Taiwan

First Night in Taiwan

First Night In Taiwan

Well, I have no photo of my first night in Taiwan so I have to make do. Whoops. This is much different from my other travel posts since this is more of a diary entry. Our first night in Taiwan was eventful. Within three hours, we already have stories to tell. Here’s a quick word dump on how I remember our first night in Taiwan went.

It was 6:00 PM when I clocked out from work. I decided to go to work because, well, I’m running out of vacation leaves and I already took two for this trip. I took out my phone and opened up my Grab app while in line for the taxi. I even registered my mom’s credit card to use this 50% promo because there was quite a line today – compared to the past few days.

It was 6:30 PM when a driver finally accepted my Grab ride. He called to say he was in traffic. Luckily, a taxi pulled up so I told my Grab driver that I was just going to cancel and he was okay with it.

It was 6:45 PM when I managed to cancel the ride because I’m tend to be unlucky today of all days and internet connection was sucky.

It was 7:00 PM when I arrived in Makati. Mom had my luggage with her and my friends were riding with us to the airport – they were all from Makati anyways.

It was 8:45 PM and omg, there’s no aircon in NAIA 3. Or at least, they’re not opening them all. Only few passengers are in the airport because of the Tagaytay server maintenance. Not cool to let the rest of us suffer because you didn’t get as many passengers, NAIA!

It was 11:15 PM when the plane took off. It’s not fully booked which is just fine. For the first time, I didn’t get the window seat. Instead, I got the middle seat. And for the first time while flying with AirAsia, I’m seating within the first ten rows of the plane.

It was 01:20 AM when we touchdown in Taoyuan International Airport and I really need to use the bathroom. Guys!! Their bathroom!! It’s bigger than my future. Loljk.

It was 01:35 AM when we finished up with immigration and headed to meet the driver we rented out to drive us to the hotel.

It was 02:00 AM. I was the only one awake besides the driver and Taiwan looks like… Manila. We were on the skyway and if I squint just a little, I would think that I’m smacked in the middle of our roads with just lesser cars. For what I can see, Taiwan is full of old buildings, big roads, and kinda dim lights.

It was 02:30 AM when we checked into our hotel. The food area was just behind the lobby and we were part-tired and part-hungry from the trip to get here. The check-in was a breeze. The room was okay, but I loved how the bathroom was set-up compared to our previous stays when out of the country. Oh well, it was the first time that we actually stayed in a hotel. I’m levelling up, y’all.

It was 02:45 AM when we decided to get something to eat. We opened our door to see this Chinese woman barge in our room and started speaking rapid Mandarin. Since not one of us can speak Mandarin, we just kept repeating that we can’t understand her. Finally, she went all the way in to use our phone to call the lobby, maybe. She passed the phone to one of my friends but I don’t think the person on the line speaks English as well. After ten minutes of this crazy confusion, she left our room.

It was 02:42 AM when we called into the lobby to explain what happened and to have someone up in our room. My friend keeps saying that it was urgent on the phone and to have someone come up.

It was 02:48 AM when we decided to come down to the reception. We encountered a staff just looking panicked. We went down with him to the reception. (Side note: he was a cutie.)

It was 03:00 AM when they confirmed that it was a housekeeping lady. We’re still confused as hell why she barged in our room but let it go. We decided to focus on the next big thing: food. We read that the hotel has a 24-hours open pantry so we asked them about it. They said it was closed for now and to come back around 7 AM. They told us there was a McDonald’s nearby, but we didn’t know where it was and we saw a family mart right next the hotel anyway. Side note: They don’t call McDo Mcdonald’s. I forgot what term she used. She just google translated it for us to understand.

It was 03:15 AM when we figured out there has been a language barrier issue again. There is in fact a 24-hours pantry. We ate the food we got from Family Mart in the pantry. I got this chicken rice burger thing that was good and fulfilling. We took advantage of the free flowing drinks – apple juice, soda, tea, and coffee. My friends made toasts with butter too.

It was 03:40 AM when I saw a Korean family sit near us and the McDonald’s bags they were carrying. Man, now I want some McDonald’s.

It was 03:50 AM when we were already joking about the house-keeping emergency and how freaked out the male staff was when we met him in the elevator. We also made fun of my friend for using the “urgent” term. Feels kinda like work. We were also talking about how cute the guy was; he legit looks like a movie star or something.

It was 04:30 AM when we got back in our room and tried to get some sleep. We booked for a driver to pick us up tomorrow at 9:30 AM for a tour around Northern Taiwan, but I’m still not that tired or sleepy.

It was 04:45 AM when I finally forced myself to sleep. Man, I’ll be so tired tomorrow. We’ll be out for an 11-hours trip of Northern Taiwan… but I’ll talk about that on another post.

xoxo, Richel V.

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57 Comments

  • Reply
    Kim
    May 13, 2017 at 12:35 AM

    What a crazy experience on your first night! I would be so confused if someone barged in speaking another language. I’d have to do some crazy charade moves, just to try and understand each other, haha!

    Kim
    Simply Lovebirds

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 29, 2017 at 9:21 AM

      Unfortunately, doing some kind of sign language also didn’t work! Haha.

  • Reply
    Melai
    May 7, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    When we visited in Osaka, Japan – my first impression was it was like Taiwan. The buildings are similar in Manila but the vibe is less crowded and quiet. I imagine Manila more like Bangkok. Haha! And I feel you on the communication struggle. They don’t quite make an effort to understand right? We also had some communication mishaps when we asked for directions and we ended up in the wrong place. :))

    So much has happened in your day! But for sure you’ve got some lovely memories to take home.
    Taiwan is love and the food is great too! <3

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 8, 2017 at 9:20 AM

      Really?? I thought Taiwan was like a quieter, less crowded Manila. On our way to our day tour, we literally didn’t see anyone out at the streets by 9AM! (But it turns out they’re all underground lol.) Yes, have to agree on that, sadly. Can’t help but compare to Koreans who made all the effort to pass through the language barrier. I can’t forget about this Korean guy who got out of his seat and walked with us towards the place we were heading to since he can’t say the directions in words. Haha.

      I didn’t get to each much of Taiwan (street) food! It was always raining when we tried. 🙁

  • Reply
    Jae
    April 28, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    Hi, Richel! I haven’t been to Taiwan, but two of my married couple friends went there early this year. After seeing photos from their trip, I kind of want to go, too! I think Taiwan is not as heavily visited by tourists compared to Singapore, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      May 2, 2017 at 9:58 AM

      I didn’t see a lot of tourists in Taiwan compared to other Asian countries. Most tourist attractions are crowded with the locals tho. Or maybe that’s just the case in Taipei! 🙂

      • Reply
        Jae
        May 2, 2017 at 10:40 AM

        That sounds even more amazing!

  • Reply
    Marianne
    April 24, 2017 at 9:45 PM

    Love the new look of your blog! Btw, for some reason, I can’t access the comment section of your recent post 🙁

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      April 24, 2017 at 9:50 PM

      Can you refresh and try again? 🙁 I can access my comment section through incognito windows. Not sure what the problem is. 🙁

  • Reply
    Bia
    April 18, 2017 at 9:02 PM

    Visiting a country with people who are not so well with english is indeed hard! I could really remember our trip in HK wherein communication was so hard. We can’t order the food that we want because they just can’t understand. Lol.

    But anyway, I enjoyed your blog post and that lady who barged in your room is really a shocking and funny moment. Hope you’ll enjoyed your trip! 🙂

    http://biasambrano.com/

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 19, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      We also had a few communication problems in HK – wherein we’d be lost for more than an hour if a fellow Filipina didn’t come along!

      It was a fun trip, nonetheless. Excited to share it on my blog!

  • Reply
    Jan Limark Valdez
    April 17, 2017 at 9:12 PM

    First day in a trip never ceases travelers. Hoping you had fun in Taiwan 🙂

    All the Best,
    Jan Limark | Brotherly Creative

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 19, 2017 at 10:59 AM

      It was a fun trip nonetheless, can’t wait to blog about it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mei
    April 17, 2017 at 8:10 PM

    Grabe firs night palang pero parang dami na ganap. Nagbabasa lang ako pero parang feeling ko ang hassle? Haha tapos gabi pa nangyari lahat so feeling ko kung ako yan, matutulog lang ako, wala nako pake hahaha or wala na sa mood ganon hahaha

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 19, 2017 at 10:59 AM

      Hindi ko naman nafeel yung hassle. Not sure if I was out of it or because I was just so happy to get out of work for a few days. HAHAHA.

  • Reply
    113thingstosay
    April 12, 2017 at 2:07 AM

    Sounds like your first night in Taiwan was really eventful! And I had no idea they use a different term for McDonald’s, that’s so funny! And why did the housekeeping lady enter your room in the middle of the night?! That makes no sense hahaha. I can’t wait to read more about your adventures, I have always wanted to visit Taiwan! xx

    113thingstosay.com

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 14, 2017 at 10:18 PM

      Same! When she showed us her phone and it read Mcdonald’s, we were literally like “Ohhhhh.” I’m working on the backlogs now!

  • Reply
    Mitzie Mee
    April 9, 2017 at 1:19 AM

    And all this happened on your first night?! Sounds like this will be a very eventful journey. I was in taiwan 14 years ago. I’ve been meaning to go back many times, but I still haven’t managed. Looking forward to read about your experiences:)

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 10, 2017 at 1:06 PM

      Yes. The rest of my visit was unfortunately not as eventful as the first night, but it was still fun. Working on my backlogs now before I go to another trip. 🙂

  • Reply
    Adele Miner
    April 8, 2017 at 5:47 AM

    Ah I am so glad you wrote this, I love honest posts like this. Travelling is not also as glamorous as most bloggers like to make out! Well done with all the amazing work on your blog by the way, I love finding new blogs like yours to read! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 10, 2017 at 12:44 PM

      Thank you, Adele! I blog about this things when I travel because it’s more fun to look back on small mishaps like this, haha.

  • Reply
    Kai
    April 7, 2017 at 12:51 PM

    I really imagined you in this post and how the housekeeper barged in your room. Haha! It’s in my bucket list to reach the top of Taipei 101 and explore more of what Formosa has to offer. I started reading travel blogs about it because it seems that this place is one of the top picks in Asia 🙂 and lotsah seat sales, too!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 10, 2017 at 1:11 PM

      Have you been to Taiwan? When? The seat sales definitely helped with increasing the country’s tourism lately.

      • Reply
        Kai
        April 10, 2017 at 1:14 PM

        Never been there. This country is in my travel bucket list. I would love to travel soon there! Yeah mostly AirAsia? May piso sale yata Sila lately

        • Reply
          Richel Vergara
          April 11, 2017 at 11:21 AM

          Yeah. Mostly AirAsia. The piso sale they had was for another part in China though.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    April 6, 2017 at 10:04 PM

    I love how this post was written. It’s like reading a script! Hehe. Ang creepy nung housekeeping tho, bakit siya ganon?? Hahaha!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 10, 2017 at 1:04 PM

      I’m bothered na hindi namin natanong kung bakit siya pumunta sa room namin. Hahaha!

  • Reply
    Mica
    April 5, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Oh wow sounds like a stressful night! Glad you got there, got some food and managed to get a little bit of rest before your next adventure 🙂

    Hope you are having a really good week so far.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 10, 2017 at 1:04 PM

      Strangely, it wasn’t that stressful back then. Or maybe I was just too cheerful at the time, lol. Hope you have a great week ahead, Mica! <3

  • Reply
    Loi
    April 4, 2017 at 6:52 PM

    I love how this post is written!! Too bad on the language barrier though, plus the Chinese lady! It’s really weird why she’d just barged in. Was the room not prepared yet? Lolol. :))

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 10, 2017 at 12:43 PM

      The room was already prepared when she barged in. And it’s like really late already for housekeeping. So weird. Haha.

  • Reply
    Dianne Karol
    April 4, 2017 at 7:00 AM

    This post is entertaining even without photos. That part about the Chinese woman who barge into your room is quite scary. Glad she’s a housekeeping, language barrier can be a real struggle sometimes. I can relate to that “urgent” thing, feels like P1 or sev1, if we are thinking about the same thing.

    Hope to read the rest of your Taiwan posts!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 10, 2017 at 12:36 PM

      Yes, we are! I can’t believe work terms where the ones running around my head at that time, haha.

  • Reply
    Bea
    April 3, 2017 at 4:05 PM

    I think we almost have the same flight. Can I have the contact of your driver (from airport to hotel)? I have to be ready with this language barrier thing. I’m still disturbed with the housekeeping lady. Why did she barged in your room?! I would have panicked! HAHAHA

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 3, 2017 at 4:22 PM

      He’s technically not the one who drove us but he arranged who picked us up from the airport and who toured us the next day – both drivers were great! The main contact’s name is Kenneth Han and you can WhatsApp him at +886989198671. I think it’s NTD1200 one way but we got it for NTD1000 because we also did the package tour. He offers the same rate as most drivers too if you guys are looking at packaged tour. Just tell him I recommended you hehe.

  • Reply
    Dianne Kathreen
    April 3, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    Love this kind of post! Not the usual travel post and I’m amazed how detailed it was written.

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 3, 2017 at 4:34 PM

      Thanks, Dianne! Have to do another kind of post since I didn’t have any photos haha.

  • Reply
    Claudine
    April 2, 2017 at 1:04 AM

    Heehee it’s kind of amusing reading your post! 🙂 I experienced some of these things too when I came to Taiwan for the first time! I agree that the language barrier can be frustrating at times, but Taiwanese people are generally very friendly and accommodating so don’t worry, you’ll be fine 😀

    Your first night is pretty packed though! I’ve never experienced arriving so early in the morning (or so late at night? HAHA which term is more appropriate) since I always tend to pick morning/noon arrivals, so that must be so tiring! And it’s so weird how a housekeeping lady just barged into your room! HAHAHA!

    Looking forward to your next posts about Taiwan! 😀

    PS: McDonald’s is called Mai Dang Lao in Chinese 😉

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 3, 2017 at 12:38 PM

      We didn’t have any problems in Taiwan. People are really nice. There’s nothing that can be done with the language barrier, but the customer service stalls really helped out a lot. Huhu. I forgot what those were called.

      Very, very early in the morning? Haha. It was my first time flying out so late and arriving so early, but it was the only good times for flights from Manila. I took up AirAsia but a CebuPacific flight landed on the same time too. Haha.

      Oooh, so that’s what it’s called. I remember watching this video from facebook about how Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese say English terms and I keep trying to remember what Chinese call McDonald’s. lol.

  • Reply
    Eena
    April 1, 2017 at 12:01 AM

    Don’t you hate it when you get so caught up with trying to get to where you need to be that you forget to take pictures? Haha cause I know I do! Also, this was pretty cool to read.

    I’m glad your Grab driver wasn’t a pain about you canceling – I know other people get so sensitive about people canceling their services.

    Wow, so much for a 24 hour pantry! It’s funny because you mention the whole McDonald’s thing because having grown up in Cebu, I always referred to that place at McDo but my boyfriend, being white, would always make fun of me for it!

    cabin twenty-four

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      April 3, 2017 at 12:26 PM

      Yes! I only realized it when I’m going through photos now. I usually have at least a few when we’re at the airport or plane, but now it’s nada.

      I know right? He was so kind and understanding about it, saying he was stuck in traffic so it was okay.

      There is a 24 hours pantry. Haha. I guess she just didn’t understand us. We saw some people eating so we joined them and figured out that it is open. I always refer to it as McDo too! What do they call it as?

  • Reply
    Karen
    March 30, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    That’s a lot for the first day! But I still don’t understand why the housekeeper barged in your room. I’m not sure if I’m going to panic or if I’ll be annoyed at here for barging at 3 AM. Plus pa dun ung language barrier, so I could never understand what the fuss is all about. Hahaha!

    I hope the next day isn’t as packed as your first day! Looking forward to your next posts, Richel!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      March 30, 2017 at 5:35 PM

      Now that you mentioned it, I don’t know why we didn’t demand to know why she barged in. Haha! Once we found out that she was the housekeeper, we focused on the next thing on the agenda: food. lol.

  • Reply
    Nichie
    March 29, 2017 at 9:25 PM

    I’m such a fan of this post format -I might just have to do the same the next time I travel! Also, I’m sorry that woman barged into your room like that. There were some pains, but it looks like you had quite the adventure! I hope you have a wonderful rest of the trip -can’t wait to read more about it!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      March 30, 2017 at 5:37 PM

      Thanks, Nichie! It was a bother at the time, but it’s something we laugh about now. We haven’t quite figured out why she went into the room though… Can’t believe that slipped in the moment. The rest was mostly smooth-sailing. 🙂

  • Reply
    muccycloud
    March 29, 2017 at 6:54 PM

    Oh wow that’s definitely eventful and tiring, I would be asleep on the floor by 4am, hope your second day doesn’t get you too tired!

    The Quirky Queer

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      March 30, 2017 at 5:27 PM

      I’m usually out by 11 PM, the latest is 1AM! I’m not sure where I get the energy from back then. Haha.

  • Reply
    ladymyx | myxilog.blogspot.com
    March 29, 2017 at 1:18 PM

    I hope you’ll not get tired that much on the following days. When tummy is angry, people dont care what happens around them, and that counts for me too, sadly. hihi. And that was short rest you had. Anyways, enjoy the rest of the trip and take care!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      March 29, 2017 at 2:57 PM

      Only the first day is packed. But I don’t know, we didn’t get that tired even with the lack of sleep. Agree! All I was thinking about was that I want something to munch on while they all panic haha.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    March 29, 2017 at 8:06 AM

    Wow, that is a lot! I am glad you all made it all right in that first day. <3

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      March 29, 2017 at 2:59 PM

      Thanks, Michelle! <3

  • Reply
    Gillan
    March 28, 2017 at 10:14 PM

    Wow, you had a packed night! Did you ever find out why the housekeeping lady barged into your room at almost 3 in the morning? My mother would’ve been so mad at that
    Having a cute staff is always a plus!
    Can’t wait to read more about your trip!

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      March 29, 2017 at 2:56 PM

      No. We never found out why she went in our room, now that I think about it. Haha!

  • Reply
    Pia
    March 28, 2017 at 5:24 PM

    Wow, that’s a lot for a first day! Haha. I honestly would’ve panicked if I were in that situation where a lady I couldn’t understand just barges into my hotel room. Looking forward to your travel posts, as always! 🙂

    http://pepperonipia.com

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      March 28, 2017 at 5:51 PM

      I wasn’t that panicked then because I haven’t really slept in 20 hours and I was hungry haha. It was kinda amusing to see my friends all panicked, tbh. =))

  • Reply
    Heide
    March 28, 2017 at 1:44 PM

    This is a cute post. I like the structure that every paragraph starts with a time. 🙂
    Didn’t know there were hotels that allows you to check in that early. Or was the hotel already booked for the day before? That’s kind of too bad coz you’d be paying for a whole 22 hour stay but only consuming less than half the time.
    Your photo looks great, btw.

    • Reply
      Richel Vergara
      March 28, 2017 at 1:55 PM

      we already booked it for the day before, haha. We were planning to rough it up on the airport but my mom’s friend was with us. While I think we can survive to sleep on the airport floor, it’ll just be better to book a room. And the 24-hour pantry helps. Thanks, Heide! 🙂

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