Backpackers Hostel "J-Hoppers" & "Hana Hostel"

My beloved place to be

Summer in Kyoto is so much hotter than I thought it would be.
I had somewhere I need to visit.

Taiwan

It's been 10 years since my love for Taiwan found a place in my heart.

Taoyuan airport


And a big purpose of this trip was meeting up with my friend who is traveling in Asia for 7 months. We met 6 years ago, and we got to catch up multiple times in different location but this time in my favorite city!

hostel cat!



And also I met up with my other friends I used to work together in my town, Taiwanese American and Japanese couple who are absolutely adorable. They took us to one of their favorite restaurants in Taipei!



nom nom nom nom


desert time!

And after we split, we decided to walk around the town a bit, and found this super cool coffee shop in a tiny street of Yongkang jie.



Banana hostel - I've stayed in many different hotels/hostels in Taipei but so far, this hostel has been the best. Especially their location! 2 mins walk from MRT Dongmen station, which is only 4 stops away from Taipei main station, Yongkang street is just a stone's throw, convenience stores/supermarket nearby, CKS memorial hall area is just one stop!
And all the facilities are very clean and nice, staff members are so friendly and helpful. They provide free bath towel and even light breakfast (and nutella, omg)! Highly recommended!


nice rooftop :)

I woke up at 7:30 next day and it was already over 30 degrees (hot hot hot) but I went for a walk to see the area.



my extra breakfast

So we wanted to try Pingxi line exploring, which is slightly getting known by some famous attraction. And we met one American guy in the hostel and he decided to tag along.
We took local train to Houtong station which took one hour from Taipei main station, and this place is famous for its CATS. Cat village!

sleepy cat in the station


It's actually abandoned mining town which is related to Japanese era, and was really cool to see a part of their history. 





river swimming time



being cat can be tiring







We got a one day pass for Pingxi line that was so cheap (48NTD per person, about US$1.5), so we could just hop on/off at random stations. We visited Pingxi next, it was lovely small town with some small shops and restaurants. 



And we found some bomb shelters.


And secret tunnel with cave style rooms, so much cooler inside compared to outside of course!


And we took the train to visit this town called Shifen. Probably some people have heard of Jiufen which is very famous for it's red lanterns and Spirited Away looking town, and Shifen is well known for its annual lantern festival. You can still fly your lantern, so we are like WHY NOT?  




So beautiful. It was already a lot of people, and I don't wanna imagine how crazy the crowd would be on the festival day though...
It was such a nice day, visiting small towns and relaxing whole day. Eat when I'm hungry, walk to just random destinations, having travelers talk and sharing.

Can't wait to have another small trip to my beloved Taiwan!

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