Taoyuan, Taiwan - Part 1
May 14, 2013
Had a long (nearly 10 hours) layover in Taiwan so we decided to hit town and get a hotel room.

We didn't have any reservation but back at the airport, a security I approached helped us get a room -- she even used her cellphone and wrote down the name of the hotel and address in Chinese characters for us so our taxi driver can read. No one in Taiwan speaks or reads English (except, of course, western joints like Burger King, etc.).

Every Taiwanese we met -- at the airport, hotel, street youth, restaurant owners, etc. we found out were very nice. We were clueless tourists happy the way things were turning out.

After one night of shopping and eating adventures in Taoyuan, we're off to Manila...

Click on a picture to enlarge.
At Taoyuan Tourism Night Market. It was late -- close to midnight so crowds were starting to thin. All stores were still open though.
At a 7-Eleven convenience store. I changed currencies from US to Taiwanese dollars back at the airport, but was afraid was not enough. Since no one on the street spoke English, I approached the first western dude we saw. She had a Chinese (but fluent in English) companion in tow. I asked where I could convert money and was told 7-Eleven. I asked if he was American. He said he's Canadian. I am Asian so it was a first (and weird) for me to ask for help from a Westerner in my part of the world.
Via gets new sandals.
We had noodles for a very late dinner, around 1am.
Notice the kids have been flashing that hand gesture. Back at the hotel, we asked the non-English speaking receptionist what floor our room was on. She said something in Chinese and at the same time flashed us the hand gesture -- an inverted '7'. So we surmised that must be Taiwanese hand gesture for the number 7. The kids have since been flashing the sign all night long.
The place where we had noodels. The place on the left was where we got iced tead. Really good food and drinks.
Our hotel. It's the Kai Yuan hotel in Tao Yuan, about a 30-minute taxi ride form the airport.
It does not have a website and did not return my e-mail prior to our trip. It is also in a narrow street (Beixing St) off the main road (Zhongzheng Rd). The reason I picked it is because it was the closest to the airport that was also closest to a night market (being that our layover was overnight) just a couple of blocks from the Taoyuan Tourism Night Market.

Our hotel room came out to about US$57. Staff (we only meant one) was very friendly. Room, sheets, and bathroom were clean. There was an ashtray but it didn't smell like a smoking room at all. My only complaint was there was no shower curtain so water splashed onto the bathroom floor which was nothing compared to the quality of the room/hotel. Yes, I would recommend it.
Our hotel room.
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