Thanks for the opportunity to post on this forum. It looks very active and there has been a lot of good information found in the travel section already. I do have some questions though that I am struggling to find answers for and am hoping you can help me out.
I am based in Thailand and I plan to go there in the middle of November to watch the World Baseball Classic.
I have noticed that Thai, Eva and China all fly direct from Bangkok. Are there any others? Any suggestions on which one is best?
The stadium where the games are being held is called Xinzhuang Stadium. I understand that Taoyuan airport is closest to here.
Any suggestions on accommodation (something decent but does not have to be 5 star - perhaps between 2,000 - 4,000 TWD) within walking distance of the stadium? If there is none close by which area would you suggest I narrow my hotel search down to? Looking at google maps I think that the subway station called Xinzhuang is closest to the stadium so perhaps something on that line would make things easier. In between games I will have a little spare time to wander away from the hotel for a look around. I love to walk and I love to eat so a hotel surrounded by interesting sights and restaurants would be a bonus!
As I mentioned, I really like to walk around new cities but if there was one or two places that I was to hop in a taxi for what would you suggest is the ‘must see’ thing I should check out? Also, if there is one local dish I should try when there, what would it be?
I have been on the Australian Embassy page and perhaps it was my stupidity but I cannot seem to work out the visa on arrival system. Arriving on an Aussie passport can I get a VOA and is it free for 30 days or is some fee involved?
I am sorry for so many questions but as you can tell I am quite excited about this trip!
Xinzhuang isn’t the most interesting part of Greater Taipei but with the subway, it’s only 10-15 minutes from some much nicer places. Looking for hotels back along the line might be a better idea, perhaps around the Zhongxiao Xinsheng area, although I’m not sure of prices around there.
Don’t stay in Xinzhuang (Hsinchuang) it is a boring as f*ck suburb with only love hotels to stay in (people will post otherwise, but trust me).
Cabs are cheap and plentiful in Taipei and the subway is extensive (I think it goes very close to the Stadium) .
For your budget you can stay in Dongchu/East Taipei and enjoy better restaurants, walks, shopping, nightlife etc. None of this exists in any comparative level in Hsinchuang (it would be like going to Bangkok and staying out past Don Muang Airport where they had the Universiad a few years back) The travel really isn’t that much greater. Find a hotel near an MRT station and go from there. There may also be games at Tianmu stadium (though I am not sure) so you want some flexibility (when confused, tell your hotel where you are going, have them write it in Chinese and then take a card so you can get back. Taipei cabbies won’t rip you off).
When I have customers in town who want to save a few bucks (rather than staying at The W or Hyatt) I usually direct them here:
Good rooms, clean, free breakfast, and right next door to SunYatSen MRT station.
For walks you can cut through Sun Yat Sen Park over to Taipei 101 and all the glitzy shopping, theatres etc… or you can explore the back alleys on either side of Chungsiao East Road where you’ll find restaurants from all over the world, bars, pubs and other cool shit. You will be within stumbling distance of a lot of great bars, pubs and clubs. A short walk from where you are is On Tap and probably a great place to start the night and meet people to hang out with if you are solo as it is a sociable place and if you’re shy there is pool and darts downstairs. If you want to chase women that usually gets going later in the night at discos and the like.
The location of this place is tough to beat for the price.
The San Want Hotel on Chungsiao is also a really good choice for you price bracket.
Enjoy. BTW, if you go see Chinese Taipei, Japan or the USA play get there early.
Thanks for the excellent information. I will take your advice and either book the place you recommended or find something similar on the subway line instead of staying close to the stadium.
The walking and dining :lick: information was excellent and just what I need to point myself in the right direction before following my nose.
There are four teams in the tournament. Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines. Do you think this would draw a sell out or would it be safe to just turn up and see?
Yeah, those other teams won’t be much of a draw for fans here (though all games involving the host team will be packed). I expect Philippines to be the second best, and I am guessing Thailand won’t be very good (NZ I have no idea but Australia does OK, so they may just have enough converted cricketers to make it intersting). If Taiwan plays the Philippines on a Sunday it could be pretty epic as all the Filipino laborers who work here are off on Sunday and the stadium will be rocking. All Taipei games will likely be crowded, so get there early. The good thing about sporting events in Taiwan is you can bring whatever you want in, so load up on beers in 7-Eleven before hand.
if you are here to travel around as well, try to hit up the east coast. Go south, go east, go somewhere other than Taipei city! there is a bunch to do in the city, but Taiwan has some other really cool spots. Toroko gorge, though incredibly touristy, is really amazing and super easy to arrange something from taipei. you are safe everywhere here, so feel free to train/bus around as you please to see anywhere you like. SO much to see, so few people actually do.
The east Taipei joints other posters are suggesting are at least 30 minutes away by MRT.
There are some great local seafood restaurants by the park too.
Walking around is tough in Taipei County . Take the subway into Taipei. Don’t miss Longshan temple.
For going out of town, the east coast is the place to go.[/quote]
Thanks so much for that link, as if they can fit us in it looks like that is where we will be staying. Things have changed a bit which is why I have mentioned ‘we’. I have two cousins in the NZ team which is why I wanted to go. I am not much of a baseball fan really but am keen to see them both after so many years but now it seems that their Mum (my auntie) is also coming (from California.) I really like her and am looking forward to catching up with her but it is going to be expected that I look after her (she is around 70) while her sons are training, playing, team meetings etc etc. She wants to stay as close as possible to the stadium hence currently trying to book the Landmark. I am a little concerned how she will find the streets as well as the food but that will just make things interesting I guess.
When you mean seafood in the park do you mean the park that the stadium is located in? Any other food recommendations close by?
I am hoping she is feeling adventurous and wont mind hopping the subway with me and having a look around the city area, if not, I hope she has a good book so that I can head out by myself between games!
Thanks again everyone for your help, I am sure there will be a few more questions coming soon!
Yes the park where the stadium. There are several good inexpensive seafood restaurants across the street from the park close to the hotel. Try the one at 128 Gongyuan Road. Here are the characters for the hotel. 鱻宴 生猛活海鮮. The prices are very reasonable–most things are aroun NT$100. Just point. This is a place for working class Taiwanese people to drink cold beer and talk loud. They will be friendly.
I don’t know Sanchong that well and I can’t find Thomson Plaza on the map, but in general, Sanchong is one of Taipei’s grittier working class neighborhoods. It’s the real Taiwan, but I doubt that your 70 year old aunt will have much interest.
What does she like? The MRT is very efficient and taxis are cheap. Tell us, and we’ll try to come up with suggestions.