No monkeying around - 3 rules for our 8-days Taipei tour! Pic: Monkey scratching buddy at Taipei Zoo!

Have rules will travel Taiwan?

In year end of 2008, my wife, our 2 nephews and myself toured Taipei in our 8 days free and easy trip.

The 8 days would be the first time these teenagers are in an overseas trip to a country so far from home Singapore.

We are in Taiwan as tourists. We are there as guests.

My wife and I took special effort to share with the young ones this idea. Sheer personal enthusiasm, excitement in travelling, or maybe culture shock in discovering Taiwan – the boys may experience each or all of such intense emotions.

With these 3 rules, our intentions are clear:

    • Go and enjoy our time in Taiwan together;
    • Stay safe and travel savvy!

Taiwan travel rule 1: Enjoy, not correct.

We will be in a foreign country – Taiwan. A different place; with people, things, and customs that are simply, different.

In the thick of touring, we keep our presence and purpose: That we are in Taiwan to tour, NOT to tell people what to do. Especially in times we felt fatigued, bewildered, or even misunderstood!

Tour savvy action:

    1. Observe people, things and activities with respect.
    Do not make comments hastily, particularly when things are different or seem unfamiliar or even strange to us.

    2. Unsure or curious, the boys can always ask uncle or aunty (my wife) to learn about what they see and experience.

    3. In all situations, adopt the humble position.
    When met with unfair, unreasonable behaviour during our tour, as much as it depends on us visitors – we will back off from confrontation.

Taiwan tour rule 2: No one goes anywhere alone.

Undoubtedly, Taiwan is a fairly safe travel destination. There is also apparent safety when we tour as a group of 4 persons.

Yet, there will be times when we might want to see different attractions to our individual interest. Or when the group needs to split for spontaneously exploring say, a Taiwan night market. Or to an obvious reason like a member going to the washroom.

Tour savvy action:

    1. We do the travel buddy system..
    For touring each day, my wife and I (adults) would each pair with a nephew (youths) as “tour buddies”.

    2. At any time, two persons will be traveling together.
    Even in say, a little act of making enquiry at a counter round the corner. Or say, when one of us go to the washroom, the buddy will tag along, even if just to be waiting outside (the washroom).

Taiwan trip rule 3: Speak together.

Why ?
As much as we stand together, we also “speak together”.
We speak as one — so as to understand but not frustrate one another, and that we may not antagonize the locals!

Tour savvy action:
A fun rule: We will communicate in “disguised” phases..

    1. To indicate that something is expensive, we say “good/ reasonable price”.

    2. As signal to leave a place or establishment, because of overly lousy service, to move away from unwanted soliciting or simply to exit politely, we tell one another “let’s go get some drink/ food”..

Travel rules too stifling?

Feel these 3 Taiwan travel rules overwhelming?

Look again:

    Rule 1 is about our attitude.
    Rule 2 is about our physical presence.
    Rule 3 is our communication.

Not to worry, these are not rules set in stone. In fact, we all had our laughs when discussing these rules!

What about my wife touring with us?

To begin with, these 2 boys are much independent and self-managed on their own. Having these rules in mind will keep the excitable kids cooperative and responsible for themselves.

This actually freed my wife from having to manage them on a tight rein — so she too can indulge in the Taiwan tour!

Now that I, Uncle Dave had taught our tour group what to expect AND not to do — we can be free to immerse fully and seriously (oops, pardon the pun) enjoy Taiwan!

Yes we did – as you can see in our Taipei tour review!

Published by David

Fan of Taiwan. Friend from Singapore. :-)

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