Short Visit to Taiwan – Day 2

After a restful night, we woke up early to enjoy European breakfast at the Le Louvre Restaurant on the 4th floor.  The choices, especially on the cheeses are not that great compared to other hotel restaurants I have been to.

fruits-coffee

First plate with assorted fruits.  The melons and guavas are so good.  I could eat plateful of these.

the-usual-meats

Second plate..of course bacon, eggs and assorted sausages.  I did not see grilled tomatoes and of course I was looking for the cheeses.  My friend told me that there are cheeses…so that was my third plate which I forgot to take a picture as the cheese selection are very ordinary.  No brie or blue cheese.

flowers

While waiting for everybody..took time to take a picture of the floral arrangement.

Off we go to our different official itinerary for the day.

our-bus

PTIC rented a big bus for us so we were very comfortable.

taipei-techTaipei Tech hosted by the National Taipei University.  There are several coworking spaces, a Fablab and innovation hub inside Taipei Tech.

equipmentThey have so many 3D printers and some of these are even on the floor.

taiwan-handicraft-promotion-centerWe dropped by the Taiwan Handicraft Center – promoting their OTOPs (One Town One Product) all over the country.  This is housed in a multi-storey building with lots and lots of products.  Though I find most of them very expensive.

showroom

A portion of the showroom with handwoven fabrics and products made out of these fabrics.

smea

Next is a visit to the Small and Medium Enterprises Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. We had a briefing on the approaches of Taiwan regarding economic developing with emphasis on the small and medium enterprises.  They do not readily change their approach and projects and sustain it until it becomes successful.  Unlike here, where projects of the past administration is not continued by the next thus sustainability is very poor.

We returned to the hotel almost past five..rested a bit and readied for our visit to the Shilin Night Market.

off-to-night-market

Braving the Metro Taipei…Taiwanese are so courteous and orderly, we have to check ourselves that we are in the right lane or line.  The trains are very efficient and though there were a lot of commuters it’s not a pain to wait as the schedules are close to each other. The train stations are clean and the lines for the comfort rooms are so orderly.

line-outside-cr

There were so many people along the Shilin area, so many good at sale.  I was not able to buy anything as I am not sure whether the products are authentic or fake.

sugarcane-juice Snapped a picture of this green sugarcane that are squeezed into sugarcane juice maybe with calamansi. Is clean as buyers are not even allowed to touch the sugarcane.

After a few hours of going around we were so hungry and we started looking for a place to eat.  There were a lot of foodcarts selling all types of food but since we are already so tired we wanted to eat where we can sit comfortably. We looked around but it seems there was no place where we can eat.  We did not know that along Shilin Road there are foodcourts under the building.  We really lack information as had we know we could have eaten good and cheap Taiwanese fare in Shilin.  We rode the train back and went to the place where we are familiar..foodcourt of Sogo Department Store.

I was carving for something hot…thus Ramen!

dinner-at-sogo

Then we walked to our Hotel…

thats-us

Four pairs of tired feet walking along a street in Taipei.  I can’t remember the street!

While preparing for bed at our hotel, I heard a soft noise along the street…they are cleaning the street and the Metro line.  No wonder the city is so clean.

cleaning-the-metro-line-at-night

The last day is really for site seeing the flight back to the Philippines in the afternoon.

Short Visit to Taiwan- Day 1

I did not really expect to visit another foreign country last year as I have already gone to Bangkok last July 2017 (I still need to blog this). Our Office has this project on setting up Fabrication Laboratories or Fablabs and to be able to implement this well, those in-charge of the project were given the opportunity to join the visit to Taiwan.  Our region, NIR do not have this project yet, but we were given a slot and our Regional Director recommended me to attend.  I was not so excited about the visit as the schedule is towards the end of the year and it still did not sink in that I am part of the group.

Anyway, several weeks before the schedule we were already advised to prepare our documents for application of Visa.  I was so confident that I already have a copy of my SECPA birth certificate but I did not realize that it has only a validity of six months!  It was a good thing I have a staff who was a former NSO employee so he facilitated that I can get the SECPA birth certificate within the day.  The following day I was able to send all the documents to the Regional Operations Group for group application of the Visa.  We were also advised to fill out the on-line application form.  I had problems with this as the form that I keep on filling out seem not saved in the system.  it was a good thing, the lady at the Taiwan Economic Office was able to help me by sending the filled our form so I can complete it.

Since I am also busy with other activities at the Office, I was not really able to prepare much for the trip.  I was able to search on line for a few information but this was not really enough to help us maximize our trip.  It was a stressfull (as always) day before we have to fly to Manila for the trip as our Travel Authority was not yet signed!  We were informed to get our domestic and international tickets as it is sure that the TAs will be signed.  Got my tickets at home at around past 9, able to get email from staff at ROG aroung 10pm and another one from the coordinator at past 12 midnight! Non stop working???

We arrived in manila in the afternoon, our flight is early morning at 7AM via Philippine Airlines.  We got our documents from Head Office and there was an advisory that the weather in Taipei will be a bit cold.  I have several coats and clothes for cold weather but since we were not informed earlier, I was not able to bring it…thus off we went to Glorietta to look for reasonably priced coats or cardigan.  it was a good thing cardigan are on sale at H & M..a piece at only P449!

We have to leave our hotel at 5am so that we will not be stressed during check-in and immigration procedures.

pal-predep

Pre-Departure Area NAIA 2 International Airport

our-meal

Meal is very ordinary, beefsteak with rice, pandesal with butter and I asked for orange juice.  But I was hungry so I ate this meal.

baggage-claim-area

Baggage claim area is so clean and not crowded.  We waited for everybody here before we headed to the immigration area.  Most of the group decided to change their dollars to NTD (New Taiwan Dollar).  I decided not to change my dollars but rather changed only P3,000, enough fow a few meals.

We were booked in a upscale area, Howard Hotel Taipei.  It took quite sometime for us to be checked in..as we have to pay individually for our hotel accommodations.  We were settled into our rooms and my roomate and other girls decided to look for food.  I am not really hungry so I decided to stay in the room, ate the pandesal and butter (from the plane) with the welcome fruits.

our-beds

 

 

nice-bathroom

We started our official trips at 2pm in the afternoon.

futureward-in-tatung-university

Futureward..a coworking space inside Tatung Univeristywith fablabs for different products.

fablab-taipei

Fablab Taipei located in an old area of a Stadium.  We were shown their on line video connections with  Fablabs in other parts of the world

In the evening we went to a famous Taiwanese Restaurant (Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine restaurant) to try local cuisine.  The food a bit bland for my taste..it needs more condiment maybe I should have added more of the condiments given us. We started with appetizers, peanuts, tofu then followed by a huge plate of steamed octopus. the Servers were really fast as we have not yet finished they are already getting our small plates plus that big plate of octopus.  I think this was followed by the noodles with the crabs.

noodles-with-crab

Noodles with crabs!  The crabs are so fat but taste seem bland.

sea-cucumber

Sea cucumbers with brocolli. then we had shrimps, braised tofu and the final dish was chicken soup with black mushrooms (I cant remember all the food as I was not able to take pictures of all).  Finally dessert of mochi with rolled in powdered peanuts and bean & sago (like ginatan but with a bland taste)

chicken-soup-with-black-mushroom

Chicken soup with black mushrooms

dessert-beans

Beans and sago

After dinner, we browsed in the nearest Sogo Department Store.  It is a high end dept store though I was able to try very good pairs of shoes.  I really wanted one but was thinking of the price equivalent to more than P4,000.  But it was really of good quality and pure leather.  I really regretted not buying it as we did not have any more time the following day.  There was also a branch the the famous Taiwan nougant..sugar and spice.  We did not buy as I thought we can still find branches that will be selling at lower price.  How I wish again I bought the nougats.  I was forced to buy at the airport as I have no pasalubongs.