From Taipei 101 To Number 1

The flight was a long 12 hours but it was mostly smooth and the food was actually not half bad. We landed in Taipei ahead of schedule but any time saved was killed off (and more) by the Taipei immigration department.

Sarah needs a Visa to enter Taiwan because she is a citizen of the People’s Republic of China. The Taiwan Republic of China and the People’s Republic don’t like each other too much. Each claims to own the other. It a lot like the disagreement between Quebec and rest of Canada, only taken to a much higher level.

The only way a citizen of China (Sarah is a U.S. Green Card holder but that doesn’t let you into Taiwan Visa free) can get a Taiwan Visa is to have a Taiwan company invite her and pay 100% of the cost, or she can be part of a “tour group”. This is where the politics comes in. Sarah got her Taiwan Visa by being part of a tour group, only she was the only person in the group.

We were given a photocopy of the Visa and told that it was good enough. When we got to Taiwan customs, they asked where Sarah’s entry Visa was. They wouldn’t accept the photocopy and when they looked up the Visa ID number, it didn’t show up in the system. A cell call back to Vancouver to the agent who help get the Visa told us that there should be an agent waiting at the exit holding a sign with Sarah’s name on it. The agent has her Visa.

Now comes the really big problem. Sarah cannot leave the customs area to get her Visa because she doesn’t have a Visa to enter Taiwan. The lady that is waiting at the exit can’t go into the custom area because it a secured part of the airport. If I go outside to find the lady, I can’t come back in! At this point I was thinking how stupid the situation was.

Finally, they got some EVA airline personals to go outside and look for the Visa lady. They never found her. It turns out that EVA airline was holding the Visa documents all alone and just forgot to tell anyone about it. We were stuck in customs for 90 minutes.

Our limo driver thought he lost us because we haven’t came out. He call the hotel and asked if I was there. The hotel calls my home cell number, which got routed back to Taipei, and asked where I was because the driver has been waiting and waiting.

Taiwan’s Visa system has to be one of the strangest I have ever encounter. At any rate, we finally made it out and our driver was very glad he didn’t miss us. Here’s a view of the Taipei skyline driving in from the airport.


Can you tell which building is the Taipei 101? We’re going to do some sightseeing today. It maybe 6PM back home but it’s 9AM in the morning here. Look for more pics from Taipei soon!

Back At Number one

In other news, I am back at the number one Google spot for “Make Money Online.” I will write a post on how I got back to the top spot later. For all those who wrote that it was the beginning of the end for John Chow dot Com.

You were wrong! 😈

55 thoughts on “From Taipei 101 To Number 1”

  1. blogcrowds says:

    wow, the freaking bureaucracy, glad everything’s fine though, must have been fun in your own tourist group.

    Congrat on being back at #1 πŸ˜€

    1. Yeah, I hate the visa’s systems as well… What funny is that whoever really wants to get visa (criminals, etc) they get it without any problems, but the rest of the citizens are suffering… πŸ˜• πŸ‘Ώ

    2. Usually the worst part of Taiwan… they’re not trained to be polite or friendly… Part of their job description.

      After that, no worries. Most people here are supernice to visitors, and they usually mean it too! Taiwan’s got wonderful people!

      1. Ankur says:

        Some ‘supernicity’ of the people should be shared with the nutty bureaucrats!

  2. Kumiko says:

    Reading how you got back to #1 will be a great read! Aren’t you worried about Google reading it though and simply changing the algorithm again?

    1. Kumiko,

      John’s blog is a ‘lecture theater’, and Google, ReviewMe, others, know that.It would be a diservice to penalize him for sharing lessons with us.

      Anyway, John , welcome to Taipei.

      1. Kumiko says:

        Of course they wouldn’t penalize him for sharing the tactics, but he could easily be penalized for DOING the tactics.

        I really don’t think Google cares about a diservice or not. They just want the best damn search algorithm there is.

        1. Jack says:

          ah kumiko,
          i think readers deserve to get that explanation. at least we know how to do it, no matter if google will simply change it again. at least we got a new great tip.

          but.. well…

          an John, why’d you scare if google change it? like you said, you got only a few visitors from it right?

      2. I hope he does the post soon. According to SEOdigger I was ranked for 117 keywords and now it is only showing 24. Also, my google traffic has dropped way off. =(

      3. blogcrowds says:

        Philomena, Kumiko is being humorous.

        Beside don’t you guys remember? John knows people practically everywhere, including Google. Well at least in Adsense anyways.

    2. Well, he said he gets only around 150 visitors out of the 11,000 per day that keyword. With most of his traffic coming from Google, he may have other strong keywords, I think that pushdown of his site is very insignificant.

  3. Alex says:

    I am happy because you back XD. Here in Google Spain u are #2 in “make money online”

  4. John, hate to hear about the problems you had at the airport. 😳

    Hopefully the #1 ranking will ease the fustration of it all!

    ➑ Don

    1. Don’t fret it! Visa problems are not unusual in Taiwan. The Chen govt. has been dragging its feet on Chinese Tourism for a L O N G time, it shouldn’t be so difficult but it is.


      1. WOW! Taiwanese government sounds like the Israeli government with all these restrictions.

  5. Great to hear your back John!

    1. I meant *back at #1 position, not to Vancouver lol.

  6. Alex says:

    Did u travel to taiwan in search of king chow’s wisdom? an old blogger and hacker that has total knowledge of google’s functioning, and thanks to him you found the way to recover ur position in google?

    1. Max says:

      Lol… πŸ™‚

      1. Ankur says:

        Beware of the demon Chow πŸ‘Ώ LOL……..

    2. Wahlau.NET says:

      wahaha….i think is the feng sui master which get back his 1st placing

  7. Bob Buskirk says:

    Well hopefully the rest of the trip is better, be safe!

  8. Nik Agarwal says:

    Sorry to hear about the troubles. Even though I’m a US citizen, I still get scrutinized by every immigration department around the world, including my own country, the US. I know exactly what you mean.

    Enjoy your trip John!

    1. I think they pick on you cz your brown buddy. I know a lot of Indian decedents or anyone who is brown looking, had trouble in the airports after 9/11.

  9. All that to greet you after being stuck on a flight for 12 hours…what a nightmare!

  10. John glad you got in ok over there. What a rough time getting through. Did they not see your blog??

    Anyway looking forward to you sharing some more photo’s I have yet to head anywhere over there.

    I got your email thanks for replying will keep in touch next week then enjoy your time. Have a few drinks from the beer fund and be sure to share some fun times with everyone!


  11. “John Chow’s Top Pick: Newbie Cash Online – Even Newbies can make cash online”


    This is running as the square block add in your posts John.

    1. It’s either Google’s 12 hours is been prolonged, or the scammers have put it on another new of their numerous and nefarious websites.

    2. Yeah I know. I don’t think John approved of the BS like that. It’s probably another scam.

  12. “It a lot like the disagreement between Quebec and rest of Canada”
    But John, you don’t need a Visa to come visit Quebec. :mrgreen:

    Anyway, it’s a only a minority in Quebec/Canada. Most of us like the other side.

    At least, with all your problems with the visa, your were able to make a longer post.

    Take care and stay 1 month if you want because we have the lovely Jane for replacement and you got an Internet connection. πŸ˜‰

    Quebec City Tech Guy!

  13. The worse place for customs has to be Kenya.

    1. Why? What do they do that makes it worse than Taiwan’s customs?

    2. Customs, wherever in the world, make me feel uncomfortable — those judging, stern looks and meticulous scrutiny. As soon as I’m passed the gates or in the airplane, that’s when I heart rate goes down to normal.

      1. SEO Blog says:

        For a website copywriter I’d expect to see proper grammar in your posts… how about “past the gates” rather than “passed” and “when my heart” rather than “when I heart.”

  14. Steven says:

    Congrats on the #1 spot John, we never doubted you 😎

    1. some actually did doubt him

    2. I think “we” refers to John’s loyal readers and supporters.

  15. Craig says:

    Great Job John!

    #1 for “Make Money Online” and your site command looks real healthy. I can definitely learn from you.


  16. Vincent Chow says:

    So how do you know that the Visa is on EVA airlines? That’s a bad experience

  17. Good to see you back at no.1 John. Congrats!!!

  18. Chris says:

    At least you got rhough in the end!

    Here in Thailand, even if you own a business, have a Thai wife/kids and pay tax’s, you still need to go out of the country every 90 days! Now that is crazy!

    Have a great time in Taiwan… I loved it when I visited last year!

  19. FameFire says:

    πŸ˜› Finally again you made the goal. Its nice that all ended well. Afterall it is an another experience for your journey.

    In the picture many be the tallest buildinig with injection like structure would be “Taipei 101” πŸ˜†

    I am happy to see you at no 1 at google for “Make Money Online”, and curiously waiting for the post you are going to make out. Best of luck for yuore Taipei visit.


  20. wow, that must be a nervous 90 minutes. I’m surprised that Taiwan is where it is with it’s ridiculous VISA system. Anyways enjoy your trip John. And you’re a smart guy so even if you didn’t go back to being number one for make money online you would still maintain your heavy traffic.

  21. Bob says:

    Google loves good content delivered every day and that is one of the reason why John is Number #1 for “make money online”
    Keep up the nice work John

  22. Qiang says:

    he Taiwan Republic of China and the People’s Republic don’t like each other too much. Each claims to own the other.

    Taiwan was a part of China since 5000 years ago.

    1. John Chow says:

      Ya, but that really depends on who is telling the story, Taiwan or China. πŸ™‚

    2. I’m wondering how would the Taiwanese government claim the Chinese government. Chinese force is HUGE compared to Taiwan’s.

  23. Dave says:

    Google has been doing some strange things as of late, our sites have been bouncing all over the place..

  24. Casey says:

    I hate airlines. The people there… grr.
    Congrats on going back to number one though!

  25. It all goes back to Chinese civil war which ran from 1927 to 1950 – when the Chinese nationalists lead by Chiang Kai-shek where fighting the communists (lead by Mao Zedong). Long story short, the nationalists ended up with Taiwan and the communists ended up mainland China.

    Here’s the wikipedia entry.


  26. I’ve flown with EVA air — they’re alright I guess. That visa situation must’ve been stressful though; I would’ve gone mad if that ever happened to me.

  27. How frustrating! I got sent to immigration 3 times when I flew into Toronto. I told them I was just coming to see the city and check out the night life. Apprently that sounded sketchy to them.

  28. That photo is stunning! It’s huge!

Comments are closed.