Mark a fun, easy going and energetic South African guy who went to Dulan one day and started a new life. He fell in love and opened a (water)sport club and hostel; WaGaLiGong three years ago.
What do you like so much about Taiwan?
At a young age I always heard about Taiwan because my dad did business here. I got curious when my sister moved to Taiwan to teach English and a friend of mine went there to surf. When he came back he persuaded me to go and he succeeded. After my first visit to Formosa I fell in love with the island and kept coming back. Taiwan is a good base, because it’s central Asia, not that touristic yet and the people are super friendly. I get bored soon and here I can do all kinds of sports like (wind)surfing, skating, longboarding, hiking, diving, cycling and snorkeling. I am happy to have the opportunity to teach all kinds of people different types of sports.
Where are the best surf spots in Taiwan?
Around Taipei, in Taitung and Kenting are the best places to surf in Taiwan. If you are in Taipei you go to Yilan. Wai’ao beach is a great spot to surf and in the weekends you have live music events. The Rising Sun hostel is a cool and easy going place to stay. It’s a bit like WaGaLiGong. You can do all kinds of (water)sports and they give yoga lessons on the beach. In Taitung my favorite spots are Donghe, which can be a bit commercial, because of the surfing contest and media exposures but they have a good surf. For a more calm surf spot there is Dulan. When you go more to the South in Kenting, you’ll find the best surf and good vibes on the East Coast at Jia le Shui. It’s especially a great spot to longboard.
What would you recommend friends to do when they go to Taiwan?
Hiking in the mountains of Dulan, there is a beautiful forest uphill. Go hiking in Chengong, jump in one of the free natural hot springs and check out the waterfalls. Always keep going at the end of the trail for the best hidden gems. If there is enough time, go to Orchid Island for a more pristine part of Taiwan. When you explore the coastline, ride a bicycle instead of driving a car. It’s a good exercise with a stunning view. You’ll experience Taiwanese nature on his best.
Where do you go for a drink in Dulan? During the weekend there is always live music at the Sugarfactory in Dulan. People gather around the campfire and you can drink own brewed ginger beer. You are always welcome to have a drink at our bar or on the rooftop. If you’re lucky we have a BBQ too.
Where do you go for dinner? The Vietnamese at the end of the road is always good. They serve great spicy noodles, curries, salads and fresh fruit shakes. If you feel like Mediterranean food, come have dinner and good wine at WaGoLiGong.