Taiwan – Taichung

This time round, I am heading to Taichung for my pre-wedding photoshoot. Taichung is a city located in central-west Taiwan, surrounded by mountains and hills with numerous natural scenic spots around. In Taichung there are also enough night markets to keep one busy at night, but once you have seen one, you would have seen them all. It gets boring after awhile, especially with the crowd.

Taichung is just 37mins away from Taipei by High Speed Rail (HSR). After arriving at any of the Terminals of Taoyuan Airport, proceed to the bus station. Ubus runs bus #705 to HSR Taoyuan Station, and cost NT$30 one way. It’s approximate a 20mins ride. Buy a ticket to Taichung, which costs NT$540 for an economy class ticket with allocated seats, at the ticket counter. Board the HSR on the Southbound Platform (green).

Take 705 from Ubus to HSR Taoyuan Station. It cost NT$30 one way.
Bus 705 to HSR Taoyuan station. It takes ~20 mins.
HSR Taoyuan Station
Go towards the Southbound platform. This piece of instruction wasn’t very obvious. They kind of assume people to know whether they are going from north to south or the other way round. They should indicate the platform on the train ticket to avoid unnecessary confusion.

After arriving in Taichung, I went to the bus station located at exit 6. HSR provides a couple of free bus transfer to various parts of Taichung (you will need to produce your HSR ticket before boarding the bus). I took bus #160 towards Fengjia University, which is where the famed Fengjia Night Market is located. The journey takes another 30-45 minutes depending on traffic situation.

Look for exit 5-6 to board the free shuttle buses. Remember to retain your HSR ticket.
I took bus 160 towards Overseas Chinese University (the last stop). The second last stop is Fengjia University. That’s where I will alight.
Go out through this exit to look for the bus. Note: There are 2 exit 6. Take this one which points to THSR Shuttle bus.

The bus dropped me off along Fuxing Rd, which is in the heart of Fengjia Night Market. To reach my hotel, Fengjia Tower Motel, I followed Fuxing Rd straight onto Fuxing North Rd, and turned left into Fuxing North 1 Street (福星北一街). Upon turning left, you will arrive at a huge open parking space where cars and tourist coaches parked. The Motel has no signage whatsoever to allow for easy recognition. It was the first building I encounter, yet I had no idea it was the Motel (gripe #1). Though unassuming from the outside, it is newly renovated on the inside, and looks modern, bright and clean. It seemed to be run by a group of university students.

Google Map showing bus drop off point and location of Tower Motel. It is about 10 mins walk, but can be longer due to overwhelming crowds.
After turning into Fuxing North 1 Street, I was greeted by a huge parking sign. There was no indication of the Motel AT ALL, although it is that innocuous new building. First gripe with this motel.
Morning view… No signage

Morning view. Does it look like a motel?

To reach the lift of Fengjia Tower, you need to go up a flight of stairs with about 5 steps. My room is clean, modern and spacious enough. The toilet is separated from the room by a glass panel. Though a curtain is available, it only covers the top 4/5, which will still be embarrassing if traveling with any other, apart from your significant half (gripe #2). Room LACKed basic soap and shampoo (although they give 2 sachets of soap and shampoo, but its not enough for 2 person) (gripe #3). Housekeeping was a per request service, i.e. one had to go to reception every morning, to tell the staff to makeup the room, else they will not even replace the towers (gripe #4). Staffs lacked basic tour itinery planning skills. They were unable to advise me on interesting locations around Taichung to visit. Not that I was unprepared, but recommendation from local hotel staffs would help me prioritize attractions to visit (gripe #5). All-in-all, apart from the location, which was very near the bustling night market of Fengjia, which in my opinion is the best night market I had visited so far, there was no other good selling point to recommend this motel. Room rates vary according to the day of the week, with the highest rates being on Saturday. On average for my 4 nights stay spanning Saturday to Tuesday, it as about SGD$50 per night.

Unassuming on the outside, but clean and newly renovated inside. Reception area is just a desk, and was sparsely furnished. Noticed that flight of 5 steps on the right? To reach the elevators, one has to climb up those steps.
Lift lobby. Lift is small and pretty crampy. But what to expect from motels?
Corridor to my room.
Interior of room. Room is pretty small. In the far corner, notice the glass panels of the toilet with bath curtain covering the top 4/5. Privacy was an issue and not a good choice except for couples (gripe #2).
Shower. Note, it lacked soap and shampoo (gripe 3)
View out of the ‘balcony’.

May 2013

  Rainbow Village
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