During our recent trip to Taiwan, we had planned our itinerary in such a way that we would experience Taipei not once, but twice. Given that we wanted to stay close to a metro station and right where the action takes place, we had picked the top two areas where we wanted to stay in Taipei. The first was the Meander Taipei Hostel in the bustling Ximen area and the second was the Flip Flop Garden Hostel in the Taipei Main Station area – both these choices were absolute no brainers!
Now, this is the first time we are writing a hostel review. Writing a hotel review is pretty straightforward, and we’ve written hotel reviews before. This time around, I had to rack my brains (imagine a story writer writing a script, scribbling in pieces of paper and throwing them away!) to figure out what is it that people look for, in a hostel and zeroed in on the following criteria: location, facilities, atmosphere, staff, and finally value for money. In case there’s something else you’d like me to cover, especially in this review of the Meander Hostel Taipei, please feel free to let me know that in the comments section.
Meander Taipei Hostel is located right in the centre of Ximen, and 5 to 10 minutes walk away from Ximen Station. There are quite a lot of restaurants, departmental stores (7-Eleven), bars and of course a lot of places to shop as well in the vicinity. All this apart from the fantastic Ximending area, which houses the Ximen Walking Street.
Further, there are quite a few places to see within walking distance like The Red House, Longshan Temple, Huaxi Walking Street etc.
Meander Taipei Hostel has all the facilities one may expect from a hostel. They provide complimentary shampoo and shower gel in the washrooms, and the entire premises are air-conditioned, which is god sent in Asia 🙂
They also have a washer and dryer that you can pay for and use, which is also amazing, especially the dryer (which in our opinion is a luxury).
Breakfast starts at 7 am every morning, and there’s a good spread of continental food. Fresh fruit, porridge oats and wheat bread was our staple during the time we spent there.
Meander Hostel was by far the largest hostel we have come across until now. The hostel is huge, and if I’m right, it is the largest hostel in Taipei. The common areas are comfortable and spacious. The common areas are always bustling with people, so making friends wouldn’t be a problem. The good folks at Meander recommend quite a few guided tours, most of which are free.
Bottom line: This hostel is super fun and is perfect for solo travellers looking to meet other backpackers.
The moment we arrived in Taipei and reached the hostel, we were given a warm welcome by Sunny who ensured we felt at home. She gave us lots of recommendations on the things to do and how to plan our days to make the best of the time we had in Taipei. She also gave us a quick tour of the whole property and introduced us to other fellow backpackers, which helped us break the ice that much faster!
The entire staff we met during our stay at Meander Hostel were friendly and helpful. Also, did I mention that all of them speak fluent English? 🙂
Value for Money
Taiwan is an expensive country, and it goes without saying that Taipei is amongst the most expensive cities in the world. Most dorms with shared bathrooms in hostels cost upwards of NTD 500 per night, and the 6-bed mixed dorm that we stayed in at the Meander Hostel cost us NTD 600 per night, that translates to around ₹1400 per night.
It does seem expensive at the outset, but when you compare prices with other hostels and hotels, trust me, this is money well spent. The rooms and more importantly, the toilets are spic and span, the facilities are excellent, and overall, the right kind of experience one would expect from a hostel.