Article: Taiwan "...on the brink of tourism greatness."

So that Lonely Planet Taiwan writer who goes by RK, among other monikers, wrote an interesting piece in the Taiwan Journal last week about how Taiwan is reaching critical mass in becoming a serious tourist destination.

The link: http://taiwanjournal.nat.gov.tw/site/tj/ct.asp?CtNode=122&xItem=50309

Say what you want about Taiwan’s wasted potential as a tourism spot or about how it suffers in comparison with other countries in Asia. Taiwan’s tourism infrastructure has improved dramatically over the past 10 years, and more people are coming to Taiwan for a vacation from overseas.

Thoughts? I think it is a good piece.

He’s absolutely right, of course.

And I couldn’t agree more about those closing words. The Tourism Bureau’s money would be much better spent providing salaried positions to two or three Taiwan-based RKs to spend all or much of their time traveling around, photographing, and writing about Taiwan on their already well established blogs.

Maybe they could have the “Best Job in the World” competition. We could all submit our viral Youtube videos for managing a surf store come flea bitten sleepover joint in Fulong for a salary of 27,000nt per month and a hug from Janet.

How do I apply?

(good article, btw, and I agree)

I thought it was good, but nothing special. Tomas, you speak great Chinese and can read very well, but think about the average foreigner who doesn’t speak Chinese who comes to Taiwan. I also see the million a year Chinese visitors prediction as bunk.

Now Taiwan has improved a lot, but if you were new to the island and didn’t speak Chinese what would you do and where would you go. This is a far better idea for how to treat Taiwan and could make a great viral video youtube campaign. It’s sort of like when I watch Janet on T&L channel and go, “Where the hell is that and how do I get there?”

The last thing we need is the F^&^ing govt :raspberry: involved.

They want the east coast to become a “surfers paradise”. Well in Wu Shr Gang “surfer’s paradise” they split the best east coast break in half with a fucking jetty for commercial fishermen (who have overfished the waters for years and litter the beaches with discarded fishing equipment) Net Fisherman’s Paradise!

They also have plans to build new hotels for the teaming millions of Mainland Chinese who have never seen a beach or a tree before because China doesn’t have any.

All without sewage treatment. Hey I know they are new to this surfing/swimming in the ocean thing but I’m not, so they should fucking listen to me and build a few a plants before dropping the Chinese off at the ocean so that they can
drop their kids off at the pool and go wee-wee by the millions without fucking with the water…

sung to the tune of “Surf City” " I gotta a '96 Cefiro and they call it a Cissy, Turd City here we come!!!
“Well we like to go surfing but the water’s kinda shitty-Turd City here we come!”

they’ve already got one in the works…edited a translation today for a contest to produce a 4 day video blog of a top Taiwan tour itinerary. 1st prize NTD1,000,000. The interesting thing is that all 50 qualified entrants get a 35,000 subsidy for their project. teams of at least 2, at least one big nose

Gee, I just had two friends visit from overseas for 3 weeks. After the three of us finished an 8 day hike through the central mountain range, they set off, alone, down the East Coast, armed with nothing other than Lonely Planet’s phrasebook, the latest edition of Lonely Planet guidebook, and really, really positive attitudes. Oh, they also knew how to say, “Thank you” in Mandarin and Bunun. Needless to say, with such great attitudes they had a fabulous time, (and are looking forward to coming back to Taiwan for another vacation!)

So there.

Gee, I just had two friends visit from overseas for 3 weeks. After the three of us finished an 8 day hike through the central mountain range, they set off, alone, down the East Coast, armed with nothing other than Lonely Planet’s phrasebook, the latest edition of Lonely Planet guidebook, and really, really positive attitudes. Oh, they also knew how to say, “Thank you” in Mandarin and Bunun. Needless to say, with such great attitudes they had a fabulous time, (and are looking forward to coming back to Taiwan for another vacation!)

So there.
[/quote]

personally i don’t think you need Chinese ability…plenty of people already speak English or are so keen to help anyway that lack of ability doesn’t matter…

Gee, I just had two friends visit from overseas for 3 weeks. After the three of us finished an 8 day hike through the central mountain range, they set off, alone, down the East Coast, armed with nothing other than Lonely Planet’s phrasebook, the latest edition of Lonely Planet guidebook, and really, really positive attitudes. Oh, they also knew how to say, “Thank you” in Mandarin and Bunun. Needless to say, with such great attitudes they had a fabulous time, (and are looking forward to coming back to Taiwan for another vacation!)

So there.
[/quote]

“So there”? These friends didn’t just arrive “cold.” They had you here to travel with for over a week - that’s a pretty soft landing to a country. It’s a lot more daunting for folks who have no friends or relatives here. Although I think Taiwan has a lot of potential, I don’t buy the “my mum loved the place… my friends had a great time” comments I hear on forumosa as translating into the typical tourist experience.

Personally, I know you don’t. :blush:

RK is right; it’s about to take off here. I realised that after spending the best part of Saturday afternoon in a gorgeous Wulai swimming hole. We have some of the best scenery in the world here, friendly people, and great food. Plus, it’s cheaper to travel here than stay at home. All it needs is the backpackers to come and the infrastructure to be built up around their needs and wants, and we are a tourist destination.

Time to open Stray Dog’s beach hostel and bar, methinks . . .

Who wants tourists here anyway? Not me. I don’t especially care for improved facilities, but I wouldn’t mind the clean up and slightly better food down the east coast at least for the section between Hualien and ChengGong.

With the loss of manufacturing jobs to China. Taiwan has to become more like Japan and earn its keep providing knowhow, tech, etc etc. Things outside manufacturing that now China excels at. Therefore tourism is and will be more important.

That being said, it was kinda nice before when everywhere you go you only see Taiwanese and a few foreign residents. No tourists to speak of. Gives it a kind of insular quality. Hard to explain but it wasnt all bad.

Now the tourists are going to be driving up prices for hotels in many scenic areas around Taiwan. Hopefully this will be offset by better facilities and competition will bring prices back inline.

Its a change we have to live with.

Agreed. It’s one of the things I like about Taiwan.

Here’s a nice passage on the subject from Steven Crook’s excellent Keeping up with the War God: Taiwan, As it Seemed to Me (Yushan Publications, 2001)

There is no tourism in Tainan.

As I have repeatedly noted - Tainan does not exist.

Nobody comes here. Its too crowded. Go home.

:smiley::wink:

they’ve already got one in the works…edited a translation today for a contest to produce a 4 day video blog of a top Taiwan tour itinerary. 1st prize NTD1,000,000. The interesting thing is that all 50 qualified entrants get a 35,000 subsidy for their project. teams of at least 2, at least one big nose[/quote]

keep us posted with where this gets posted… 35,000 NT - thats a great salary

Hm. Never thought of NanErDuan (Southern Section Two) hike as a “soft landing”.
Pretty challenging, actually. I think the elevation change was up and down about 1000m a day.
Anyhow, I get your point, but it is not exactly as though we were practicing Chinese, adjusting to the culture, or actually seeing anyone else at all for the first 7 of the 8 days. Although we did catch a glimpse of said RK on day 2, but he was on another mountain, far, far away.

My mum loved Snow Mountain, but I guess that doesn’t count either. What about my (our collective) experience(s) coming here without anyone? I travelled. Alone. A lot. Loved it. And no, I don’t/didn’t know the lingo. Attitude goes a long way, I think.

[quote=“TainanCowboy”]There is no tourism in Tainan.

As I have repeatedly noted - Tainan does not exist.

Nobody comes here. Its too crowded. Go home.

:smiley::wink:[/quote]

ya dont visit any temples in Tainan if you are from China :slight_smile:

Here’s a negative experience. Those count, don’t they?

Well, I guess I did have a crap experience with my sister. Took her to Taroko Gorge during CNY (buses were free which made it VERY crowded). I hadn’t realized just how limited the camping is in the Gorge - only 12 tent sites! (but I have heard more are in the works from you know who)> We were forbidden from going on any of the interesting hikes (only 1-2 hour hikes were an option) by two very aggressive, unhelpful, and unfriendly middle aged volunteers at the park headquarters. Finally a very nice woman who worked for the parks stepped in and was very gracious, but insisted that we had to apply for permits 7 days in advance (you’d think I’d know this, but it was Taroko, for heaven’s sake!). Hard for travelers to get the permits before they come (unless they are smart enough to hire Richard at barking-deer.com, which we, sadly, didn’t). She gave me an excellent topo map, and we were off to Tienshiang. I had always stayed in the hostels in the gorge, so was horrified to see the first campground full, and the second was - a parking lot. We would make the best of it with our good attitudes, we thought. Off we went to the waterfall cave. Beautiful. Came back to our parking lot campsite to find if FULL of cars that had pulled right up all around our tent. Let the night of camping horrors begin. As we walked up to the tent, I could hear the whispers (well, shouts) of “waiguoren, waiguoren! ni kan, ni kan!” Soon we had the full circus clown effect with a circle of onlookers watching our every move and commenting on our equipment, our food, everything. The evening got even worse from there. We had a stove malfunction, and got an even bigger crowd watching me clean the fuel pump. It was difficult to get the audience to not smoke so close to the fuel. Karaoke was on 'till late, and people were up before dawn. By far my worst night of camping ever.
Next day we caught a bus farther up the Gorge and found a nice hike, moderately challenging that ended in one of the most beautiful campsites I have ever been in. Raw beauty. There was another tent there, and the campers said it was so beautiful that they had decided to stay another few days, even though they were running (had run) out of food. Yes, it was that beautiful. We re-provisioned them, and had a tranquil evening - until the hunters showed up. Those home-made guns certainly do set off a flurry of sparks and smoke.

Both the best and the worst camping in my life. Gotta love Taiwan.

They have got to stop hunting in Taiwan !! Not even aboriginis should be allowed to hunt.