Thursday, 8 May 2014

Taipei Sports Centres

One day, spring will come to Taipei. One day.

In the meantime, Taipei's sports centres offer plenty of opportunities for exercise and other activities no matter what the weather.

Our local sports centre, Bojia Sports Park, is five minutes' walk from our apartment, on Lane 159 Muzha Road Section 4. It's small, but has a 25 metre swimming pool, treadmills, exercise machines, table tennis tables, a reading room and an indoor children's play area. What's more, it's free to residents of Wenshan District. All you have to do is show your ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) card to the receptionist and sign the book, or fill in a small form if using the swimming pool.

Slightly more impressive is Neihu Sports Centre. Located at 12, Zhouzi St., Neihu, which is just behind Gangqian MRT station, this facility offers activities such as archery, swimming, dance, badminton, yoga, aerobics, martial arts, squash, basketball, snooker and, as we found last weekend, rock climbing.

At 15 metres, the outdoor rock climbing wall at Neihu Sports Centre is the tallest in Taipei. It costs NT$300 dollars for an hour's worth of coaching and equipment. We found the coaches were very friendly, helpful and encouraging.

We also found that rock climbing is really hard!

I say 'we', but in truth I knew that wall was more than a match for me when I first set eyes on it. My son got about two-thirds of the way up before it defeated him. The coming down part, where your partner lowers you gently to the ground, looked like fun. If only it didn't require climbing up in the first place.

Other sports centers around Taipei provide a wide variety of activities. The Zhong Zheng People Sports Centre at 1, Xin Yi Road Section 1, has a shooting range, and Nangang Sports Centre at Number 69 Yu Cheng St has a diving pool that the public can use for scuba diving lessons. At the Beitou Resort in northern Taipei, located at 88, Alley 527 Da Ye Road, there's a huge indoor children's playground, and at 55, Xin Hai Road Section 3, the Da An Sports Centre has a golf course.

With all these possibilities on offer, bad weather won't stop us enjoying ourselves. But it would still be nice if the sun came out. Just a little.

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