Day 5 ~ Futurestar Hotel, Taipei Zoo & the Maokong Gondola

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August 20th 2008
Published: June 6th 2010
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Wednesday, 20th August 2008

Once again, I set foot to the once familiar Taipei this afternoon after a 2-hour train journey from Hualien. I would be staying in Taipei for my final 3 nights before flying home on Saturday evening. As I had not made any hotel arrangements earlier, I decided to try my luck at Future Star Hotel, a familiar name which I had stayed with Clare during our last visit 3 years back. I was lucky that they were not full for the next 2 days.

The decor had not changed a bit and the reception area still reminded me of a KTV lounge. Check-in was fuss free. The NT1080 guest room which I stayed in (the cheapest category) were getting a little worn out but I did not mind since it came with satellite TV and a reasonably clean bathroom. The price and location in Ximending were simply unbeatable. 2 of my friends who decided to follow my recommendation decided to move out of Future Star after staying for just 1 night. For some reasons, the rooms simply didn't appeal to their tastes.

Anyway, after leaving my luggage with the hotel, I decide to conquer the Taipei Zoo this afternoon. Located at the eastern suburbs at Muzha County, the zoo had recently welcomed its 100th Anniversary. At only NT30 per entry, this was simply the best "zoo" deal I had ever gottened. The blazing 35 degrees summer heat did not made my experience an enjoyable one even though I was fascinated at the Formosa Brown Bears and the Koala Bears' enclosures. A ride on the tram was fun as it brought my tired legs to the entrance of the zoo after a long day of walking.

The long, snaking queues greeted me as I waited patiently to ride on the Maokong Gondola, one of Taipei's latest attractions. The experience was good as the ride provided a fantastic view of the city and the Taipei 101. This was certainly worth my 2 hours' wait at the gondola station. I was glad to be able to kill 2 birds with 1 stone today as these places were missed out during my last trip.

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