Keelung Evergreen Laurel Hotel
This was the day to catch our flight back to Singapore. Keelung is quite a distance to Taoyuan Airport. However, our flight was at night so we had plenty of time to travel to the airport. In fact, travelling time won’t be too long either. We would take a bus to Taipei and travelling time would be about an hour. From Taipei, we would take another bus to Taoyuan Airport about an hour away. Hence, we were very relax with our itinerary this day.
Our breakfast was included in our booking so we need not leave the hotel to look for food. The restaurant up on the top floor offered amazing views of the harbour and its surrounding. More importantly, the buffet breakfast spread was sumptuous and the food tasty. We collected our food and sat down to enjoy this delicious breakfast with great views of the harbour below. Restaurant staff were really polite and friendly.
We returned to our room after breakfast. The harbour view from our room windows was fascinating. We noticed there was an increase on the number of ships docked at the harbour. The navy ship docked below just outside Evergreen Laurel Hotel was in the same location and didn’t leave the harbour. Other ships had arrived during the night to berth at the harbour. It was quite an interesting and refreshing sight to observe the activities of the harbour.
After 10 am, we took our time to head to the lobby. We visited the business centre to take a look. We didn’t have the opportunity to use the facilities here. Drinks were available for hotel guests. Like some other hotels we had stayed at in Taiwan, hotel guests could use the free flow drinks and snacks in the business centre. This business centre wasn’t very big but good enough to rest a while to get things done.
Kuo Kuang Bus 1813 to Taipei
We then went to front desk to check out. It was done pretty quickly. Concierge then helped us call a taxi to send us to Kuo Kuang Bus Terminal. The taxi came within five minutes. So we left this wonderful 5-star Evergreen Laurel Hotel. We really liked this hotel. The staff here were so polite, helpful and friendly. The harbour view from our room was really nice.
The bus terminal was not far away so we arrived in about five minutes. It was drizzling however when we got off the taxi. Taxi fare was about NT$80. We then went into the terminal and waited for bus 1813 to Taipei. Not long after, we boarded the bus and headed off to Taipei. Bus fare was NT$55. About an hour later, we arrived Taipei Main Train Station.
Lunch and Shop at Taipei
It was slightly after noon when we arrived. It was so hot and sunny in Taipei. We went into the Main Train Station Mall to cool down and did some windows shopping first. Next we went across the road to look for the beef noodles restaurant we had dinner a year ago. We found the restaurant eventually and went in for lunch. This restaurant dates back to 1971 located at Kaifeng Street. The name of the restaurant is Liang Pin Beef Noodles. So we enjoyed our tasty lunch on this hot day in Taipei.
Next we went down to the underground mall of the Taipei Main Train Station. There are many small little shops here and prices of clothes and bags as well as other common items are rather reasonable. So my dear wife did her last round of shopping before we went back up to Kuo Kuang Bus Terminal to take another bus to Taoyuan Airport.
Kuo Kuang Bus 1819 to Taoyuan Airport
Finally, we were back at Kuo Kuang Bus Terminal just above the underground mall. It was so convenient to make a last stop shopping here before heading to the airport. We queued up at Bus Line 1819. Bus fare is NT$125. Soon we boarded the bus and were on our way leaving Taipei City behind. An hour later, we were near Taoyuan Airport. We did not alight at the airport though. We chose to alight at the airport hotel, Novotel Hotel.
After collecting our bags from the storage compartment, we walked into Novotel Hotel while the bus moved on towards the airport. We are Accor Plus members. So we chose this last stop to use the facility of this hotel before our flight home. We stopped over at this hotel a year ago before our flight home too.
Dinner at Taoyuan Novotel Airport Hotel
Our first stop was to visit the washrooms. Having refreshed ourselves, we sat down to rest as it was before 4 pm. Slightly after 4 pm, we joined the queue to purchase freshly baked bread to bring home. There was a 40% discount for bread and pastries. Many of those who came to queue were office staff working at the airline office nearby. So we bought quite a lot of bread to bring home to share with everyone at home and with some neighbours.
At 5 pm, it was time to head to the restaurant for a quick early dinner. We would be taking the hotel’s shuttle bus to the terminal building at 6 pm. We were actually not hungry yet. Nevertheless, we had to eating something before flight as we were flying budget airlines without dinner onboard.
We ordered hor fun and a club sandwich. We shared and finished eating the hor fun but the club sandwich, we could only pack and take it away with us. As Accor Plus members, we enjoyed 50% discount for meals in a nice hotel restaurant. So our dinner was taken care off.
We rested for a while more and then waited for our shuttle bus to the airport near to 6 pm. The bus came and many passengers alighted. We then boarded the bus and a few minutes later, we alighted at the terminal building. It was still bright when we entered the airport.
The terminal building wasn’t very crowded. We walked past the tourist service centre as well as the convenience store we bought the Easy cards a year ago. We then went over to enquire about the mobile data plans. It seemed like you get a better deal purchasing sim cards here than downtown in the city.
Finally, we went up to the Jetstar counters to collect our boarding pass. Once done, we cleared immigration and went into the secured area of the terminal building. We found a place near our boarding gate to settle down to rest and then wait for our flight. Before we were called to board our flight, we consumed the club sandwich from Novotel Hotel. Finally, we were called to board our flight and we were homeward bound. So we left behind wonderful memories of our short five days Northern Taiwan Tour.
Northern Taiwan Tour Itinerary
It was a fun filled tour beginning from Taipei City. Our first attraction was Yang Ming Shan where we spent the whole morning and some part of the afternoon exploring the interesting hill near Taipei. The first night ended with a visit to the Ningxia Night Market staying at the 4-star Taipei City Hotel. The location of this hotel was good for the attractions for our first day with Daqiatou MRT Station a few minutes walk away.
The next day we switched hotel to stay at the 5-star Park Taipei Hotel just outside Daan MRT Station. The morning of day 2 was spent visiting Shifen Waterfall Park. The waterfall was quite stunning and a direct bus 795 to Shifen is available from across the road of Muzha Station. Shopping and dining at Ximending later in the day was fun before retiring for the day.
Day 3 was spent visiting Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall followed by lunch and shopping at Taipei 101. The change of guards ceremony at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall was cool. More shopping at Miramar Complex and dining kept us busy late afternoon. A visit to Raohe Night Market ended our tour for the day.
A train trip to Keelung Evergreen Laurel Hotel started day 4 of our tour. Taking bus 788 from Keelung brought us to Jiufen Old Street. Shopping was fun and lunch was great with a nice view. Visiting Heping Island Park in the afternoon was nice where the park somewhat resembles Yehliu Geopark. Dinner at Tasty Restaurant in Keelung was the highlight of our tour. Miaokou Night Market was interesting with plenty of fresh seafood available for diners to indulge in a mouth-watering dinner.
So the final day was a transfer from Keelung to Taipei by bus for shopping and lunch. Taking another bus brought us to Novotel Airport Hotel for dinner and bakery shopping. Eventually, we took our flight home ending a wonderful short Northern Taiwan Tour.