During my trip to Taiwan in October, I had the opportunity to try out Wimdu, a travel accommodation website, for my stay in Taipei. Wimdu encourages travelers to “travel like a local” by bringing travelers and hosts together and creating an opportunity for face to face interaction between the two.
Wimdu is similar to CouchSurfing or other traveler hosting sites, except you may or may not be staying with your “host” at their home and you are paying for your accommodations. Hmm, not so sure what the benefits of Wimdu might be then? Me, too.
Until I tried it!
I wanted to try Wimdu because I didn’t want to stay in a hotel. I find hotels impersonal and alienating, especially when traveling alone.
CouchSurfing is a great option for solo travelers looking to connect with others, but I chose Wimdu because my time in Taipei was already packed with meeting various relatives, acquaintances, and fellow food and travel bloggers. I wasn’t going to have much time to get to know my hosts and I didn’t want to stay with someone merely for the accommodation.
The apartment I chose from the many options listed on Wimdu was perfectly located in the Daan district of Taipei. The location was incredibly convenient to the MRT, with plenty of shops, restaurants and bubble tea stands at my doorstep! The living space was very roomy and comfortable for me, and could have easily accommodated two or three additional guests, but I really enjoyed the fact that I had the whole place to myself. Plus, I loved the blue walls!
Upon my arrival into Taipei International, I followed the clear instructions that Roger, the property’s host had emailed me. I arrived with no problems and Roger was so kind as to show me around the apartment and then take me out to lunch. Roger offered suggestions and advice on Taipei before leaving me on my own with an awesome apartment of my own in the center of Taipei.
One small minor hiccup I experienced with using Wimdu was their messaging system. All correspondence between travelers and potential hosts are routed through the Wimdu site, making checking and responding to messages a tad inconvenient, particularly when you’re traveling and constantly on the move. However, once a reservation has been accepted and a payment made, Wimdu allows hosts and travelers to contact each other directly so this inconvenience is a very short-lived one.
Overall, my experience with Wimdu was very pleasant and I would definitely use Wimdu again in the future when I want to have a local experience in my travels but still maintain my privacy and space. I truly felt at home at Roger’s apartment and that’s an incredible feeling to have when you’re travel to a new and foreign place!
© Connie Hum 2011