Taiwan Fun Magazine, August 2004


West Coast Wind-Surfing


     As we endure the muggy days of summer, people all over the island are looking for ways to cool off. Swimming pools, mountain hikes, air-conditioned coffee shops-- anything to find refuge from the cripppling heat.

     This summer season, as thousands flock to Fulong Beach, Honeymoon Bay (Ilan County), and Kenting national park to cool off, a lucky few will take the opportunity to travel to Taiwan's overlooked and underused West Coast Beaches. The coastline stretching from Lugang in Taichung County to the Tamsui Rivermouth in Taipei County is home to some of the best wind-surfing in all of Asia and, now, thanks to the enterprising efforts of North Taiwan's small but committed windsurfing community, there is a place you can go and try this unique and thrilling watersport: Jhunan(Zhunan).

     At first glance, Jhunan(Zhunan) seems to be just another train stop in Miaoli county, a nondescript seaside town with nothing much to offer the interested tourist, but head to the beaches near the harbor, and you will find a tree-lined sand-dune oasis, complete with bike trails, food stands, park benches, showers, a small restaurant and, most importantly, Tony's Place, where you can buy delicious food and get room for NT$300 a night. Tony also rents top-quality equipment for unbeatable prices and friendly and qualified instructors can help you learn to stand on the board, hoist the sail, and catch the wind.

     The chance to try windsurfing in such friendly and convenient conditions should really not be missed. If you have any interest at all in the sea, watersports, or the thrill of a great surfing session, or just want to explore a little of the Taiwanese West Coast, you should visit Jhunan(Zhunan) at least once. The Taiwanese and foreign windsurfers are all very friendly, and if you are really interested in giving it a try, you will feel welcome.

     Jhunan(Zhunan) is not only a great spot for beginning windsurfers, it is also one of the premier spots in Asia for intermediate and advanced surfers. The prime time for beginners lasts from April to September when the sea remains relatively calm. Winter is the season for adrenaline junkies as the brisk winds blow down from Korea and North China at speeds of 20 to 35 knots which combine with rough seas to give experienced windsurfers an addictive thrill. Winter is not the season for the faint of heart, but you will find committed Taiwanese and foreigners alike who wait in anxious anticipation for the blustery winter months.

     Many foreigners come to feel restless, claustrophobic and exhausted after too many summer weekends in the city. A cheap and convenient excursion to Jhunan(Zhunan) may be the perfect remedy. Who knows, this may be the beginning of a passion that captivates you as much as it does the hundreds of thousands of windsurfers around the world.

One night Accomodation: NT$300
One Day Equipment rental: NT$1000
One Day Lesson: NT$500
Chicken Curry and a Beer at Tony: NT$200