I flew to Taiwan in an economy plane. As a result, my flight was scheduled on those wee hours. I left Manila at 11:30 pm and arrived at around 1:30 am in Taoyuan Airport. My original plan was to reach Tainan, the venue of my conference, through the High Speed Train. To my surprise, I learned that their train does not operate 24/7. The first trip starts at 6:30 am. Whew! As it was my first trip alone, I felt so nervous inside the airport. Well to be honest, I was the only person left in the arrival area of Terminal 1. I asked for suggestions from the lone English speaking airport personnel. Mr. Courteous Airport personnel sought the assistance of a heaven sent English speaking national, who incidentally made a recent trip to the Philippines. They suggested alternative means for me to reach Tainan. My problem was resolved by the 24/7 U Bus roaming around Taiwan.
The shuttle bus arrived at 3 am and I was transported to the 24/7 central bus station. Another non-English speaking man helped and sold me NTD (New Taiwan Dollar) 300 ticket to Tainan. At 3: 30 am, I was already on board to Tainan. It was during this time when my mother was scolding me through a series of text messages. She was not supportive of my decision to take the bus alone. She insisted that I wait inside the airport for like 4 hours. The hard headed me however prevailed. I braved the cold and dark streets of Taiwan.
I never felt an inch of sleepiness inside the bus, despite the fact that I was up the entire night. After 4 long hours, I safely reached Tainan. The bus driver referred me to a taxi that brought me to my hotel. I will forever be thankful to the Taiwanese because of these few helpful people I encountered. Despite the fact that most of them do not speak and understand the international language I know, they exerted all means to help the clueless tourist in me.
So much story about my journey to Tainan. Allow me now to share a few pictures of the safe, peaceful and beautiful Tainan
|My first shot of Tainan|
|Far Eastern Shangri-la Plaza lobby|
|Aerial View of Tainan inside my suite|
How I wish residential sites in the Philippines would have something like this. Clear sidewalks, benches and some sparks of greeneries.
Here is the university that hosted my presentation
|National Cheng Kung University|
Allow me to first catch up with my teaching tasks. On my next posts, I will share more pictures and stories about my experience in Tainan.