Marshall D

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Marshall D

Marshall D

Australia

Retired with spouse & living in regional Victoria, Australia

Nov122010

Tour/Activity

Chiufen Village (Jiufen) and Northeast Coast Half-Day Tour from Taipei

Taipei, Taiwan

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
My wife & I generally enjoyed this trip, especially Jiufen Village, where there was plenty of interest in the narrow alleyways & sudden expansive vistas over the coastal area. We had plenty of time to explore, shop & dine during the time spent at the Village. Unfortunately, we found little interest in the several stops made along the coast prior to going to Jiufen &, from discussions with other passengers, the stop to see 'the nose' in particular, could easily be deleted without detracting from the tour. As in our half-day tour to Sansia and Yingge, a 9-seater van was used which did not have seat belts for anyone other than the driver & front seat used by the tour guide. Speaking of the guide, we found him to be very knowledgeable as well as humerous & interesting with his comments.

My Photos

  • South China Sea from Jiufen
  • Janshia Street Jiufen

Nov102010

Tour/Activity

Yingge and Sansia Half-Day Folk Arts Tour from Taipei

Taipei, Taiwan

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review
One of the most disappointing half-day tours my wife & I have ever taken. We went initially to Sansia & spent so long at a Taoist temple that we were only able to walk about 50 metres along Sansia Old Street before our guide told us it was time to go to Yingge. Instead of going to Pottery Street as expected or the ceramics museum as we'd hoped, we were taken to a single store, where prices were quite expensive. No-one wanted to purchase anything, whereupon the tour guide announced we had 20 minutes to spare & we would go back to the railway station so we could look in the shops opposite. Unfortunately, the quality of the pottery in those shops that were open was very poor & staff in several stores were clearly surprised at our wanting to look at their merchandise. One person made a single purchase before we were back at the tour van well before the 'spare 20 minutes' had expired. My wife & I were disconcerted by the absence of seat belts in the 9-seater van that was used for this tour & did not feel comfortable while travelling. While the tour guide was very personable & knowledgeable, I cannot recommend this tour to anyone interested in seeing Sansia or Yingge.

My Photos

  • Sansia Old Street
  • Taoist Temple Sansia

Nov082010

Tour/Activity

Taipei Half-Day City Tour

Taipei, Taiwan

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
My wife & I really enjoyed this tour which visited a number of places of interest to us & gave us a 'feel' for Taipei on our first visit to the city. The changing of the guard at both the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall & Martyrs' Shrine was especially interesting, as was the stop at the small Taoist Temple. As mentioned in other reviews, the time spent at the Royal Palace Museum is only enough to whet one's appetite for a return visit. The other stop, at the Chinese Handicraft Centre had the feel of a hard-sell, especially during the 'tea ceremony'. For visitors looking for handicrafts in Taiwan, I would recommend a visit to the Taiwan Handicraft Centre which is much larger & has a superior range of merchandise available. The small bus used on this tour was the only one to have seat belts available for all passengers.

My Photos

  • At the Martyrs' Shrine
  • Changing of the guard ceremony at the Martyrs' Shrine
  • View from the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
  • Changing of the guard ceremony in the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

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