The Taiwan Tourism Bureau hosted its annual holiday banquet on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, at the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel, Universal City, California.
Director General of Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Ms. Janice Lai, arrived from Taiwan to discuss what 2012 holds in store for visitors to Taiwan. Members of the press were given information about ecotourism, foodie trips and romantic possibilities in the beautiful “Heart of Asia.” Ms. Lai talked about the many wonderful sights in Taiwan, including its National Park System, Bicycle Paradise and Aboriginal Regions, as well as upcoming events, such as Taiwan's Lantern Festival and Chinese New Year festivities.
The event was hosted by the lovely and talented Jannelle So from LA 18 TV. Surprise guest Rob Schneider and his new wife, Patricia spoke about their recent honeymoon in Taiwan, and what they loved most about the island. Rob confessed to being a total tea lover, and said he was fascinated learning about tea production in the tea gardens of Taiwan. Both of them loved the exciting Night Markets for shopping and food. Rob was especially proud that the Taiwanese are wild about his movies – “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” opened on 25,000 screens there!
I asked the newlyweds how they met. Patricia was a television producer in Mexico. Rob pursued her for a month before she finally agreed to go out with him. The ultra-funny comic actor told me he begged and groveled! Luckily, it worked. The two make a darling couple, and say they’ll be traveling back to Taiwan one of these days soon. In fact, Rob says he wants to make a movie there!
The festive evening featured an awesome 10 course Chinese Banquet with a huge variety of specialty cuisine served on family-style Lazy Susan tables. It was one dish after another, including savory squid, sautéed mushrooms, chicken, beef, noodles and oh-so-sweet-and-succulent lobster. I wish I had saved more room for that! All this and desserts, too.
Prizes were awarded at the end of the night, with guests winning Godiva Chocolates and Swarovski Pen Sets.
The Taiwan Tourism Bureau definitely knows how to throw a party. Whether in the US or Taiwan, the Taiwanese people are the most delightful hosts. It’s no surprise that Taiwan was voted one of the Top Ten Destinations by Fodors and Lonely Planet.
After a special evening like this, everyone was eager to visit Taiwan in 2012. We’ll see you there!
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