For our last day in Taipei, Mon still had some last minute souvenir shopping to do. This is honestly my least favorite part. As Ximending Night Market is just a cartwheel away from the inn, Mon has already bookmarked the shops he wanted to visit.
Most of the stuff I will be giving to family and friends had been taken care of the night before. So for the morning’s adventure, I will just be tagging along. We also planned to visit a cat cafe somewhere in Taipei in the afternoon.
The prices of the boxes of mochi were nearly the same as Carrefour. Mon also meticulously looked for small non-food items for his family. Meanwhile, I just sat outside every bench or chair I could find. Before the end of his shopping, I also bought boxes of pastries to be given to my family and his. I also used my credit card for this one-time purchase (NTD 750).
Before going to the cat cafe, we ate lunch at McDonald’s in Ximending Night Market (the usual chicken + salad). This McDonald’s was a couple of blocks from the inn, which was very convenient because we had to drop off the stuff we had bought.
It also began raining while we were eating. We waited for the rain to subside before walking again. I am using a non-water protected Piccadilly bag for today. I cannot risk it.
I also forgot to bring a belt with me, which prevented me from using my already 2-size too big pair pants. I ended up using the yellow drawstring from the first pair of shorts I used on our first day because I’m too cheap to buy a belt I will use for only a day.
Before going to Lang Lang Don’t Cry, we stumbled upon Taipei Tianhou Temple on the walk to Ximen Station. It is almost across the Red House Theater, very hard to miss. We took a couple of photos before going along our way.
For Lang Lang Don’t Cry, I miscalculated the MRT station to drop off from. Instead of exiting at Taipei Main Station, we got off the Shandao Temple Station instead. We walked for 20 minutes before arriving at the cafe.
It became almost customary for Mon and I to visit a cat cafe whenever we visit a new place. For this cat + dog cafe, however, one must reserve seats in advance.
Fortunately, despite not reserving in advance, we were accommodated by the staff: two seats at the counter. This place is clearly an animal shelter, and not the same as the cat cafes in Myeongdong and Bangkok. If you are looking for somewhere fancy, then clearly this is not the place for it.
sFrankly speaking, the experience would have been better if we were seated with the cats on the 2nd floor (the dogs were on the 1st floor). There were not a lot of activities inside, and I was almost bored to my wits finishing my non-keto food. I had a nagging feeling that perhaps we could have gone somewhere.
Anyway, I just keep convincing myself that it was for a good cause. *shrugs* However, given another choice, I’d rather go somewhere else.
For the rest of the afternoon, we rested before changing our clothes to prepare for the climb to Elephant Mountain. But, alas, the weather was not cooperative and it was raining cats and dogs. When we arrived at Xiangshan Station, we stayed for just a bit thinking that perhaps the rain will stop.
By 06:00 pm, we gave up and traveled back to Ximen. Let us just have a decent dinner on our last night, shall we? We went back to the food court of the department store where we had lunch before the Klook trip.
What I was particularly excited for was the shaved almond milk dessert after! For any keto travelers coming to Taipei, make sure to drop by Yu’s Almond Desserts. This is the closest thing to a keto-friendly place in Taipei you could visit.
You may remove the mung bean inside if you like a full-on keto dessert, but since if you will be walking a lot during your trip, just eat the extra carbs.
Our flight back to Manila was after midnight. We had plenty of time to sort our stuff, especially the dirty clothes we had amassed during our stay.
We booked the double room from September 4 – September 9 at Royal Hours Deluxe Inn using Booking.com back in May. The total cost was Php 13,215.82. This is roughly Php 2,600/night. As mentioned, we did not want to go through the trouble of asking for consideration for early check-in, thus we paid the whole day instead.
We had a very good experience there, overall. Except for the let down of a breakfast (not even a coffee available?), it would have been perfect. However, we were thinking that maybe next time we go back to Taipei, we’d research more on look for a better place where coffee is at least readily available.
Double Room of Royal Hours Deluxe Inn
For the iVideo pocket WiFi, we have booked online through their website back in August 21. The rent at the time was US$ 10.9, with US$ 2 shipping fee. I also got a US$ discount reducing the total cost to US$ 11.9, paid via credit card.
Ximen Station is a considerable walk from the inn. With the rain and heavy luggage, we opted for an Uber ride instead. We paid NTD 120.
We left Royal Hours at 11:00 pm. We thought that the last airport MRT train would leave at 12:00 am, but we were wrong. People were already rushing to get inside the stationed wagon, and we had to carry our bags over a long flight of stairs. I felt like I strained my arms doing that.
Normally, one buys a blue token (NTD 160) from the counter, but a lady just issued as tickets, which we will have to pay later on when we arrived at Taoyuan airport.
Before going inside the immigration area, we had to return the iVideo WiFi at the HiLife store. Using the return packet which came with the kit when we first got it, I just sealed everything in. No questions asked from the HiLife staff.
It was also the perfect time to grab a quick bite at the store, because there’s nothing to eat at the boarding gate. Mon, however, managed to find coffee. It was enough to keep me awake for an hour and a half before the red-eye flight. We also slept considerably in one of the benches, before the Cebu Pacific staff announced boarding at 3:00 am.
So for our Taipei trip, this is our expenses good for two:
|Royal Hours Deluxe Inn||13215.82||Total daily||10,654.02|
|Klook Shien/Jiufen Tour||2012.00|
|Day 1||NTD||PHP||Day 2||NTD||PHP|
|Kuo Kuang 1819 Bus||280||487.20||Breakfast||145||252.30|
|Cab from TMS to Royal Hours||120||208.80||Top-up||200||348.00|
|Breakfast||140||243.60||Ximen to Longshan||32||55.68|
|Easy Card||200||348.00||Longshan to TMS||32||55.68|
|Ximen to CKS||32||55.68||TMS to Zhongxiao Xinsheng||32||55.68|
|CKS to Taipei 101||32||55.68||Zhongxiao Xinsheng to Tamsui||40||69.60|
|Lunch at Taipei 101||295||513.30||Bus – Tamsui to Fisherman’s Wharf||30||52.20|
|Taipei 101 to Sun Yat-Sen||32||55.68||Bus – Fisherman’s Wharf to Tamsui||30||52.20|
|Sun Yat-Sen to Ximen||40||69.60||Tamsui to Jiantian||48||83.52|
|Dinner||140||243.60||Jiantian to Ximen||40||69.60|
|Day 3||NTD||PHP||Day 4||NTD||PHP|
|Ximen to Jiantian||40||69.60||Lunch||282||490.68|
|Jiantian to Yuanshan||40||69.60||Top-up||200||348.00|
|Yuanshan to Ximen||32||55.68||Ximen to Shandao||32||55.68|
|Ximen to Ximen||32||55.68||Coffee||200||348.00|
|Almond Milk Tea||180||313.20||TMS to Ximen||32||55.68|
|Sausage||100||174.00||Ximen to Xiangshan||40||69.60|
|Coffee||160||278.40||Xiangshan to Ximen||40||69.60|
Obviously, the biggest bulk of our trip was both the airfare and accommodation. If you get a better airline and hotel deals, then you can drive the cost even lower. Also, the Ximen to Ximen on Day 3 was when Mon and I were not talking, and I did not notice that he exited the wrong way so I had to go back inside just to look for him.
If ever we were to go back to Taiwan soon, we hope to visit the other southern cities in a different (i.e. cooler) month. But for now, thank you, Taipei! Until next time!