I think travel is so educational and so enriching because it teaches you different ways of how something is done in different cultural contexts.
Take for instance lodgings and accommodations. It takes something as pedestrian and simple as sleeping and having a place to stay from something that just has to be gotten out of the way, into something that is a little bit more of a fun experience. The new wave of hostels that have sprung up in the world’s cities give a taste of luxury and incredible aesthetics to elevate lodgings into travel destinations in their own right.
Sure, there are still dingy backpackers and dirt-cheap accommodations that throw in foot fungus and bedbugs into their list of ‘amenities’, but when you can get a spotless and nice bed for a couple more dollars, roughing it in horror hostels is no longer the only option available, even for broke travelers like yours truly. In Taipei, I had the absolute privilege of staying in two great hostels. I previously shared a stellar experience in the gorgeous Star Hostel, and now I’m about to proceed in the same gushy and dulcet manner.
What I love about these new breed of hostels is their minimalist approach to design and aesthetics. After a long day of being stimulated by a cacophony of a city’s sights and sounds, retreating to a calm space effused with whites, beiges and pale wood is refreshing and relaxing. Add in a couple green indoor plants and smartly designed furniture, and it’s a utilitarian space that does not have to sacrifice aesthetics for thriftiness.
I was booted out of Star Hostel because I could no longer extend my stay (they were fully booked to the rafters!) which was a bummer because I absolutely loved it there. Fortunately, my friends Sheen and Jaiko flew in the same night I was virtually ‘homeless’ in Taipei and rescued me from the chilly streets. LOL I don’t mean to sound melodramatic but I might as well have been homeless because there wasn’t any available accommodation within a mile radius, and I kept my search tight so that I won’t have to lug my stuff around. They were checked in at We Come Hostel, which was in the same district (Datong) as Star Hostel.
They had free brochures and pamphlets of fun places and spots to visit around Taipei.
At first glance, We Come and Star Hostel look like they were cut from the same no-frills, minimalist cloth. The double room that we booked was spacious (spacious enough for three people, though, one person aka me had to sleep on his yoga mat) and actually had a window (thank God!). It had an ensuite bathroom, and the room only cost a fraction more expensive than getting dorm-style rooms elsewhere. There was also free breakfast every morning, which consist of bread and jam and cereal, which is typical of bed and breakfasts everywhere on the planet.
I loved the mix of contemporary furniture and comfortable seating, which encourages mingling among the hostel guests.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a place to stay in Taipei, you might want to consider We Come Hostel. It is a stone’s throw away from Dihua, the uber-trendy and very photogenic street that hosts cute craft stores, spice and tea merchants, a community theater, and plenty of fabric and clothing stores (it is a fabric district, after all).
12, Taiwan, Taipei City, Datong District, Gangu Street, 26, Taipei, Taiwan