Choosing the accommodation was the initial step in planning our travel to Taiwan. Before we went to the nitty-gritty details of our itinerary, we first looked for a place to stay in Taipei. We based it from our main point of reference, Ximending — a hip, lively place for where retail, shopping, night markets, and food trips are the main attractions for tourists.
We considered the accessibility of the accommodation to the MRT. We also browsed the basic amenities specifically the bathroom, and the space that can fit a group of three. We found an Airbnb listing that does not only meet our budget, it also suffices our preferences for the main amenities.
The Host and Location
Airbnb listing link: https://abnb.me/a3p0QhL5GV
The Airbnb is hosted by Ta, who’s been very responsive with our inquiries. All our questions were answered clearly and promptly, that our connection with him convinced us to book it right away.
This Airbnb unit is located in Wanhua District, Taipei, tucked in the bustling streets of Ximending. The narrow street is adjacent to the main roads of Ximending but it is more quiet and surrounded by residential houses, a salon, and a few restaurants. The facade looks like a small building and we stayed on the rooftop.
Most buildings in Taipei have an exclusive access/ pass for security. It’s either you have to enter a code or tap your access card.
Check-in and Check out Time
Check-in time is 3 PM while check -out time is 11 am. As our time of arrival in Taipei was too early, we waited a bit and talked with the host if we can check-in earlier than the usual. Good thing, he allowed us to come early as soon as the place was cleaned. Our flight going back to Manila was at the wee hours of the morning but since the check-out time is at 11 am, our host was kind to allow us to leave our baggage at the reception area while we roamed in Ximending.
The Space and Amenities
Before reaching the unit, you will be given the key with an access card for the main door and elevator. Our unit can be reached after boarding the elevator and climbing the stairs (just short steps). The place has many windows where you can appreciate the view of the buildings either during the daylight or night.
The apartment is very tidy. The tiled floor is shiny that you can always walk around barefoot. For the sleeping arrangements, Kit and I slept on the double bed while Daniel slept on the convertible sofa bed in the living room. The bed is soft and I loved the Duvet cover — it made me sleep comfortably despite the cold weather.
The bathroom and toilet are confined in a tiny space, provided with an adjustable hand-held shower. For environment concerns, basic toiletries are not provided so we brought our own shampoo, soap, conditioner, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Towels are provided for the guests. What made me a bit iffy was the frosted glass door. If you are too conscious about privacy then think twice about this place.
The small nook where we can eat or prepare our food and drinks is also one of our favorite places to hang-out in the apartment. There’s a small ref with drinking mugs placed on the wooden table. The view of the city background is always relaxing.
The ground floor is a space where guests can lounge and relax. There’s a common area where you can either work with your laptop or read a book or write.
On the wall is a freedom board that guests can write their comments, greetings or shout-outs.
Good thing, there is also a water refill station located near the elevator. Daily, we refilled our water supply here before heading out for our trips. Just provide your own bottle or tumbler.
The reception area is where the CCTV cameras are being monitored from the different areas of the building for security purposes.
Suggestions for Improvement
We really love the place. It’s very convenient, strategically located in the heart of Ximending, and accessible to many tourist destinations. We also appreciate the cleanliness of the place. The host was friendly and accommodating too.
However, what I found lacking are the following: separate sink for washing the dishes, hanging areas for clothes, additional chairs, and basic kitchen utensils.
Every time we had to wash our wands or clean the food or wash the cups, we had to go to the bathroom which is quite unhygienic. Basic kitchen tools and equipment such as microwave, dining plates and utensils are also necessary specially if you want to eat your own food inside the apartment. I also mentioned that I was a bit uncomfy with the frosted glass door of the bathroom. No privacy at all.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed our stayed in this Airbnb.