I’ve been in Taipei visiting friends for the last few days. I thought it would only be fair to share a few of the photos while I’m on my journey instead of just waiting until like month after I return home to share.
So, I met these three friends back in 2004 and 2005 while working in the national parks. I worked at Mt. Rushmore in 2004 in the gift shop. And I worked in the Grand Canyon in 2005 in the Retail Distribution Center. I supposed that they invited all the people they met to visit them in Taiwan. Now, five years later, through the power of Facebook I was able to coordinate a trip with them.
Dessert Spot had a crazy line…
HERE’S A RANDOM MONEY SAVING TIP THAT YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD BEFORE:
Buy SIM cards for your cellular phone when you go to different countries (not available for all models). Last time I visited Taiwan I just used my global roaming. Can you say expensive? It is 2 dollars a minute and 50 cents a text message with good ole Sprint. The SIM card cost me 350 TWD, about $11.60 USD. The hotel owner set it up for me.
Did I say hotel? I mean temporary room rental guy. Yeah, I used hostelbookers.com, but I definitely didn’t go with a hostel. This guy is smart. He has these low-end apartments that he basically rents out monthly, and he gets extra cash by filling the rooms that are empty with temporary guests like me.
Alex has been extra nice to me. He set up my SIM card with his info, though I read that as a citizen from another country you only need two forms of ID to do this. So, I’m going to give him a shout out. The place I stayed for about $20 USD a night is called Alex’s Oceanview Stay/Alex’s Oceanview Village Home/Alex’s Village Home (in Google Maps).
Oh, one other thing…I found out at dinner that I basically got robbed on the taxi ride to my temporary home. The dude that runs the place, Alex, was like take the bus to the MRT (something like a subway, metro). The taxi guys at the airport were like, “There’s no bus that goes out there!” And one of them just grab the phone from me and hung up. Anyhoo, I had changed over some money for Alex’s airport pickup service, and I think I ended up spending around the same amount. But, when my friends heard that I had paid 1250 TWD or 41.50 USD they gasped and said I paid way too much. A 15 minute cab ride in New York from the airport runs around 60 bucks, so I thought that I had made out okay. They were saying I should have paid only 700 TWD /23.25 USD. A lot of things are cheaper in Taipei.
…going to Taichung tomorrow. Hope to hit up some night markets there.