Saturday, June 25, 2016

Staying Around Longshan MRT Area, Taipei

Longshan Temple (龙山寺) and its surrounding area, according to some tourism websites, was dull, not lively, lack of night life, and full with older citizens. Well, we found a more appropriate description- it was more traditional and peaceful. And, we couldn't deny an important fact- it is still in the heart of Taipei. 

We stayed in Longshan Hotel (龙山商旅) located right behind Longshan Temple. It was small, but clean, tidy and nicely decorated room, filled with enough amenity for a comfortable stay. The staff were friendly, talkative, and indeed resourceful. Their information were very useful, from food to weather.

The hotel is just 5 minutes away from Longshan MRT Station by foot, and 10 minutes away from Wanhua Train Station. Plus, 3 minutes away from night markets at Mengxia area, one MRT station away from Ximending, it is indeed a good place to stay. By the way, there is a small garden in front of Longshan Temple where senior citizens gather to play chess, drink tea, chit chat, and sometimes, to take a nap. We had been staying in the same hotel for 6 days and 5 nights.

We visited Mengxia Night Market and Huaxi Night Market nearby our hotel on the first day. Day 2, we visited Taipei Zoo, Maokong Mountain via Maokong Gondola, and Rauhe Night Market . Day 3, Yehliu Geopark, Sun-Yatsen Memorial Hall, Taipei 101, and Ximending. Day 4, Yangming Shan National Park, Shilin Night Market and National Palace Museum. Day 5, Jinguashi, Jiufen, and Zhongzheng Memorial Hall, and Day 6, we strolled around Longshan area before we departed to Taoyuan International Airport.

Longshan Hotel can be reached through the alley between Longshan Temple (wall on the right) and shop lot.

The entrance of Longshan Hotel (upper left) leads to the small lobby (upper right). The room is small with comfortable bed, kettle, complementary coffee and tea, hair drier (lower right), LCD flatscreen, mini fridge, and water heater in the bathroom.

This is what we can see from our window.

Longshan Temple is the center of the area. It is an old temple built around 270 years ago by settlers from China. It is a very popular place of worship in that area, but for us, it is just an old temple, without much significant attraction.
 
Longshan Temple attracts many visitors, but the night markets beside Longshan Temple are stronger tourist magnets. Mengxia Night Market and Huaxi Night Market are just at the opposite site of the road, left to the temple (if you are facing the temple).

Facing the temple, turn right and walk for 100 meters along Guangzhou Street, we will see a few rows of old shop lots, named Bo-Pi-Liao (剥皮僚) (Upper row). These are the old buildings built in Qing Dynasty. The area around Longshan Temple are peaceful (lower row). 

Food, souvenirs, clothes, local delicacies are the main items sold at the pedestrian streets around the area.

For food, we have plenty of choices- from giant international fast food chain (upper left), hundreds of choices along the pedestrian streets and night markets (upper right and lower right), to the delicacies available in convenient shops and supermarkets. We really need not worry about what or where to eat. By the way, we bought some local delicacies with really bargained price at Carrefour Hypermarket, which by foot, just 15 minutes away from our hotel. For the market and stalls, the food were mostly sold at NTD 50 - 150 per portion, while the food sold in the shops were more expensive (could up to NTD 300 per portion). 

 Nice street food are aplenty during the day time, but we need to get them in the street away from the main roads.

Another advantage of staying in Longshan area- less people in MRT station. This photo was taken at rush hour, and we can see the station was quite empty. Longshan MRT Station is located on Blue Line.

Staying at Longshan MRT area doesn't mean we are staying at old men's land in Taipei. Instead, it is a nice place to stay if we don't really wish to feel the hustle-bustle of this metropolitan right outside of our hotel. With MRT, it is indeed easy for us to travel around Taipei. Located on Blue Line, the interchange stations to Green Line (Taipei Main Station) and Brown Line (Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station) are just a few stations away. The fare for the public transportation in Taipei was cheap, while taxi charge was reasonable as well. However, due to the good coverage and high frequency, we used the public transports all the time in Taipei (even to Yehliu Geopark, Yangmingshan National Park, and Ruifang).

6-day-5-night trip to Taipei promises great experiences. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends and family, including our parents, Chin Yee, Boon Ling, Lian Huai, Livien, Bryant, Katty, Jenny, Kelly, LS's colleagues Dr. Chong, Ms. Chong, and many more who had shared their precious experience with us. We would like to thank Hui Hwa for bringing us for a night of food hunting in Taipei. Last but not least, all the good staff at Longshan Hotel for their advices from locals' perspective. You all had made our trip a wonderful and memorable one.

More about our experience in Taipei, please read out posts:


2 comments:

  1. The surrounding are of Longshan temple might be dull and and not lively but, the Longshan hotel is looking quite attractive and lively. The food is also looking very delicious

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    1. Longshan in indeed not-so-lively area for visitors, but definitely a good place to stay for a few nights. There are in fact a few night markets nearby and the nice food are just around us. By saying it is dull, is just a comparatively, to Ximen Ding or places nearby Shilin.

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