We checked out of our hostel in Phuket at 2pm and took a taxi to the closest bus station. The airport is pretty far from town and Taxi’s were charging 800 baht to get there. Getting to the bus station only cost 400, and then another 100 from the station to the airport. It was a long bus ride considering the distance due to traffic and frequent stops to pick up other passengers, but we arrived at the airport plenty in advance for our flight.
We flew Nova Airlines to Taipei, with a layover in Bangkok. It was a late flight, departing at 11:30pm, and arriving in Taipei at around 7am. The Phuket airport was run down, and poorly maintained, but new terminals are scheduled to be opened in September 2016. Our layover was in the middle of the night and sleeping on the second plane proved to be near impossible. After a long night of travel, we arrived early the next morning and quickly made our way out of the airport. Immediately, it was as if I had been transported to another world. Was I still in Asia? Taiwan was so advanced and clean. Their public transit seemed so organized and efficient, which was a vast improvement from the lawless roads of Thailand. There are buses every fifteen minutes to Taipei Main Station, where we would be taking a train to our hotel. It was a little under an hour before we made it into town. The main station was flooded with people but we navigated through the crowds to our line and made it to our stop.
We stayed at MetroStay Plus Shihlin Station. It is located on a bit of a side road, but in a safe section of town and very close to the train terminal. The room was small but comfortable and clean. Due to the early flight, we couldn’t check in at the hotel when we arrived, so we relaxed at a coffee shop around the corner for a couple hours until our room
was ready. We were exhausted from our lack of sleep, so we took a long nap in the afternoon, headed out for dinner and then relaxed at the hotel for the rest of the evening to prepare for the following days adventures.