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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Jan 11, 2014

First Visit to Taiwan in 2014

Taiwan here I come ... happy landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at No. 9, Hangzhan S. Rd., Dayuan Township, Taoyuan County 33758, Taiwan R.O.C on 31 December, 2013 at 13:08 hour.

At the background is a long, zig-zag queue waiting at the immigration, customs and security counters for clearance by local Taiwanese and international visitors by air.

My friends were surprised that it was my first visit to Taiwan from 31 December, 2013 to 5 January, 2014 and wondered why took me so many years to a country so near to Singapore.  So near and yet so far.
The only answer I have is due to affinity when the good opportune time is ripe ... 因缘, 時機成熟 .

It was also the first time in 65 years I spent my New Year Day away from home, from Singapore.

Since over a decade to travel overseas, I did not need to bring along my Singapore passport wherever I went as a Singapore Citizen, just my identity card.

I was travelling with a "pilgramage tour group" on a shoestring budget to Taiwan and not on a "cheap cheap or 'chip chip' shopping spree" for the Chinese New Year.

Nor was I on an advice on the "20 Places To See Before You Die" By Mark Johanson on October 18 2013, which International Business Times (IBT) asked readers to vote for the places they most wanted to see before they died. Hundreds of ticked boxes later, they are back with the top 20 responses to its poll, which make up an alluring collection of ancient wonders, modern marvels and natural landmarks, in addition to a few amusing surprises along the way. Now, without any further ado, we bring you the ultimate global bucket list.

I have not been to any of the 20 listed recommended places and it doesn't matter to me.  How do I know when I could live long enough and have the money, health conditions and circumstances and chances to see those places in my lifetime?  Seize the best of the moments to be alive for as long as possible on this life journey with gratitude and blessings of Grandmaster above my head.

The places mentioned by IBT do not interest me.  Why must I agree with IBT?  The preferences of places to visit differs people from people.  For instance, some Singaporean Chinese may wanted to visit the village in China of their ancestors to trace their roots, the Muslim friends to make their pilgrimage to Mecca, the Christians to the Holy Land and Jerusaleum, the Buddhist to Lumbini where the Buddha was born.  The Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib, situated in Amritsar, Punjab, is the most sacred temple for Sikhs.  There are other ethnic races and religions from multi-racial and religious society of Singapore. The foodies with other favorites and priorities not included in IBT's list for as long as they live.

Both my parents have never left Singapore to travel overseas, even Johore across the causeway or other neighboring countries until they left this world. While they were alive, they did not allow me to travel by air.

Especially my mother who was worried about plane crashes, traffic accidents and other air disasters she heard about from the neighbors.  She felt that the safer place is at home.

With better safety for air travel from Singapore to every countries in the world, more Singaporeans are visiting overseas for business, studies, leisure and on holidays.  Younger generations do not have fear of travelling by air and my business friends told me that they travel by air just like taking a cab on Singapore roads.  I enjoyed air travelling whenever I had the opportunity and experience to go overseas for short trips.

The 6-day trip to Taiwan was completed smoothly and brought me happy memories to experience and   to learn from other travellers as an educational trip.  The friends and fellow travellers on this trip are kind and very concerned to take care of me.  They were often holding my hands as I walked slowly with weaker legs ... not as fast as I did 20 years ago when I travelled alone independently and take good care of myself.

I am very touched by their kind advice during the trip, often telling me "Uncle, don't worry, walk slowly and don't run (like as if I could still run in my aging health conditions ...) and I was cautious and take good care to remember that I am no longer a young man ; )

Nevertheless, my excitement for air travelling was revived on the 4-hour flight on SIA economy class.  I did not have the expenditure for extra airfare for better luxury class to arrive at the same destination at the same time; whatever class, whatever seats on the same flight.

Fortunately I was booked the flight with a window seat and I have pleasure to share some photos on this blog.  Watching through the plane to Taiwan, it was like my Memories On The Bus .

As the plane takeoff, I said "goodbye" to Singapore International Airport in Changi on a bright sunny day to photograph from the plane window.

This blog topic on the air flight from Singapore to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport ends here.

The last photo of the signboards at Taoyuan airport taken from the coach on the way to the restaurant for dinner.

After dinner, I walked out of the restaurant in Taoyuan for a breather to look up to the sky with a bright sun blinking in my eyes.  The weather was cold despite the bright sunlight and I had to wear a jacket ... the same sky, the same sun, but a different country.  A Singaporean as a guest and visitor in Taiwan, I thought!

I was not just travelling to another country like most tourists as described in travel magazines and travelogues written by experts.  I was "as curious as a cat", albeit an old cat, to absorb the atmosphere, the smell, the lifestyles of the peoples, the environment of places and scenaries and most of all, to build nostalgic memories on this trip.  Lots of new stuff to observe and learn the little bit of history, culture, heritage which ordinary tourists are not interested about Taiwan.  This blog to express from my personal perspectives for collective memories - not compare the differences of Singapore and Taiwan or good or bad about a country or places.  Same, same but different,  just like people. 



Blogger Travel Bugs said...

It's always never too old or late to travel. Hope u had a great time in taiwan.

March 6, 2014 at 11:09 PM  

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