Taipei, Taiwan, March 2016. Cold and wet according to the pilot, announcing that the plane is about to descend into Taipei. Cold and wet – well, that doesn’t surprise me since its been that way everyday for the last 3 weeks according to google weather.As the plane breaks through the low clouds one can’t help but notice the place is covered in brown water – water, water everywhere.
The airport looks quite dated from the outside as the aircraft pulls up to the gate. A structure of grey blocks jaded around the edges – I’ve seen better in developing nations.On the inside though its pretty smart, like as in the floor has had a polish and someones been around with a duster. The immigration queue is long for foreigners, empty for Taiwanese nationals! About 30 minutes to complete formalities and officially arrive into Taiwan .
Priority now is to find an ATM since I need cash for the bus ride to downtown. Usually when I arrive at a major international airport there is often a row of banks and ATM’s along with currency exchange counters – not so here as people queue for the only ATM I can spot in the vicinity. Transaction cancelled, that’s the message coming at me as the machine spits out my card. Oh no, whats wrong here. A 5 minutes stomp around reveals another ATM opposite end of the terminal, same problem – oh good grief!
Thankfully I have some US dollars to exchange – at least I can get downtown and hopefully find a cash machine that will actually dispense cash instead of bad news!
$90, gate 10 and its the City Air Bus to downtown – Taipei Main Station.Its pretty gloomy outside and now its raining steadily bringing to mind the adage – It never rains but pours, well that’s true today.
Top Tip: It appears Taiwanese ATM’s at the international airport are not to keen on international bank or credit cards, especially Halifax Visa and Mastercard. I’d bring plenty of cash to change at the currency exchange counter.