Taipei Layover & Airport Lounge

Getting creative with the routing enroute to your final destination gives a chance for a quick look at a city that you otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to.  We had 7 hours in Taipei to see some of the highlights.  I wanted to allow a generous buffer to get back in time for the onward flight to Beijing.  By the time we left the lounge with our backpacks, we basically had 4 hours to go downtown and back.  I decided the best option was the Evergreen bus and that we would have to just see as much as possible through the window as we wouldn’t have time to get out and actually visit anything.  Still it was better than nothing!


The friendly tourist information folks directed us to where the buses were.


We had to buy one-way tickets for the outbound journey and were charged upon return for the return trip since we never left the bus.  It was a comfortable ride with nice large windows.IMG_2513 IMG_2511

We got a peek at Taipei 101 and other interesting buildings.  It was pretty cool to watch people going about their normal early morning business.IMG_2487 IMG_2489 IMG_2490 IMG_2491 IMG_2492 IMG_2493 IMG_2494 IMG_2495 IMG_2496 IMG_2497 IMG_2498 IMG_2499

Right after I snapped this pic of the monk, we were treated to some major drama!  All of a sudden, a young man ran out in front of the bus, then a policeman followed on foot all at high speed!  We watched the youth cross the street and disappear on the other side.  The policeman stopped a random passer-by on a motorcycle, hopped on back behind the driver and take off in pursuit of the suspect.  It all happened so fast it was over before it even occurred to me to try to take a photo.  Probably better that I didn’t as I wouldn’t  have wanted to be involved in a court case just as our African adventure was starting.IMG_2500

The bus continued through downtown Taipei and we saw more interesting buildings and temples.IMG_2501 IMG_2502

I was relieved to see we made good time and that we were in no danger of missing our flight.IMG_2504 IMG_2506 IMG_2509 IMG_2510 IMG_2512

More curiosities back at the airport.IMG_2515

Interesting shops at the airport.IMG_2516


IMG_2517 IMG_2518


Our onward flight was on China Airlines and we were invited to the China Airlines lounge, once again a cross-alliance partnership.  So we got to experience two lounges at TPE.


IMG_2519 IMG_2520 IMG_2522 IMG_2523 IMG_2524 IMG_2525


Eva Air Business Class: Brisbane – Taipei & Lounge Access

Since United devalued their program a few months ago, I wanted to take advantage of the generous routing rules before they took that away too.  Devaluations seemed to be a common theme amongst most airlines this year. I also noted that the trend is for airlines to be stingy with business class awards and I really didn’t want to do such a long itinerary in economy!  I also wanted to take advantage of the routing rules for quick layovers in Taipei & Beijing.


Much to my surprise, we were invited to the Qantas lounge (OneWorld member) instead of the Air New Zealand Koru Club that Thai usually invites us to.  Apparently this is due to a code-share arrangement between Eva and Qantas. The only other Star Alliance airline – Singapore has their own lounge but they only open award seats in/out of Australia at T-14 so basically useless for advance planners.  It was nice to try out a new lounge and relax before our flight.  It wasn’t crowded and was very comfortable.


I loved the artwork!IMG_2470 IMG_2463 IMG_2464

View over the airport from the lounge.IMG_2466 IMG_2467 IMG_2468BUSINESS CLASS SEATS

Although they were angled lie-flat, they were still comfortable and we got a good night’s sleep.


I didn’t really care for the food but my husband liked it.  I just wanted to get some sleep so passed on my evening meal.IMG_2476EVA AIR LOUNGE IN TAIPEI

Upon arrival, we went to the EVA AIR lounge hoping to stash our bags while we did a quick run into the city.  They took my boarding pass as security which was bad as we needed the boarding passes to clear security and immigration after our excursion so we ate a quick breakfast, then headed through immigration, backpacks and all for the trip.

Entrance to lounge

IMG_2478 IMG_2485

Breakfast buffetIMG_2484 IMG_2483 IMG_2482

Very cool bottles for sale in duty free, I would have bought one if this had been the return leg into Brisbane.IMG_2477

5 Great Routes On Eva Air For Eco-Tourists

Eva Air is a very welcome addition to Star Alliance because it’s not only a great airline but it has a good network of connections via Taipei.  Here are some destinations that will now be easier to reach because of Eva Air.



1.  BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA:  Great place to head inland to Bowra Station, O’Reilly’s, Girraween or Fraser Island for excellent birding.

2.  SURABAYA, DENPASAR & JAKARTA, INDONESIA:  Jumping off points to the birder’s paradise of West Papua, using an Indonesian domestic carrier.

3.  MANILA, PHILIPPINES:  Drive up to Subic Bay or hop a domestic flight to Palawan to see the endangered Philippine Cockatoo.

4.  HO CHIH MINH, VIETNAM:  Head to Nan Bai Cat Tien National Park where you may be lucky enough to see the Moustache Parrot (Red-breasted Parakeet).

5.  HANOI, VIETNAM:  Grey-headed Parakeets are in range of northern Vietnam.