people looking at mattresses in an old mattress shop

It’s good that the dorm check-in is one week before school starts, because other than orientation, registration, familiarising ourselves with the neighbourhood etc, we also needed to buy things to make our home for 4 months more cosy!

Before I go into the list of things that one might need in dorm, here are some pictures of how my single room looks like when I first entered!

The furniture provided by the hostel is listed in the Prince House – ShuiYuan dorm website, but here it is for easy reference: “Built-in wardrobes, Desk and Chair, Refrigerator, Air-conditioner, Inter-campus telephone, Independent Bathroom”

Also, water bills are included but electricity bills will not be. Every resident will have to purchase an electricity card when they check-in and insert it into a electricity card reader (like in hotels!).

Now that the basic overview of what the room will consist of is over, we can move on to the things that we will need to buy to make the room more comfortable.

List of things you might need for hostel

  • Mattress (Yes, mattress! As you might have noticed from the picture of the bed frame above, mattresses are not provided by the hostel.)
  • Pillow
  • Blanket/Quilt
  • Quilt cover 
  • Bed sheets + Pillow cover (I’ve not seen these two being sold separately in Taiwan, they always come together. Also, they cost about ~SGD20 so it’s good to bring your own)
  • Toilet paper
  • Detergent
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Facial Cleanser
  • Retractable Magiclean stick/Broom/Mop/Floor wipes
  • Floor mat(s)
  • Laundry basket
  • Hangers
  • Clothes clips
  • Adapters/Extension cords
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Fan (a small USB powered table fan if you have it! Using the air-conditioner all-day can be costly)

Other daily necessities

I won’t list out the full list of things you need here, since that would include too many things, but here are some important ones that I think might be missed out!

  • Umbrella (It has been raining almost every day since we got here, and there aren’t many sheltered walkways, so this is almost a must!)
  • Day pack, preferably a drawstring bag (I do find it a pity I didn’t bring one! This would come in useful during hikes where you’ll need to bring your water bottle, umbrella, mosquito repellent etc while trying to keep your hands free)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunblock (The sun in Taipei seems to be even more unforgiving than Singapore’s!)

Of course, after listing all these, it’s up to you whether you want to bring some of the things above or buy them in Taipei (all of them can be found in nearby stores). Here are some stores that are close to Shuiyuan dorm selling more affordable goods!

Where to buy from

Firstly, there was a Carrefour sale right outside the Bldg A and B dorms selling most of the necessities mentioned above.

The prices are pretty decent so if you’re in a hurry or if you’re fine with what you see then it would be the most convenient to purchase the things you need from there! No worries if the Carrefour sale doesn’t happen next year however, there are still other shops nearby.

For mattress, I have to thank my NTU buddy for telling me about the Su Nai Nai mattress shop in an alley near Gongguan. I Google Maps my way here and good thing the many mattresses at the front of the store made it easy to spot!

There was about a 100+NTD price difference, plus it was interesting meeting the friendly granny in the store! She has been selling mattresses, pillows etc for almost 50 years (if I remember correctly), and was still energetic in showing me the mattresses.

people looking at mattresses in an old mattress shop
苏奶奶 手工枕: No. 50-2號, Section 4, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, 100

Mattress shopping experience and review:
While they first recommended me a high-quality mattress costing a few thousand NTD, they showed me the more affordable ones after I told them I was only going to use it for 4 months.

I settled with the tatami mat + normal mattress combo I see around Taiwan, but I think I would have been better off getting the normal mattress. The bamboo side of the mattress (i.e. the tatami side) was simply too hard for me to get used to! Supposedly Taiwanese will sleep on the bamboo side during summer so sweat evaporates more easily and it is more cooling, and they’ll flip the mattress over and sleep on the normal side during winter.

So my suggestion is, if you know you don’t like sleeping on hard surfaces, it is probably a better idea to get a normal mattress instead of the combo one I got! Also, I realised after sleeping for a few nights that the 5 cm mattresses aren’t the most comfortable as well, as they are rather thin. If you are easily affected by what you sleep on, it might be a good idea to invest just a couple Sing dollars more every month to get a thicker mattress!

For soap, shampoo, facial cleanser, you can get it at the Watsons or Cosmed near Gongguan MRT.

For all sorts of daily necessities, stationary or electronics at affordable prices, you can also head to 光南大批發:No. 114-116, Section 4, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, 100.

And that concludes this post! The above shops should cover your needs for making your hostel ready to live in.

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