Finally we landed in Taipei, Taiwan, where we had our limousine waiting for us to start the journey to Yilan. Actually we went to Taiwan only because my sister´s daughter was taking part of the international folklore festival. And we really wanted to visit her there.
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a sovereign state in East Asia. The Republic of China, originally based in mainland China, now governs the island of Taiwan, which makes up over 99% of its territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. Neighboring states include the People’s Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east and northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taipei is the seat of the central government. New Taipei, encompassing the metropolitan area surrounding Taipei proper, is the most populous city.
Basically the whole time we were in Yilan we spent it in the hotel spa or at the dorm to see the daughter. But the city of Yilan itself is located in the central and most favoured part of the Lanyang Plain. Streams and rivers provide a constant source of replenishment for the nutrients in the soil here, making Yilan a breadbasket county.
Yilan looks out to the sea on Taiwan’s Northeast Coast, with mountains on the three other sides forming a unique geography that has nurtured an equally distinctive cultural landscape and human warmth. The county is home to Asia’s second longest highway tunnel, the Hsuehshan Tunnel, which has reduced the driving time between Yilan and Taipei to less than 50 minutes. From natural environments and cold and hot springs to a wealth of ocean recreation resources and verdant country scenes, Yilan offers the perfect setting to slow down and enjoy nature at its best.
Yilan is the Land of Sacred Trees, famous for whale and dolphin watching, Night Market snacking, cold and hot springs. This I love the most, did you know that for a relaxing hot spring soak, visitors to Yilan County can choose between the lowland hot springs of Jiaoxi Township and the carbonic acid cold springs in Su’ao Township, one of only two cold springs in Southeast Asia. The clear and tasteless spring water pampers your skin and embraces you, body and mind, in a world of relaxation.
The reason for choosing the hotel we stayed at is that there are hot springs in the hotel as well. The spa area was so great! Read about it in the hotel review below.
Soon there was time to move to the next city. We figured that since we came so far, we have to see the whole island. We went to the reception to discuss the ways to get to Kenting. Of course we were like the two of us are in every vacation, complete babes who think they can do everything themselves, we thought we´re going to rent a car and then drive to Kenting. Kenting is over 500 km to South. So renting a car seemed to be the most comfortable way.
After we introduced our plan to the hotel staff and asked about the rental prices, the staff´s faces were just frozen and shocked. We were like, why, what? And they started to explain that but how? You´re women and just two of you AND there´s this huge typhoon that was heading our way and the peak of it was supposed to be the same afternoon we were planning to start our small road trip. Well, this is the first time we found out that there was a typhoon coming! All the people were given a day off, because it was too dangerous to go outside and now the two girls were planning to drive to South!?!
Like two tough girls we are and one of us is a great driver (of course me! :)), we insisted that we´re taking a car. How bad could that typhoon be? They had no choice but to book us a car. The rental place was in Taipei and in the morning we headed back to Taipei. And what do you think, did we get the car or not?? Of course not! And not because we are women, and no, not because there was a typhoon, there was a completely different reason, I didn´t have international driving licence!!
So here´s a TIP for you. You cannot rent a car in Taiwan when you don´t have international driving licence. And no, the ones that are given in the European Union don´t count, so what that they accept them in the States, no, you have to have international driving licence!!! 🙂
At the end it´s actually cool they didn´t give us a car, because the train was really cool, do you know that in its top speed, it drives 298 km per hour. How cool is that? So instead of driving for 5 hours, we got to Kenting in one and a half. Great!
Now about the hotel.
Hotel Hotel Royal Chiao Hsi – Small Luxury Hotels of the World *****
|Reception and welcome||Very nice and very friendly.|
|Welcome drink||Hmm, I don´t remember, there might have been.|
|Free upgrade||Asked and was refused.|
|Valet and parking||Didn´t have a car. 🙂|
|Sparkling wine||No, but it´s Asia! I couldn´t even find wine, not to even mention sparkling wine, from the stores. Why is that so??? Anyone knows?|
|In general||Wow, again, the breakfast was amazing, what a variety?!?! There was everything you could have wanted. They even had sushi in the morning, yay!|
|In general||The room was very beautiful and clean. Quite big too, we had a small living room and the sleeping area was separated from it. I loved the bathroom! It was so cool, like a sauna/spa. There was a bath you could fill with thermal water. Really, really nice room.|
|Room type||Western suite: http://www.hotelroyal.com.tw/chiaohsi/EN/rooms.aspx?NO=965|
|Surprise in the room||Flip flops and these robes/pants and shirt that you could relax with in the hotel, also tea, candies, and cookies. Everything. 🙂 Plus, everything was free of charge in the mini bar – lots of different drinks.|
|iPhone dock||No. Luckily we had bought from Beijing these small bluetooth music boxes.|
|Blanket and the blanket case||Yes and yes. The bed was so comfortable!!!|
|Carped||The living room was carpeted.|
|Amenities and bathroom||Great, there was everything you could imagine you´d need. Everything was in a cute bag. The bathroom itself was really cosy and big. There was a great view from the bathroom to the mountains.|
|Shower curtain?||No, the shower and bath area was separated from the sink.|
|Are the TV speakers in the bathroom too?||Hmm, I don´t remember, there might have been.|
|Bath salt and bath||I think they didn´t have bath salt, but there was this big thermal bath.|
|Slippers and robe||Flip-flops, pants and shirt.|
Hotel area (spa, dinner etc.)
|The hotel is amazing! Though you could see some dating signs, but the service makes it all better. It isn´t your typical Europe luxury hotel, there was something different, I can´t really put my finger on it. The reason we chose the hotel, was that there were thermal pools there. And when you go to Yilan, you have to go to terms. Also there was dinner included in the room price. And wow, the dinner was again, amazing! There was everything you could imagine or want!
The spa and pool area was great. There were lots of different pools and the view was so amazing from the area. There was even this one pool that had small fishes in it and you could put your feet into the pool, so the fishes could start biting you. It was supposed to be really good to your circulatory.
In the pools you have to have swimming caps on! These were provided in the pool area, they also have these baskets you could use and put everything that you need in the pool area in it.
The service and staff, it was amazing! They are so friendly and very helpful. There was this one night when we arrived back really late, they left us a good night wish written on the door. That was so cute!! 🙂
I´m sure there´s so much more to say about the hotel, but I just don´t have the words anymore. 🙂
Location It wasn´t in the walking distance from the centre.
I visited In August 2013.
Would I go again? Definitely.
Value of money Great.
Purpose of the trip Vacation.
Nights 3 nights.
|Luxury||9 or 10 out of 10. There was something off, I don´t know what…|
|Drive through||10 out of 10. Seriously, what more do you want?|