The flight was good and the crew great. I had the exit seat so I could stretch out my legs and had a fish dinner. We got in at 9:30 PM about 1/2 hour late. The immigration line was so long that it took about an hour to clear. I think all the jumbo jets landed at the same time.
After that, I followed the signs to the city bus and got there just as it was leaving. Lucky me. By 11:30 PM I got to the Taipei Main Train Station and the Holo Family Hostel was just across the street according to the map. However, I ended up circling the block until a fellow pointed me in the right direction to a 30 story building. The hostel occupies about three floors of this building and the guard escorted me there.
Everything worked out well, as he took me to the 8 bed men's dorm on the 18th floor. I practically crashed as I put on my PJs, blindfold and locked up the rest of my stuff by midnight.
During my stay, I only one other person or I am the only one staying in this dorm room. For ease of travel, and laziness on my part, I stayed here for the week. I then used the subway system for all my touring of Taipei.
On the first morning I had their free Taiwanese breakfast of rice porridge, fried tofu, kim chee, hard boiled eggs, and greens. They forgot to mention the hard boiled egg quarters were not shelled so I had a crunchy first bite. Most of the of the travelers are Chinese or Asians.
Here is the view from the Holo Family Hostel on the 22nd floor looking toward the bus and train stations.
On the first day, I headed out to Tamsui district by metro which opens up to the ocean as I walked out to the Fisherman's Wharf.
This is among the best subway systems I have used. The signs are in both Chinese and English and I bought an all day ticket for just 150 Taiwan Dollar--TWD. This particular metro route was most interesting because it was mostly elevated except at the beginning in the more congested areas of Taipei. Inside each of the carriages they have a running billboard that shows the station you are heading to in both Chinese and English along with a map. They are installing barricades at all of the stops to lessen the chance that people will fall in front of the trains. The skytrain system in Bangkok is doing the same thing to reduce accidents and suicides by train.
Along the way I passed through the local market where they were selling lots of seafood.
I had expected to see many shops and restaurants at the Fisherman's Wharf, but was disappointed to find that there were few and most were closed, except of cours for Starbucks. This is the first one I visited and I had an iced Americano Venti with milk and sugar. The temperature here is about 95 degrees with high humidity----so much my shirt gets soaked when just walking about for an hour or so.
On the way back I visited the Fort San Domingo that was first established about 400 years ago as a key spot to guard this river into Taipei. It was once even used by the British Consulate and they have restored that type of furnishing for tourists to view. Clustered around this fort are a number of Colleges and private schools.