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BioSecure 2009
Biosurveillance and Biosecurity Workshop
September 24-25, 2009        Taipei, Taiwan

Sponsored by NTU, IEEE ITS, ISDS, NSF, & NSC


Meeting Location

BioSecure 2009 will be held in the GIS Convention Center on the beautiful campus of National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, September 24-25, 2009. See location and parking map here. Local tours will be arranged for the day following the workshop, September 26th, so please make your travel plans accordingly. Some tour information can be found at http://tourguide.sinotour.com/taipei/taipei.html.



Two hotels are located near the GIS Convention Center. The Howard International House is close to National Taiwan University. It is about 2km, or about a 10-minute walk. Use the reservation form to make your reservation. Hurry - rooms are going fast! For additional information about the hotel, see their website at http://intl-house.howard-hotels.com.

The Leader Hotel Taipei is next to GIS convention center, walking distance is about 50 meters or about 1 minute (http://leader_taipei.sinotour.com/). Our understanding is that this hotel is full.


Travel to Taipei

Taipei, the national capital of the Republic of China (Taiwan), is located at the northern end of the island.  Flights enter through the international airport, Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), which is located about 18 miles from the city.  The airport may still be referred to by some under its previous name, Chiang Kai Shek International Airport (CKS).  A passport is required for entry; other entry/exit requirements for U.S. passport holders can be found on the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1036.html. A visa for Taiwan is not needed for U.S. passport holders visiting for less than 30 days, but a passport is required for entry, and for re-entry back into the U.S.

Several major air carriers offer flights to Taiwan; please consult a travel agent for the travel schedule that best suits your plans. 


Arrival in Taipei

The airport is about a half-hour to 45 minute drive from Taipei.  From the airport, travelers can take taxis directly to their destination, board express airport buses or non-express city buses, or take the bus which runs to the High Speed Rail station.  See location and parking map here. The following information is from the website Wikitravel (http://wikitravel.org/en/Taipei):

Express airport buses cost between NT$120 (about $4 US) and NT$150 (about $5 US), depending on the bus company, and there are stops at both terminals. Most Taipei routes are divided into West and East, with each company operating a service every ten to fifteen minutes on each route. The western line bus terminates at Taipei Main Railway Station and also makes a stop at Yuanshan MRT Station on the Xindian line (NB: The Airbus company buses on the western line meander through local towns before joining the freeway and therefore take much longer than the blue and white Guoguang buses which enter the freeway directly). Buses plying the eastern route terminate at the Taipei Grand Hyatt Hotel and make a stop at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station on the Nangang and Muzha lines. There is also a bus connecting to the domestic Songshan Airport. Ticket counters display route maps showing all stops.

In addition, there are some non-express buses which are slightly cheaper, but pass through towns such as Taoyuan (桃園), Nankan (南崁) or Kueishan (龜山) before arriving in Taipei.

When returning to the airport, express buses can be caught at various stops throughout the city. One major one is accessible via Exit 9 at the underground mall beneath Zhongxiao West Road (in front of Taipei Main Railway Station) or Exit 5 if you are coming out of the Taipei Main Station MRT. Another is at the terminal at the Songshan Domestic Airport (松山機場). Other stops are outside major hotels and also in front of Minsheng MRT Station. For people taking early morning flights, the earliest available buses to the airport leave at around 4AM from the Far Eastern Plaza Hotel (台北遠東國際大飯店) (201 Dunhua South Rd Section 2).

It is also easy to get to the High Speed Rail station from the airport. There is a bus that runs approximately every 15 minutes from the airport to the Taoyuan High Speed Rail station. From there, you can catch one of the HSR trains to Taipei Main Station (where it is easy to take a taxi or MRT to your final destination). The bus is NT$30 and the train is NT$160.

A one-way taxi fare between the airport and Taipei will cost at the minimum NT$900 (generally NT$1500-$1800 from the airport, or about $50-60 US$). In Taipei, don't make the mistake of asking a taxi driver to take you to the Taipei airport (Songshan) if you actually mean Taiwan Taoyuan Airport. The international airport is actually about an hour's drive from Taipei, while Songshan is located in downtown Taipei.

A one-way pre-arranged sedan fare between the airport and Taipei will cost at the minimum NT$1600-$2000. Generally these sedans are pre-arranged through your hotel and the sedan company or driver will meet you as soon as you exit baggage claim. Since the price is not much more than taking a taxi, it is usually recommended that you ask your hotel if they offer this service. This is a more comfortable half-hour ride to the hotel.

Direct bus connections between the airport and other cities in Taiwan are also available. U-bus also runs shuttle buses every 30 min from both terminals to THSR Taoyuan station (15 min away), from where you can continue your journey by high-speed train.

Getting around Taipei

By metro
Taipei City has a very clean, efficient and safe Mass Rapid Transit system known most commonly as the MRT, but also called Metro Taipei (台北捷運). For a map and information about routes, consult the MRT website at http://www.trtc.com.tw/e/index.asp. The last trains depart at midnight. Fares are between NT$20 and NT$65 for one-way trips around town. Stations and trains are clearly identified in English, so even for those who cannot read Chinese, the MRT system is very accessible. All stops are announced in four languages: Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka and English. Most stations have information booth/ticket offices close to the ticket vending machines. There is no eating or drinking while in the stations or on the trains. Trains generally run from 6AM to midnight, with convenient bus connections outside the stations. Women and/or children traveling at night can benefit from the Safe Zones - sections of platforms that are under heavy surveillance - located in some of the subway lines.

By bus
Taipei City has a very efficient bus service, and because all buses display information (destination and the names of stops) in English, the system is very accessible to non-Chinese speaking visitors. Payment can be made by cash (NT$15) or EasyCard (see "metro" listing) for each section that the bus passes through. For local buses (all local buses have a number, but long distance buses do not) the maximum will be two sections with a total cost of NT$30.

By taxi
Taxis are the most flexible way to get around, and are extremely numerous. They are expensive in comparison to mass transit, but are cheap when compared to taxis in the rest of the world. Most taxi drivers speak very limited English, and it will be necessary for non-Chinese speakers to have their destination written down in Chinese. Taxis are metered, with higher rates for night (an additional NT$20 over the meter). Tipping is neither necessary nor expected.

Source: Wikitravel