22 January 2013

20hour Layover in Taiwan: My First (and 2nd) Hostel Experience

After deciding on the Taiwan layover, the decision to get a Taipei City hotel was easy - yet difficult. I never had the experience of staying in a hostel, and quite frankly I only hear about it from travel sites and the Globe Trekker (originally broadcast as Lonely Planet) series back in the 90's. Yay Ian Wright! Personal Tidbit: I was a short lived travel documentary writer.

I have to admit, I was a little scared, because the only thing I could book in my hostel of choice was a co-ed dormitory room for one night. In any case I didn't see any of my roommates.

Ni Hao Taipei is an EXCELLENT hostel. I think i paid a little bit more, but for the amenities, and the way it looked, and the location - IT WAS WORTH IT.

Know that if you are checking in late, you need to inform them - hostels don't operate 24 hour lobbies, as most small backpacker-type places.

Upon checking in, I was given a card key, and a small watch key. The card let me into my room, and the watch key opened my locker.

The beds are no ordinary bunk beds. They have custom built bunks for each person and it has a lamp, a socket and a curtain for privacy. It blocks out the light when others are there, and makes you feel you are in your own personal pod. Bonus points: If your top bunk bed faces the air conditioner, it blocks out the A/C and keeps you warm.

The mattress had the right firmness - not too soft and not too firm and the comforters are soft and fluffy! Just the way I like them.

My low bunk.

check out the "stairs" to go to the top bunk

The shower in this dorm, is absolutely AWESOME. With soap and shampoo dispensers for your convenience too.

On my layover going back to NY, I was in the girls' dorm, and I got a top bunk. See the curtain at the bottom? That's where I was the first time. This one had a ladder access because the room is smaller.

This dorm had 2 shower and toilet combos. The shower, while not as complicated as the other one, is still awesome. It had the faucet option, the over the head option and a hand shower option. It also had body wash and shampoo dispensers on the side.


Electric Kettle, Washing board + laundry soap and hair dryer (in basket)
- provided at the girl's dorms.

NiHao Taipei does not own the entire floor of the building, but rather it rents various units within the building that it is housed. The lobby is on the 11th floor and I stayed at the dorm on the 12th floor and the 7th floor. It is housed in an office building, and has a 24 hour guard on duty at the building lobby. It felt safe and the location is prime. The building is 2 blocks away from the bus station to the airport (about 10 mins walk) and is on the next block from the Taiwan Main Station. This is close to the M7 exit of the Taipei Metro.

The door to my 7th floor dorm.
I've said it before, and I will say it again.

I am a happy customer taking a selfie at the elevator.
I booked my room via my favorite site to book budget accommodations - Booking.com.

For more pics and reviews - here's the link to NiHao Taipei on Booking.com. 
Make sure you print out the booking confirmation - it will have the name and address of NiHao written in Chinese Characters - this will be your lifesaver. When you ask for directions, just give them your print out.

NiHao Taipei
11F-5 No. 41, Section 1
ZongXiao West Road
Zhongzhen District 10041 Taipei City, Taiwan

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