“Eye on the Bay” is a show on the local CBS affiliate in San Francisco. I have noticed the show mentions the Taiwan Tourism Bureau as a sponsor. I also recall an episode about Taiwan some time ago. This time a group of visitors have joined Liam Mayclem for a tour of Taiwan. Two episodes covered the trip: part 1 and part 2. I naturally became curious about the destinations and had to take a look. I have included links directly to sites in English where available.
“Eye on the Bay: Taiwan 2012,” part 1, segment 1 of 4
The group takes an Eva airlines direct flight from San Francisco to 臺北 (Taipei), arriving in the early morning. This also meant they left SF very late at night. They start out in 康青龍 (Kang-Qing-Long), a district that includes 永康街, 青田街, 龍泉街. 回留 (Hui Liu) is a tea house that also offers food. The next stop is 食養文化山房 (Shi Yang Culture Restaurant) in 新北市 (New Taipei City). It looks like a tranquil place in the mountains.
“Eye on the Bay: Taiwan 2012,” part 1, segment 2 of 4
We find out the group is staying at the 麗晶酒店 (Regent Taipei). They go to 陽明山國家公園 (Yangmingshan National Park) for the hot springs. They stay at 北投麗禧酒店 (Grand View Resort Beitou).
“Eye on the Bay: Taiwan 2012,” part 1, segment 3 of 4
Back to Taipei, where they visit 行天宮 (Hsing Tian Kong), a temple in the financial district. Then there’s Taipei 101. A trip to Taiwan would not be complete without a visit to 鼎泰豐 (Din Tai Fung). Oh, I miss those dumplings!
“Eye on the Bay: Taiwan 2012,” part 1, segment 4 of 4
They go to 九份 (Jiu Fen) in 新北市. It was a mining town and is now a tourist destination.
“Eye on the Bay: Taiwan 2012,” part 2, episode 1 of 4
A trip to Taiwan would not be complete without a trip to a night market, and the group goes to 饒和街觀光夜市 (Raohe Street Night Market) in 臺北市 (Taipei City). Then it’s on to 滋和堂 (Giwado) for a foot massage. They take 高鐵 (High Speed Rail) to 臺南市 (Tainan City). They go to 度小月 (Du Hsiao Yueh), one of the best places to eat in 臺南. Food in 臺南 is unique compared to food from the rest of the island. I hope they had the chance to go to a night market in 臺南.
“Eye on the Bay: Taiwan 2012,” part 2, segment 2 of 4
The group goes to 日月潭 Sun Moon Lake in 南投 (Nantou) and take a bike ride. They stay at 雲品酒店 (Fleur de Chine Hotel). They go to 太魯閣國家公園 (Taroko National Park). Helmets are necessary in some parts because of the danger of falling rocks. 宜蘭縣 (Yilan County) is next, with a stay at 礁溪老爺大酒店 (Hotel Royal Chao Shi).
“Eye on the Bay: Taiwan 2012,” part 2, segment 3 of 4
The group visits the 金車威士忌酒廠 (King Car Whiskey Distillery). Lunch is at 掌上明珠 (Formosa Pearl Restaurant) to taste the fresh fish and food of the area.
“Eye on the Bay: Taiwan 2012,” part 2, segment 4 of 4
We’re shown more images from the tour, but no specific places are introduced.
I’m sure the episodes did not show every place that the group visited, but I’m still very impressed with the itinerary. I was really happy when they went to 臺南, because that is where I feel the heart of Taiwan’s culture and history lies. I don’t know if it is a common destination for tourists, but it’s a great place to visit. There’s more to Taiwan than just 臺北! It looks like the group was able to see most of the island, by going south on the west side and back up north on the east coast. They really got a comprehensive tour of Taiwan.
“Eye on the Bay” is hosting a tour of Taiwan in 2013. The tour is from Feb 21 to March 2, 2013. The travel schedule coincides with some Lunar New Year celebrations, including 元宵節 (the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar), so travelers will be able to experience the festivities. Travel information is available at Time for Taiwan. I took a look at the itinerary. I do like that it covers some great cultural destinations. But, I would have liked to see a visit to the southern cities instead of a side trip to Hong Kong. I’m sure the side trip would attract some travelers. I don’t know how the price (roughly $3700 to $4600 per person depending on accommodation) compares to other tours. Airline prices alone could run close to $2000, so perhaps it is a deal.