29 May 2018

Booking Travel Deals in Klook

My recent trip to Taiwan has introduced me to a new travel platform that I might use often in the future. It is called Klook, which offers amazingly variant types of travel packages, especially in Asian destination, including activities and transportation. This post is not being sponsored, it is purely a review of my own experience using Klook. Here are the 3 packages I book in Klook when visiting Taiwan.

'Unite Traveler' 4G SIM Card (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan

Except for posting on Instagram, I really need an internet connection for finding my ways around Taipei. Either I buy a SIM card with data connection or rent a wifi modem. Usually, people traveling in a big group prefer renting wifi more than buying SIM card because then they can share the connection. However, if you only travel by yourself or with another (adult) 1 person, like me and my husband (and our kid), buying a SIM card is cheaper. Klook offers many choices of Wifi and SIM card.

I chose 'Unite Traveler' 4G SIM Card (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan which cost Rp.140,000 for 120 hours (5 days). The card was put on my husband's phone, and whenever I needed the connection he switched on his phone tethering. In my case, this way is cheaper than renting a wifi modem. Here, for example, the cost for renting a wifi modem for 5 days is Rp.186,210.

Other than options on how many days you want to rent a wifi modem, Klook also provides choices of pick up location in other countries, such as Hong Kong and Malaysia (unfortunately no Indonesia yet). So people flying from those countries can pick up the device first in their home country before reaching Taiwan. This is good especially for tourists in rush in Taiwan Airport, like me. My flight arrived in Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan around 10.30pm and I needed to catch the last train to Taipei Main Station departed at 11.30pm. I was worried I could not make it since I had few things to do in that 1 hour: passing immigration, taking baggage, collecting SIM card, and purchasing train tickets. My flight from Indonesia had a stopover in Malaysia for about 3 hours. I had been thinking, perhaps I could rent the Taiwan wifi modem with pick up from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, so I could reduce one activity to catch the last train later in Taiwan, but I checked the modem was not available anymore on my traveling date. I should have checked on Klook earlier.

Taiwan SIM Card with the unlimited internet connection

Fortunately, I could catch that last train in the end. Immigration and baggage were passed quite fast. Then we could find the counter for collecting the SIM card easily, go to the right from exit gate. We were given the SIM card, without testing it first we were right away running towards airport train station. At first, I was worried, how if later on the SIM card did not work? After we were on the train safely and relax a bit, we opened up the SIM card package and tried it on. Yaaay, it was no hassle, the internet was connected right away. What a relief!

Jiufen Shuttle Bus from Ximen

Among all the places around Taipei city, I am most interested in visiting Jiufen. I will write another dedicated post for this Jiufen+Shifen trip later, here I want to focus on my experience booking this trip using Klook. Jiufen and Shifen can be reached by public transport but will require many transits and longer time. Since they were my highly anticipated destinations, I did not want to spend much time and energy on the commuting so I could experience the places more. Klook offers a convenient tour to Jiufen and Shifen for 7 days direct from Ximen MRT Station in Taipei City. The bus was easy to spot on Ximen Station exit, just following the instruction guide from Klook website. The bus could accommodate around 30 people and they departed on time even though some passengers had not shown up yet.

When I booked the tour at that time there were 3 trips at 8am - 2.45pm, 9am - 3.45pm and 1.30pm-8.15pm daily. The afternoon one was the bestseller because I guess many people were thinking the same like me, that when we reached Ximen back in the evening, we could continue walking around Ximen area which was crowded and more interesting during the night. Since I booked the trip quite late about 5 days before, I could not get the spot in the afternoon trip and booked the 9 am one. Now I check the website, 8 am tour is no longer there maybe because it is less favorite (too early in the morning!). Instead, they added a new schedule at 9.30 am including Shifen Waterfall. It is more expensive than the other 2 trips which do not include this place, but it is worth it. Since my tour did not include this waterfall, I went to Shifen waterfall using a local taxi (cost NTD100/way) and got back to the bus parking in time.

The famous Amei Teahouse in Jiufen Old Street

If you are in Taipei few days including weekdays and weekend, you have to go on this trip on weekdays to avoid traffic and crowds (even on weekdays Jiufen was crowded). The other tips from me: if you are not traveling alone, better to book the tour together, not one by one. Since the spots are limited, especially the fast-selling afternoon trip, if you book one ticket successfully, there might be a possibility that the trip was suddenly sold out and you cannot book tickets for your family/friend in the same schedule with you. That's what happened to me actually. I booked an afternoon trip for myself successfully (yay I got a spot in afternoon trip!), but when I tried to book another 2 tickets for my family on the same schedule with me, there were no longer spots available. I tried to email Klook asking if I could refund my paid ticket or changing my schedule to the morning tour, but they did not reply me (in my opinion Klook support team really need to work on their customers' engagement). In the end, I booked a new ticket for me and my family together for the morning trip, and I lost my paid ticket.

The tour guide was very kind, could speak English quite well and explained us the important facts about all places we visited. He also helped us in booking Sky Lantern in Shifen Old Street beforehand with the same price as we walk on the store ourselves (no additional charge). So when we reached the place, all the lanterns were ready for us to write our wishes. It saved much time for us to continue exploring the place after flying out out wishing lantern.

Taipei 101 Observatory E-Ticket

This was an unexpected purchase. I was planning to buy Taipei 101 ticket directly on its counter because I read on the website they provided a combo ticket Taipei 101 + National Palace Museum in a cheaper price. However, in the counter, they said there was a new regulation that this combo ticket might be purchased together with the shuttle bus between Taipei 101 and National Palace Museum with additional cost. I calculated it became more expensive than Taipei 101 ticket price in Klook, and not much different if I bought the tickets separately. Also, I would not use the shuttle bus at all because I visited Taipei 101 and National Palace Museum on different days.

On the spot, I opened Klook app in my handphone and directly booked Taipei 101 tickets using a credit card by choosing the time slot we wanted to enter. I bought the ticket around 6 pm to enter Taipei 101 at 6.30 pm! I got instant confirmation and the code to key in to one of the machines besides Taipei 101 ticket counter. There was English text in the machine and the instruction guide from Klook website was also easy to understand, so voila... we got our printed tickets successfully, waited for about 10 minutes then went inside (or should I say upstairs).

[Left] Taipei City view from Taipei 101 88th Floor
[Right] My child in front of self-service kiosk we used to print our tickets from Klook

Isn't that amazing?! Traveling has become a lot easier these days. I remember my trip to Hong Kong 9 years ago and to Japan 6 years ago where I found out every single thing by myself from different sources including sim card, internet connection, show tickets, and transportation. It was fun and exciting though. Now all you need for traveling to a new country is there in Klook. It is really helpful for traveling to the countries where we cannot speak the language. And it is cheaper compared to buying the tickets manually. So you do not have an excuse anymore for traveling is too difficult and expensive! Book now for your next trip here.

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