Thursday, July 29, 2010

'A secret the size of a country'

That's how Steve White, the editor-in-chief of Action Asia, a Hong Kong-based adventure travel magazine, describes Taiwan.

In the foreword to the July/August 2010 issue of the magazine, he writes:

"Here at Action Asia we have always been fans of Taiwan and I have even used this page before to make the case that it is hugely underrated. Well, sorry to repeat myself, but staggering fresh from competing in the recent Salomon Suunto X-Trail event just outside Taipei, I am reminded yet again of the staggering opportunities there are there for outdoors lovers.

"The mountains start before you even leave the suburbs of Taipei - even the city's mass transit railway can get you close to forested hillsides and trails - and extend clear to the other end of the country. Few places can have a comparable percentage of mountainous land - in Asia, perhaps only Nepal, Bhutan and Hong Kong.

"The Taiwanese people are beginning to understand what they have got on their doorsteps, with hiking and camping really catching on, but their tourism board seems to prefer to keep this a secret from the world. That's your cue to go check it out before this little piece of wilderness gets more widespread attention. Besides the mountains to hike and bike, kayak through and paraglide from, there are empty east coast beaches, aboriginal tribes to meet, Han Chinese culture arguably more intact than that on the mainland, and a chilled-out and friendly people."

The same issue has an article on paragliding in Taiwan, written by a friend of mine, Matt Gibson. Back in 2003, I interviewed Steve White for a two-part article on Taiwan's great potential for sports tourism (Part One / Part Two).

No comments:

Post a Comment