Saturday, 4 March 2017

Oh Oh, the curiosity bug just awoke again .....

A survey of expats rated this as one of the cheapest places to live away from home. And I've actually seen the coastal outline of this island nation from the plane on my recent flight to Hong Kong.  If you're older than 25, you probably remember that a lot of products had the label Made in Blank on them. (That was before the Made in China era).  I might be breaking certain rules about recognizing this country instead of its much larger neighbour, when I say that the products you saw 25 years ago where made in China as well, but they carried the label Made in Taiwan.

Why Taiwan?   It's an island.  And it must be horribly overcrowded and over-industrialized to let the Made in Taiwan label become world-famous.  This actually seems to be true of the 1/3 of the island that is NOT mountainous.

But that leaves the Eastern 2/3rds of the island.

Yes, it's pretty much only mountains with not many roads. 

So WHY would anyone want to go there?

'nough said?

Actually, there is something else that should be mentioned.

Flighthub (just an example) lists the flight Seattle to Taipei from Mar 14 to Mar 28 at CAD$ 1400.  They sell the EXACT same flight (EVA flight 25) on the same date PLUS a return flight Taipei to Hanoi for CAD$ 1082. Just to make this absolutely clear: If I only book to Taipei it costs me MORE than to Taipei and then Hanoi.  I read this before somewhere. Quite often it is CHEAPER booking a connecting flight and just not getting on the plane.  But to see this difference of 30% is quite mind-boggling. 

Is it a coincidence that for the Taipei only flight, Flighthub then lists United flights with a stop-over in San Francisco (CAD$ 1054)?  Could that be ?  An artificial inflation of some prices of foreign competitors to favour US airlines?  Or does Taiwanese airline EVA only drop its fares if you book a connecting flight with them?

Either way, the customer is kept in the dark and manipulated.  Brave New World.  If that is what Democracy and Freedom look and feel like, I can understand why some cultures don't want it, LOL.

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