Saturday, June 23, 2018

Day 1: Collecting my Tze-Chiang Train Tickets & Getting the MRT EasyCard

18 April 2018 (Wednesday)

After checking into Chia Rong Hostel, I went out in search of Fuyuan Pepper Bun for my very late lunch, or rather, early dinner. Unfortunately, it was closed.

It was already 5:15 p.m. and getting late. So instead of looking for an alternative late lunch/ early dinner, I decided to go back to Taipei Main Station to collect my Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) return train tickets to Hualien and later to buy the MRT EasyCard (Youyou Card).

Upon re-reading the pick up form again on my return to PNG, I realised that the TRA Info officer had advised me correctly by pointing me to the TRA Station Ticket Counter to collect my return tickets

After getting my TRA return tickets to Hualien, I went to explore the station. This was to familiarise myself with the layout of the station. I would depart for Hualien at 9:00 a.m. local time the next morning.

I did not see any counter selling the Easycard at Taipei Main Station main hall earlier. I was thinking of searching for the MRT station but having been lost in the station labyrinth of corridors earlier, I did not want to waste my time looking for the MRT station. I decided to take the easier option of buying EasyCard from 7-11 close to Chia Rong Hostel.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Day 1: Arriving in Taipei and How I was Confused at Taoyuan Airport

18 April 2018 (Wednesday)

The plane departed as scheduled from Kuala Lumpur International Airport klia2 terminal for Taipei Taoyuan Airport Terminal 1 at 10:00 a.m.

On arrival at Taoyuan Airport, my first task was to clear the usual immigration formalities.

The first sign of confusion was the confusing direction signs where citizen and non-citizens passengers were segregated for the immigration stamps.

After exiting the arrival hall, I went to buy the local SIM. I would also buy the Easycard and use it to pay for the Taoyuan MRT ride to downtown Taipei Main Station. 

From there, I would take Exit Y13 and walk to Chia Rong Hostel which was a short walking distant away. After checking in, I would go and look for Fuyuan Pepper Bun stall which was located nearby and from there, I would return to Taipei Main Station to collect my Tze-Chiang return train tickets to Hualien the next morning. Then, I would visit Shilin Market that evening for my dinner.

My plan did not materialised as I hoped for. I was delayed because it took longer than expected to get to Taoyuan MRT Station and secondly, because the MRT stopped at every station instead of four stations only. Did I inadvertently take the MRT Commuter train instead of the MRT Express train?

After watching a Youtube video, I should have continued walking forward. The escalator and elevator to the MRT station were at the end of the hall
Was it possible to take Taoyuan MRT at Terminal 1 to Taipei? From what I watched on Youtube video after getting back to PNG, the elevator and escalator to Taoyuan MRT station were right there at the end of the hall, yet the direction signs led me astray and I ended up taking the MRT from Terminal 2. It also led me to take Taoyuan MRT Commuter instead of Taoyuan MRT Express.

I have never been as confused as this in all my years of travel ... was it me or the incomplete and confusing direction signs at Taoyuan International Airport?

On disembarking at Taipei Main Station, I followed the direction signs to exit from the station. I would need to go to Exit Y13, which Google Map showed was the nearest station to Chia Rong Hostel where I would be putting up for the night.

There, the yellow direction sign showed the exits at Y. I followed the direction accordingly.