Visiting Taichung, need advice on planning?

I’ve recently been wanting to check out Taichung. I’m looking to spend not that much on boarding. I’m not sure where to look for, but so far I’ve checked out a couple of hotels and those love motels. Prices seem to range between $80-$100, which is already way too much. My brother visited Japan a couple of times and stayed at this place called Weekly Mansion, which only charged $40 a day in Tokyo and $20 a day in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Each had a simple room with a small kitchen, bathroom, and bed, and both of them fit his needs fine. I’m basically hoping for the same deal here. Is there anywhere that anyone knows of that’s in that price range and is not a hostel(i.e sleeping in bunk beds with lots of people in the same room, that’s just an absolute no for me :laughing: ).

Also, my understanding is that there are no direct flights that go to Taichung, but rather you need to transfer from another airport to Taichung? Anyone able to explain that process to me? I’m not too clear on it. I don’t have to pay lots of money for two separate trips do I? :blush:

There might be other questions but I’ll keep it here for now. Also, I haven’t been the most prodigious student, but I’ve studied Mandarin for a few years now. So any advice on places to stay that require knowing the language I’ll also accept. Don’t be scared to give any links not in English.

Where would you be coming from?

Generally speaking, people fly into Taipei (Taoyuan International Airport or, in some cases, Songshan Airport in Taipei proper) and then take a bus or train to Taizhong. Ground transport would cost between US$8 and US$20, I’m guessing.

Also, I’m sure I’m not the only person wondering this: Why Taizhong?

I’m coming from San Francisco. I meant to say that, slipped my mind.

Why Taichung? Well, why Taipei anywhere else over there? I just chose it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thats a little like saying why choose to vacation in SF over Bellingham.

OK, then fly to Taoyuan International Airport. Then you could take a bus for less than US$10, or you could take a shuttle bus to the high-speed rail station and catch a high-speed train from there (about US$17).

Hmm, is there anything negative about Taichung or something? I see people post about going to places besides Taipei or one of the big names like that and don’t see anyone trying to talk them out of it :stuck_out_tongue: Unless I’m reading you guys wrong or something. Isn’t Taizhong a city just as well as Taipei? Any advantage one has over the other or something?

Anyways the high speed train sounds like the most doable option for getting there. Still gotta look into finding a place to stay. Any advice appreciated! :slight_smile:

Much of the travel info on Forumosa is for people who live in Taiwan and thus have already seen Taipei and many of the other popular tourist destinations here. But you’re going to be coming all the way across an ocean to a place you don’t appear to know much if anything about. That’s fine, of course. It’s your vacation, and Taiwan is much underrated as a tourist destination. Still, you might want to do some more traditional research first.

I recommend you get the latest Lonely Planet or one of the other guidebooks for Taiwan. Once you’ve gone through your book, if you still believe that Taizhong is the vacation spot for you, then ask away – though a lot of the questions you may have (such as budget accommodations) will be answered in the book. :2cents:

Found somewhere called Good Ground Hotel which seems like the cheapest possible place I can find to stay. Anyone know of it and have any thoughts?

I’ve been looking into flights to Taipei and so far it seems like everything around $1200~. I guess in this season it would be unrealistic to expect to somehow find a deal that’s at least $800~? I’m guessing if that were my strict flight budget then I’d probably be stuck waiting till September since prices don’t appear they’re gonna change anytime soon :frowning:

I don’t get why you want a vacation in Taichung. Its just a big city, like Taipei, except far, far less to do and far more difficult to get to somewhere nice on public transport. It rains less there, though. But that’s about it, really.
I imagine that as a tourist on your own, too, even just getting around will be a major hassle – public transport infrastructure is absolutely FUCKED there!

Yeah why Taichung, I don’t recommend it for a holiday. Maybe Taipei, Kaoshiung, Tainan, Hualien?

Well, I thought the art museum is acceptable depending on the installations at the time, plus that long walking area across from it passes through a bunch of interesting bars and restaurants with decent food - the Greek place wasn’t bad at all. You can take a tour bus to the Chung Tai temple in Puli (it’s a nutty cult of Buddhism that dumped hundreds of millions on this place, but it’s a pretty cool place if you can get the full tour) on the way to Sun Moon Lake.

Why wouldn’t you take the high speed rail? If you aren’t planning on stopping in Taipei first, you can go from RCTP (TPE airport) to the high speed rail station and from there you’re in Taichung in 45 minutes, smooth and clean and fast.

I agree with the others though about making sure Taipei, and then for me Hualien (greatest city in the country IMHO) and Kaohsiung, aren’t more interesting for a first timer. Unless you’re meetin’ an internet chick in Taichung or something.

Oh and let’s not forget - let’s not forget, dude - you may be able to see the filming of a live police-gangster drama/thriller unfold right in front of you! Don’t forget to bring your folding coffee table!

Damn, you guys are making me second guess Taichung :laughing: Honestly, I chose it at first just thinking it wouldn’t be anything different or unique from the other. I planned to go to China a couple years back and then chose Dalian, over anywhere big like Shanghai or Beijing. I guess I just have a tendency to choose not the most obvious places! I’ll have to consider it. Either way, I’d be looking to stay for about two weeks, so during one of those days I’d no doubt take the high speed train to Taichung anyways just to check it out.

I found the Taipei Weekly Mansion and it’s pretty cheap, that’s a plus already. I might have to consider doing Taipei after all, though I’m not sure if I’m just being too scared into thinking Taichung will be completely boring. I dunno, you guys…you’re confusing me :roflmao: That one isolated incident with some gangsters I don’t think would be anything to worry too much about. Hopefully…

I practically have everything planned here already, all I’d need to do is secure a flight after making a booking. Just not too sure I wanna fork over the price that the summer season has to offer. Really wish prices didn’t fluctuate like this throughout the year.

Once you’re here it’s easy with the HSR if you’ve got the loot to go up and down the coast - Taipei to Taichung to Tainan to Kaohsiung and a few bits in between - but you ought to spend a couple days in Taipei first at least, most of the major art and history places are here are there’s a wider variety of eating and public transport etc here. Shit, Tainan is more fun to me than Taichung, but you know, all of the non-Taipei places were pretty boring to me my first 6 months in Taiwan, especially if you are doing this on your lonesome. Guess it depends what you’re looking for. Never heard of the Taipei Weekly Mansion…

Personally, though, if you can get to Hualien for a couple days, hike Taroko and go to the beach and eat some local food etc, it’s the most beautiful and easily accessible place in Taiwan I’ve ever been…

Dunno if this is off topic, but do you know if there’s any restrictions on what you can bring back with you? Like if I bought a lot of old video game cartridges(a hobby that I was gonna look into while I’m there:)), would that not be allowed on the plane on the trip back?

Here’s the Weekly Mansion I was talking about:
It’s only called Weekly Mansion in Japanese I guess though, not sure why.

There’s so much I’d want to explore over there, I wish I had the time to check out each big city. Just too big heh.

Looks like it’s right near the combat zone on Linsen with all the filipina hookers - I may need to stop by for a proper welcoming you to the island! And I think Chang Chun means “ever spring” in Chinese, it’s the same name of the street its on. And uh, some people here’ll violently disagree with me on this, but outside of a few places, there aint much special to see here. Whatever you do, don’t waste hours or days of your life going to Alishan (unless you were born on a farm, and are a retard).

Filipina hookers. I didn’t even consider the dirty side of the city until you brought that up :wink:

Hey, meeting up with anybody would be a great thing. I’ll definitely be letting everyone know once I’ve(hopefully) made all the arrangements and am good to go! I can’t imagine holding myself back until September waiting for airfare prices to drop, I just can’t. How’s your Mandarin? I’ve only spent so much time reading it, zero practice speaking it. No doubt I’d get all the tones wrong and end up calling someone a dog or something :stuck_out_tongue:

If you don’t include the general ‘different from back home’ cityscape you’d get anywhere in TW, you can see/do everything Taichung city has to offer in a day, a weekend if you really stretch it. A better, cleaner, bigger version of almost everything you’d see in Taichung is available in Taipei, so unless 2nd rate science museums and KTV whores are your thing, I’d not schedule 2 weeks in Taichung. This isn’t just foreign pessimism speaking either, a Taiwanese friend of mine and 30+ veteran of Taichung was asking me the other day " if you had one day to show guests around Taichung, where would you take them to show off Taichung’s good side and make it seem like a cool place to live." we spent 30min discussing it, but failed to come up with a decent answer. Taichung is fast becoming Taiwan’s boorish, dead beat relative that nobody wants at the x-mas party. Sad but true.

Dude, me no speakee, and it’s still mostly chickenscratch to me. But a lot of the board regulars speak a lot and read a lot, and if you look around the board, you’ll see some events coming up that you might wanna go to - ask people like Maoman, or do some searches on recent posts, they’re doing some camping soon, and there’s happy hour meets and such, you ought to go to one while you’re here. I’d also recommend hitting a pub quiz - like Brass Monkey or On Tap - if your timing’s right, there’s usually a team (at On Tap anyway) that could use an extra member. When in doubt, go to Carnegies, Brass Monkey, On Tap, My Other Place (did they close?) and just sidle up to the bar.

And I second everything plasmatron said about Taichung, except if that Opera House ever opens:

plasmatron, perhaps it’s just because you and your friend too used to being there? Ask me the same for my area, I’d tell you you’re insane for even wanting to visit this joint! It’s understandable if you’ve been in the same area your whole life though. Suffocating doesn’t begin to describe it. If I were to visit Taichung though my activities would include seeking out any obscure shops. Love finding those hidden away places with all the old antiques and such. Spending only one day there I’d probably be running all over trying to finding anywhere special before the days end hehe.

I’ll check out about any events with forum members. :slight_smile:

Do you collect old karaoke equipment, there is plenty for sale in Taichung right now!