I used to be one of the disbelievers -what a waste of space that could be a nice park, why in the middle of the city, too dangerous, too crowded, too small, too bla bla bla- ... until I used it. Of course, I am comparing it to Taoyuan, which even compared to the ol country ones, falls short in many, many regards. But, boy, is it nice. Access, facilities -restaurants, convenience stores-, services, attention, cleanliness, all top notch. I know, I know, it is a lot newer than Taoyuan, but then, haven't they been "remodeling" and "fixing" and "expanding" Taoyuan Airport since forever and it is still deficient? Savings in time and transportation to and from home are unbeatable -got there by MRT, came back on a 215 NTD taxi fare instead of the usual almost a thousand NTD one.
OK, I am sold.
Yeah using Songshan is pretty sweet, if you're located in Taipei or points east.
I gotta hand it to Taoyuan though. At least with Terminal 1, and its beautiful renovation, it has really upped its game. If you're passing through Terminal 2 at busy times, though . . . ugh!
I'm all for Song Shan, but I think Guo Guang no runs 24/7 from Taoyuan to Taipei. Even cheaper than your 215NT taxi fare from Songshan to home.
However, nothing really beats being closer to home if you're landing at the wee hours of the morning.
... or loaded with luggage. Every time I travel I tell myself, I won't come loaded back like a camel on a cross Saharan caravan. Lo and behold, I haven't been able to fulfill this promise to myself. I envy people who can travel with a tiny purse and a cute carry on.
Would all that not improve once they get the airpirt MRT up and running?
At least terminal 1 at Taoyuan is very good, I think, fast and efficient. Terminal 2, I tend to avoid that one.
Luc Besson made it look all clean and glittering in Lucy. When I saw it in the movie I thought, Wow, I never saw it that way.
I have not seen Lucy. But I love the new look of Terminal One. It may seem strange, but it's become one of my favorite buildings in Taiwan. Just make sure to bring a sweater or a jacket--they really crank up the air conditioning in there!
Oh, gosh, I remember my first impressions of Taoyuan when FOB. I had already been working for a major airline and had been hoping around airports mostly in the US but also Mexico and all Central America. It was bad. Worse was the trip on the Guokuanhao buses -the ones that remind me of the chicken buses in the ol country-, and them dropping you off in the darkness and oblivion that was Chongshin Road at that time. Not even inside a proper station.
We had students later on whose first words after arrival were : I am not getting off, I am going home right now!
Things have changed a lot. Now you have the nice EVA and other brand/route buses. A proper terminal at both ends.
Problem is still no proper restaurants at Taoyuan -think Haneda's old Meiji town feel in their food court. Lots of variety. I remember that awfulness they had at Taoyuan: in the basement, access by a rickety elevator, only 3 "restaurants", worse looking than night market stalls, one of them a McD or BK or something like that, one greasy noodle place, and for a while , a self-serve worse looking than the old stray cat and rats infested Shida dorm student cafeteria. Then they closed the whole bit for a while.
Ministry of Transportation and the Taipei City government have starting negotiations about relocating Songshan airport:news.ltn.com.tw/news/life/breakingnews/1379616
Some greedy greedy minds at work no doubt.
(To the relocation part; Tommy's speculation about "greedy minds" sadly sounds totally plausible.)
Moving Songshan away itself is sound logic and not about greedy minds. They are two separate and independent things. Moving an dangerously situated airport which is hindering the development of a city is simply the way to do things, especially when there's a full international airport not far away from the city.
Greedy minds takes place in how the land should and would be developed. If it happens soon enough, or if Ko wins a second term, I won't be worried about the greedy minds part.
Funny London didn't shut down its much more dangerous inner city airport. Taipei Sungshan airport can land and take off jumbo jets, London City can't and yet they still fly there.
Eventually shutting Sungshan may be a good idea when the link to Taoyuan operates. Sungshan should become a giant park. The developers still have plenty to do with all the areas around Sungshan that now can be redeveloped into high rises.
Lord knows Taipei needs more empty high rises.
everywhere tommy, everywhere. Taoyuan itself has the biggest dodgy project there is, the aerotropolis project. Obviously a redevelopment in the city will involve speculation, and yet Daan has been wellLoved. Central park is surrounded by megaExpensive high rises now, no different in any big city in time.
I think songshans capacity is quite limited so it can be absorbed into taoyuan effectively. I take flights from songshan sometimes but it's really a biz airport and for foreign tourists, and even then I still take more flights from Taoyuan due to diversity and economics.
That's what local residents hope, but I think Ko just might turn it into cheap housing for the poor to get the votes to win a second term.
And we're back on track with super mayor Ko:
Pity, just as I was getting fond of it.
Regardless of the wisdom of dismantling the airport (it's not "relocating" for obvious reasons, don't know why people insist on describing it that way), I'd bet real money that most of those making the decisions (apart from the mayor, probably) have never in their lives taken a bus to or from Taoyuan for a flight.
In a year, a much faster and more stable option will be available, it's called airport MRT.
I like the one in Rome, Copenhagen, out of Heathrow, Barcelona and Hong Kong.
Once you have a direct fairly fast train to the airport, the need for songshan diminishes.
Yes, and I can't wait. Hopefully this time, unlike the many, many times in the past, they will actually get it done and not just claim they're going to get it done. But I still doubt that those government officials will be taking it (except Mayor Ke, who does that kind of thing). The others will still be driven to and from Taoyuan just as they always have been.
They will get it up and running, that is a given.
Government officials take a car with driver, correct. The rest of us take what works out best, I usually take a taxi, but that's due to the luggage. If I could cut travel down from 1plus hour now to 50 minutes by mrt, I would take the mrt.