and experiences in places I’m going to is to get to know about the places’ past. I realized, there is no other way to do it than to create an itinerary on Taipei historic route walking tour.

As I was researching for my Taiwan trip itinerary, I came across Like It Formosa, an organization that conducts free (but tip-based) walking tours around Taipei. Apparently, they offer three free walking tours around Taipei: Historic Route, Golden Age Route, and Modern Route. Of course, I cannot miss all of these and I joined all of them.

What I liked about the tours offered by Like It Formosa is that it’s led by young and very intelligent guides. For this specific route, we were guided by a young film director whom I discovered was an Erasmus Scholarship recipient! The way they share information about Taiwan is very passionate and really coming from locals.

Apparently, Taipei has a very intriguing history and was shaped by several other cultures, as evidenced by different architectural wonders. Here is the itinerary of the Historic Route tour. Obviously, all of these are walking distance away from one another.

Longshan Temple

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkmCXQIHnOU/

No wonder this is the most iconic and popular temple in Taiwan. The architecture is so beautiful and a little different than the other Chinese temples I’ve been to. Our tour guide was able to teach us some stuff, including how to pray for a love life, because why not? Haha! It was built during the 1700s by settlers from Fujian, China as a gathering place for Chinese settlers. It was heavily destroyed during World War II but was restored to its current beauty.

Bopiliao Historical Block

Taipei Historic Route Walking Tour

This structure was opened to the public in 2009. It was an area preserved by the government which used to be a busy commercial district during the Japanese occupation of Taipei. It connects the Longshan Temple to the Shi-Da Night Market area which became an important historical and cultural landmark. I really admire the red brick walls!!! There was even a prenup photoshoot when we visited there (Oh edi kayo na. Charot. Haha.)

Ximen Red House

Taipei Historic Route Walking Tour

Also known as the Red House Theater, it is a historic theater that was built in 1908 by Japanese architect Kondo Juro. Apparently it used to be a market building before being converted into a theater. It has a café at the ground floor (which I wish I was able to try). What I admire about this architectural wonder is its octagonal shape (and of course, the red brick wall). And oh, there is a beautiful boutique at the back of this building.

Presidential Office

This beautiful building houses the President of Taiwan ROC and was designed by another Japanese architect Uheiji Nagano during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan during 1800s-1900s. The tour guide actually warned us about taking photos around the area because apparently it was prohibited. He also shared us a lot of firsthand information about Taiwanese Politics which I found interesting and intriguing.

228 Peace Memorial Park

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl5CKbknrEv/

This park was built to commemorate the victims of the February 28 incident of 1947 (hence the name 228) and this is also where the Taiwan National Museum was located. It was the first European-themed park in Taiwan (which I really found interesting because it’s complete with a lot of amenities, including the stone foot massage thing). The February 28 incident was a long story (and I am yet to read more about it), but it was an anti-government uprising which killed thousands of civilians. I think the Philippines has to learn from this. #NeverForget

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmfct0tn8lj/

This iconic structure was built in commemoration of Chiang Kai-Shek, the former President of Taiwan ROC. This is a very beautiful place and it’s very obvious that the people of Taiwan really valued the legacy of Chiang-Kai Shek. It started to rain so hard when we went there, but admiring the architecture of this place was so worth it. Taking the steps going to the monument of Chiang Kai-Shek was a little tiring, and it looks like the huge Abraham Lincoln statue in the US.

There is so much history to be learned from Taiwan, especially having undergone a lot of wars and colonizations, like the Philippines. I really admire how Taiwan preserved and valued their historical heritage which made them into what they are now. No wonder Taiwanese people are so resilient and nationalistic. In my next visit to Taiwan, I make sure to explore more first-hand historical trivia from the locals. The history buff in me is so happy once again! My brain was fed very properly.

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Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Taiwan

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