The next morning we woke up and got some pastries from a Japanese bakery right next door to our hotel. I ordered the tallest egg tart I have ever seen, probably the size of two egg tarts stacked on top of each other which was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. Pay for one egg tart but really get two.
After eating pastries, we decided that we wanted to get some dumplings before heading to the train station. We stopped by a local stand called “Dumpling Bun.” It’s actually a local stand in Taipei and only a few options. If you ever get a chance to go, you definitely need to. Especially because one bun is only 13 NTD which is really only about $0.40 per dumpling. I ordered 3 buns and a fresh cup of soy milk which was probably too much food but worth every single bite.
After our breakfast we made our way back to the hotel, picked up our belongings and headed out to the Taipei Main Station to meet the rest of our friends. Since we weren’t getting onto the MRT, we had to go to the HSR portion of the train station. We had preordered our tickets which is actually a great idea because you can usually get an early bird discount and get assigned seats which helps alleviate the stress of making sure you get the tickets in time. We split up in groups to run and pick up tickets. That being said, the HSR portion of the Taipei Main Station is a bit confusing. The actual platforms for the trains is a little bit far from where you pick up the HSR tickets. The signs are also a little confusing for where the HSR ticket locations are so make sure you have enough time to find it, get your tickets and then make your way back to the platforms.
Finally it was time to get on the train and begin our 52 minute long journey to Taichung. I ended up falling asleep during the ride so it made it even faster. The journey itself is not bad at all. The HSR is very smooth and you really don’t have to worry about too much swaying or bumping around on the train. It typically goes just over 200 mph which is awesome as you watch the country fly by. Apparently, the distance from Taipei to Taichung is about the same as Seattle to Portland. But what is awesome is that the Taipei to Taichung ride is only about an hour long while if you were to take the Amtrak to Portland from Seattle, you’re looking at 3+ hours. They even have the same amount of stops.
We arrived as a pack in Taichung and waited for our ride to the hotel. We were now entering the planned portion of the trip that the groom had put together. The groom showed up with a Hello Kitty charter bus to take us to the hotel and we boarded the bus taking over every single seat. And thus began our journey into Taichung…