We took 3K521 Jetstar Asia, departing from Changi T1 on schedule and touched down Taoyuan Airport 15 minutes earlier at 6.15 pm. Temperature was a lovely 20C.
( I am pleasantly surprised at the leg room in Jetstar. My fear of a very cramped 4.5 hour flight was for nothing! )
The money changer before the immigration was offering 22.67NT for 1 SGD so we changed some. Better than people's park and Changi airport.
Bought Ubus ticket ( 30NT per person ) at the left of arrival hall counter. Booth is highly distinguishable by lit "UBUS" signage. Hopped up Ubus 705, heading for Taoyuan HSR, Took us 20 mins to reach there only to find southbound tickets sold out except 8.10pm. Had a 30 minutes break at MOS burger before catching HSR 1481 southbound for Taichung. In our haste, we missed buying the SIM card ( booths being located at the right of the departure hall ).
A cool 37 minutes was all we needed to get to Taichung but it would be better if we had traveled in the day. Speed was somewhat swallowed by the night, so the thrill was not really there.
Met Mr. Liao's buddy at basement exit 7 after much long distance calls (!). 20 minutes and 270NT ( with compliments from Mr Liao )later we reached Zaw Jung hotel .
It was a hotel with nothing to shout about ( basic toilet facilities,minimal toiletries,poor sound proofing, windowless although the hot water dispensor was nice ) and at 9.30pm, looks like the most unhappening place in Taichung. I twice walked past the hotel, missing it because of the non-descript shop front . Not to mention, it can only be reached from Taichung rear station via an underpass accessible from the main station.
( From across the road, rear station side, you locate the hotel by its more conspicuous neighbour )
We trooped over to a couple of telco to look for sim card without success because we needed proof of residency in Taiwan, besides our passport. Futile mission, so we will use our M1 prepaid sim card from now on.
Zhongxiao Night market was a hodge podge of stalls 200 m down the road with cars,scooters and pedestrians jostling for a place on the road. We ate ice at the first stall we saw to greatly regret it. No mango ice as advertised by Taiwan Tourism because it is not in season. Never shop or eat on impulse.
15 minutes was all we needed to check out the hotel vicinity. If the place and food fails to please, its people more or less make up for it. This place seems to be inhabited with wonderfully polite and patient people which overrides all other misgivings.
This is a promising sign of a wonderful 14 days in Taiwan.