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!
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.
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.
Other than a possible dinner, everything else should be wide open for exploration and visits at your own pace.
For instance, if you visit the National Palace Museum, you may want to spend hours and hours viewing the exhibits, whereas others may want to move on after a couple of hours. So, it's best to leave everyone to themselves.
Of course, help and information would be available at the hotel. Bill or myself would always be available on the cell phone for help and assistance.
The hotel will be our Headquarters and everyone's cell phone number will be distributed to group members, to give everyone the ability to make contact with other group members via cell phone. If anything comes up we can contract each other.
Medical assistance. Taiwan has up-to-date medical facilities.
We have included a TRICARE link below for those who are enrolled in TRICARE. Requirements and restrictions on cost sharing while overseas need to be determined prior to traveling.
Medicare will not pay any charges in Taiwan or other foreign countries.
Let's hope it's not necessary to use the Taiwan facilities, but they are widely available if necessary. We have included a link to the Adventist Hospital in Taipei. They are very English friendly.
Passports are required for everyone.
Taiwan Immigration will embose a no fee 30 day Visitor Stamp into your passport upon arrival at Taoyuan International Airport.
I realize this subject is not necessary to the folks who would take the trip with us, but, I am posting it because the consequences can be severe for anyone caught.
Do not carry any illegal drugs! Taiwan has started using "sniffer" dogs that go over the luggage, both incoming and outgoing. Taiwan has no tolerance for illegal drugs and the first English sign that can be seen in the airport warns that the punishment for illegal drugs is death.
Talk with your spouse, friends and others..
It's possible to go on this adventure, are you ready?
Will you join us on the trip?
It's time to go.. Don't put it off ..
This could be the last time an opportunity comes by..
Please let us know your feelings, post your Comments all the way at the bottom of the Blog, just after the last photograph on the right, Click on COMMENTS.
More information forthcoming as we move forward...
Give this trip some thought and consideration..
I cannot imagine this trip being anything but exciting and fun, something that will remain in your memory forever..
The visits to old sites and areas we once roamed will stir our memories and warm our hearts.
UPDATE: 20 March 2009
I believed that by this time, late March 2009, we would have had something firm regarding "bulk rate" tickets. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I spoke with my travel agent this afternoon and she told me no bulk rate prices have come in. She suggested that the airlines are probably holding off in allocating these fares out to bulk rate wholesalers until 30 to 45 days before departure date. In this way, the airline can sell tickets at a much higher fare until the last minute. She said that Japan Air Lines had held bulk rate tickets until 30 days before flights last summer.
We are left with a choice of purchasing tickets early and being assured of having seats on our travel dates or waiting until 30 - 45 days out and attempting to purchase bulk rate tickets.
I am going to wait until June or July to purchase my ticket and see what transpires.
Hotel Room Rates: Gene Hirte has been in contact with folks in Taipei who can secure hotel rates which are less that published rates. Our predicament, we need to have some idea of the number of rooms we can guarantee to the hotel. The only way we can get to that number is those of you who have seats reserved for Taiwan, need to e-mail me and give me your particulars. I will get back with you and we can then confirm your requirements for lodging.
The Taiwan Veterans Badge of Honor Association had a trip to Taiwan last year (2008)
Their prices were between $1900 - $2000 from the east coast, and included hotel with 2 meals each day while in Taiwan. There were additional costs for transportation and hotel lodging down island for a portion of their trip.
I would expect our prices this year to be a little more expensive with increased fuel costs and the normal price increases which occur each year.
Please stop by our blog often for more updates which we will post in this area of the blog.
Have a beautiful spring and summer and keep thinking of our trip to Taiwan - it will be fun and exciting.
This may be the last trip we ever take to Taiwan as a group. We are aging and our mobility could be compromised easily in the future. Give this trip a lot of thought.
Please e-mail us at: Taipeiin2009@gmail.com
Just click on our e-mail address above, it will open-up your e-mail program and you can start writing.Please let us know what your plans are.