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Old 11-11-2007, 03:04 PM   #8701
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ATM Withdrawal charge is SGD5 (For correction of all information)

Anybody got good lobangs for Air Tickets?

Be it:

Jetstar to Taipei
SQ to Taipei
EVA to Taipei
China Airlines to Taipei
China Airlines to Kaohsiung
SilkAir to Kaohsiung..

Or anybody wanna combine for the 2 or more to go offers (IF any la)

(End Nov 07 onwards)
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:25 AM   #8702
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Taiwan's local airlines hit hard by bullet train
Passenger loads fall by 22% as high-speed rail service proves increasingly popular

Straits Times, The (Singapore)
China
November 12, 2007
Author: Ong Hwee Hwee, Taiwan Correspondent




TAIPEI - EARLY check-ins at the airport and waiting in line for security checks were an all-too-familiar routine for Mr Liao Chia-hung.

The Taipei-based product manager used to fly at least once a week to other parts of Taiwan.

But nowadays, he heads for the train station downtown and hops on a high-speed train just minutes before it whizzes off at a top speed of 315kmh.

Although plane fares are now more competitive, he is unlikely to revert to commuting by air.

'Somehow, I feel safer with my feet planted firmly on the ground,' he said.

A growing number of Taiwanese are switching from plane to train, dealing a major blow to the domestic airline industry, already hit by a steady drop in passengers in recent years.

The island's four domestic airlines - Far Eastern Air Transport, TransAsia Airways, Mandarin Airlines and Uni Air - used to dominate the corporate travel market serving businessmen shuttling between Taiwanese cities.

There was little competition since the alternative modes of transport - the low-cost conventional rail and highway coach - catered mainly to other groups, such as tourists and students.

But the airlines' share of the domestic travel pie has shrunk significantly, barely a year after the high-speed rail service was inaugurated in January.

Some 6.72 million passengers travelled on Taiwan's domestic airlines in the first half of the year - a sharp plunge of 22 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Airlines were forced to cut back on their flights by 13.7 per cent in the first half of the year.

And they recently waged a price war - some slashing fares by 50 per cent - despite global fuel prices hitting record highs.

TransAsia Airways, for instance, halved its Taipei-Kaohsiung fare to NT$1,090 (S$49) - about NT$400 cheaper than the high-speed rail fare. It has since seen a significant rebound in passenger numbers.

But some industry players concede that such a strategy is not sustainable in the long run.

'It is extremely difficult for airlines to compete with high-speed rail for routes within 500km. And all of Taiwan's domestic flights fall within this range,' said Mr Hanson Chang, senior public relations manager of Far Eastern Air Transport.

The airlines could face an even more turbulent ride when the high-speed rail is operating at full capacity by next year.

Japan's Tokyo-Osaka bullet train services provide a good example, said Professor Mike Chang, who heads the department of airline management at Kaohsiung Hospitality College.

'The bullet train has given airlines...a serious run for their money,' he added.

But observers say Taiwan's airlines were in trouble even before the advent of high-speed rail.

'Passenger numbers had already taken a dip with the hollowing-out of Taiwan's manufacturing economy. Instead of flying to southern Taiwan to survey their factories, businessmen now travel to the mainland,' said Mr Hanson Chang.

Prof Chang told The Straits Times: 'The high-speed rail project was approved during the economic boom in the 1990s. No one had predicted that the economy would take such a downturn.'

These trends may make mergers between airlines inevitable in the long term, say analysts.

Meanwhile, some airlines are exploring other alternatives. One is to expand short-haul services to destinations such as South Korea's Jeju Island, where passengers can catch connecting flights to China.

Said Mr Hanson Chang: 'We may not be a match for the high-speed rail in Taiwan. But we can explore the skies beyond the island.'

hwee@sph.com.sg

Copyright, 2007, Singapore Press Holdings Limited
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:28 PM   #8703
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Hi folks, only managedto read up to post 560. I'm leaving for Taipei on Wed and will be staying at rainbow hotel. anyone knows if freego or Kuokang stops directly in front of Rainbow hotel? Or if there are other bus recommendations? Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:38 PM   #8704
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Hi folks, only managedto read up to post 560. I'm leaving for Taipei on Wed and will be staying at rainbow hotel. anyone knows if freego or Kuokang stops directly in front of Rainbow hotel? Or if there are other bus recommendations? Thanks in advance.
Rainbow Hotel, I assume you referring to the one in Ximen Ding...

From what I remember, those bus services don't stop there. They will let you off at the Taipei Train Station whereby you can actually take the train or walk (if you know the way) or take a cab there.. Should cost only around 90NT or so to get to Ximen Ding from there... Raindow is located inside Ximen Ding shopping area...
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:44 PM   #8705
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The bullet train express 90mins not always have de.. that time i take it about 100mins, or 2hrs approx.. can't really remember but they have the time tables n fares all up on their site...
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:55 PM   #8706
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Rainbow Hotel, I assume you referring to the one in Ximen Ding...

From what I remember, those bus services don't stop there. They will let you off at the Taipei Train Station whereby you can actually take the train or walk (if you know the way) or take a cab there.. Should cost only around 90NT or so to get to Ximen Ding from there... Raindow is located inside Ximen Ding shopping area...
Thanks for the info!

My friend and I intend to make a day-trip to Hualien's Taroko Gorge. I was reading thru the forums, seems like there are a few options, anyone has any recommendations which has a better overall experience? Thanks.

Goto Hualien via rail on our own and

Option 1: Sign up with a 0.5 day tour package with any of the agencies on Taiwan Tour Bus (dun think got time for 1 day) or the tourists center there

Option 2: Book thru' Rainbow hotel for 0.5 day tour package in hualien

Option 3: Get a local guide

Sigh.. dun ask me why never stay at hualien overnight, already beating my heart for the implusiveness...
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:36 PM   #8707
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Thanks for the info!

My friend and I intend to make a day-trip to Hualien's Taroko Gorge. I was reading thru the forums, seems like there are a few options, anyone has any recommendations which has a better overall experience? Thanks.

Goto Hualien via rail on our own and

Option 1: Sign up with a 0.5 day tour package with any of the agencies on Taiwan Tour Bus (dun think got time for 1 day) or the tourists center there

Option 2: Book thru' Rainbow hotel for 0.5 day tour package in hualien

Option 3: Get a local guide

Sigh.. dun ask me why never stay at hualien overnight, already beating my heart for the implusiveness...
Umm, actually yeah the overnight at hualien is more recommended.. By the time u go up and down already quite some time... Try to ask if they have the 0.5day tour package first..

Meanwhile travelling via rail yourself is more fun, you can take the railway there also (an experience u don't get in SG anymore, compared to SMRT) lolz..

They got private cabs that ferry u up and down the mountains also... (Another experience u dun get in SG, the route up very rocky, steep and curved... lol scary for some)

Meanwhile best is you check what is available first.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:50 PM   #8708
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for those who have just returned from taiwan, can post some reviews/or itinerary? will appreciate yr help.

Information that i have gathered from other forums. Intending to go on solo trip to taiwan but in the end... nevertheless, i will try go for it next year if my schedules allow. Hope to share my infor with everyone.

Hotels around XMD
- Rainbow Hotel (recommended by other forumers)
- TS Hotel
- Neijiang Hotel (www.neijiang-hotel.com.tw)

Hot Spring
- Beitou (Xin Bei Tou MRT) - go in at late morning

Food (didnt wan to spend $ on food so i didnt gather alot of infor on food)
- Alot of Japanese Restaurant at XMD

Shopping Areas (NM=Night Market)
- Shilin NM (around evening time), Jian Tan Station, ext 1 then reach Shilin
- 101 Area, Tapei City Hall
- TMS underground mall, Taipei Main
- Wu Fen Pu, Hou Shan Pi station
- Raohe NM, Hou Shan Pi station
- Yong Kang St, Da-An station
- Dan Shui, Dan Shui Station, ard Noon time, go there for Tui Chan

Budget Traveller
- can take "Freego Coach from Airport at NT140 to XMD"
- Maps can be found in Airport, Train Station or bus station
- Map can be also collected from our taiwan embassy at 5 Shenton Way, #31-11 UIC Building

Tai Chung Area - if some want to go..
- apparels in Tai Chung are cheaper than Taipei
- the NM is called Feng Jia Ye Shi

IF YOU GIRLS/GUYS have more information, do share it.. thanks
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Old 13-11-2007, 10:37 AM   #8709
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Hi, I heard from a friend who recently went to Taiwan that for rail between Taipei and Chiayi, I should take the Taiwan Rail and not the Bullet train cos' the Taiwan Rail stops at the main station whereas the bullet train stops at another station at Chiayi and we'll need to take a shuttle bus to the main station before we can catch the train up to Alishan. Is that true?
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Old 13-11-2007, 11:31 AM   #8710
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anyone knows the address in taipei for the coffin-themed restaurant? Thanks!
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Old 13-11-2007, 01:39 PM   #8711
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Anyone knows whats the price to hire a personal taxi to tour around SML?
My frd just got back and she commented that its better and more comfortable that way than to take the public shuttle bus. And she hired a cab driver for NT2500 (with her husband & son) from Taichung and tour around SML and Puli winery until Feng Jia night market in evening. Is that expensive?
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Old 13-11-2007, 02:49 PM   #8712
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Anyone knows whats the price to hire a personal taxi to tour around SML?
My frd just got back and she commented that its better and more comfortable that way than to take the public shuttle bus. And she hired a cab driver for NT2500 (with her husband & son) from Taichung and tour around SML and Puli winery until Feng Jia night market in evening. Is that expensive?
I guess its the market rate. I was in Huanlian and Cabbie Looi charge NT2500 for the whole day. Heard from others the rate is NT3000 now due to petrol price...

BTW, I am gg to Taichung in Dec. Anyone wants to share cab pm me ur date...
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Old 13-11-2007, 03:40 PM   #8713
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I guess its the market rate. I was in Huanlian and Cabbie Looi charge NT2500 for the whole day. Heard from others the rate is NT3000 now due to petrol price...

BTW, I am gg to Taichung in Dec. Anyone wants to share cab pm me ur date...
2500NT per person or per trip?
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Old 13-11-2007, 06:34 PM   #8714
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per day 2500NT. more ppl divide moe so will be cheaper mah...
ie. 3000NT/4 1pax abt 700plus NT

BTW anyone know the current rate for NT? hope to buy this wk if 1SGD = 22NT
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Old 13-11-2007, 09:26 PM   #8715
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My friend and I went to Hualien on 3july this yr, book a cab for almost an entire day that drove us around taroko gorge, a fish farm and seven star lake for NT 2000.
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