Sunday morning, still in Portland, my alarm went of at 4am in the morning. I left for the airport, dropped the rental car at 5:30 and boarded an Air Canada turboprop for Vancouver, the flight lasting about one hour. After takeoff I was treated to some nice city views of Portland, then the Columbia River on its way to the Oregon coast. Then it became cloudy until Vancouver, where I caught some glimpses of the skyline while landing.
After a three hour layover I boarded an Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the 12 hour flight to Taipei. Sitting on the right side I was able to see the beautiful misty fjords and islands of British Columbia, later the mountains on Alaska’s South Coast and the Aleutian islands. After crossing the Pacific Ocean the first landscape I was able to spot in the distance where the mountains on Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula, then the Kuril islands, before flying across Japan, then down the Eastern Chinese Sea to Taiwan, where we landed in Taipei at 3pm local time on Monday afternoon.
Leaving Canada Sunday morning, arriving Taipei on Monday afternoon? Yes, possible, because we crossed the dateline eastward and “lost” a day in the process. Time difference between Portland and Taipei is a whopping 15 hours, although the “physical” time difference is only 9 hours (when we landed in Taipei at 3pm it was midnight in Portland – albeit not Tuesday, but still Monday). Sounds weird? It sure is, and it messes up your system pretty bad. A driver picked us up and took us to Hsinchu, which is an industrial city an hour drive south of Taipei. We got into the hotel at 5pm, where we were due to meet our Taiwanese host for a dinner at 6:45pm.
While the other two in my travel party decided to hit the bed for a bit of relax after the long flight, I rather took my camera and went on a photowalk to check out what there is to see around our hotel, knowing this hour I had would be my only opportunity to see a glimpse of Taiwan on this short 24h stay. Venturing around the blocks I found a little temple and experienced life on the streets of Hsinchu. Nothing spectacular. But it made me happy and satisfied that I managed to experience a bit of Taiwan at all…even it was just a short walk around the hotel….business travel reality….
After the jump find some images I was able to capture….. (more…)