Business Travel in Taipei

Business Travel Getting In and Out Easily in Taipei
Many people find it so excited when going abroad to have their first business travel thinking about having flying in business class, Benz waiting at airport arrival hall for pickup, staying in the 5 stars hotel and dinning in full course fine dining restaurant, and etc. But the days are gone for luxuries corporate travel budget. We are now back to square one with tight budget travel with kind of many restriction and lengthy guidelines to follow. No worries, here with years of business travel experience in Asia, the author can provide you the inside out information on getting around like local in Asia cities. Let’s start with Taipei as the 1st stop of your business travel destination.

Pre-Departure Planning – Hotel Searching and Customer Location Identification
It is always very important to do some homework before you board your plane at your homeland airport, since you may not know what things will went wrong when you arrive at your destination. However, please do not worry so much as Taipei people English proficiency is high enough to help you.

Even you are working in a top multi national companies but still you need to find out where the corporate prefer hotel located whether is it near to customer site or very far. Since by understanding the locations of each customer site it helps a lot in planning the meeting time and arranging transportation to get there.

For big corporate traveler working in HP, Dell, Intel, GE, etc, usually they have corporate rate with Taipei Sheraton Hotel, Taipei Sherwood Hotel, Taipei Grand Hyatt, Shangri-la Taipei, Westin Taipei, Taipei Farmosa Hotel, Yu Shan Hotel and other 5 star hotel. What about for people that with own business or work in small corporate? It is too luxurious staying in such world class hotel sometimes it is really unnecessary. You can try out some business hotel which are mainly located in Chong Xiao East Road, Taipei Main Station, Ming Sheng East Road, Ming Quan East Road, etc. These business hotels are ranging from NT$1800-NT$2500 (tax included) including breakfast, one of the author prefer is Delight Hotel Taipei which is so convenient which the Zhong Shan Guo Zhong MRT is just 5 minutes walk and same goes to the 7-11 convenient store.

You need to understand where is your customer site as whether is it in Taipei city or in Taipei Prefecture. Customers sites are around Neihu, Shichi, Chonghe, Banqiao, Tucheng and some even as far as in Xinchu. If your customer is in Chonghe, Tucheng, and Banqian region, stay in Chonghe is a better option. A good hotel with reasonal price around NT$3200 (tax included) is Fourpoints Sheraton Hotel Chunghe, convenient store is just 10 steps away at the left hand side from hotel entrance.

Transportation and Access Information
It is not wise to get a hotel pickup at airport, as it is always cost few hundred NT dollars more than Taxi and sometimes even a thousands dollar NT more than pre-arrange private service car that a lot of MNC applied which we called it “MiMi” car (usually is Toyota Camry 2.4L version, not too bad at all!). Hotel pickup cost range of NT$1900-NT$3000 depends on what type of limousine you ordered; taxi cost about NT$1100 to Taipei city; “MiMi” car cost about NT$800 to inner city of Taipei. If you are not rush, try the shuttle bus cost about NT$110-NT$150, only 10% of what you paid for taxi! It takes about an hour to reach Taipei city. Just find out your hotel address and show to the lady at the bus ticket counter, she will let you know which bus to take. Just ensure you counter check with bus driver asking him when approaching your stop, please remind you to get off. No worries, once you are in the Taipei city, can get taxi easily and getting around will cost little only within NT$100-NT$250.

Once you are in the city after check-in, you can travel around using the subway or MRT which is so convenient and easy to go anyway. So it is important to find a hotel which is nearer to MRT station as it will help you save a lot of your transportation fees. Since MRT cost so little from NT$20 onwards, with EasyCard you will have 40% discount! Just get one at the subway ticket counter.

Business Dinning and Personal Dinning Sharing
Do you know business travel does not mean you only suppose to have your meals in 5 start restaurant, you too can have the same quality of foods in a lot of local restaurant or even at night market. Save you some dollars for raining days use. Business dinning can have it in any Taipei city restaurant which you can easily find it. Here which the author want to share more is the night market foods which foreign business traveler should try out after a whole day of tiring business meetings. Check out Shiling night market just board the MRT at any station along the red color subway line and stop at Jiantan station. Don’t straight go after the food court at Shiling market, instead go into the night market place and check out the small hawker stores beside the road, some really cool delicious foods like fried chicken drumstick, jelly drink, ice cream rap in thin flour with peanuts, crab meat soup and many more. One should not miss is the ice shop inside one of the valley beside main street of Shiling night market, selling all sort of milky shredded ice with many different kinds of toppings. Try out the strawberry or mango toppings, really delicious! Business travel can be fun, too!

Almond Hazel is an experience business and leisure traveler in Asia main cities. The author has been working in multiple multi national companies (MNC) as well as some start up business from united states and locals in Asia region, some business relocation experience in Taiwan, Japan, China, and South East Asia countries for the past 15 years. Beside having business travels, the author is also a leisure traveler, and has been to many Asia countries, US and Europe for vacation. Throughout this vast travel experience the author can share a lot of travel tips to all. Further more the author speaks English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa Melayu and Japanese, so this help to find out more local authentic foods and guides from exchanging conversation with local people.

Government infiltrating websites to ‘deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive’

According to some of the newest Edward Snowden leaks as reported on by Glenn Greenwald on Monday, government spies are infiltrating websites in an effort to persuade public opinion and discredit opposition.

The documents from the GCHQ (the British equivalent of the NSA), titled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations,” were given to the NSA and leaked by Snowden. They reveal that the GCHQ is involved, through a unit known as JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group), in “the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse ‘hacktivists’ of using, the use of ‘honey traps’ (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses.”

Further, according to Greenwald, “these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.”

The goals of the JTRIG program are “(1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable.”

They do this through the use of several tactics, as listed by a slide from the documents: “Infiltration Operation,” “Ruse operation,” “Set Piece Operation,” “False Flag Operation,” “False Rescue Operation,” Disruption Operation” and “Sting Operation.”

Another slide lists ways to “discredit a target”: “Set up a honey-trap,” “Change their photos on social networking sites,” “Write a blog purporting to be one of their victims,” “Email/text their colleagues, neighbours, friends, etc.”

There’s also a slide on how to discredit a business: “Leak confidential information to companies/the press via blogs etc,” “Post negative information on appropriate forums,” “Stop deals/ruin business relationships.”

A further slide lists the definition of the effects of the agency’s activities: “Using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world.” This includes two categories: “Information Ops (influence or disruption)” and “Technical disruption,” along with the four D’s: “Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive.”

Greenwald also points out that these tactics are not just used for counter-terrorism, but “against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, ‘hacktivism’, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.”

“The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is ‘pushing the boundaries’ by using ‘cyber offensive’ techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes,” writes Greenwald.

While the idea that government has paid people, known as shills, to post in message boards and other websites in an effort to disrupt conversations has long been believed by conspiracy theorists, this would seem to confirm that it’s happening.

There have been similar reports in the past of the government attempting to influence public opinion through the Internet.

As Greenwald mentions in his article, Cass Sunstein, Obama’s former science czar, wrote in a paper that the government should employ people to “cognitively infiltrate” groups including “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” His main target was conspiracy theorists. He further proposed making it illegal to be a conspiracy theorist.

National Eating Disorders Week hopes to raise awareness: How to get help

Designed to raise awareness of conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, National Eating Disorders Week occurs Feb. 23 to March 1. It’s also intended to help sufferers, parents and friends discover how to get help as well as what to do to prevent these diseases, reported Forbes on Feb. 22.

The three main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, but the causes and solutions are not so easily categorized, say experts.

“Eating disorders are complicated and vexing problems and we don’t exactly understand the pathophysiology of them,” noted Dr. Aaron Krasner, a practicing psychiatrist, and Director of the Adolescent Transitional Living Program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut.

“Certainly there is both a genetic component and an environmental component,” he added. But “it is not a one size fits all remedy or a preventive strategy.”

An estimated 10 million women and one million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder, according to the Eating Disorder Foundation.

And eating disorders do not discriminate: Addiction specialist Drew Pinksy’s daughter Paulina just revealed that she battled bulimia and anorexia for seven years, reported USA Today on Feb. 24.

“Purging eight times in one day to cope with the emotional stress of being home during spring break had finally scared me enough to take action,” she wrote in an essay on body shame.

One of the keys to recovery: Talking about it rather than trying to hide the disorder, says Paulina.

“For me, talking about it normalizes talking about it. Eating disorders shouldn’t be a secret because that’s what perpetuates them,” she explained.

Dr. Drew said he takes pride in his daughter’s decision to get help.

“When she recognized she needed help she sought treatment and actively engaged in the process. And now she is using her insights to help others,” he stated.

But for those with eating disorders, the path to recovery can be long and difficult, revealed Jenni Schaefer recently in the Huffington Post. She’s the author of “Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem? (The Almost Effect)” and “Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too” (click for details).

Even after getting professional help, Jenni remained too thin. And she was obsessed with the “thigh gap” look symptomatic of women who are unnaturally slender.