Monday, November 1, 2010

Taiwan: Backdrop For Anticipated -Get Away With Prince!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

My prince is on a two-week business trip from October 31,2010 to November 12, 2010 to the "Four Asian Tigers /Asian Dragons" or the highly developed economies of Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.

I have been in and around Hongkong, South Korea and Singapore, but has only been to Taiwan briefly and mostly at the airport during a lay over for my onward US flights. So when my prince asked me to meet him at any of his trip destinations, Taiwan was my obvious choice.

Taiwan or Republic of China (ROC) is a fascinating country north of the Philippines. It is an oceanic island and ringed by offshore islands so it is blessed with diverse and attractive landscapes capped with amazing industrial structures/skyscrapers.

Because of my excitement,I forgot the travel essentials but my prince was quick enough to timely remind me. So for a hassle-free Taiwan Get-Away, I am including some helpful tips:

Visa/Permit To Enter: Effective March 1, 2009, Philippine passport holders are exempted from visa requirements and can stay in Taiwan for 30 days, provided that they have never worked in Taiwan as blue-collar workers.

Filipinos (who have never been employed in Taiwan as blue-collar workers),however, must first register through the “Advance Online Registration System for the Visitors of Nationals from Five Southeast Asian Countries to Taiwan” at https://nas.immigration. for the permit to enter. This permit is given only to those who has a valid visa to US, Canada, Australia and European countries.

A confirmation sheet should be printed to validate the travelers’ status for online boarding and immigration check. Filipinos who fail to produce the confirmation will not be admitted into Taiwan.

Weather: It is generally believed that Taiwan has no season because it is a tropical climate like the Philippines. In reality though, it has four seasons although winters are usually short and tend to be mild. Summer is usually hot, with plenty of humidity. In July and September, typhoons from the South China Sea bring heavy rains. For Pinoys, best time to visit is mid September to November as it is autumn and the driest period in Taiwan, with cool breeze since the damp and chilly winter is just around the corner.

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