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Capitals of Asia
March 2009

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Happy Family Hostel, Taiwan, Taipei

I got to Taipei Airport by 11pm and got a bus to the train station. My hostel was 5 minutes walking from there.

I found a good and cheap bed here at the Happy Family Hostel.
It can be booked through Hostelbookers, Hostelworld, or you may contact them directly.

It's a very good value hostel.
I stayed in a 3-bed room for roughly 8€, including breakfast.
It's very well located, very near from the train station and just besite a convenience store.
They also had hi-speed wifi Internet for free.

The owner is a very helpful guy, always smiling and ready to provide any information about the city, the sights, transportation...

Only one annoying thing, it's not far from a big avenue, so it can be quite noisy.

Street scene in Taipei, Taiwan

I spent a few hours with some other travellers drinking beer in the rooftop terrace of the hostel. It was a multicultural night: no one came from the same country.
Guys from Poland, Australia, South Africa, the USA, Germany and Colombia having a drink in Taiwan. This is amazing, and it's one of the reasons why I love to travel!

On the next day I decided to take a walk around the city.
Unlike many Asian cities, it's quite easy to walk around Taipei.

Usually Asian capitals are very big and distances between the different neighbourhoods and sights are huge.
Here everything is quite near, just like in Europe.

As I love walking, it was no problem for me to hike for half an hour or so between some places.

Presidential Building, Taipei, Taiwan

Here's Taipei's Presidential Office Building. It's located in the Zhongzheng District, where most Governemnt buildings are, as well as Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

The Presidential Office Building was built in the early 20th Century by the Japanese, who used to control the Island. It housed the offices of the Taiwan Province Government.

Since 1950 it became the Presidential Building, after the Government of the Republic Of China was set in Taiwan.

Flowers in Taipei's streets

One of the things that I loved about Taipei is that there are trees and plants everywhere.

Inside Taipei MRT (Mass Rapid Transport)

I walked for most of the time but I also took Taipei's subway a couple of times.

Taipei's MRT is very modern clean and efficient.
Prices vary according to distance and destination, and it's quite cheap.

A subway station in Taipei, Taiwan The one way ticket isn't actually a ticket, but a megnetized plastic coin. It was the first time I see something like that.

When you get into the subway you just pass it above the control desk without any contact.
When getting out, the coin has to be inserted in the machine and the station control door opens.

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Taiwan Travel Guide

Taiwan Travel Guide

Get your chow on at the food stalls of Taipei's Shilin Night Market, get your chill on at some of East Asia's finest beaches and get your boots on to hike the Walami Trail. With two long-term Taiwan residents at the helm of this guide, you'll be dining, sightseeing and soaking up the natural beauty just the way a local would.

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