Very unfriendly attitude at the Taipei office in Hong Kong

Not seeking information or help, just want to get something of my chest. A friend of an employee wants to study Mandarin in Taiwan. Was asked for help as they were and are still struggling to get the right information, where to change a visitor visa to a student visa, where to have a bank balance proof done, etc. Of course I referred them to this very forum as well. As they collected conflicting information and as naiv as I am, I said let me call the Chungwa Travel office in Hong Kong and so I did. The phone get’s answered with a taped message that is of such poor quality that nobody can understand it. Pressed then the designated operator button and after going through the loop of holding, a young lady picked up the phone. I introduced myself and stated that I am a permanent Taiwan resident, calling from Taipei and I had a question. I was rudely interrupted and asked to go to a web site. I said that we did that but still had questions. The woman (heavy Hong Kong accent) then read the web site address again for me. I said to her, well you are the professional and certainly you can be of assistance. Phone got disconnected, so I went through the same scenario of phoning again and got to the same woman. I said, sorry but I think our phones got disconnected. “Please go to our web page and do not call this office for visa questions, we are very busy here”. :noway: I gave up and communicated the result of my call to my Friends.

I think this is just unbelieveable. Taiwan is trying to attract Tourism and actually promotes Mandarin Studies. I am sending a strong worded message to the Bureau of consular affairs (which seeem to be in charge of overseas missions, issuing visas) complaining about this sort of attidute and obviously image it creates for the country of my choice for residence. :loco:

Scattered about these boards are oodles of complaints about that damned office. They are absolute pigs in there and as far as I can remember, always have been. It tempting to believe it’s offical policy to operate a mean HK office.

Good luck.


Sure it is. I know it is, based on my dealings with them. You’d get a friendlier reception asking the Bureau of Guards in Beijing how to translate “Mao was a big fat gobshite” into Swahili.

Hope you write the letter Taverncaptain, and let us know if there is any outcome.

Taiwan’s not really trying to promote tourism. All that blather is just for domestic consumption. What tourists would come here? They know that, so they’re just rude to everyone in case a few English teachers might slip through the net. Completely bizarre. I’ve been in there quite a few times and have never seen so many legitimate business travellers getting such hassle. (For example, for committing the gross offence of being a HK Indian businessman - one which springs to mind).

Damn, you’re right. There seems to be an eternal and seemingly indefatigable mob of HK Indian businessmen waiting. They never seem to get called or move. Perhaps it’s a protest?


I once saw a foreigner waiting in line there get so upset he ate his paper number before stomping out. I could hardly blame him. :noway:

I pray I am never at their mercy.

Add this to the list of: “Taiwan has so much potential, but…”

It’s kind of like the Chunking Mansions, you never want to end up there, but somehow it happens.

I wonder what the incidence of violence is at that office? I’m fairly mild-mannered but I know I’ve felt like putting a chair through the glass everytime I’ve been there.

I think it’s the mad amalgam of Taiwanese bureaucracy, local staff and their infamous Cantonese habit of sticking it to whitey the instant the imperial slipper’s on the other (HK) foot.


Why waste your money going to that shithole? Christ! A plane ticke to either Singapore or Bangkok costs about the same.

I only used the HK office once and found them very helpful, unlike the Cape Town one in South Africa. Recently I discovered that the Pretoria office to be quite the opposite of the CT one.

I went there once 8 years ago. Vowed never to return. Absolute Fascist Swine. That’s how I felt about them then. Today it just reminds me of that “Soup Nazi” episode of Seinfeld.

Oh man, at first I thought this said the Chunking Mansons, you know, the verb to chunk, meaning throw rocks at someone, and I was like, Jeez what a cool band name…

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

What is a chunking Mansion anyway, now that we know it is not a band!

chunking mansions…are to be experienced. take a dodgey hostel, multiply it by 100 or so and plunk the beastie down in the middle of Hong Kong and you have chunking mansions.

used to be a lot more fun when british empire folks were able to get work visa for HK. back then it was full of young British folks making a go of it in HK. since the handover things have slowed down to a large degree. still. there are all forms of debauchery steps away but not as readily appparent to a newbie fumbling his way through.

Notoriously cheap guest house and a taste of the third world here in HK.
Though it’s been cleaned up, it still a huge maze housing mostly African, Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern traders, and it did gain more edge after 911. Invariably the poor Taiwan schmuck on a visa run ends up here at some point.

I think Chunking Express was filmed there.


It now has it’s own Wiki thingee:

Chungking Mansions (重慶大廈) is a famous building in Hong Kong. It is located at 36-44 Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. The building is well-known as having relatively low-rent accommodation, compared to the rest of the area. Though the building is supposedly residential, it is made up of many independent cheap hotels, shops, and other services. The strange atmosphere of this building is sometimes called by some “the scent of Kowloon’s Walled City”.

Great Indian food there too. And not far from the Kangaroo Pub. :beer:

Anyway, glad then that I never stayed at that Mansion and going back to the topic, I have only been to that taiwan office in Hong Kong once some 14 years ago to have a marriage certificate chopped and I do not really remember if they were friendly then or not. Feel sorry that apparently my phone experience with them earlier this week was indeed not a one off. I have sent the complaint letter to the bureau of consular affairs, if and when I get a reply I will post it here.

Although I agree they are not the most friendly of people in TECO HK.
They are sweetness and light compared to the evil muppets in Manila.

I spent five days in Chungking mansions. My room was built around its bed. The toilet was built into the shower so you could two things at the same time. How did I get there? At the airport I asked where I could get the cheapest accommodation and they sent me to Nathan Road. When I got of the bus, a man from Bangladesh asked me if I wanted a place to stay. Have a look at these pics: … a=N&tab=wi

I was just there on Wednesday of last week, its a long story, but the last time I was there was six months ago and they told me never to come back!!! I was on a FOURTH overstay that last time, but they still gave me a 180 day visitor visa (after an hour of giving me shit, and telling my Taiwanese friend from DB to go away) Anyways, I agree with what everyone says here about them, but they can be nice! So, I walk in on Wednesday thinking shit, they will not go for this, but soon as I sat down with application etc (BTW, I was exactly 180 days, didn’t overstay 5th time!) the beitch gives me an A4 piece of paper saying "write down why you have overstayed again!!!) I’m like "I haven’t this time!!!)
She was just havin’ her little joke and told me to come back at 4 o clock.
After doin’ the bars all day, I go back and low and behold, I have another six months in this wonderful place!!!
Hong Kong visa office is cool!!!
Just don’t go sober!!!

PM me for details!! I shit you not!

Guest 123 -
Just goes to show that Tawainese bureaucrats know who the “good ones” are!