Preserving social cohesion at all costs is still the bedrock of Taiwan’s social morality.

Here, placing the larger clan, the society, before yourself, the individual, is key.

BBC News
Date: 1 November 2018 
By: Leslie Nguyen-Okwu

Saying ‘buhaoyisi’ in Taiwan can open a Pandora’s Box of profuse politeness (Credit: Keitma/Alamy)

Yun-Tzai Lee and Joanne Chen are one of those sickening couples that finish each other’s sentences, lace their fingers together and just won’t stop oozing adorable. But the three little words ‘I love you’ don’t come as easily to Lee as they do to his fiancée Chen. His face turns beetroot-red at the thought of uttering the phase, and causes him to feel ‘buhaoyisi’(pronounced ‘boo-how-eee-suh’) – one of the many ways to feel mortified or to be sorry in Taiwan.

“Most people here will feel this way,” Lee said.

Welcome to the linguistic minefield of apologising in Taiwan, where simply saying ‘buhaoyisi’ can open a Pandora’s Box of profuse politeness. The word is made up of four characters that literally translate to ‘bad meaning’ or ‘bad feeling’, and serves as a tidy catch-all that can be deployed in all kinds of situations, from meekly catching a waiter’s attention to expressing a guilt-ridden apology to your boss to the paralysing feeling that washes over you as you struggle to confess your love.

Buhaoyisi is forever on the lips of Taiwanese, according to Prof Chia-ju Chang, Chinese professor at Brooklyn College City University of New York. “We use it all the time as Taiwan is a verbally polite culture. So, we use it when we interrupt people or asking of a favour. We can even use it to start a conversation.”    [FULL  STORY]

VIDEO: 5-star hotel gives away furniture and appliances as it closes

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 01 November, 2018

This five-star hotel is closing and is giving away furniture for free!
A five-star hotel in Taipei that’s closing at the end of the year lets you take home pillows, electric appliances and furniture for free. That is if you book it on its last day.

As many as 60 hotels around Taiwan are likely to close their doors due to competitiveness in the hotel industry. A room in a five-star international hotel that’s been open for 20 years in Taipei costs more than US$970 a night.    [FULL  STORY]

Relax and enjoy a bike tour along the unparalleled beauties Taitung County has to offer 

So why not join a bike tour organized by Taitung County Government that allows participants to relax, experience the slow pace of life, and enjoy wonderful views along the way

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/09/20
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

The Diamond Avenue bike path is also called “King Kong Avenue”

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Taiwan’s eastern county of Taitung is the best place to ride a bike as it is full of scenic views and has the best air in the country. So why not join a bike tour organized by the Taitung County Government that allows participants to relax, experience the slow pace of life, and enjoy wonderful views along the way.

The county government has organized four cycling routes that span the best parts of the county—one along the east coast, one in the East Rift Valley, and two in the county’s south.

The organizer combines bus service with cycling to provide seamless one-day and two-day tours that bring participants to explore the county’s secret places.

For example, one of the tours will take participants to the Diamond Avenue bike path, sometimes called “King Kong Avenue.” The bike path, located in Changbin Township, offers a poetic view over the vast paddy fields to the sparkling Pacific Ocean far beyond the horizon. There are no electric poles along the route; and there are no buildings either, except for a pavilion for rest. The legendary view of the sea and the sky merging into the horizon can also be seen along this route.     [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s stunning 106-year-old mountain railway

Date: 18th September 2018
By: Maggie Hiufu Wong

Visiting Alishan: Built more than 100 years ago, the Alishan Forest Railway is perhaps the best way to explore Alishan, one of Taiwan’s most important mountain ranges. Lai Guo-hua, an aerial photographer who lives next to the railway, spent more than three years documenting it.
courtesy Lai Guo-hua

Chiayi, Taiwan (CNN) — As a red and cream-colored train chugs up the Alishan mountains of Taiwan, hikers and villagers stop and wave at the passengers on board.
It feels like an adventure, harking back to a time when train travel was new and exciting.
And in a way, it is.

The train has embarked on one of the newly introduced cruise-style tours on the century-old Alishan Forest Railway, a network of 71.4 kilometers (44.4 miles) of narrow-gauge rail lines in central Taiwan’s Alishan mountain range.

Former Japanese logging railway
Completed in 1912 under the Japanese occupation, the Alishan Forest Railway was used to transport now-endangered Taiwan cypress trees from Alishan. After logging was banned, it lived on as the only passenger train to ride up the mountains.

Today, it remains one of the world’s most historic and beautiful mountain railways.

6 Off the Beaten Path Destinations in Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/07/13
By: Zack Davisson, Taiwan News, Contributing Writer

Jiufen (Photo courtesy of NH)

People have many common misconceptions about Taiwan. Foreigners tend  think of the island state as an extension of China and Chinese culture. While historically, China has significantly impacted Taiwan, Taiwanese people take great pride in their unique way of life combining Chinese, Japanese, colonial, and native influences. Another common mistake made by travelers is the idea that Taiwan is defined by Taipei. While the capital city has a lot to offer and is the heartbeat of the island, there’s a vast landscape of traditional villages, gorgeous mountain peaks, and friendly locals to admire elsewhere. In fact, business travelers venture out so little from Taipei that they are rarely out of viewing distance of the towering Taipei 101 skyscraper.

If you’re looking to embrace Taiwan and discover some of its many hidden gems, the travel experts at AllTheRooms have got you covered with these off-the-beaten-path places.    [FULL  STORY]

Staying at The Grand Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan

NZ Herald
Date: 9 Jul, 2018
By: Lucy Casley

The Grand Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan.

Lucy Casley checks into The Grand Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan.

Getting there:

The hotel is located in central Taipei — a short bus or train ride from Taipei Airport.

Check-in experience: My mouth dropped to the floor when we arrived at this hotel because of its classic Chinese architecture and decor. Everything is royal red, from the carpet, to the railings to some of the walls. Beautiful mosaics cover the ceilings and statues are dotted around the hotel. There is a wall of fame featuring photographs of presidents and royalty visiting the hotel from the 1950s onwards. We were welcomed very warmly and professionally by the manager and other staff and were able to check in immediately.

Room: I stayed in a Deluxe room, which had a beautiful balcony overlooking the city. It had two single beds, a desk that looked like it was set up for some serious business, a mini fridge, a kettle, fruit and two water bottles. The fruit was not free, nor was the water in the fridge, but the room-temperature water was complimentary. Having not checked the policy list, I went for the refrigerated water after a day in the heat.

Bathroom: The electronic toilet had a controller where you could adjust the heating of the toilet seat. There were a lot of other buttons but it was all in Mandarin, so I stuck to my usual toilet routine to be safe. There was also a bath and separate shower with good water pressure.

Toiletries: Very comprehensive including a dental kit, razor, bathrobe and slippers.

Facilities: Remarkable banquet rooms for special events, shops on level two, a restaurant, gym, sauna, swimming pool, tennis courts and a business centre.

The bed: Single and very cosy with crisp, clean white linen.

Price: $640 per night.    [FULL  STORY]

New Cijin-KW2 ferry route launched in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/06/13
By:  Central News Agency

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) A new ferry route from Cijin Island to Kaohsiung Port Warehouse

A new electric ferry service opened in Kaohsiung Wednesday. (By Central News Agency)

No.2 (KW2), next to Kaohsiung Pier-2 Art Center, started Wednesday with an official launch ceremony at KW2.

After attending the ceremony, Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Chen Tan, Taiwan International Ports Corp. Chairman Wu Hong-mo and acting Kaohsiung Mayor Hsu Li-ming boarded the ferry for its maiden voyage.

Noting that the new route will be serviced by electric boats, the transportation minister said this new green transport choice, together with the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (KMRT) and light rail system, will not only help boost local tourism and economic development but also promote environmental protection.

The new line complements an existing ferry route linking Cijin with the Hamasen area, a tourist destination located in the northwest of Kaohsiung Port.
Hsu said the new route’s cost-performance value is high as it improves connections between several tourist destinations, including KW2, Cijin and the Hamasen area.

Taiwanese citizens to enjoy expedited entry to South Korea by June

A reciprocal agreement on electronic customs clearance services between Taiwan and South Korea will soon take effect, says a Korean official

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/06/09
By: Teng Pei-ju, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The reciprocal agreement between Taiwan and South Korea

The e-Gate system at Taiwan’s airports (By Central News Agency)

on electronic customs clearance services at airports will take effect by the end of June, which will allow expedited entry for Taiwanese and Korean citizens traveling to one another’s country.

Park Kijun, deputy representative of the Korean Mission in Taipei, said the electronic customs clearance systems implemented in Taiwan and South Korea would be available for South Korean and Taiwanese passport holders at the end of the month, reported the Central News Agency.

The deputy representative was confident that the reciprocal measure would boost mutual visits between Taiwan and South Korea. He predicted that the number of tourists traveling between the two countries could surpass two million this year.

According to the Tourism Bureau, the number of Korean tourists visiting Taiwan outnumbered one million in 2017, increasing by 170,000 compared to the previous year.    [FULL  STORY]

Spring Scream’s inland move sends chill through tourism industry in Taiwan’s southernmost beach town

A planned move of the venue for this year’s “Spring Scream” music and art festival has sent a chill through the tourism industry in Kenting

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/02/05
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—A planned move of the venue for this year’s “Spring Scream”

Spring Scream music and art festival (photo from the event’s official website)

music and art festival, which is part of the annual Kenting Music Festival, has sent a chill through the tourism industry in Kenting, a popular beach town near the southernmost tip of Taiwan that has been experiencing a serious tourism slump in recent years.

According to a brief announcement on Spring Scream’s official website, the musical event will move from Kenting to Kentington Resort (小墾丁度假村) in Manzhou Township, Pingtung County, and the festival is scheduled to take place over the three days from April 5 to April 7.

Spring Scream was founded in Taiwan by two foreign musicians who decided to create the festival in 1995 to encourage the development of independent bands and original creations. Over the years, the event has greatly boosted local economy.   [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan flaunts new event series, networking opportunities
Date: 22 Nov 2017
By: Staff Reporter 

Taiwan is renowned for breathtaking scenery, diverse culture, local delicacies, a wealth of incentive tour options, top-tier event infrastructure and outstanding MICE services.

Putting the goods on display

On the back of these assets, MEET TAIWAN (Taiwan’s MICE promotions program) is holding a series of roadshows in the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and France, putting on display the facilities and services that Taiwan has to offer.

Delegates at these events included representatives from travel agencies, MICE consulting firms, airlines and hundreds of overseas buyers. Presentations throughout the day centred on topics like team-building, CSR initiatives, and work-life balance.

Meanwhile, this year’s familiarisation tour was aptly titled “SENSE Taiwan”. 20 delegates were treated to a custom-built itinerary, featuring culinary courses for making tasty steamed dumplings, sweets, and traditional Taiwanese cuisine, and a CSR journey exploring the area’s vibrant aboriginal culture.

Teaming up in Taiwan

The fourth annual Asia Super Team competition took place from 16-20 of October, with teams of four competing through local contests, team performance, digital presence and more, and with the grand prize being a US$50,000 incentive travel package to Taiwan, the stakes were high. Throughout the event, teams had the chance to venture to some of Taiwan’s most beloved locations, experience first-hand both traditional and contemporary Taiwanese culture, and enjoy the best corporate meeting facilities the area has to offer.