QUOTE(xerius @ Mar 31 2010, 09:49 AM)
Well, I've booked a round-trip ticket to Taiwan for Japan's Golden Week holidays at the end of April. I've got eight days for it by my own schedule, but with the flight specifics it works out to just over six-and-a-half days in the country roughly. I've got it in mind to hit Taipei, Lukang/Changhua and Tainan. I was looking at Sun Moon Lake and Kaohsiung, but I think the three above would be well more than enough for the time I've got. I also can't really fit the Taroko Gorge into the itinerary comfortably. There'll have to be a second trip, I suppose.
Any suggestions for lodging in the above cities? I'd like someplace reasonably cheap, but I'm kind of past the hostel days now. I understand from the guidebooks I've looked through that singles are relatively rare in Taiwan. I'm used to traveling in Japan, so I don't really have to get by on a barebones budget. Someplace decent, simple and well-located would do nicely.
Also, I've got a flight out of Taoyuan Int'l at 8am on my departure day. That means a check-in of 6, so catching a bus out to the airport might be out of the question. Any advice on the best way to get out there? Is taxi the only option?
Hi there Xerius. Taipei is definitely a must-see city. There are many other side trips to nearby places such as Keelung as well. If you're limited on time you should perhaps stick to the northern/central part of Taiwan. If you go to Taichung there are buses to Sun Moon Lake that only take 2 hours. Sun Moon Lake is best done during the week as things are MUCH cheaper at that time. There are tons of little cities (like Dakeng) near Taichung that have amazing hiking trails and hot springs. Kaohsiung is nice but I was underwhelmed by it. Compared to Taipei and Taoyuan it's almost a ghost town. Lots of cool things to see though. Haven't been to Tainan yet but I've heard it's quite nice and usually warmer than the rest of the country.
Lodging wise...sticking close to the train and bus stations work well. You can get decent rooms for around NT$700-800 a night. A lot of these hotels are smack dab in the middle of residential buildings. You will see a lot of 'hotel - 5F' or 'hotel 9F' signs. Some places...like Love Motels can charge you by the hour (if you need a quick nap while in transit) and even have theme rooms.
Anything else you need to know? Hope I was helpful!