I spent my holy week with my family in Taiwan and it seems, every country I go looks really much better than the Philippines.
Introduction to the trip
Our trip was 8days and 7 nights. I have to minus 1 day for that since our flight to Taiwan was alraedy in Sunday afternoon so that would not count as one day. Anyway, this is a package tour from Pan Pacific and aside from having them do all the work for you, they give you a free bag to use. The airplane was from Philippine Airlines and I have no troubles with them. I just wish they would show movies instead of short movies while on flight but since the flight time is only around 2 hours, they opt not to show any movies. Boo…
Shopping in Taiwan
Now in Taiwan, before you start shopping, we should always take into consideration what is the current currency exchange rate between Taiwan money and your local currency. For peso, it would be 1 taiwan dollar vs 1.5 philippine peso so that is our benchmark. All prices should be multiplied to 150% to compare if buying in the Philippines is better or it is cheaper in Taiwan. We only had little time to shop and it is really hard to shop when you are given a time constraint. The prices are also not so friendly with us so we could not buy a lot.
We were told that counterfeights are really frowned upon in Taiwan and our tour guide told us that those who fake their merchandise will get heavy fines. It is really sad because those were supposed to be the cheap ones when you buy imitated merchandise. Branded or signature stuffs can only be for people who has lots of money to burn and those people are not us.
We were brought to what they call night markets. Our first night market doesn’t look like a night market at all. It was just a list of shops that closed at around 10pm to 11pm. Our second night market was really a big disappointment. It now looks like a night market because there was a sign that says, tourist night market but if you would take a look around, 90% of them are selling food. Who needs food when you are being fed like a pig by the package tour? We want our stuff!!! I guess our tour guide heard our prayers and brought us to the third night market where our eyes were jumping all over the place. There were lots of people on the streets and lots of stuff to buy! Well, I was able to buy one pair of shoes for myself. I could have bought more but must have self control and we have no more time.
Chinese language is a must!
What can you expect since we are in a chinese country? People there were talking in chinese non stop and it is really hard when you don’t understand what they are talking about. I admit that I don’t know how to speak nor understand chinese and I really had a hard time with communication there. My only weapon was the English language and a lot of them doesn’t know how to speak english. I usually have to drag my parents around to be my translators just to have a decent conversation. Our tour guide was also talking chinese 90% of the time so most of the time I have my little own world where I can just do what I want because I don’t undestand a word he says. People would be laughing, enjoying his jokes but I can just stare at the back of the bus seat.
Ah yes, before I forget. We had one “friend” there that kind off pisses us off because of his traditional way of thinking. Who does he think he is to reprimand us and our parents on the way we were raised? It seems that for him, it is a big sin to be a Chinese looking person with Chinese blood flowing all over you but you can’t speak Chinese. Are there any rules that you should know the language of your blood? Just remembering what happened still makes my blood boil but I got to cool down now. We won’t be seeing him for a long long time. I just wish those who are being traditional would open their eyes and stop being like that… Another example would be those traditional Chinese parents that want their children to marry only Chinese people. tsk tsk tsk…
Why Taiwan is better than the Philippines?
In Taiwan, just look around and you will see that it is better there.
- Lots of skyscraper buildings. They even have Taipei 101 as the world’s tallest building.
- They can afford to make luxury cars such as Toyota Camry and Honda Accord as taxi cars
- Lexus there is just like a normal car for them
- It is rare to see trash and even cigarette butts in the street
- Well developed infrastructure and they keep on building
- Their street lights look cool!
- Their police and street officers are really disciplined to keep the traffic flowing
- It is very rare for you to hear them honk their horns
- and other stuff… I guess their government really cares about them …^_^
Our Package Tour
Our package tour is really cheap. We only have to pay around PHP50,000 and everything is there. Airplane. Hotels. Meals. Tickets to places. You just have to pay and everything will be coordinated for you. Now that is what you call having a vacation hassle free. The only downside to this is that, you have no control of your time and you have to follow your tour guide and where the group goes. But it is just a mini downside to the mega upsides you get by being in a package tour.
I enjoyed that one week vacation. I wished it was longer but we can’t have it all. The package tour was very nice. It would have been better if I could appreciate what our tour guide was talking about, if he only spoke English instead. I would definitely recommend Pan Pacific for their package tours but I hope they won’t make those non chinese speaking/understanding people feel left out.