Taiwan is fun
Text / Editorial Department
Photos / Fresh Treks, Tony Hua, National Youth Commission.
The Ideal Travel Destination for Young Travelers
The year 2006 has been officially named the Year of Youth Travel in Taiwan, and this year might be the best time ever for young travelers and students to pay the island a visit and find out why it is one of the best destinations for youth and student travel in the world.
The main reason why the government of Taiwan now increasingly focuses on the youth segment of the tourism industry is simple. Youth and student travel worldwide is booming. The young people of today are not content anymore with just visiting a neighboring state or country during their vacation. There is great and still growing demand for long-distance destinations, the more exotic the better. While there are many young travelers who just want to take their backpack to a nice off-the-beaten-path beach and have a blast of a time there, an increasing number of those in their twenties are looking for more. While visiting a foreign country they wish to enroll in classes where they can learn the local language, cooking methods, traditional arts, etc. Others look for outdoor-adventure activities and ways to combine exploration of the scenery with adrenaline-inducing fun.
Taiwan Welcomes Young Travelers
So, why is Taiwan such an ideal destination for the young and adventurous? First of all, Taiwan is an exotic country, at least to those visitors from the West. There is the incomprehensible language, with what is generally perceived as one of the most difficult-to-learn scripts. Traditional customs and practices fascinate and sometimes baffle the unseasoned visitor. A safe and convenient travel environment allows backpackers to travel on their own, using the comprehensive public-transport systems. And even if you visit a place where there are no signs in English, you have little to worry about, because most often there are helpful folks willing to point you in the right direction. Taiwanese students are especially open to meeting foreign visitors, using the opportunity to practice their English. Taiwan offers just the right mix of exotic cultural elements and modern lifestyle practices and amenities, allowing you to experience something different from your own culture while not having to do without the comforts of modern life.
The Great Outdoors
Due to its unique topography and climate, Taiwan offers much to the adventure-hungry young traveler. Opportunities for nature exploration and outdoor activities abound. Here is just a short summary of activities you can engage in while visiting: Go to the coast and have fun at the beach. Surf on the water's surface and explore fascinating coral reefs under it. Discover the fascinating rock formations of Taiwan's coastline. Take to the skies while strapped to a paraglider, taking in marvelous views of mountain and sea. Trek through the mountains of what is a kingdom-of-high-peaks wonderland; choose easy hikes in foothills close to the city or climb the roof of Taiwan where Mt. Jade (Yushan), at nearly 4,000 meters above sea level the highest mountain in Northeast Asia, awaits you.
Featuring rugged mountainous terrain with abundant rainfall, Taiwan has its share of rushing mountain streams and cascading waterfalls, and river-tracing has become one of the more popular outdoor activities. It combines exploration of nature's treasures with healthy and refreshing exercise. Another exciting way to experience mountain and water at the same time is to take part in a thrilling white-water rafting ride down one of Taiwan's rushing, panorama-embraced rivers.
Have you ever seen whales and dolphins in the wild? Head to the east coast and sign up for a whale-watching cruise. Since the sea off the eastern side of Taiwan is a preferred hunting, feeding, and mating ground for these sea mammals, chances are very high that you'll spot a variety of dolphins and whales on your outing.
There is much more to do in the great outdoors of Taiwan than this brief textual encounter, and with 13 national scenic areas and six national parks dotting the map, there is hardly a corner of the island where scenic attractions don't await.
Back to Class
Ever thought about learning the Chinese language? What seems to be a very difficult thing to do is actually quite easy and enjoyable-well, definitely enjoyable, and not as difficult as you think ?as long as the learning environment is right. When it comes to teaching Mandarin, the official Chinese dialect spoken on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan offers the ideal combination of advanced learning facilities and qualified teaching staff. No matter whether you just want to learn the basics in a short course or study in earnest at one of Taiwan's top universities, Taiwan offers the ideal environment.
Learning the Chinese language will open the doors for you to many other aspects of life in Taiwan. There is much to learn from the island's people. Take for example Chinese cuisine. Have you ever thought about cooking your own Chinese meals? Considering that Taiwan is home to restaurants featuring all the regional cuisines of China, along with her own unique culinary expressions, the island is a great place to sign up for cooking classes.
If you want to nourish your soul while at the same time restoring balance to your body, there is a wide choice of traditional practices you can learn, ranging from Zen meditation to cigong , and on to kungfu and other martial-art forms. And speaking of arts, you can also learn the secrets of traditional Chinese ink painting, calligraphy, and much, much more.
Taiwan welcomes young travelers and students from around the world to come and experience an unforgettable stay in a wonderful place that is filled with myriad opportunities for learning and having fun!
For more information, check the following official website for Taiwan Youth Travel Year: http://www.youthtravel.tw