Monday, March 26, 2018

Taiwan 8D7N Free & Easy Tour - Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf (渔人码头) & Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街)

It has been more than 10 years since our last visit to Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf. Back then, Denver was only 3 years old then and together we toured Taiwan as he was strapped onto the stroller. 11 years later, we took the same route back, only this time, no more strollers and Gladys is here with us too.

From Taipei Station, we took the MRT (red line) down to Tamsui Station (淡水).  The old street of Tamsui is walking distance to the train station. Since it was still early, we took bus 26 to Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf for a scenic walk by the waterfront.

It was great to be able to bring our girl with us on this trip to revisit the memories and leave our footprints together on this journey. The surroundings did not seem to have undergone major changes and the view of the setting sun is just as gorgeous.

Family Photo @ Lover's Bridge (淡水情人桥)

The Lover's Bridge represent the mast and rigging of a sailing ship and is beautifully illuminated at night. Many couples and families like to take pictures by the white-coloured cable-stayed bridge and it is a significant tourist spot in Tamsui.

Before the sun set, we took Bus 26 back to the train station and strolled along the old streets of Tamsui. 

You can find many good eats at Tamsui and one of the must eat is the old school sponge cake. The shop is easily spotted by the long line of customers queuing for the fluffy sponge cakes. You can choose to go for the original or the cheese flavour. I guess we were lucky to queue for about 30 minutes only as many said it usually takes about 1 hour. 

Patience is the key and its an art to see them overturn the sponge cake, slice the cake into large pieces and package them into boxes while waiting. We bought 2 boxes of each flavour and finished 1 box on the spot. It was truly delicious and always best to eat it when it was fresh out from the oven.

Further ahead, its another shop selling Shrimp Rolls. I do not fancy fried food but this is something interesting to try just by it's looks. 

If you are in Tamsui, do try their fish balls which are stuffed with minced pork within. The fish balls are very chewy and delicious which is a good food to share among adults and children.

Whether it is Grandma Steel Egg or Grandpa Steel Egg, this is a famous eat in Tamsui. We bought a packet to try and honestly, I am not too accustom to its' taste and texture.

Setting sun at Tamsui

Apart from the scenic view and great eats, you can also find assorted museum like this at Tamsui - 搜奇博物館. This museum showcase unbelievable collections of mutated animals specimen and other odd displays. We gave it a miss as the children are not that keen to enter (entrance fee applies) and we head on to our next destination.

Tamsui MRT Station

Check out our Taiwan 8D7N itinerary.

Visited in Nov 2016

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Taiwan 8D7N Free & Easy Tour - Taipei M Hotel (台北門精品旅店)

Day 5 - From CingJing, we booked a transport to take us to Taichung High Speed Rail (HSR) station. We are taking the HSR train to our next destination - Taipei! 

Prior to travelling, we checked the timing and bought the same day tickets upon reaching the station. (NT670 for adult, NT350 for children). Though the HSR train tickets are more expensive, we saved  travelling time as it only takes about 1 hour from Taichung to Taipei. 

Seating are rather comfortable as everyone still managed to have some leg space even after putting our bags/luggage.

Alighting at Taipei HSR station, we walked for about 15 minutes (with our luggage) before reaching our resting place for the next 3 nights ; Taipei M Hotel - Main Station (台北門精品旅店). It wasn't too hard to locate with Google Map and we also managed to explore the area on our way there. 

Taipei M Hotel Lobby

While waiting for Hubby to check-in, the children spotted drink dispenser stations providing refreshing beverages for their guests. This is definitely very welcoming for us especially after taking a long walk to reach the hotel.

Even though Taoyuan International Airport is not very far from Taipei M Hotel, we decided to book the airport transfer service (NT1000) for our peace of mind.

Check-in complete! We took the lift up to the 7th floor and looking at floor plan, there are more than 50 rooms on a single floor!

We booked a Fashion Family Room for NT 9890 (3 nights stay - inclusive of tax). This is the 'smallest' size room we have stayed throughout our trip to Taiwan but the room is clean and comfortable. 

There is walking space after placing our luggage. 

Toiletries and basic amenities are provided (including hair dryer, towels etc).

Toilet and shower room is of reasonable size. 

One of the main reason for picking Taipei M hotel, apart from its location, is the availability of washing machine and dryer. As we are on a 8D7N trip, we planned to wash our clothing and bring minimum dirty laundry back home.

Washing machines and dryers are available on the 11th floor of the hotel but to our surprise, all of them were occupied (even at 11pm) and there was a long waiting line to use the machines. To our dismay, we have to forgo our plans and look out for laundromat near the hotel. (Thankfully, we managed to find one that is about 10 minutes walk away and still got our laundry washed!)

Gym Room on 11th floor

Taipei M Hotel's rooftop garden is pretty neat and relaxing especially for those who wants to have some quiet time and fresh air. 

I must say M hotel has a lot of drink stations, and guests do not have to worry about feeling thirsty! 

Our room rate is inclusive of breakfast and hence we had a hearty and filling breakfast before we head out for the day.

While we were disappointed not being able to have our laundry washed within the comfort of the hotel, we had a rather comfortable stay at Taipei M Hotel. It is within walking distance to Taipei HSR station and there are a few eateries nearby.

Check out our Taiwan 8D7N itinerary.

Summary Notes:
- Free Wifi
- Air-condition
- Window view - None
(depends on room type)
- Flooring - Carpeted
- Water Flask - available
- Hair Dryer - available
- Phone - available
- Mini Fridge - not available

- Bath towels are provided
- Combined Toilet and Shower room
- Water Heater available.
- Disposable toothbrush/toothpaste provided

Taipei M Hotel (台北門精品旅店)
Address: No. 64, Section 1, Hankou St, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Visited in Nov 2016