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By Published September 12, 2013

Wine on TV-Time for Taiwan

Wine Oh TV's Monique Soltani partnered up with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau to bring you 10 days in Taiwan.

In this first video, we travel around the world and uncover the hidden treasures of Taroko National Park,Taiwan's top tourist destination.Then we take off to Tainan and show you how Taiwan's oldest city is keeping up with the times, from culture to cuisine the Heart of Asia has it all.

In our second travel video, we headed straight for the center of the island and explored Sun Moon Lake.

Next Video is showing why the Taiwan International Orchid Show gives flower power an entirely new meaning.

final travel video, tune in as we show you why Taipei is the toast of Taiwan and even give you a taste of Taiwanese whiskey and wine!

World Away- Taiwan

The site includes information on the program, its key production personnel, photos, and a preview of the upcoming episodes taped in Taiwan.

Future additions to the site will include full episodes & segments, information on upcoming productions, traveler news & resources, and links to the places the crew visited, stayed and ate during their travels.

World Away, is a new television program geared towards U.S. viewers 45+, features the sites to see, things to do and places to stay and eat from around the world, often in a slightly more luxurious manner.

Butch and Deb Ride Bikes- Hello Taiwan!

Our trip sponsors, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, provided access to the China Airlines lounge, which was a luxurious way to start out The Taiwan Cycling Trip!!

To summarize the trip, it was FANTASTIC! The country is so beautiful - it is compact yet offers so many different climates - mountains, beach, jungle, metropolitan city, and charming towns. And we can't say enough about the people, from Peter our tour guide to encounters with people on the street, everyone was incredibly nice, sweet, and helpful. If you are looking for a new destination that has it all, including some good cycling hills, then go to Taiwan!!! It won't disappoint!!

Mercury News-John Boudreau

Link to Article: Taiwan's fabled night markets

Asian carrier takes flight with Hello Kitty

source from:

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Hello Kitty, the cartoon white cat, has been groomed for a plethora of products over the years -- dolls, clothes, kitchenware. Now she's taken flight.

In an era when air travel can be a mundane -- if not an abusive -- experience, one Asian carrier is trying to make flying fun again by employing the round-face cat and her friends to liven up its routes.

These playful kitty jets -- four now, and a fifth later this month -- fly exclusively within Asia under a licensing agreement between Taiwan-based EVA Airways and Japan-based Sanrio, creator of the cartoon character and her pals.

EVA, which has daily flights to San Francisco, is considering a Hello Kitty flight to the United States as early as next year, though the airline has not publicly announced the route.

The airline's green-and-white livery has been given a cartoon makeover with splashy colors, nose to tail, on new Airbus A330-300s and an A330-200 for flights connecting Taipei to Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Hong Kong; Guam; and Shanghai. The kitty theme, however, goes well beyond the exterior of the aircraft. Flight attendants don Hello Kitty aprons; there are kitty utensils, napkins, pillows. Even the toilet paper has Hello Kitty. In all, more than 60 kitty-themed items can be found on board.

Hello Kitty flights are unlike any other, EVA flight attendants say. Passengers pose for photos next to kitty paraphernalia and constantly ring flight attendants to buy duty-free kitty gifts -- kitty jet model airplanes, purses, jewelry.

"They take everything -- the cutlery, the towels. No one wants to use the towels. They just keep them," said Jenny Yang, EVA deputy purser, before a recent kitty flight to Tokyo. "We tell them they can only take the pillow covers, but they take the pillows, too."

Passengers ask -- no, beg -- flight attendants to give them anything with the Hello Kitty emblem, from napkins to playing cards.

"On a normal flight, passengers rest," flight attendant Mia Huang said. "(On a kitty flight), everyone is taking pictures of everything and everyone."


Women, children, men -- yes, even men -- pose for snapshots in front of parked EVA kitty planes at airport terminals.

"I like Hello Kitty because it reminds me of my childhood," said Ziv Lai, 40, after he asked a friend to snap a shot of him before his recent Hello Kitty flight.

Rosa Wong talked her husband into taking the Hello Kitty flight on their honeymoon -- not to visit Japan, but because Kitty White was on board.

"She has a good mind, and she's sweet," said the 27-year-old Taipei resident, clutching her special Hello Kitty boarding pass before walking onto the jet bridge, obliging hubby in tow.

Though known as one of Asia's elite carriers, EVA sees its kitty flights as a way to further set it apart from competitors. They have "significantly" increased the number of passengers on those routes, said Glenn Chai, EVA Airways senior vice president.

"All carriers purchase the same aircraft from Boeing and Airbus," he said. "Hello Kitty makes an exciting difference."

The airline also wanted to make traveling special again, Chai added.

"Flying, to some extent, is boring," he said. "It's going from point A to point B. We wanted to create some fun in your flight."

EVA, which set up a special Hello Kitty website in four languages (, is continually adding new products to its Hello Kitty duty-free catalog, available only on the special flights. EVA had a number of Hello Kitty flights from 2005 to 2008, but the airline eliminated them as the global economic crisis put a crimp in travel budgets. To commemorate the airline's 20th anniversary last year, EVA relaunched a new fleet of kitty planes.


The airline, by associating itself with Hello Kitty, is reaching out to customers beyond the "uptight businessman," said Laura Miller, professor of Japanese studies and anthropology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. It also reflects the shifting global economic power to Asia, where Hello Kitty -- created in 1974 and now a multibillion-dollar global industry -- is exceedingly popular, she noted.

"Creating an airline space that makes it appealing to women is a smart strategy," Miller said. "It also reflects the new economic power of that market."

The Hello Kitty flights underscore the difference between flying on U.S. domestic flights -- anything but fun -- and Asian carriers such as EVA that provide more consumer comforts, said Alan Bender, professor of aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. While it is not unusual for U.S. carriers to have promotional livery, such as Alaska Airline's Disney-themed planes, they are purely for advertising purposes, he said. The kitty jets, Bender added, hark back to the time before the airline industry in the United States was deregulated in the late 1970s, often referred to as the golden era of flying, when airlines pulled out all the stops to please passengers because ticket prices were fixed by the government.


"EVA will get more new passengers, and they're likely to become repeat customers, since EVA is such a good airline," he said.

The kitty experience begins the moment passengers arrive at Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei and use the neon-pink Hello Kitty self check-in kiosks. Once through security, passengers can browse a Hello Kitty store. Though not directly related to EVA's kitty flights, the outlet, which sells everything from kitty candy to luggage, adds to the experience. On a recent morning, the airport store was abuzz with shoppers, mainly women and girls.

As Elvis Shum boarded an evening Hello Kitty flight from Taipei to Hong Kong, he was asked why he likes the kitty plane. Looking sheepish, the 37-year-old Hong Kong resident, who had just posed in front of the aircraft, nodded at his wife: "Because she likes it, I like it."

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496. Follow him at


Taipei-based EVA Air, which has daily service to San Francisco International Airport and is in the process of becoming a Star Alliance member, has four Hello Kitty jets and will add a fifth one June 22. Here are the five themed planes:

Hello Kitty Apple Jet, featuring Kitty White and red and green apples, flies daily between Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport and Incheon International Airport near Seoul, South Korea (flights BR160/BR159) and every day but Thursday between Taoyuan Airport and Japan's Fukuoka International Airport (flights BR2106/BR2105).

Hello Kitty Global Jet, featuring Kitty characters and travel destinations, alternates with the Magic Jet on daily flights between Taipei's Songshan International Airport and Tokyo's Haneda International Airport (flights BR190/BR192 and BR189/BR191) and Songshan International Airport and Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport (flights BR772/BR771).

Hello Kitty Magic Jet, featuring Kitty White and magic stars, alternates with Global Jet on daily flights between Taipei's Songshan and Tokyo-Haneda (flights BR190/BR192 and flights BR189/BR191) and between Taipei's Taoyuan and Shanghai's Hongqiao (flights BR772/BR771).

Hello Kitty Happy Music Jet, featuring Kitty characters and musical notes, flies daily between Taipei's Taoyuan and Japan's Chitose International Airport, outside Sapporo (flights BR116/BR115) and from Taoyuan to Guam International Airport on Tuesday and Saturday (BR20) with a return on Wednesday and Sunday (BR19). There are additional flights to Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China and other cities in Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Hello Kitty Speed Puff Jet, featuring Kitty characters and clouds, will start June 22 with daily flights from Taipei's Taoyuan to Tokyo's Narita (BR2198/BR2195) and daily flights between Taoyuan and Hong Kong (BR858/BR857).


2012 Pacific Orchid Expo News Release

It's Time for Taiwanese Orchids to Seize the World

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA. February 21, 2012 - Geographically, Taiwan's year-round warm and humid subtropical weather combined with high-tech agricultural advancement is perfect for nurturing a variety of specialty orchids. In Taiwan, orchids account for 20 percent of Taiwan's floral exports and 80 percent export value, according to the Orchid Growers' Association. And with more than $87 million made from exporting Taiwanese specialty orchids to cosmopolitan countries including Japan, America, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Netherlands, Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) is pleased to continue promoting the island's established reputation as the "Orchid Kingdom" of the world.

"Taiwanese specialty orchids, especially Butterfly orchids, also known as Phalaenopsis, have been our leading exporter to many countries," said Sylvia Yu, Director of Taiwan Tourism Bureau San Francisco. "The unique varieties and first-class quality of our orchids have brought worldwide floral enthusiasts and collectors to visit our island."

In the United States, the American Orchid Society recognizes Taiwanese orchids as first-class quality flowers. And it's with this prestigious recognition that TTB accepted The Pacific Orchid Exposition's invitation to exhibit at the event in San Francisco from February 23 - 26. With more than 150,000 orchids from all around the world ready to be viewed by the public, TTB's themed "Time for Taiwan" booth will present Taiwanese orchids at the show for visitors to adore. In addition, TTB's business partner Ritz Tours will offer special orchid island tour packages for attendees interested in seeing and learning more about Taiwan's "Orchid Kingdom" which includes unique breeds only grown in Taiwan. Interested visitors will also receive first-hand information on the annual popular Taiwan International Orchid Show in Tainan, Taiwan from March 3 - March 12.

For enthusiastic orchid collectors interested in previewing and purchasing one-of-the-kind orchids from Taiwan and other countries before it opens to the public, the event is hosting a "Gala Benefit Preview" night that includes outstanding live music, delicious hors d'oeuvres, premier wine tasting, and a fabulous silent auction.

For more information on the orchid exposition, please visit:

For more information on 2012 Taiwan International Orchid Show, please visit

For more information on traveling to Taiwan, please visit:

For more information on 2013 Taiwan International Orchid Show Tour package, please visit:

Eye on the bay show Tourists interview Video

Discover what Liam Mayclem, Foodie Chap and host of Eye on the Bay, called "The trip of a lifetime", Taiwan-the heart of Asia. Liam and a group of Bay area travelers share their journey through this captivating island that is full of wonderful surprises.

See Video

New partnership announcement Press 2012

Taiwan Tourism Bureau and AAA Unveiled Exclusive 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival Travel Package for Members in Northern California, Nevada and Utah

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San Francisco, CA. June 18, 2012 - Today, Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) hosted a cocktail reception at Bistro Boudin in San Francisco to celebrate their new travel partnership with AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah (AAA NCNU). The new travel package includes an exclusive tour of the spectacular 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival customized especially for AAA members in Northern California, Nevada and Utah. During the reception, TTB premiered its promotional TV commercial to capture the attention of more than 50 press members and distinguished guests.

"Taiwan is a beautiful island with so much to offer our members," said Steve Chan, Senior Vice President - Strategy, Marketing and Product Management of AAA NCNU. "This is our first travel partnership with Taiwan Tourism Bureau, and we are very proud to offer our members unique variety of travel packages that will open up their hearts and minds to the amazing Taiwanese culture and culinary lifestyles."

Leaving on February 21, 2013, the 10 days Taiwan Lantern Festival package includes a visit to Hong Kong. While in Taiwan, AAA NCNU members will have VIP diplomatic access to the Festival, an AAA Sojourns private antique Assam Tea tour with TV personality Liam Mayclem from Eye on the Bay, and exclusive tour of Chung Tai Chan Monastery. All members will fly EVA Airways direct from San Francisco to Taipei and travel from Taipei, Hsin-Chu to Sun Moon Lake.

"Travel is always an excellent way to meet new friends, explore different cultures and taste great foods," said Liam Mayclem. "I had an amazing time in Taiwan when I hosted two special Eye on the Bay programs in April. Viewers in the Bay Area can watch the two special Eye on the Bay Taiwan programs on June 18th and 19th at 7pm on CBS 5. As for the extraordinary 2013 Lantern Festival Tour, I am excited to personally host the Sun Moon Lake itinerary because with every tour different new adventure awaits."

"Taiwan Tourism Bureau's worldwide vision is to design and customize fun itineraries that will capture our global travelers' spirited imagination and curiosity," said Sylvia Yu, Director of Taiwan Tourism Bureau, San Francisco. "Today, we are pleased to launch an exclusive Taiwan Lantern Festival package for our AAA NCNU members known nationally and internationally for their trailblazing way of traveling."

For more information, please visit:




2011 From the heart of San Francisco to the Heart of Asia-new campaign launching

The Taiwan Tourism Bureau unveiled a brand new campaign, "Taiwan, the Heart of Asia". The special launch event was held at the world famous Boudin Bakery in the Heart of the city's tourist mecca, Fisherman's Wharf.

Boudin is the icon of San Francisco, and basically is seen as the heart of San Francisco. So it was a wonderful partnership and relationship to be associated with Taiwan, the heart of Asia.

See Video

2011 San Francisco Chronic-Taiwan stories

VIA Magazine-Christopher Hall 2012

Little visited just a few years ago, the island is drawing new travelers with an enchanting blend of old and new, the Beautiful Island, Taiwan by Christopher Hall.

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