Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Zut Alors! We are off to a bad start...

The short of the LONG story the day we went to book for the trip:

Lesson Learnt

Have more than one person present Write down what was said Talk to an experienced staff and repeat this step with another staff Never discuss your argument in front of the arguant(?) before arguing.

Conclusion HC is only fit to give out flyers.


The LONG story...


Part 1: Why did you people torture me with your dithering?

If a decision has been reached why not speak up & let's not waste each others time Rather than let me go ask so many questions in the other agency and then the next. Worst of all, we asked 3 different staff starting from the best and ended up with the worst. Sigh!

If only the Blur King was allowed to totally blotch the whole thing up by booking us on ChinaAir when there isn't any vacancies left. Would we be able to getaway from assuming responsibility for the price change or will we have ended up with no trip at all??

Part 2: Why did GTPW intervene?

Ergo the same answer: will we have ended up with no trip at all?? The Blur King must be utterly embarrassed by an indepth display of his ineptitude for reading a chart. Fancy charging us and additional $230 pax for and upgrade? I believe if we folded and gave in, the mistake slide and let us end up with an exorbitant air tix. Good thing we recorded down that little nugget of info. Hard to beat with five person backing up the claim. GJ girls! Always DOUBLE CHECK!

Part 3: Why do we torture ourselves this way?

By arguing for a free upgrade when it is obvious from the supervisor's facial expression of 'Jolly well isn't and FAT HOPE'. I have an urge to do violence.

Part 4: I really hope it is worth it.

After 3 hours of wrangling, wringing (of hands) and waiting when we finally lighted on the solution. No thanks to HC, it was even cheaper than the original deal(OD). We got the landtour(LT) which includes hotels and transport + book separate air tix instead of the OD. We will meet up with the 7 mystery persons on the OD who will take ChinaAir.


Thank GTPW for helpfully clearing up the mucketymuck. I hope HC treats you to a better dinner.

OD(8D ChinaAir) 2D ext
+ 114 (airport tax)
+ 125
OD(8D SiA) 2D ext
+ 150 (addon for SiA)
+ 114 (airport tax)
+ 125
LT(8D) SiA Tix 2D ext
+ 408(air tix)
+ 113 (airport tax)
* if we book online direct from SIA, we can save another $10/pax


In fact, if we plan to stay more than 2 days, this arrangement we ended up with is even more economical as we do not need to topup $125 processing fees to inform the airlines to make allowance for our change in plans. My assumption is tt group tour air tickets have low priority and open up late; you arrive & leave in a pack. Stragglers like us get the short end of the stick.

Part 5 (Yes, its the finale)

A_ informed that HC had to cheek to be so nice to remind her to book the hotel rooms for our extension. Pah! feels more like divesting all responsiblities. Don't worry, we learnt our lesson and prolly won't want him to book the hotel for us. We might even endup in a motel due to his oversight. I promise to be the best skeptical critic during briefing. Now, if there is some discrimination by the Company due to the 'troubles we caused for all the mistakes they have made'... I will make life difficult for them *shakes fists*

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Our Selected Itinerary - 8D Taiwan Natural Splendor

Day Itinerary B L D Hotel
1 Sat Singapore > Taipei 台北 (Flight)
Ximenting 西门町
2 Sun Chiufen 九份
Yingyang Sea 阴阳海
Northeast Coast National Scenic Area 东北岸国家风景区
Yeliu 野柳风景区 > Hualien 花莲 (by train)
Ami Aboriginal Cultural Show 阿美族传统文化表演
y   y
Herbal Cuisine
3 Taroko Gorge 太鲁阁峡谷
Qi Xing Tan (7 Star Lake) 七星潭
Lingzhi Centre 灵芝中心
Bashen Caves (8 Immortals caves) 八仙洞
Shanxiantai 三仙台
Taidong 台东
y y y  
4 Kenting 垦丁
Kenting National Park
> Howard Beach Resort
> Water Space
y y Tainan Local cuisine
5 Kenting 垦丁
Kaohsiung 高雄
Fo Guang Shan Monastry 佛光山
Yen Ping Chun Wang
Temple Anping Fort 安平老街
Tainan Sinhua Township:
Dakeng Recreational Farm 大坑休闲农场
y y
Tainan Local cuisine
Dakeng Specialty Dinner $
6 初一 Alishan Forest Recreational Area 阿里山风景区
Nantou Sun Moon Lake 南投日夜谭
Wen Wu Temple 文武庙
Taizhong 台中
FengJia Night Market 逢甲夜市
y y    
7 Miaoli Fruit Picking$ 苗栗果园
National Palace Museum 故宫博物馆
Pi Siou Arts Centre 汉玉辟邪馆
Martyr's Shrine 忠烈祠
101 Building 101大楼
Wu Fen Pu Wholesale 五分埔时尚特区
Shihlin Night Market 仕林夜市
y y
Taiwanese Cuisine 5ct Driftwood House
8 Sat ?Da Shee Oasis$ 大溪花海农场 y      
9 Sun        
10 Taipei > Singapore (Flight)        

$ : May need to pay additional fees
All unstated travels are by coach

Monday, March 19, 2007

Itinerary Planning - I must eat at least 1 mochi

Free and Easy Plans if extension

Places of interest near Taipei

  1. 野柳 Yeliu Address: 167-1 Gangdong Road, Yeliou Village, Wanli Township, Taipei County 台北縣萬里鄉野柳村167-1號 Tel:(02)2492-6516 Opening Hours: 08:00~17:00 Fee$: Adults NT$50 How to get there: From Keelung take the North Coast Bus to Yeliou stop. 自基隆搭乘北海岸的客運,於「野柳站」下。

  3. 朱銘美術館 Juming Museum Address: 2 Sishihhu Rd., Jinshan Township, Taipei County Tel: (02)2498-9940 Opening Hours: 10:00~17:00 Closed on Monday? Fee$: Adults NT$250 How to get there: From Keelung take the Jinshan- or Danshuei-bound Keelung Bus to Jinshan and then take a taxi or the museum shuttle. 自基隆搭乘往金山、淡水的基隆客運,於「金山站」下,再轉搭計程車。

  5. 碧砂漁港 Bisha Fishing Harbor Address: 211, Beining Rd., Jhongjheng District, Keelung City Tel: (02)2469-3606 Opening Hours: Fish market 08:00~20:00 Restaurants 12:00~23:00 Fee$: 0 <-- (^_^) How to get there: From Keelung Train Station take the Heping Island-bound Keelung Bus to the harbor. 在基隆火車站搭乘往和平島方向的基隆市公車,於「碧砂港站」下車

  7. Address: Tel: Opening Hours: Fee$: How to get there:

  9. Address: Tel: Opening Hours: Fee$: How to get there:

  11. 漁人碼頭 Fisherman's Wharf Address:Inside the second fishing port, Shalun village, Danshui township, Taipei County How to get there: Take MRT Danshui Line, get off at the Danshui Station, and take a "Red 26" bus.

  13. 袖珍博物館 Miniatures Museum of Taiwan Address: 60 Fulin Rd., Shilin (Shihlin) Dist., Taipei Tel: (02)2881-2512 Opening Hours: Jul.~ Sept.: 08:00~19:00; Oct.~Jun.: 08:00~17:00, Holidays: 08:00~19:00 Fee$: Adult NT$ 180,Concessions NT$ 150,Children NT$ 100 How to get there: Take the MRT Danshui(Red) Line to Shilin Station and walk about 5 mins. Or from Taipei Main Station take the 310,260 or 220 bus to the Shilin (Shihlin) Official Residence stop. 於台北車站搭202至「長安東路二段」,或搭652、605、307至「南京國路口」下車。

  15. 公館 Gongguan Address: Roosevelt Rd., Xinsheng (Sinsheng) S. Rd. and Dingzhou (Dingjhou) Rd. How to get there: Take the MRT Xindian Line to the Gongguan Station. 搭乘捷運新店線至「公館站」

  17. 富田花園農場 Tomita Farm Address: 20-1, Piwei, Dasi Township, Taoyuan County Tel: (03)387-2540 10:00~18:00 Admission NT$50 (good for discount on purchases; min. NT$100 purchase per person) How to get there: From Taipei Main Station take the train to Jhongli. Then take the Taoyuan Bus to Dasi Train Station and transfer to the Cihhu-bound bus and get off in Dasi. 從台北火車站搭火車前往中壢火車站,轉搭桃園客運前往大溪車站,再轉乘往慈湖方向客運於大溪站下車。

  19. 大溪「花海農場」Ta Shee Blooming Oasis Address: 27, Alley 1093, Fusing Road, Dasi Township, Taoyuan County Tel: (03)388- 0801 Opening Hours: Weekends. 08:30~20:00 Lunar New Year's Eve Fee$: Adults NT$100, Concession NT$60 How to get there: At Gueiyang St. in Taipei City take the Dasi-bound Taipei Bus to Dasi. 從台北市貴陽街搭台北客運往大溪班車,於大溪站下車。

*Note: Evenings are reserved for nightmarket & shopping.

Taipei Nightmarkets / Shopping area

  1. 淡水老街 Danshui Old Street Address: Danshui Township, Taipei County How to get there: Take MRT Xindian-Danshui Line and get off at Danshui Station.

  3. 華西街 Huaxi Street Address: 1 Huaxi (Huasi) St., Taipei How to get there: Take the MRT Bannan (Blue) Line to the Longshan Temple Station. 搭乘捷運板南線至「龍山寺站」。

  5. 後火車站、華陰街商圈 Huayin St. Shopping Area Address: Huayin St. and Chongqing (Chongcing) N. Rd. How to get there: Take the MRT Bannan (Blue) Line or Danshui (Red) Line to Taipei Main Station and walk about 10~15 mins. 搭乘捷運板南線、淡水線至「台北火車站」,步行約10~15分鐘。

  7. 南雅夜市 Nanya Night Market - For every self-respecting gourmand Address: Intersection of Nanya S. Rd. and Nanya E. Rd in Banciao City, Taipei County How to get there: From the south exit of Taipei Main Station take the Banciaobound 265 bus to Nanya Station. 在台北火車站南邊出口搭265公車,往板橋方向至「南雅站」下車。

  9. 士林夜市 Shilin Night Market How to get there: Take the MRT Danshui (Red) Line to the Jiantan Station (Exit2). Or from Taipei Main Station take the 310, 218, orChongqing (Chongcing) Line bus to the MRT Jiantan Station. 搭捷運淡水線在「劍潭站」下車,自2號出口出站,馬上到;或於台北車站搭310、218、重慶幹線至「捷運劍潭站」下車即抵。

  11. 天母西路、天母北路週邊 Tianmu W. Rd. & Tianmu N. Rd. Address: Tianmu W. Rd. and Tianmu N. Rd. From Zhongshan (Jhongshan) N. Rd. How to get there: Take the Tianmu-bound 220 or 224 bus and get off at the Tianmu Plaza stop. 可在中山北路上搭220、224等公車,至「天母廣場」下車。

  13. 西門町 Ximending Address: Chengdu Rd. How to get there: Taipei Take the MRT Bannan Line to Ximen Station. 搭乘捷運板南線至「西門站」
    Tourist Night Markets
  1. Keelung Temple Night Market Location: Between Jen 3rd. Rd. and Ai 4th Rd.

  3. Taipei City Shihlin Night Market Location:Between Wenlin Rd. , Tatung Rd. , and Anping Rd.

  5. Taipei City Jaoho Night Market Location: Intersection of Pateh Rd. , Sec. 4 and Fuyuan St. (up to Tziyou Temple on Pateh Rd. )

  7. Taipei City Huashi Street (Snake Alley) Tourist Night Market Location: Between Hsiyuan Rd. and Huanho South Rd.

  9. Taipei City Linjiang Night Market Location: Linjiang St. and Tunghua St. between Hsinyi Rd. , Sec. 4 and Keelung Rd. , Sec. 2

  11. Taipei City Liaoning Night Market Location: Between Changan East Rd. and Chunghsing Senior High School

  13. Taipei City Chingmei Night Market Location: In the vicinity of Chingmei St.

  15. Panchiao Nanya Night Market Location: Within Nanya East Rd.

  17. Chungho Hsingnan Night Market Location: Between Hsinyi St. and Lane 410 of Chinghsin St.

  19. Hsinchuang Night Market Location: Hsinchuan Rd. , behind Hsinchuang Junior High School

  21. Hsinchu City City God Temple Night Market Location: Area surrounding City God Temple as well as Chungshan Rd. and Hsian St.

  23. Taichung City Chunghua Night Market Location: Chunghua Rd. between Kungyuan Rd. and Minchuan Rd.

  25. Taichung City Fengchia Night Market Location: Fushing Rd. between Hsitun Rd. , Sec. 2 and Hsian St

  27. Taichung City Tunghai Villas Night Market Location: Intersection of Tungyuan Lane and Hsinshing Rd.

  29. Changhua Lukang Night Market Location: Between Lukang's Tienho Temple and Mintsu Rd.

  31. Chiayi Wenhua Night Market Location: From the fountain circle on Chungshan Rd. up to Tsuiyang Rd.

  33. Tainan City Hsiaopei Night Market Location: Hsimen Rd. up to the Linan Rd. intersection

  35. Kaohsiung City Lioho Night Market Location: Part Lioho 2nd Rd. between Chungshan 1st Rd. and Tzuli 2nd Rd.

  37. Kaoshiung Hsinshing Night Market Location: In the vicinity of Nanhua Rd.

  39. Pingtung City Mintsu Night Market Location: On Mintsu Rd. and in the area of Fushing Rd. under the bridge

  41. Yilan County Lotung Night Market Location: Center of Lotung Town , around Chungshan Park

  43. Hualien City Nanpin Night Market Location: Entrance to Nanpin Park

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Getting started


  1. Airport Tax
  2. Arrival Freebies: Remember to get a free sim card (balance of NT$99) to use in Taiwan from one of the handphone rental counters near the Tourist Service Counter. One passport for one card. One SMS is NT$1. The counter is on the right once you exit from the custom gate; bus counters are on your left.
  3. Baggage
    • Luggage not more than 20kg.
    • 1 pc Handcarry not more than 7kg.
    • Sharp objects must be checked in; No handcarry.
    • No liquids/semi-liquids/creams & lotion BUT can bring empty water bottle.
    • Liquids, gels and aerosols will be allowed in cabin baggage if they are kept in containers not exceeding 100 ml each. *does that mean we can put them in our check in luggage rather than handcarry?
    • These containers must be carried in a clear, re-sealable plastic bag. The total volume of the bag must not exceed 1 litre.
    • Medication must be removed from cabin baggage and declared to security personnel at the checkpoint. These items may be subject to security checks.
  4. Check in at least 2h before - can check in 24 hrs to 3 hrs before flight departure time. China Airlines Website : http://www.changiairport.com/changi/level3.jsp?FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302023834&ASSORTMENT<>ast_id=1408474395181061&bmUID=1109748552279 Singapore Airlines: http://www.singaporeair.com/
  5. Clothes - Plan for climate
  6. Departure - No. 9, Hangjan S. Rd., Dayuan Shiang, Taoyuan, Taiwan 33758, R.O.C.
    • T1 Departure Service Counter: 03-3982143 / 03-3982144
    • T2 Departure Service Counter: 03-3983274 / 03-3983294
  7. Hotel Tax
  8. Medical
  9. Fees
    • Tipping Fees
    • Accomodation Fees
  10. Travel Documents
    • Passport with min. 6mths validity
    • Photostat copies of passport, ic and other relevant info in event of loss.
    • Notify Singapore embassy in Taiwan in case of unforeseen circumstances
  11. Travel Insurance - individual
currency rates How do I use Blogger in my own language?