Do you go camping in Taiwan?

Canadians moving to Taiwan, wondering if we should bring our camping gear. In Canada there are lovely provincial campgrounds so we go out once a year or so. Is it worth bringing our stuff to Taiwan, or do you just stay in hotels when you travel around the country?

We wouldn’t want to stay in over-crowded commercial-style campgrounds that are more like parking lots than anything else. But if they have nice natural campgrounds like in Canada it might be worth bringing our stuff?

Also we do have all our shots, but I suppose mosquitoes are a health concern?

[quote=“gamemaker”]Canadians moving to Taiwan, wondering if we should bring our camping gear. In Canada there are lovely provincial campgrounds so we go out once a year or so. Is it worth bringing our stuff to Taiwan, or do you just stay in hotels when you travel around the country?

We wouldn’t want to stay in over-crowded commercial-style campgrounds that are more like parking lots than anything else. But if they have nice natural campgrounds like in Canada it might be worth bringing our stuff?

Also we do have all our shots, but I suppose mosquitoes are a health concern?[/quote]

I think the travel forum has all sorts of good stuff on hiking and camping.

Thx sorry about the OT post … I hadn’t scrolled way down on the opening page, I didn’t realize there were so many forum subjects! :blush:

I like to camp sometimes, but for ten years in Taiwan I could not find anyone willing to camp with me. My ex and all his family thought it was some strange foreigner thing that they didn’t want to try. My ex would not even TOUCH a natural body of water (not just in Taiwan, anywhere! The only time he did was on our honey moon in Thailand where it took me more than an hour to get him two feet into the sea–and never again). Other Taiwanese friends were more gracious, but still drew the line at sleeping out of doors.

Once you get to Taiwan, you’ll understand more about how the Taiwanese reguard nature.

But you can likely make more western friends to camp with, and camping things can be purchased locally.

Allow me to recommend:

viewtopic.php?f=55&t=31792

OK, there are lots of campsites, equipment can be had cheap at hypermarkets and camping stores, and camping is a rather big thing among those of the locals remotely into nature.

My most recent foray into camping was over the new year (western one) where we camped for 5 days down near Banana Bay on the southern tip of the island.

I don’t know if I would bring the equipment here, unless you have access to cheap shipping. It can be bought or rented here as well, and buying it is relatively cheap.

When it comes to locals not camping, then it may vary, there was a ton of them pitching tents down there over the new year; we were 2 foreigners at the campground and most likely 100 Taiwanese. Even my mother in law liked it.

[quote=“Mr He”]Allow me to recommend:
When it comes to locals not camping, then it may vary, there was a ton of them pitching tents down there over the new year; we were 2 foreigners at the campground and most likely 100 Taiwanese. Even my mother in law liked it.[/quote]

Yep, I didn’t mean to imply that NO Taiwanese camp, I just got in with a non-campy bunch. I never managed to convince even ONE, but I was only an army of one. I didn’t have that many foreign friends in Kaohsiung–mostly Taiwanese friends and family. In Taipei, I had mostly foreign friends, but never any time.

Well, I have given up on converting my brother in laws. I did manage to convert my mother in law this time, my wife was converted weeks after we met.

OP, you’ll be shocked at the lack of storage space wherever you live in the 'wan (unless you’re on a farm). Keep the bulky stuff in the GWN.

Thx for the replies everyone. Sounds like there is lots of good camping there, but we might be better off leaving our gear here an renting it there so we don’t have to store it.

There’s dengue fever in the south (in urban areas) but no malaria. Are you sure you are coming to Taiwan and not Thailand?

As for your gear, bring tents and sleeping bags and all the small basics. Renting is impossible/a hassle outside of commercial campsites and why re-buy stuff you already have? There are also dozens of great long trails where you will need your own equipment. See my blog below for an idea of the type of wilderness you can access in Taiwan.

If you have good quality equipment, i.e. 3 seasons stuff that packs tight and light, you might as well bring it as it will cost more to buy here - unless you buy shitty local stuff that tends to rip. The storage space required for stuff -whether you bring it or buy it - will be the same, once you get settled. I don’t think you can rent good stuff for wilderness camping, although you can often do so at campsites. BTW, in Taiwan a campsite often means a flattish area very near the road where 100 tents are crammmed together, and people are up late and very early. Good Gortex is pricey here, in case that’s important to you. There’s loads of great places to hike and camp once you get oriented, and clubs and groups to go with until you do.

There are campgrounds of all qualities here, from quiet, beautiful, high-style ones like the one at Fulong, to run-down redneck ones where people stay up until the wee hours singing karaoke and drinking Whisbih, to spectacular wilderness ones with fantastic views where nobody else goes.

True enough Chris. There are amazing campsites in Taiwan. But in my limited experience, many of the ones that actually rent gear are commercial ops in bad or not so great locations (whispy, KTV) and the great ones are govt jobbies that don’t rent gear. Am I wrong?

Bit of both. Lots of gov places rent tents and bags. But your advice is good. Bring your own 3-season stuff.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at both the great natural beauty and outdoor possibilities that Taiwan has on offer.

Or you can get off the beaten path somewhat and create your own private campsite like here (Note 4wheel drive required for this particular location)

You would be crazy not to bring your gear, and after the hustle and bustle of Asian urban living, you may find yourself camping much more often.

MJB, that’s a fab looking tent…what make is it?

My husband and I brought all of our REI camping gear over and were happy we did. We used to camp often in Kenting (southern Taiwan) with a big group of friends, which was fantastic. We were glad we brought over good quality stuff, ass the stuff we saw in Taiwan was utter crap (tents and sleeping bags). I don’t know about Taipei though, you may be able to find better quality gear. But if you have good sleeping bags and a good tent, I would definitely bring them with you. All of the other equipment can be purchased in 'Wan.

It’s a Kelty Mantra 7 that I had brought over from the states back in 05. It is an amazing family tent, but a bit expensive. Sleeps six very comfortably, and has a divider for true two room living. It pitches really taut for it’s size, and is terrific in all weather conditions. The vestibule in front is large enough for 2 chairs and a small table. Also purchased from REI.

I love this thing.

Me thinks it’s a kelty.

My tent isn’t as good quality as MJB’s, but it was dirt cheap - picked it up at Costco. Anyway, we only do car camping, and only a couple of times a year if we’re lucky. I’m hoping to go again at the end of the month…

I picked up a rhino brand cooking tent recently.

Very good for rainy days, it was about US$121, but finding a shop stocking one was a bit hard, only one place in Gaoxiong.

Decent quality, very stable in windy condition, nice alu poles too.

I am on my second coleman (thank you again tigerman).

They are well designed, but due to poor material quality they don’t last that long.

Very well suited for Taiwan though, as they are very airy.

Costco’s models change, however a 4 person tent of some kind is usually for sale over spring/summer. Not expensive, but OK for the couble of trips we do per year.