|Taitung County Awarded 2nd
Most Welcoming Region on Earth
Taitung County has recently been recognized as the second most welcoming place in the world, according to Booking.com’s 2022 Traveler Review Awards. This is the second time Taitung has been in the top 10 welcoming regions in the world.Staff quality, cleanness, and location are the three highest-rated aspects evaluated. This showcases the importance of welcoming, friendly interactions during travel. It also demonstrates the emphasis global tourists put on sanitary and clean surroundings. Taitung County provides these but also much more. Magistrate April Yao always says there is more to Taitung than just meets the eye. The world is now just taking notice of this fact.
Taitung residents have always been welcoming of our foreign guests, but it’s only through the impact of the pandemic, has Taitung’s friendliness come to light to our international audience. Tourists want to get out and travel, but they are deterred from COVID-19 hot spots.
Thanks to Taitung’s vast environment, sparsely populated areas and strictly adhering to Taiwan’s epidemic defense line, Taitung basically became a COVID-free tourist destination in 2021. It will also naturally become the most anticipated destination in 2022.
It is through our dedication to bringing the most welcoming and accommodating experience in Taitung has our guests leaving us stellar reviews. Taitung County has analyzed its tourist intake and knows exactly the type of tourist that comes to visit Taitung. It was from here; Taitung hotels have undergone a rigorous 5-month screening process of over 600 standards to obtain numerous certifications not only ensuring best-in-class service quality but also catering to the specific needs of our tourists needs. From the triathletes who need help on race day, or the elders who need assistance, to young backpackers wishing for long-term affordable hostels, you’ll be sure to find the perfect accommodation to fit your needs.
Taitung County Government wishes to continue to grow Taitung’s welcoming image through its ongoing Cross-generational Bilingual Training Program and its Bilingual Business Renovation Project. The former is a bilingual training program to develop in-depth attractive itineraries to introduce hand-picked local communities in English. The latter is a bilingual renovation project of select long-standing locally-run businesses to enable business owners to conduct and share their business in both Chinese and English. Both of these projects are bridging the Taitung communities and businesses to the outside world while minimizing the language barrier; letting local and far-away travelers alike to explore freely without fear of not being able to communicate.
Booking.com reports Taitung County also attracts the foodie. Food is just only one part of traveling, but experiencing local cuisine creates long-lasting impressions and memories. Taitung has a rich ethnic culture with a very diverse diet. This includes the food culture of our indigenous people which not only piques the curiosity of our foreign guests but also provides an authentic experience of local culture.
To indulge our travelers’s curiosity, Taitung County Government with the help of our tribal partners, has spent much effort creating the TTStyle Food Project.
TTStyle Food’s aim is to share the creation of indigenous peoples’ food from start to finish through creative travel itineraries. It also gives indigenous food restaurant operators the opportunity to refine their culinary, food presentation, and story-telling skills of their unique cuisine, so that tourists appreciate Taitung’s local food culture that much more. The Taitung Slow Food Festival is an
event exclusive to Taitung County that attracts patrons from all over the world helps to spread farm-to-table, and eco-friendly food production practices. The festival has even won a Good Design Gold Award in Japan. All of these activities and programs, as well as many more, promote Taitung’s rich local food culture to the masses, while also attracting and satiating the most dedicated foodie.
It is from Taitung’s friendly interactions do travelers only just begin to create long-lasting memories of this paradise. No matter what walk of life you come from, no matter what drives you to come and explore this wonderful place that is Taitung, you’ll be sure to be greeted with open arms, have a remarkable time, and can’t wait to come back for another excursion in Taitung County. For all our travelers in 2022, we hope you will enjoy your stay in this magnificent gateway into Taiwan.
|Triathalon Training in Taitung|
Welcome to Consultant Corner! Here I will share my anecdotal experiences from the perspective of an American working as a consultant and living in Taitung for our readers who can only stay a short time in Taitung.
Taitung County is the perfect place for a triathlon training boot camp. The four largest Taiwanese triathlons are held in Taitung County. Athletes can spend more time on training, rather than traveling to their next race destination.
All these events are held here for a reason: mother nature. Taitung has mountains and flat tarmac for days to cycle across, paved concrete and beaches to run over, and the whole Pacific Ocean and Flowing Lake in Taitung Forest Park at your disposal.
Flowing Lake is the most popular swimming venue. It is surrounded by beautiful nature and is safe and accessible. The lake water is naturally occurring from an underground spring. There are even fish swimming about! Staff won’t collect admission fees before 8 am, so swim before 8!
Swimming from one end to the other end is roughly 2km. Don’t panic though! Flowing Lake is like a swimming pool, there are walls on either side of the lake. If you get tired, just swim off to the side, and rest. There aren’t any lifeguards, so prepare a swim buoy just in case.
Running in Taitung is an absolute pleasure in the late fall and winter months. Be wary of your ultimate foe: the sun. Taitung is located in the subtropics, so the sun’s UV light potency is quite high and dangerous, especially if you’re as fair-skinned as I am. You’ll burn within 30 minutes. Remember to bring sunscreen!
Taitung is spacious with mother nature all around you. For your long runs, exploration is my biggest suggestion: choose a point of interest on a map and just go for it. If you’re looking to simulate race day, run along Mahengheng Boulevard. Its flat terrain is perfect for envelope runs.
Cycling is the same as running: avoid the sun, select a blip on a map, and go ham. Highway 11 is perfect for race simulation and long-distance flat riding. Cycle toward Route 197 or the East Rift Valley for some big climbs if hills are your forte.
There you have it! Now get out there enjoy the grind of training!
|Sugamiya’s Old Minka
Opens Its Doors Once Again
Welcome to Taitung Spotlight. Today we’ll be taking you to Chenggong Township where an almost two-year restoration project has recently concluded. On January 15 2022 Sugamiya’s Old Minka and Tiaogang Café opened its doors to the public nearly after a year and half to revitalize and reinvigorate the legacy of this local historical site.
Before we can dive into the background of this historical gem, it should be known that in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II, there was three locations named Xingang in Taiwan, so in efforts to avoid future confusion of these areas, Xinkang was bestowed the new official name of Chenggong.
Xinkang Fishing Harbour is known as the Heart of Chenggong Township. In 1922, Sugamiya Katsutaro, Xinkang’s Deputy Director, proposed to build a harbor. By 1932 the construction of the harbor and his residence were complete. After his death in 1943, Dr. Duan Li Gao bought the property. He used the minka has his own private quarters and built Gao An Hospital adjacent to it. The site of Gao An Hospital brought great comfort and security to the people of Xingang.
Dr. Gao’s father, a devout Christian, offered up the waiting room to be used by the increasing number of Christians of Chenggong on Sundays. It ended up becoming the precursor to the Xinkang Church. In a turn of events, when Dr. Gao passed in 1995, his family sold the property to none other than the Xinkang Church. Since the Xinkang Church has acquired the property, it has suffered the worst from mother nature.
In 2014 Typhoon Matmo ripped off the roof, resulting in incessant leaking until present day. It was only after contacting historical architecture experts to do repairs, did the Xinkang Church realize this is the only two-story Japanese Minka in all of southern Taiwan. The form of architecture that was originally used to construct this minka is no longer practiced, even in Japan.
It was from here the idea of creating a café to spread the history and culture of this property came about. Moreover, the café will act as a source of income for future repairs of the Old Minka. With the help of the Taitung County Government, on July 1 2020 the restoration project began. The goal was simple: restore the original look of the house while upgrading the internal support structures like pillars and beams.
Nearly a year and a half later, the café is ready to open its doors to the world. The café is a perfect example of what makes Taitung so special: our slower pace of life. It lets us appreciate the finer details in what we’re doing. Sugamiya’s Old Minka and Tiaogang Café have hosted live music and tours introducing the estate’s nearly century-old history.
If you’d like to know the history of the Old Minka in more detail and experience it for yourself in person, don’t hesitate to call ahead and make a reservation for a bilingual tour. The owners of the Old Minka and Tiaogang Café have gone through Taitung County Government’s Cross-Generational Bilingual Training Program making the café accommodating and welcoming to foreign-English speaking guests.
Unique to Tiaogang Café, is its selection of herbal teas. The café wants to evoke the same emotions of comfort Dr. Gao brought to Chenggong all those years ago by providing these unique traditional Chinese herbal teas.
So now go sip your traditional Chinese tea, take a bite of your dessert, and take in same magnificent view of the Xinkang Harbor that made Sugiyama Katsutaro fall in love in with Chenggong nearly 90 years ago at The Old Minka and Tiaogang Café today!
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|©Taitung County Government 2022|