Characteristics of the Taiwanese Tour

If you’ve ever taken part in a Taiwanese-led tour, here are some features that are almost inevitable.

  1. The self-intro. While on the tour bus, each participant is expected to grab the mike in turn and introduce him/herself to the group. There is no opting out, even if you’re petrified of public speaking.

  2. The tour guide who won’t shut up. During the bus ride to the destination, the tour guide will ramble on and on, instead of giving a brief, concise explanation. Two hours to the destination? He’ll be blabbering for two hours. Forget about catching up on your reading. And at one point you’ll be tested on the material. If you get the answer right, you may win a sticker or something.

  3. The round-table lunch. Nothing wrong with the idea per se, but on Taiwanese tours these are all too often bland and unappetizing. And beer is never included.

  4. The shopping stop. Time to spend your money on useless junk so the tour company can get kickbacks.

  5. DIY. At one of the stops, you’ll be led into a room where you’re given the chance to perform some pointless hands-on handicraft work. Memories of 2nd grade art class come flooding into your mind.

  6. The Traditional Dance. You’ll get to experience the traditional dances of the local tribe, performed by Han Chinese wearing day-glo costumes, sung in perfect Mandarin Chinese, and accompanied by lively synth pop tunes composed hundreds of weeks ago.

  7. The Group Photo. First you hear the dreaded words “he zhao!” (Group photo!) Then, the next 20 minutes is spent standing in a rigid line as everyone hands their cameras to some poor schlub who’s been “volunteered” into taking the photos for the entire group. Then, when the torture is over, you hear the even more dreaded words, “zai yi ci!” (One more time!)

Anything else?

This is one of the many reasons why i NEVER ever take guided tours on holidays. they are beyond excruciatingly painful to withstand. I am grateful they exist, cause many people really like them. not me though!

Sounds pretty much like a Japanese tour of Okinawa I did a few years back. B.O.R.I.N.G.

Never do it again.

You forgot where all Taiwanese women start speaking in exaggerated little girl voices, which can be really shocking if you have never heard those coworkers do that before. Kind of freaks you out to see your hard-as-nails coworker who is 37 start speaking like she is 8.

Here’s a story to lighten you all up then.

Friend of mine went to China and made friends with a guy who often took Taiwanese tour groups. These were mostly obasan ojisan ama agong type groups, so they were LOUD. After many attempts one time to get them to shut up to no avail, he asked a nearby uncle how to say ‘安靜!’ (quiet!) in Taiwanese. The ever helpful gentleman answered ‘oh, that’s easy to pronounce. It’s ‘kaobei’.’

The tour guide repeats this.
Everyone shuts up and looks at him.
The tour guide then goes on to give his announcement, and the tour continues.

He didn’t find out what kaobei actually meant until many years later, when some young children on his tour asked him why he kept swearing at them.

Tour guide: How’s everyone doing?
Tour group: Great!
Tour guide: Wonderful! I assume everyone here understands Taiwanese?
Tour group: Yes!
Me: No!
Tour guide: Great! Blibbity blabbity blibbity blabbity…
Me: Grrr…

btw…WTF is that about? Is it supposed to be sexy or something???

The tour groups that fly to Vancouver, then bus to Banff, for example. Dinners are always at Chinese restaurants. “But you just came from Taiwan…” :ponder:

They also make pit stops at McDonald’s to use the bathrooms since they’re on the bus for hours. :slight_smile:

“Shàngchē shuìjiào, xiàchē pāizhào, tíngchē niàoniào.”(Or some similar saying.) On the bus to sleep, off the bus for photo op, stop to pee.