Saturday, September 26, 2009

Welcome to Taiwan!

Our trip is complete, but the information is just starting to flow.

Keep an eye out for a complete trip overview in the weeks to come.

It was wonderful and exciting!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2009 - The Year We Rediscover Taiwan

You can see the count-down clock just to the left. We are a few short weeks from arrival in Taipei.

We still have one reserved room available in our hotel. They are allowing us to hold this last room until the 20th of July.

Our group is less than 20 right now. This will allow us to become acquainted with each other and make for a more comfortable trip.

So, why not fly out. I checked China Airlines and they are offering very inexpensive rates in September.

Let me hear from you soon. We may not have another trip for at least 2 years. And in 2 years, will we be as healthy as we are today.

Check out link below for hotel information.

Our journey to rediscover Taiwan is open to all - no matter where you worked or what service you were in, everyone is welcome.

All of us served under MAAG Taiwan in some way, therefore, we're all part of the same team, and we'll return to Taiwan joined together.

I can feel the plane lifting off now, it's exciting!

Hello Taipei, were coming back - at last!

The wonderful food, the exciting lights, the smells, the crazy drivers, the traffic, the city that once was your home. It's all still here, but it's changed. Today it's a modern city standing tall. Welcome home again, it's been a long time since you left....

UPDATE: Tuesday - 30 June 2009:

We are approaching 2 months to touchdown in Taipei. Our hotel guarantee date is 7 July. After that, we turn back our unused rooms to the hotel and we can no longer guarantee available rooms at our headquarters hotel. There may be availability, if you book after 7 July, but not guaranteed. So, please make you decision by the 7th of July and let us know. We will have a great time in Taiwan!

See new Hotel Info just under photograph directly below:

Trip outline is posted at the Taipei Air Station Web Site, click below:

Would you like to see this blog in Chinese? Click HERE and the Chinese Version will come up.

The Howard Plaza Hotel in Taipei. I have stayed here on my last 3 trips to Taipei..

The Howard Plaza would not offer a Group Rate. We have changed our HQ Hotel. Click on the link below for information of our new hotel.

Last Date to send in Registration for Hotel Reservations is 7 July 2009

Click HERE for updated Hotel information

Click on any picture to get a full screen view - great pictures

Be careful crossing these large intersections. The motor bike drivers are very fast and you must watch out for yourself. The traffic situation is much better than when we served in Taipei.

Stringent traffic laws have improved the driving habits, however, you must still walk with caution.

Here is an overhead MRT that travels north and south ending it's south run at the Zoo.

Let's get on the underground MRT and head out to a shopping area.

The stations are clean, cool and civil. People line up and there is no pushing or jumping line.

Here's our train, let's get on, we only have a few seconds until the whistle blows and the door closes.

I was thinking about a quick snack, how about a McDonalds?

Thirsty, don't worry, there is a 7-11 or another similar type store on just about every block.
There are chairs on the sidewalk at this store. Let's sit down and relax while we have a cold drink.
Click on any picture to get a full screen view - great pictures

If you can't find your drink here, it's not in Taiwan.

This is a shot I took on a walk from the old Taipei Air Station on Sunday morning in November 2007 about 10:00 AM. The city is very nice. Many street are wide and in a few years, will be magnificent with large trees covering the streets for shade and looks.

A shopping area in Taipei. It's dusk and a nice evening to stroll the shopping district.

The same shopping area, beautiful evening tonight. Always a taxi close by.

A busy corner, everyone waiting for the green light. Some major intersections have a 4 way red light which lets you walk any direction, which saves time for everyone walking.

The same street corner, still waiting on that light to change.

The Breeze Center. This building is nothing but name brand merchandise. The Cartier sign is visible in this photo. Once you walk inside, it's marble and glass everywhere with the high end names in merchandising on all sides. Quite a shopping area. I was impressed, but the prices are higher than what we pay in Hawaii. Hard to believe huh?

Let's check out the Night Markets. This photo taken at the Shilin Night Market about 9:00 PM.
Click on any picture to get a full screen view - great pictures

The Night Market area and streets are to the right of this picture.

Back on the MRT a few minutes ride, change trains at Taipei Main Station and end up back at the SOGO Stores shopping area.

There are various ways to move around the city. I have used the MRT subway system and find it easy and inexpensive. From a subway station, you can get to most places by walking or taking a short taxi ride.

Outside of the Old SOGO store just before opening at 11:00 AM. This was one of the Sale Days which occur a few times a year. When the Sale Days are in full swing, the store is jammed.

This is the 1st Floor of the SOGO Store one evening last November. I walked in thinking I would go to the 8th Floor to find the Canon Camera area to have the folks check my camera.
Wow, look! It was impossible to walk, you had to move along with the crowd. This area was the make-up counters. Most of the women have hand-outs with the special sale items and price lists for the Sale period. It was a mad house. The elevators had long lines, so I decided to take the escalator upstairs. Ha Ha - It was also jammed up. I finally got upstairs, found out that I had pushed the wrong button and I felt stupid. Ahh it was an experience I've never had before. It's just like something that happens in Taiwan. But, no use getting excited, just go with the flow and enjoy life,

The Taipei 101 Building. No longer the highest building in the world, but it's a beautiful building inside and out. Let's go inside take a look around and then head for the observation area.

A number of shopping floors surround the center of the building. A magnificiant building as you can see.

These elevators are fast and what fun to ride.


These next few photographs were taken from the observation deck. You get a good view of the city from up here. It was a little dusty the Saturday we took these pictures, so visibility is not very good.

A couple of things you might want to see on this picture -
1st, click on the photo to open it up in a larger view.

In the center of the top of this photo is the old Sung Shan Airport, which is now the domestic airport. This was the airport you and I flew in and out of back during our days in Taiwan. Now look in the extreme upper left hand corner of this photograph and you can just make out the Grand Hotel, it's still red in color, and of course, just down the hill from the hotel was Club 63, kind of hard to make out, but you can see some white buildings in the area, that's where it still sits today along the river.

After spending a few moments looking at this photograph has it not got your heart pumping a little faster as your mind's eye opens up those long stored views of Taipei and got you thinking about our trip back to Taiwan this September?

We will visit this same window during our stay and you can see these places once again in person. Why not come along with us.....

Click on any picture to get a full screen view - great pictures

We're on a balcony of the Grand Hotel looking back at the city.

See the blue colored stadium in the center of photograph.
We will be visit that area - that stadium sits on the ground
where the old Navy Exchange Gasoline Station once sat.
Click on any picture to get a full screen view - great pictures

Out in the distance is Taipei 101 Building, and right below
on the right side is the old Club 63 building (white roof)

Here's a shot looking up from the old Club 63 toward the Grand Hotel on the hill.

This was taken from the Airport Shuttle Bus window as we drove toward Taoyuan International Airport, as I departed Taipei for Honolulu last November.
If you click on this picture, you get a better view of the old Club 63. Look at the brown tent looking structure to the right of the Grand Hotel. Just down from the brown tent is a white building, that's the old Club 63, what's now "The American Club in China", also called the "American Club Taipei."
If you look on the river bank down past the Old Club 63, probably down past those trees on the river bank, I seem to remember there was a Mongolian BBQ Resturant in that area on the bank.

Is it time to get your bags out?
This will be a fun trip, an exciting time and hopefully a highlight in your life.