Our flight out was at 950am. We took the Air Asia bus at KL Sentral since we’ve purchased it online. With the new thing of online check-in, we were only required at the airport a little over 1hr.
At the airport, we started queuing at the “Luggage Drop-off” counter. Somehow the line felt much slower than a normal check-in. Once it was our turn, we were told to drop our luggage at the Air Asia X counter. I’m like what!! My ticket doesn’t say I’m flying AAX. Grrr…anyway, might have been my fault too since I didn’t look at the information board upon entrance.
AirAsia Luggage Drop-off Counter
Breakfast like usual at MCDs. Then we were off for our 5hr flight. Typical AA, the flight was delayed about 10mins. Bought lunch onboard, slept, read magazines etc. Anything just to occupy the long journey. Reached Taoyuan International Airport at 2.50pm. As we were trying to catch the 4.30pm train to Hualien, and it takes nearly 1hr to get to Taipei Main Station. We decided to catch a cab instead.
Monster having a Stud-ding time
Language barrier was the biggest problem we have in this country. The taxi drivers don’t even understand “Taipei Main Station”. Luckily I had a MRT map with Chinese characters on it.
Welcome to Taiwan...*swoon* Fahrenheit
"Skilled" taxi driver, left hand driving
The taxi was really spacious & the driver is crrraaazzy. He zigzag along the freeway and cut lanes without signaling. I was starting to feel abit nauseated. The cost ran by meter which cost NT1300.
Camwhoring in taxi
The next language attempt, buying a HSR ticket to Hualien. I had booked our tickets online but I couldn’t find the printout *grr* After signed languages and my minimal understanding, I got us the express Tze Chiang train to Hualien 2hr journey.
Taipei Main Station
HSR Ticketing Counters
Tze Chiang Express Train
KS had to lunge the big luggage around. I kept looking for signs if we were on the right platform, even asked a girl. But when we got on the train, we were told it was the wrong one. I quickly went back up to the main station and was told a different platform. And intended train was departing soon. All I remembered was KS & I running a lot, carrying our bags up and down stairs. Once we settled into our seats, we just didn’t wanna move. Damn that girl who gave us the wrong info.
1 ticket from Taipei - Luodong
Another from Luodong to Hualien
No idea why they gave both, but u don't have to get off the train
Express was seriously express. I had pressure on my ears ¾ of the way, preventing me from having a good snooze. Great service with cleanliness & food cart. Extremely efficient too with the timing. At 6.30pm, the sky was like 8pm.
Good service & clean
Upon arriving at Hualien, we went to the Visitors Centre. Asked the direction to our accommodation, Debonair Motel & a pasta place called Tosca Pasta.
Hualien Visitors Center
Reeling our luggage in the rain and wet ground, we finally found our motel. BUuuuttt, we had no idea where was the Reception. After walking around the motel, I located it at the front of the carpark. Anyone would have thought that was the guardhouse. Once again, communication difficulty.
Looked something like their website
Aircon indicator "glows" too bright
NT$1680 per night
Anyway, check-in & showered, we went out for a spot of dinner. Lots of food stalls around, but all in mandarin. KS was screaming for MCDs. Luckily we found a café which had English words on their menu. All we did was point & pay.
Hot noodle on a wet day
Rice with minced pork for me
After that we just called it a night.