Alarm was at 5.30am. Brush teeth, make tea, pack up electronics. mm texted that she was on her way at 6.15am so I took my suitcase downstairs to wait for her. I saw the gym was fightable so I quickly ran up the road. Before I even started she texted that she’d arrive already. Wow, without normal traffic it was quick. We worked out that it’d be more economical and way more comfortable to take ryan and park at the long term carpark. It was pretty full so many people had the same idea.
Check in was straightforward and we were at the gate fairly promptly. I scoffed the 2 hard-boiled eggs mm made for breakfast. The plane arrangement was 2-4-2 and we had the window and aisle seats. They even served us warm luncheon meat rolls, which hit the spot as I was getting hungry again.
We took a quick glance at the duty free once we arrived at taipei, bought a 4-day unlimited data sim card for my spare iphone for tethering and got bus tickets for the hotel. We debated whether to go to the restaurant before the hotel but it was raining pretty hard so I said we should check in first.
We stayed at the hotel quote, a boutique hotel near taipei arena. When we got off the bus it was still pouring, so it was a bit of a wet trek to the hotel. Very modern, comfortable room. Reviews say the rooms are dark, which we didn’t find to be the case. There weren’t any windows as such, what used to be windows were blocked off, may be that’s why people didn’t like it. The bathroom was open (with a curtain for privacy) which made the entrance area much larger, we had both our suitcases there and still plenty of room to walk around. Drinks in the minibar (water, soft drinks, tea, beer) were free and refilled every day.
They had a lounge and we stopped to get juice and a handful of snacks. They had soft drinks, juice, biscuits, coffee, tea and spare toiletries. Open 24hrs, a really good idea.
Taxi to the hotpot restaurant. We had planned on lobster hotpot but couldn’t resist upgrading to the live lobster. We got 2 soup bases, one with kelp and the other with kimchi. The lobster was really good, very fresh and totally worth the expense. They served it whole for us to take pictures, then took it into the kitchen to cut into smaller pieces. The other ingredients were less impressive. Too much fish and everything frozen. The ice cream, although offering many flavours and all-you-can-eat, we didn’t even eat aside from small tasting bites. Too icy, too artificial.
It was still early evening, we were full so we walked down the main street towards Sogo in search of whisky. The citysuper there was exactly what we were used to, but no significant whisky. The gym inside Sogo was busy busy busy. Walked slowly past more shops, found a night market but didn’t stay, eventually got some local sake from a supermarket for enjoying in the hotel. Early dinner meant early night in our room and more time to relax.