Taipei Street Sign @ Songshan Park | Taipei Solo Travel 2017

February 12, 2017

I always lament that I fear falling in love but Taipei makes me fall in love, over and over again every time I'm here. I don't know if it's remotely possible to declare my love so quick, but I fell in love with Taiwan's lively capital since my first visit there in May 2016. Setting foot again in Taipei after a mere six months was a dream come true.

Although I was only in Taipei for a couple of days before jetting off to Japan, the two days were just enough for me to enjoy the serenity Taipei provides. I planned for a slow couple of days since I knew my Japan travel was going to be jam-packed with activities, and I needed a respite from work before beginning my hectic Japan itinerary.

Sweetest girls who cabbed all the way from Pulau NTU to Changi Airport just to take photos with me and hug me for five minutes before rushing off to club with their uni mates.

Not forgetting my favourite people in the world who are always there to send me off on every flight, however late my flight is.

Checked in with a 16kg luggage when I only have 20kg baggage allowance for all my flights. Pack light, I said. I should have known that it's impossible to pack light in winter.

Strolled around Changi Airport Terminal 2 Departure Hall since I had time to waste and chanced upon the Sunflower Garden in Changi Airport Terminal 2 which I've always wanted to visit but never found time too. Unfortunately, it was dark and gloomy — a vast difference from the photos I've seen online, but hey I don't blame Changi Airport. I blame the ungodly hours of my flight.

As with my previous Taiwan travel, I flew with Scoot on their 1am flight to Taipei (TZ202) because I liked that the flight allows me to explore Taipei the moment I touchdown instead of wasting my day on a flight and landing only when half the day is gone. I also get to sleep on board instead of waking up early (I detest mornings!) to catch my flight.

After my short stroll, I enjoyed a free leg massage provided by Changi Airport near my Departure Gate. Ahh, no wonder we're the best airport in the world — three times in a row! I almost missed my boarding time because I was greedy and wanted another round of massage -__- Then I almost missed my flight because I join the water cooler queue instead of the boarding queue *face palm*

Tried Scoot's new Beef and Mushroom Lasagna but it was very dry. Think I would have preferred my usual selection of Braised Chicken with Rice.

I slept all the way from Singapore to Taipei after my meal because I was really worn out from work plus I've been flying so much lately that flights no longer excite me. I was really lucky to be seated next to a middle-aged couple who watched out for me and making sure that I got off my flight safely. Even though we didn't talk much, I appreciate the little efforts made by the lovely couple :')

Upon landing, I obviously had to do something extraordinary to freak everyone out: I boarded a stranger's car.

What happened was that I received an insta message from someone who said he can take me from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei. I stalked him for a bit and found him to be pretty legit (posted seemingly normal photos, had friends tagging him in photos and the captions were normal enough). I agreed to it, let him know my flight details, and we met at Taoyuan International Airport.

He drove me to Taipei City, we had a quick breakfast, took a stroll along Taipei Botanical Garden, he dropped me off at a MRT station near my hotel, then we waved each other goodbye. That was that. I can't believe I boarded a stranger's car, and I can't believe I got out of it alive! Believe me, my colleagues were freaking out as I recounted the story but there's something about travelling solo that brings out the recklessness in you.

Obviously I wouldn't recommend anyone to do this at all because you'll never know what will happen, especially in a foreign land! I let my guards down because I contacted some colleagues I trust beforehand to let them know of the situation, but I got real lucky this time round too because if anything were to happen, I believe none of my colleagues could save me either.

It was only about 9:30am when I left my luggage at my hotel, Orange Hotel Kaifong Taipei (review here), so I headed to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park while waiting for the shops to open.

The main reason I was there was to get a shot with this underrated Taipei sign. For some reason, however hard I Googled, I could only find results for the 'LOVE' sign, located near Taipei 101. I was confused by the fact that no love is given to this sign that screams Taipei — wouldn't tourists want a touristy photo with this sign?

Nonetheless, with some digging around, I found the location of the sign. All you have to do is take the MRT to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station (blue line), then use Google Maps to locate Songshan Cultural and Creative Park and the Taipei sign is right at the entrance. Since it's an open area, I believe the Taipei sign is accessible 24/7.

If you're wondering how I take my solo travel photos


Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is an hipster place perfect for aspiring artists of any sort. Unfortunately, I am anything but artsy so I merely passed by the area.

I supposed it was due to the sudden change in climate, but my camera stopped operating suddenly even though I handled it with absolute care and didn't drop it the entire time I was in Taipei. I spent my entire afternoon rushing from places to places to try and fix my camera only to have Sony tell me that I need to send my camera in for repair for at least a week, which I couldn't afford because I was leaving for Japan in a couple of days.

I was close to tears at a point because I needed my camera for work and I wanted to shoot in Japan as well. In the end, my camera was miraculously fixed when I removed my camera and memory card, then turned it off and on again. What the heck hahahha. After all that camera drama, I calmed my nerves and headed to Ximending.


Useful Links

Taiwan Portable Wifi Rental | Taiwan 4G SIM Card


Taipei Accommodation | Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei City


Songshan Cultural Park | Ximending | Tamsui Old Street and Shilin Night Market

Heritage and Culture Education Center and Taipei Artist Village

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