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txflood33

Would you consider these ports DIY?

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Taipei, Taiwan - Busan, S Korea - Jeju Island, S Korea - Nagasaki, Japan

 

I have tours schedules for other ports. From what I have read, these ports are maganable with HOHO buses, cabs or other transportation. 

 

We have done cities on our own before, but the language barrier certainly wasn't as strong. 

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

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There’s ALOT to see in Taipei and we found a tour was the most efficient  way to get around . In honesty, we could have spent another day or so there. 

 

We booked a private tour with a company called YOLO. Our guide Willie, was one of the best we’ve encountered. He knew exactly where to stand at various places to get the best views, away from the larger tour groups. He took note of our interests and immediately tailored the day to our liking. His own “highlights of the museum tour” was brilliant given the short amount of time we had. 


Yes, we could have spent the day in Taipei independently, but no way would we have seen as much as we did, nor understood what we were seeing.

 

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Boatharbour is correct.

I speak Chinese and Japanese, and I have lived in this area for decades, so these ports are DIY for me.

If you don't speak the languages and do not know the area, doing it on your own may save you a lot of money - but you will miss 90% of all the "good stuff".

 

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BruceMuzz,

 

we have a port stop in Hiroshima. We are on Oceania Nautica. All the ship tours have limited time at the Peace Memorial and gardens. We are afraid we will be hurried. So, we thought we could get there either via taxi or train. Neither of us speak Japanese. From what I have read on their websites the explanations are also in English. I tried to find a private guide but we need to get to the Memorial. I could not find any that would meet us at the ship which could be regulations. Are we being foolhardy? We are not planning on visiting other sites. Thank you again for your kind words and advice.

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Pearl,

This one you can do on your own.

Every foreigner who visits Hiroshima wants to visit the memorial. In the cruise terminal you will find a great deal of information on getting there. There will be English speaking volunteers who will be happy to write Japanese instructions for a taxi driver. 

Hiroshima has an excellent public transit system that can take you to the memorial.

Many of the exhibits at the memorial are bilingual.

You will not have any problems.

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We did the Hop On Hop Off bus in Busan and it was easy! We got off at a couple of stops to do some coastal walking (as walking is our 'thing') and found it easy to get a bus back. We stopped at Keelung in Taiwan so can't comment on that except to say that we used a local bus in Keelung and people were VERY helpful at pointing us in the right direction when we were a bit uncertain.

 

We actually very rarely do ship tours as I much prefer a more local experience if it's possible

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As for Taipei itself we had no issues on DIY.  We just spent 24 hours there at the end of a cruise.  Neither of us speak Mandarin and we had no major issues.

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Nagasaki is very easy to DIY.  There should be tourist info at the dock with maps, info, and tram tickets for sale. Buy these here. Tram stops close to the dock. Check if you need to switch trams as I think we did, but that was easy.

 

We took the tram to the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Peace Park. Returned by tram for a quick snack lunch back on board then crossed the street to Glover's Garden and wandered back down to the dock..

 

Have a look at whatsinport (much more info than its name suggests) and others such as cruisemapper for info on docking location, sights, transport etc.

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Almost every town in Japan has a group of free Volunteer guides, part of a national network.  I did a cruise with 5 Japanese ports and had a free guide at each one.  They are local people who enjoy showing visitors their home town and love the opportunity to speak English.  All it costs you is the cost to them of getting to you and back home at the end of the day, by public transport.  And any meals, of course.  In 2 of our places our guides were actually professional tour guides who love their job so much they do it in their free time.  

 

If you google Japan Goodwill Guides and the town, you'll find them.   Then take it from there - fill in your details, they allocate you a guide and with them you can exchange emails to work out what you want to see.  Or leave them to work out the itinerary if you prefer. 

 

It worked out really well for us.

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