Hualien (花蓮) Train Station
"Foreigners" won't be able to buy train tickets on-line anymore with a "foreign-issued" credit card. To buy tickets on-line now, they must use a credit card issued in Taiwan - which is basically impossible as "foreigners" are barred from applying for them at Taiwan's various banks.
This is a new thing; last month, on January 7th, I bought tickets on-line for Hualien with my "foreign issued" credit card, and it was not a problem. This one really makes me shake my head. I go to Hualien all the time. I'd say about 10% of the people in the Hualien Train Station are "foreigners". And it's almost impossible to get tickets for the fancy Toroko Tze-chiang (自強) Express, Taipei to Hualien in an hour and fifty-seven minutes, because of all the "foreigners" on it.
The media in Taiwan has recently reported that the government drained US$32 million to promote tourism, with a goal of attracting four million visitors in 2008. This is what the Premier said: "We will strengthen Taiwan's international promotion activities and create a high-quality environment to achieve the goal, which is expected to generate revenues of NT$192.1 billion (US$ 6 billion) for Taiwan" He goes on: "[32 million bucks] will also boost Taiwan's international image and increase foreigners' familiarity with the country."
If the "foreigners" can't even book a train ticket, how on earth are they going to get familiar with [the] country?