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First Trip For 2019 - 24 Hours in Brunei

It's supposedly my third trip for the year 2019 but then, due to some personal reason I burnt two tickets before my trip to Brunei. Sorry Sibu and Bangkok but I believe, I will see you two soon again. 

Hence, Brunei is my first official trip for this year - the brand new year of 2019. I've been to Brunei quite a number of times and the most adventurous I ever experienced was self-drive road trip which took more than 7 hours from Kota Kinabalu. My Old Post: 7 Hours Road Trip From Kota Kinabalu To Brunei

2019 Brunei Trip 01
#1: Fly with AirAsia to Brunei from Kota Kinabalu for as low as RM69 return fare

Besides driving, I actually also flew to the main capital city of Brunei - Bandar Seri Begawan multiple times and for this round, I got return fare for as low as RM69 only. That's freaking dirt cheap and as usual, it's so hard for me to say "No" for this unbelievable airfare. Thanks to AirAsia for relaunching this route and there goes our 24 hours trip in Brunei.
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Star Hostel Taipei Main Station

When come to staying in Taipei, I can't deny Ximending is always my top choice. But because of my recent trip where I travelled alone and arrived Taipei quite late at night, I decided to stay somewhere nearby the Taipei Main Station then. 

I almost booked other hostel until I saw this, it's like love at first sight...

#The inviting lounge/common area

Lately, I'm addicted staying in the hostel due to the lounge or common area. So when I saw Star Hostel with its inviting and cozy lounge/common area, immediately I booked without thinking any longer. Artistically furnished in the wood element with zen and roomy ambiance, I believe for sure it makes everyone instantly fall for it. Almost every morning before having breakfast, I spent my time here doing some travel research. I even spotted few guests spent their time here until 4am in the morning - wondering did they ever go to their bed to sleep? 

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 02
#A small-scale and compact cottage whereby guests can climb up to relax and chill in 

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 04-1

2018 Taipei Star Hostel Main Taipei Station
#Movie time in some nights

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 23
#Weekly event every night


Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 07
#Front desk

The reception runs 24 hours and therefore, you don't have to worry when you arrive the hostel late at night. The check-in process is kinda fast and hassle-free; just handover your passport and booking reference number. However, you are only allow to enter into your room at 3pm onwards. Fret not, as the hostel staffs are very helpful and friendly cause they allow the guest to leave their luggage in the hostel storage for free of charge. They even allow the guests to sit at the lounge as well, eventhough the check-in time hasn't come yet. 

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 08
#Souvenir & snacks corner

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 20
#Shoe cabinets

Before entering into the room and other common facilities, all the guests are required to change their footwear to the indoor slipper provided by the hostel. As for our footwear, just keep in the cabinet according to the assigned room number. Such ingenious idea cause not just it makes the whole hostel clean, but also prevent the floor from getting dirty. This hostel even being so thoughtful by providing hand sanitizer. 

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 09
Entrance to the hostel


Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 10

Star Hostels reminds me of my most favourite hostel in Europe (Dream Hostel of Warsaw) where each bunk bed has its own privacy curtain, personal light lamp and socket for electricity. There is even a small shelf for you to place some small and light items like glasses, handphone, watch and so on. The bed is pretty comfortable, meticulously clean and most importantly, it's fairly spacious too which it doesn't make me feel stuffy and squeezed at all. 

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 10-1

Private locker is provided for each guest to store their bags and personal belongings. And you know what, you don't have to use your own padlock to lock the locker cause it can be opened and locked by just using your room card. That is so cool! On my first night, I didn't realise about this until I saw other guest did so by just using their card. Silly me! But because my locker was on the top and my luggage bag was kinda huge (24 inch type) which obviously heavy too, I didn't manage to squeeze my bag into the locker, so at the end I just simply placed it outside. Luckily the room is relatively spacious. Another thing I love about the room is that they consist of air-conditioner, towel hanger and long mirror. You know lah, lady loves mirror so much, particularly the long type. 

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 11


Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 19

As my room was located on the 5th floor, I only bother to check out the shower rooms and toilets on my respective floor. Overall, there are 5 shower rooms to be shared but being lady, we have the right to use all whereas for the guy, they can only use 2 out of the 5 shower rooms. I found pretty funny when I saw "Gender Friendly" signboard, which indicates both female and male can enter that particular shower rooms/toilet. Both female and mixed gender shower rooms have a vanity area where it equipped with hairdryer. 

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 12

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 29


Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 05

The guest kitchen is open 24 hours but I'm not sure whether the guest is allow to cook or not. Cause so far from what I observed during my stay, none of the guests tend to cook here. The kitchen is so modern and spacious and most importantly, it's well-equipped with refrigerators, microwave, oven, coffee machine, tap with drinking water and more that you could ever imagine of.  

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 06

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 03
#The cafe area or known as Star Cafe

Little did I know that my booking comes along with free breakfast. At first I thought it's just a simple and basic breakfast until I saw the breakfast menu on the board. Different meal every day of the week so you won't get bored even stay for couple of days here. Breakfast starts from 8am to 10am everyday.

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 13
#Breakfast menu

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 14
#Friday breakfast

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 15
#Saturday breakfast

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 18
#Unlimited juices, coffee, toasts and buns.


Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 17

In case you don't feel like want to stay with strangers, don't worry cause this hostel even houses private rooms ensuite with bathroom. Plenty of options to choose from; single room, double or twin room or even quadruple room. 


Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 24
Like I mentioned earlier why I chosen to stay in this hostel is because of its excellent and great location - less than 10 minutes walk to Taipei Main Station, the main transportation hub for all public access; like Metro, Taipei Railway, High Speed Rail and Bus Station. Star Hostel is even very close to the newly built Taoyuan Airport MRT Station.

There are three Metro lines within the vicinity; Tamsui-Xinyi Line and Bannan Line in Taipei Main Station and Songshan-Xindian Line in Taoyuan Airport MRT Station.


Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 28
Although you can access up to the hostel by lift, but still you need to climb up the staircase if your room is located on the 5th floor - so that's the one and only downside of it. However, if your room being assigned on the 4th floor, then you hit the jackpot!

Another thing is the hostel doesn't provide towel for free - you need to rent for it. But since I brought along mine, so it wasn't big deal for me. 

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 25
#Travelling from Taoyuan International Airport

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 27
#Direction from Taipei Main Station

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 16

Normally I don't go back and staying the same hotel/hostel as I like to experience different kind of environment but Star Hostel make me come back for more. Minus the staircases, this hostel is absolutely perfect and fabulous. So if Dream Hostel of Warsaw is my favourite hostel in Europe, I can conclude that Star Hostel is my most favourite hostel in Asia.

I was consider pretty lucky manage to book the room at the very last minute (although I being requested to change different rooms in between) cause this hostel filled up very quickly. So be sure to book early!

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 26

For more info, you can check out their official website here.
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Summary of My 9D8N Taipei, Kahsiung, Kenting & Taichung (2015) Travelogues & Travel Expenses

Here is the compilation for all the posts relating to my trip to Taiwan for the third time where I managed to cover few popular cities like Taipei, Kaohsiung, Kenting and Taichung within 9 days and 8 nights I went back in 2015. By end of this post, I also share how much I spent throughout my trip. Did I spend more or less compare to my previous two trips? Read until the end to find out. 

Day 1: 7th March 2015
Arrived Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and took Kuo-Kang bus #1819 to Taipei Main Station. From there, we took taxi to Sato Castle Motel where we stayed for a night.

Hotel Review: Sato Castle Motel, Taipei
Taipei - Sato Castle Hotel 01

Day 2: 8th March 2015
On the next day, we travel on Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) for getting to Kaohsiung from Taipei. 

Taiwan - Day 2 01 - Taipei to ZouYing

Although the cost of travelling via HSR is higher than taking the bus, but the journey takes just 90 minutes than 4 to 5 hours under the bus ride. Through the online booking, you can get an early bird discount up to 35% from the normal ticket fare. Normally this online booking is available up to 28 days from the departure date. Please take note the HSR station for Kaohsiung is Zuoying (左營).

Stay: Jia's Inn Liuhe
Direction: 6-minute walk from MRT City Council Station or 10-minute walk from MRT Formosa Boulevard Station. 
Taiwan Kaohsiung Jia's Inn 1

Dome of Light
Direction: Take the red line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Kaohsiung Arena Station. Proceed to B1 level and you will instantly see this beautiful art glass installation.
Taiwan Kaohsiung Dome of Light 2

Ruifeng Night Market
Direction: Take the red line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Kaohsiung Arena Station. Get off from Exit 1 and walk for about 5 minutes.
Opening Hours: 6 pm to 12 am daily
Taiwan Kaohsiung Ruifeng Night Market 1

Liuhe Night Market
Direction: Take either the red line or orange line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Formosa Boulevard Station. Get out from Exit 11.
Opening Hours: 6 pm to 11 pm daily
Taiwan Kaohsiung Liouhe Night Market 1

Day 3: 9th March 2015

Cijin Island
From Sizihwan Station under the orange line of Kaohsiung MRT, head over to Gushan Ferry Terminal. Get out from Exit 1, then turn left and walk to the end of the street. After that, turn right and you will see the ferry pier. One way ferry ride cost NT$15 and it's free seating. Once we reach Cijin Island, we decided to rent electric bike to explore the island itself cause it is unexpectedly consider to be huge in size. We're totally underestimated this island.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Cijin Island 1

So, what to discover in Cijin Island?
  1. Cihou Fort
  2. Cihou Lighthouse - Opens 9 am to 5pm. Closed on every Monday 
  3. Cijin Star Tunnel
  4. Cijin Windmill Park 
  5. Sea Shell Museum - Opens 9 am to 5pm. Closed on every Monday

Love River
Direction: Take the orange line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Yanchengpu Station. Take the exit for Wufu road and walk east up Wufu Road toward Love River.
Taiwan Kaohsiung Love River 4

READ HERE: 3D2N Itinerary in Kaohsiung

Day 4: 10th March 2015
A Relaxed and Laid-Back Trip In Kaohsiung
In order to get to Kenting, take a ride on Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) to Zuoying Station first if you are travelling from Taoyuan or Taipei. From there, take Kuo Kang or Kenting Express bus heading to Kenting. The journey takes approximately of 2 hours for the price of NT$407 for a single trip and NT$600 for roundtrip.

Another second option is by sharing cab, like what we did. If you are traveling in a group of 4, probably this option is cheaper than taking the bus. 

It is possible to do day trip to Kenting from Kaohsiung but for me, I prefer to stay for a night just to experience the night market there. 

Taiwan Kenting 01

Stay: Sunhow Inn
Things To Do: Visit night market and Kenting Beach

Day 5: 11th March 2015
A Quick One In Taichung & Garden Stay Fengjia
From Kenting, my friend and I shared a cab to Kaohsiung and we requested to stop at HSR Zouying Station. From there, we took the High Speed Rail straight to Taichung. 

Alternatively, you can opt for bus from Kaohsiung to Taichung but being me, train is always my ultimate choice if the price is not hurting my bank account badly. 

2015 Taiwan Taichung Fengjia Night Market 1

Stay: Garden Stay, Fengjia
Things To Do: Visit Fengjia Night Market

Day 6: 12th March 2015
Right after our trip to Taichung, we travel back to Taipei again before leaving the nation. As usual, we took High Speed Rail from Taichung to Taipei instead of the long distance bus. For this round, I didn't book my ticket in advanced, we just went to the counter and bought on the spot. Because the HSR journey between Taichung and Taipei is relatively short, like approximately less than 40 minutes, therefore the trains are quite frequent. Well of course if you book through online earlier, you can get an early bird discount up to 35% from the normal fare. 

Taipei Zoo
Direction: Take MRT Brown Line to the southern terminus Taipei Zoo
Opening Hours: 9 am to 5pm
Admission Fee: NT$60 for adult and NT$30 for children (You can pay using Easy Card too)
2015 Taiwan Taipei Zoo 1

Ximending Hot Pot
Address: 108, Wanhua District, Xining Rd, 157 , Taipei City, Taiwan.
Opening Hours: 11.30 am to 2 am
Price: NT$498 for lunch; NT$598 for dinner
2015 Taiwan Taipei Ximending Mala Hot Pot 1

Day 7: 13th March 2015
Yangmingshan National Park
Direction: From MRT Jiantan Station, take Exit 1. And walk to the left-side bus station, buses heading to the north. Take either city bus R5 or small bus S15 or S17 to Yangmingshan station. 
You can also take bus 260 from Taipei Main Station.
2015 Taiwan Yangmingshan National Park 1

Wufenpu Fashion Area
Direction: Take MRT Green Line 3 to the Songshan Station - Exit 3. Once get out from the exit, walk straight and continue walking until cross Songlong Road. The shopping district is located within the maze of alleys and lanes to your front and left. 
Opening Hours: Hours of operation for various shops are usually vary, generally opening after noon and staying open until there are no customers left, most commonly around 10pm to midnight.
2015 Taiwan Taipei Wufenpu Shopping District 1

Raohe Night Market
Direction: Take MRT Green Line 3 to the Songshan Station - Exit 5
Opening Hours: 5pm to 12am daily
2015 Taiwan Taipei Raohe Night Market 1

Day 8: 14th March 2015
Yehliu Geopark
Direction: Take Kuo Kang 1815 bus from Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A - Exit Z3 (located at Taipei Main Station). Remember to purchase the bus ticket at Kuo Kang counter before boarding. The journey takes approximately 90 minutes, and the bus will drop you on the main road just outside the park entrance. Walk down the lane on the left side to enter. A single ride costs NT$96. 
Opening Hours: 8am to 5pm
Admission Fee: NT$80 for adult and NT$40 for children
2015 Taiwan Taipei Yehliu Geopark 6

Pingxi Station
Direction: Upon reaching Taipei station, make way to Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) to purchase northbound train ticket to Ruifang Station (瑞芳) for NT$49 each. Then from Ruifang Station, purchase One Day Pass at NT$54 for unlimited rides along the Pingxi Branch Line or a single trip at NT$20.
2015 Taiwan Taipei Pingxi Station 2

Day 9: 15th March 2015
Good9 Stay Inn Ximending & Last Day in Taiwan

Stay: Good9 Stay Inn Ximending
2015 Taiwan Taipei Good9 Stay Ximending 1

2015 Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport

Travel Expenses
And the following are the details of travel expenses breakdown which I spent throughout 9 days and 8 nights in Taiwan: 

Air Fares
Malaysia Airlines KK – Taipei - KK
Add: Upgraded to Business Class

Taipei – Sato Castle Motel (1 night)
Kaohsiung – Jia’s Inn Liuhe ( 2 nights)
Kenting – Sunhow Inn (1 night)
Taichung – Garden Stay Fengjia (1 night)
Taipei – Good9 Stay Inn (3 nights)


Admission Fee
Taipei Zoo
Yehliu Geopark

Food and drinks

8 Days Travel Prepaid Sim Card
Movie & Popcorn
Souvenirs, snacks, postcards, stamps, etc.













(The exchange rate by the time I changed NT$100 = RM11.30)

Like I mentioned earlier cause this is my third visit to Taiwan, hence I tend to spend lesser on my personal spending especially for souvenirs. For my previous two trips, I spent roughly RM1,000 for each trip just to buy souvenirs and snacks. Plus, I already know what I want to buy and spend and this prevent myself from buying those unnecessary items and products.

2015 Taiwan Souvenir Haul 1
Switchboard wall stickers and handphone cover bought in Kaohsiung.

2015 Taiwan Souvenir Haul 2
Masking tapes

2015 Taiwan Taichung Hau;
Top and handphone covers bought in Fengjia Night Market

2015 Taiwan Postcard 1
Creative postcards designed and printed on woods, fabrics and even metal license plate.

And that's the end of my 2015 Taiwan travelogue. Hip hip hurray! *Jumping of happiness mode*
I know it's way too late for me to update about this, maybe some of the info might be outdated but don't worry, I did my research earlier while blogging by sharing the latest update information at least.

So now here comes another question - what's next? Which one should I blog first - New Zealand, Sri Lanka or Northern Light Hunting in Sweden and Norway? Find out soon on the next upcoming post. 
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