Taiwan, Business and personal

Taiwan Travel Blog

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This was not a leisure trip per se. I went to Taiwan for office work. My company funded this trip and went on Business Visa. Service and accommodation was excellent throughout the stay, as it was provided by my company J. I flew Singapore airlines from Chennai to Singapore, then Singapore to HongKong and from Hongkong to Taipei. Free drinks on the flight and personal TV screen, nothing can match the facilities provided by Singapore airlines.

The hotel in Taipei, United Hotel was nothing less than luxury but over-priced (around USD110). Food was sometimes excellent, sometimes felt lousy depending on where I choose to eat. Basically, the problem was speaking the local language as the local eateries did not speak a word of English. Sometimes had to live with the lone MacDonald and Pizza places, where the waiters were school/college kids working part time so could understand and speak some English.  Most of the drivers also could not speak English so I used to write down the places to visit in Chinese in on a paper. But whenever I was accompanied by my local business partners, experiencing the cuisine was heavenly. The local "Taiwan beer" tasted sweeter.

First few days got busy with office work and trying to adjust to the time difference and of course the cold. After noon lunch was with my business partners. But evening dinner was a problem for the first few days as I was inclined to eat at the local stalls On the whole, people were friendly wherever I went. Even if they did not speak English, they tried to help me using the universal sign language, for directions, food menu, checking on prices etc. For me the best way to travel was in a taxi with map and pointing my destination to the driver. Most of the taxi expenses were paid by my company so no worries of taxi fare. I visited museums, shopping malls, a local fair, some temples. In one of the museum I saw a man in traditional Chinese dress, those kung-fu movie styled and was tempted to take a photo, but unfortunately photography was not allowed inside the museum.

This being the height of Winter, the weather was extremely cold (thick jackets weather), with temperatures dropping close to 0° at night. Coming from India, which was quiet pleasant at the time I left, I did not bring near enough warm clothes. Visiting places one early morning, I was the only person in Shorts and Sandals, much to the bemusement of the locals who were wrapped up to their eyeballs. So I bought a nice winter jackets from the local shopping fair and still have it as a memento as now I cannot get into that jacket anymore.

One day a colleague of mine informed that there was a hi tech gadgets display. This is where i got my first digital camera, an Epson Z350 1MegaPixel. The price I paid for it (around NT$18000) we can buy a digital SLR for the same price now a days.

On my second last day in Taipei, went out shopping and in one of the malls bought my first commando trekking knife which has accompanied me to all my treks in India ever since. But since I had spent most of my money I could only buy the knife and not its excellent leather cover. I still regret it as I could not find a proper belt cover for my knife as yet.
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