Monday, September 19, 2016

Taiwan Adventure: The Hotel

September 19, 2016
I had a bad experience staying at a hostel so I told Boyps to stay in a hotel this time. I don’t know the difference between the 2 except for the stars and price. Hehe. All I want is to have an accommodation that is in good location and free of pests.  After all the research and inquiries, I’m down with 2 options – Star beauty Hotel (near Shilin Night Market) and TS Hotel (Ximending Area). Rates in Star Beauty are much cheaper than TS but most of the reviews really favored the other so we chose TS hotel.

Ø  TS hotel has nice and clean rooms. I booked for 1 twin bedroom for Mar 5-6 and 1 double room for 7-8. Twin bedroom is only available on those dates so we have to book another room.
Ø  Complimentary supplies are provided daily.
Ø  They also have accommodating and friendly staffs. We had problems with our NTD because we have their old bills thus they are not accepting it anymore. The receptionist guy volunteered to accompany us to Bank of Taiwan to exchange our money with the new NTD.
Ø  Location. They are located near food stalls, shops and Ximen MRT station.
Ø  They also arranged airport pickup to and from hotel. Rates are 1200 (from airport to hotel) and 1100 (from hotel to airport)

Not so Good:
Ø  Slow response time on emails. I have to wait for at least 3 days before I can get their replies. I even tried to call them but they just told me to communicate with them thru email.
Ø  Very few of them can understand and speak English. Whenever we have questions or we ask for directions, they’re having a hard time explaining. They will start with English but eventually end up speaking their language. Thanks to Boyps who can speak and understand Chinese (not sure if it’s Mandarin, but Boyps said mixed).
Ø  Few variety of food for breakfast. We ate the same food set for 4 days. If I’m not mistaken, there’s a new viand served on our 4th day but can’t remember what it is.

Overall, I enjoyed my stay in this Hotel. There’s no perfect accommodation but clean rooms and nice people that provide great service are enough reasons to make customers go back. So despite all the not so good things about this hotel, TS will always be part of my hotel option list on my next visit to Taiwan.

Twin Room: NTD2480 - Discounted Price (NTD4560 Original Price)

Double Room: NTD1880 - Discounted Price (NTD3360 - Original Price)

TS Hotel
No. 170-172, HanZhong St., Taipei (near ChangSha St.)

Taiwan Adventure: The Preparation

September 19, 2016
It has always been my dream to go to places I've never been to. I grab every travel opportunity may it be domestic or international. I started to travel international last Mar 2010. Since then, my cravings for out of the country vacations have increased terribly :p
Last Mar 5, 2011, Boyps and I flew to Taipei, Taiwan for a 4 - day vacation. Boyps actually did the itinerary planning and I completed the hotel reservation. The ticket was booked as early as November 2010 if I’m not mistaken and the itinerary was completed a week before the departure date. There are so many places that we wanted to visit but it seems like 4 days is not enough to do them all so we eliminate some of the activities.
Taiwan requires Filipino citizens holding a Philippine passport to have a visa upon entry. Here are some tips / procedures that we did for visa application and processing.

Visa Requirements:
Ø  Passport – valid for at least 6 months
Ø  Completed application form – downloaded from
Ø  2 Taiwan Visa ID - must be taken within the last 6 months
Ø  Supporting documents (listed below are the papers that we presented)
·         Birth Certificate issued by NSO
·         Income Tax Return (ITR)
·         Bank Statement / Bank Certificate
·         Flight Tickets
·         Certificate of Employment (COE)
·         Hotel Reservation Confirmation
·         Photocopy of all of this.
·         Valid ID (please bring any government issued ID for deposit at TECO reception)

We arrived at RCBC at exactly 8AM (Feb 11) but the receptionist told us that the office will open at 830. Since we're too early, we decided to have breakfast first and go back at exactly 830 to avoid long queues. We line up and register but the receptionist told us to get a number first at the open area of RCBC. But we didn’t see anyone distributing numbers so we went back to the lady receptionist. After getting the numbers from her, we proceed  immediately to the 41st floor. 

We asked for new application form at Information window so we can have the latest copy/version of the form. We fill up the form and wait for our turn. Once called, we presented the documents at the window then wait again to be called for payment. The cashier will call your name, proceed to the cashier window, pay for the visa application (PHP 2, 400 for single entry) and then take the receipt. Finish! :D They will return your passport after 3 working days with your visa attached. 

We went back last Feb 16 to get our Passport (and hoping that visa application got approved :p). We arrived at 120PM and we're kinda early again because distribution starts at 130PM. We register first at the reception and went to the open area again because numbers will be distributed there (this time it’s for real :p) Names will be called for number distribution. 

We proceed at 41st floor and wait for our number to be flashed on the screen. Yipee, We got our Passport with our tourist visa attached to it. They also returned our birth certificate and ITR.

Visa Application Time: 8:45-11:45
Visa Releasing Time: 1:30-4:50
Visa must be used 1 month after the date of issuance.
TAIPEI, Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), Taiwan, R.O.C.
41F, Tower 1, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City

Check out this sites for more details:

**copied from my old blog *

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Introduction

September 12, 2016

Yey! Finally I’m back in the blogger world. Woohoo! I actually had a blog before but unfortunately, I failed to update it for so long that when I tried accessing it, I already forgot the password. T_T I tried all the recovery actions I can think of and all the helps I got from Google but then, I failed. So instead of being sad, I just thought of creating a new one. Medyo sayang lang yung luma. But I’ll try to grab the entries there and post it here instead. We’ll see. Depende sa sipag.

I’m Joie, pronounced as Jo-yeee. People find it difficult to pronounce at first but days of practice, they already get the hang of it. I’m an IT professional, a food adventurer, traveller, frustrated baker, a sister, daughter and wife. I have a small online business, My Sweets’ Haven, that’s been quiet for a while because I got busy with the wedding preps and my current work. I love spending time with my hubby, friends and family.  I prefer to stay at home during weekends to do house chores then rest but when mall is on sale, I prefer to roam around. :p

Anyways, to set your expectations, this blog will only contain food, travel and anything and everything else I want to post. :p My old blog does not show any faces of human beings, just pure food and travel highlights. But now I want to change that. :) You’ll get to meet me, my boyps-turned-hubby, my friends and family. Just in case lang na gusto niyo ako makilala :p  I’m also not that good in speaking and writing English so expect my entries to be short and simple. Minsan kasi gusto ko lang i-share yung pictures. I will also try to post my baked goodies and other mishaps in our small kitchen. ;)

That’s it. I just wish I’ll get to update this as often as possible. :) Please visit me again, okay?

'Til next time.