So we said our good byes to Cambodia and headed to Taipei, Taiwan. We arrived in the late evening and seemed to arrive in the future! The airport shone it was so clean, we walked through a special corridor that points out anyone with a fever, then stood in line at passport control. On the plane neither of us could remember whether a visa was needed, and if so, if it could be purchased on arrival. We noticed everyone in front of us had printed visa forms (similar to the single entry reciprocity fee for Argentina). The lined moved too quickly to get too worried about it and the man we had must be an ambassador to Taiwan. He was so smiley and friendly. A visa wasn’t required or he just let us in.Our luggage and car was there …. We were probably driving 15 minutes after landing.
We stayed at a small Boutique hotel….we definitely have arrived to the future! There were at least 10 different remote controls in the room. The curtains opened when you touched them. There was a remote for the tv, for the music system, for the bathroom tv, for the blind in the shower, and a remote for the toilet. ( honest! And the toilet had music, heated seat, built in bidet, deodorizer, flush, lid up and down switch, fan, but most interesting was the sparkly pearl colour – the same pearl that Lexus used to come in). Now don’t think Taipei isn’t interesting just because all I have written about is the toilets!
The next morning, we grabbed our umbrellas and headed to Taipei 101, which used to be the tallest building in the world. We were impressed by how clean the city is and were shocked how quiet things were. Bevan renamed the city “Hong Kong Lite”! We later found out two reasons for the quietness 1) it was a holiday and many city folk head south
2) the largest typhoon in the world for 2013 was heading towards Taiwan…it actually got upgraded to “super-typhoon”!
We later visited a traditional tea house. We sat on the floor and had to be shown what to do (no tea bag thrown into a microwaved mug of water). We skipped the famous night market because we were tired, have seen many markets, didn’t want to see all the cobras, we were both feeling a little under the weather and didn’t know if we could tolerate all the market smells….and our hotel had a nice wine bar. We had a terrible sleep as the wind and rain was hitting the windows so hard. The one window, luckily the one in the shower, was leaking and every so often the drain would really giggle.
We luckily were able to leave on our flight as planned. We flew home on Japan’s airline. All of the Asian airlines had very attentive and friendly staff. Actually all people we ran across on our trip were friendly, helpful, courteous, etc. We are now in the U.S. and just spent the last 40 mins listening to the US customs and security folk abuse people. Short, loud, rude. We went to the expedited lane which was for Nexus card holders, Star Alliance Gold members, or people flying business or first class. The lady said we were in the wrong line and herded ( almost with a cattle prong) to the long line….despite us qualifying for all 3 of the expedited lane criteria. Welcome to America….and I won’t even start on how they were treating an Indian lady in a wheelchair.
Really looking forward to getting the Seattle to Calgary flight over with! I have missed Biscuit and missed my own bed….although I must say the beds and pillows in Luang Prabang were probably the most comfy I have ever experienced!
Until next trip….
( will chat in person or by phone)