Kaohsiung among New York Times' '52 places to love'

01/15/2021 01:26 PM
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Image taken from facebook.com/khh.travel
Image taken from facebook.com/khh.travel

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) Kaohsiung was among the New York Times' "52 places to love," the only Taiwanese destination, and one of only a handful from East or Southeast Asia, to make the list published on Jan. 6.

The newspaper compiled this year's list from submissions from more than 2,000 readers across the globe, and the choice of Kaohsiung was suggested by China-born Andrew Liu, who now lives in Germany.

"This city has a laid-back, almost island vibe versus the hustle and bustle of Taipei," Liu said in his comments on the city, recalling the year he spent in Kaohsiung as a Fulbright English teaching assistant from 2017 to 2018.

"I had never been to Taiwan; I didn't even know how to pronounce Kaohsiung before I arrived!" Liu wrote. "The city is truly Taiwan -- you don't hear Mandarin as often as you hear the local Taiwanese dialect."

He highlighted the many opportunities to eat, including at night markets, and the easy access to nature -- "there are mountains and beaches right in the middle of the city limits."

He also praised Taiwan's inclusiveness.

"My boyfriend came to Taiwan with me, and we weren't really sure how to navigate queerness in Asia. My only frame of reference was mainland China, which is not exactly welcoming," he said.

"I think that, generally, Taiwanese culture is super accommodating and welcoming.

"Now, we'll come across something, usually food, that makes us miss Kaohsiung almost daily," Liu wrote.

In response to the city's inclusion in the list, Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau chief Chou Ling-wen (周玲妏) took pride in the city's hospitality and inclusiveness and praised its world-class charms.

She said the city is gender-friendly and has a lot to offer to different groups of people, while also boasting magnificent landscapes and an abundance of natural and cultural resources.

The New York Times publishes an annual list of the top 52 places to visit in a particular year.

Because of the limits to travel and the lack of new attractions that opened in 2020, however, the newspaper decided not to turn to its contributors and correspondents for suggestions but to readers for suggestions of their favorite places.

It got more than 2,000 responses and chose its top 52 from those places, including many, it said, that would be unlikely to make the cut in a traditional year because of being too humble, too dangerous, or too personal.

The only other destinations in East and Southeast Asia that made the list were Hokkaido in Japan, Tagaytay in the Philippines, and Con Dao in Vietnam.

(By Flor Wang and Hou Wen-ting)

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