Friday, December 05, 2014

Exploring Taiwan as a Cycle Journalist

The Taiwan KOM Challenge event was brought to my attention by fellow ERTC club racer Greg Nicholson after the inaugural event in 2012. I finally got my toe in the door and was able to attend the event this year as a journalist with expenses covered by the Taiwan Tourist Board.

Jo Hogan and Marg Fedyna at a freebie photo booth at the Come! Bike Day event
Once I arrived to Taiwan, I figured I would need to figure out what to do on my own until the press conference mid-week for the event, and the actual race on the weekend.

Once all 8 of us journalists & photographers from Australia, New Zealand, UK, Malaysia and US were together, we were treated royally every moment with nice accom, a guide and luxury bus to show us amazing sites, and fed way too much at restaurant three times a day. Another 6 joined us from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia & Korea mid-week.

I will document my travels with this motley crew in the next while. So many photos to choose from! I had an amazing time.

To sum up... the hospitality of the Taiwanese is unlike any other culture I have experienced. This started before I even arrived... in the check-in line-up in LA airport, other than me being the average height of everyone in line (!)... it was a noticeable calmer demeanor of people. Exchanging money at the airport before even going thru customs, I was boggled and a woman in line made sure to help me. Could brush it off as just a nice person, though every person I came across thereafter was helpful like that!

One day when we heard a horn honk as we were riding in the busy city streets, we all commented that was the first horn honk we had heard! Amazing with 23 million people on an Island the size of Vancouver Island.

Update to come....

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