7/18/2010

Camping in Taiwan


I noticed this line of trailers as I was coming home from Panchiao (板橋), Taiwan today, crossing Huazhong Bridge (華中橋). I'd seen the sign before, but couldn't figure it out. There didn't seem to be any camping in the vicinity: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrick_cowsill/4240264842/

While my wife and daughter were busy fishing this afternoon in a place nearby, I strolled over to have a closer look. I was immediately greeted by Keven, the friendly fellow who is trying to get this off the ground. To rent a trailer, it'll run you NT$2,500 a night. Keven assures me that you can barbecue right there where they're parked. And there's a bicycle rental place nearby, just in case you want to ride the extensive river path-network that runs almost right by the front door.

I asked him where the trailers came from. He says they're manufactured in Taiwan, in a factory just outside of Taipei. I was wondering if they were also being exported, but he wasn't sure. He let me look inside a few, which appeared comfortable, with a Taiwanese aesthetic. He asked me how they're different in the US, but I couldn't really think of something right off the bat to tell him, so I said, "some of the US models have a two floors." From what I remember, camping with my friend's family in the Rocky Mountains or going to Disneyland with my grandparents, the versions back home had a lot more fake wood paneling. The bathrooms in the Taiwan models are much bigger and more comfortable and, once again, are very local in their decor, from the cylindric door knobs to the frosted glass walls. I'll post a shot or two of the interiors later on with a link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrick_cowsill/4804184289/. On a side note, I've decided not to put more than one picture on a post from now on.

I don't know if Keven can speak English. If you're interested and you don't speak Mandarin or Hoklo, I can find out. He had a friendly, intelligent face, so I am guessing he might be able to hold his own. As I am always interested in promoting my Wanhua (萬華), also known as Monga (艋舺), I'll give him a plug right now. He says it's been hard going; they've only been in business for three months and don't have enough advertising or media on their case. They're finding customers hard to come by. You can locate him right to the east of Huazhong Bridge (華中橋), up toward the river. Or you could even email him: kevenandrain@yahoo.com.tw

2 comments:

MJ Klein said...

i was always told that towing trailers in Taiwan was illegal. i would probably buy one of these trailers if i could find a sales outlet for them. always thought that RV/trailers was an untapped business possibility in Taiwan. thanks for the cool post.

Patrick Cowsill said...

I can ask the guy for more details. There is a factory just outside Taipei making them, and they look like they're suited to local decorating tastes if you look inside. The guy I talked to said trailers were catching on in Taiwan.