How to save accommodation cost when travelling in Taiwan

in busy •  2 months ago 

If you're travelling on a budget in Taiwan, a great way to save on accommodation cost is to stay at temples. This is perfect for backpackers as it's not only cheap but you also get to experience a lot of local culture. The other month when I went travelling around Taiwan with my sister from UK, I took her to stay at a temple on the first night, just to give her a bit of a culture shock!

This is Bi Yun Temple on the west side of the island nestled up in the mountain. It is said that a temple was first established back in 1701 here. Bi Yun temple is now a listed building.
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This is the view from the upper patio that is outside my room. The white 'blob' that you can see in the front are the clouds as we're quite high up on the mountains. The black rooftop is the main temple and the main entrance is just in front of it. The buildings you see on the left are some of the older rooms with no private bathrooms.
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I stayed in one of the new rooms, like this one. Pretty basic right? The toilet and wet room is on the left and there's no bed. The room is in Japanese tatami style where you sleep on the floor. In this case it's a raised floor which can sleep as many people as you can fit along the floor. Blankets and pillows are provided, but they are not washed every day. In fact I don't know how often it's washed, best not to think about it.
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I tried to choose the bedding that 'looked' the cleanest and since Asians nearly always (there's always the exception) shower at night time instead of the morning, I couldn't detect any odour. Not that I tried to sniff at it really hard! There is of course no TV in the room, internet was just about ok up in the mountain, it was dead quiet outside and the main gates close at 10pm (or was it 9pm?). I think I went to sleep at 11pm that evening, a rarity for me.
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Having an early night was actually quite handy as I had to get up much much earlier than my normal time the next day. Breakfast finished at 7.30am which meant I had to get up at least at 6.30am. This was the view outside the next morning. Boy, it was worth getting up this early.
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Breakfast is served in the main building just beyond the main entrance.
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Here's the canteen. I think we came down around 7am, and we were the only people there apart from a volunteer. Temples like these rely a lot on volunteers who are mainly villagers living nearby.
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Breakfast, is of course vegetarian, this is a temple after all. Taiwanese does mean vegetarian food, my Steemit vegan friends @choogirl @evecab @delishtreat you would like it here! Do you see those two little bowls in the center of the table? They are some sort of fermented vegetable but I have not idea what it was. The flavour was very instense and was a perfect complement to the vegetarian food.
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Now let's get to the most important part - the cost per night. Zero, nil, nought, null, nada, zip, 0. Yes, its free! This is a temple remember, and it operates as a charity so they don't ask for payment. Of course, a donation is always appreciated but if you walked away without making one they wouldn't really mind. Temples are rich in Taiwan. We made a donation of NTD1200 which is around USD40 - for two rooms!!! And were given a note of appreciation!

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Sadly there isn't an English website which lists all the temple accommodations available, but if you're interested you can check out this Chinese website. It list many temples all around Taiwan, their address, phone numbes and information on the prices (yes, some are quite commercialised). Where it say "隨喜" it means no obligation donation. If you're ever travelling in Taiwan on a budget or want to experience the unique temple accommodation, I would recommend this, even if it's for one night.
https://taiwantemple.weebly.com/2148828771235462428732178393212345825151199683526134920.html

Check out all my travel posts here on Steemit Worldmap, and also my latest project @LadiesOfAsia where we share fun and cultural diversity across Asia Pacific.

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That is great information for anyone traveling around Taiwan to have. It looks like it was a delightful place to stay. It all would add to the adventure of the trip.

See going to bed early and getting up early is ace! Yeah, I like the Asian vegetarian breakfasts. I think they are pretty much vegan.

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I have to be honest, on the rare days I get up early, I do feel I have achieved a lot during the day.

I never knew this! Thanks for sharing it. I wish I'd known it when I visited Taiwan in the 1990s. I had a great time there anyway. My niece will be going to Taiwan to study later this year, so I'll pass this on to her. I'm sure she'll want to do some travelling around. And that food looks delicious!
I'm just tuning in to Steemit again after a week away from wifi, and there's a new dislike button! I feel as if I've been away for ages.

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We have so many munros here, did you do any hiking when you came out to Taiwan? If your niece is into hiking like you, she would absolutely love it out here. Otherwise, travelling around is great as well, so different from UK.

Steeem world does seems to move a lot quicker than cyber world, if you stay away for much longer, you might get lost when you come back!!!

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I did do a bit of hiking - I did a long walk along Taroko Gorge with a guy called Hsin-yeh. It was lovely, and I remember we didn't get back until the evening. At the end of the walk we hitched a lift from a group of guys going to a place called "East Hawaii". It turned out to be a nightclub! But they kindly drove us into town. What an adventure!
I didn't climb any mountains though. Maybe I'll visit my niece while she's there. (She hates hiking, but then I did when I was her age too!)

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Thank you @travelfeed and @for91days. Hopefully you can try it out youself whenever you do your 91days in Taiwan.

Wow! Nice experience

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It is in deed, even though its a bit basic

I like to shower at night as well. Easier to sleep that way. Reminds me of when I lived in Vietnam.

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I can never get the not showering before you go to bed thing...

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I can never get
The not showering before
You go to bed thing...

                 - livinguktaiwan


I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

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I like to take as many showers as possible. Feels good.


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Thank you @c-squared

Amazing :O I didn't know that temple accommodation is a thing ! Wow ! And what a wonderful way to travel since this is a very down to earth way to also experience the local culture first hand !!!

Love this post so much, @livinguktaiwan ! <3

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I think experiencing the local culture is the best part of it, of course not to mention it's cheap/free !

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add me to your list of steemit vegan friends :)

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The magic monk! That makes sense! I will definitely add you to my invite list next time I do a vegan shout out

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no worries :) I don't do enough vegan posts.

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Thank you @helpiecake and @verspider. I love cakes, hope to see you more often.

ps if you can bring some chocolate next time that would be great, they're my favorite ^_^