Travel Agent FAM trip to Taiwan
I had a lot of wonderment and excitement over my Taiwan trip. I had a lot of W questions such as Where exactly is Taiwan? What is it like? What should I expect? Where should I go when visiting? Who will I see? When is the best time to visit Taiwan? All these questions and more when I signed up for what is called a Travel Agent FAM (familiarization) trip. These kinds of trips for travel industry professionals are to acquaint the visitor with a variety of experiences to gain first hand experiential knowledge to share with others who may also be interested in traveling to Taiwan. It was to be a 6-day tour that was jam-packed with daily activity and some of the best hotels Taiwan has to offer. I had never been to Asia, so this was going to be my first time getting a taste of Taiwan.
One of the first things to know is how long your flight will be depending on where you are departing from. I happened to be departing from Dallas, Texas the first week of March 2018. I learned that my flight would be about 13 hours travelling from San Francisco, California to Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan. I chose to use a connection flight from Dallas to San Francisco then take EVA Airways directly to Taipei. EVA Airways has direct non-stop flights from these North American cities; Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver. If you were to fly EVA Airways from Europe to Taiwan the flight is about 12-13 hours from Amsterdam, London, Paris, Vienna. I also chose to upgrade my economy seat to economy premium because it gives you more seat and leg room, the seat reclines, and you get a variety of meals/drinks/snacks as well as an amenity kit, and Wi-Fi. It was worth the extra few hundred dollars for such a long flight for me.
Upon arriving in Taoyuan International Airport I was transferred to my hotel, The Howard Plaza in the nice Da’an district of central Taipei. There are about 23 million people in the country of Taiwan with 2.7 million in the capital of Taipei. There are also 17 million scooters in Taipei so be prepared to see throngs of scooters everywhere you go. There is also public transportation, the MRT metro is fantastic! Clean, inexpensive and easy to understand to get around.
I suggest you add 1-2 of days before the start of a Taiwan country tour to acquaint yourself with the city as well as to adjust to the time zone change and/or jet lag. The weather was mild at first since Taiwan is in a temperate zone, however, at night it did get a bit chilly at about 50F/10C and so required a light sweater. I was expecting Taipei to be humid, but it was only during the day while walking around that I felt slight humidity. That’s because Taipei is in the North of the country while in the Southern regions it can get quite humid and hot.
DAY 1: (Sunday, March 11, 2018) Taipei to Sun Moon Lake