Every year, travelers from around the world visit Taiwan for different reasons. Some come to visit their friends; some for the passionate Taiwanese; some for the food; some for the view, and some are like Pan’s family, who simply just “come home.”
Pan’s parents moved to the US a long time ago. They worked really hard in an unfamiliar country to create a better future for their offspring. Pan and his sister were born and raised in the US. Due to their parents’ work and the long distance across the Pacific Ocean, they seldom had chance to visit Taiwan. Growing up, Pan and his sister were married and had children of their own. With Pan’s parents growing older, they decided to came back home to visit Taiwan with family members who hadn’t yet seen this beautiful island.
Besides sightseeing, they had another important mission—tomb-sweeping. This was for the ancestors to see the new generation and to pass on the family legacy. Pan mentioned in the letter about their requests. Because this was a very rare and valuable trip with all three generations traveling together, he hoped to visit more scenic spots. On the day of their arrival, they made a beeline for the cemetery in the northern Taiwan. Afterwards, they spent a half day exploring Taipei. We all knew that after a long flight, people could get really tired especially the elderly. Therefore, we reminded Pan that if anyone felt too tired and wanted to rest in the afternoon, we could end the tour at any time and headed back to the hotel.
They set on a journey to the cemetery in Tainan. Due the limited time frame, they took a round-trip High Speed Railway (HSR) to and back from Tainan and filled in some spare time to do some sightseeing there.
To avoid being lost, we tried to get all the information on the location of the cemetery. However, Pan’s parents hadn’t been back to Taiwan for many years, so they could only provide its general whereabouts. Ensuring a smooth trip became a challenge. According to the clues provided by Pan’s dad, we became detectives and began an adventure on Google Map. Typing in the information that we had, we screenshot some landmarks and asked Pan if they were near the cemetery. If they were nowhere near it, we just kept searching. A few corrections later, we were finally able to confirm its location. We owed the success of this tour to the guide and the driver who dedicated themselves to make the customers satisfied.
One week after the tour, we received a letter from Pan’s brother-in-law. He thanked us for our effort and mentioned that for the first-time travelers in Taiwan, he and his children, they had a wonderful time.
A perfect journey combines a detailed communication and preparation beforehand, a well-experienced driver who know the roads in Taiwan inside out, and a seasoned guide who can manage all the requests that the customers might have. Only with the three combined can the customers experience a tour whose quality is beyond their imagination.
Photo: Albert, Tour guide of Pan’s Family.