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Barefoot trek around Taiwan reveals a different side of the island

Barefoot trek around Taiwan reveals a different side of the island

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) A 19-person group that included 13 foreign nationals arrived in front of the Taipei 101 tower in Taipei Friday after completing a barefoot walk around the island that covered 1,099 kilometers and took 45 days. The foreign participants said the friendliness of Taiwan's people and the lively culture of the country made the strongest impression on them during their trek. Bart Burman from Belgium said the trip was his sixth visit to Taiwan but the first time he had walked barefoot in the country. "Taiwan is really beautiful," he said as he held the heavy trophy marking his completion of the journey, especially praising the beauty of the island's east coast. During the 45-day walk, he was most impressed, however, by the friendliness of police officers at various police stations across the country. Burman said members of the group were often offered tea by police officers when they took a break at the stations, which surprised him a lot. Ben Geradts from the Netherlands said that when he saw "tongji," or spirit mediums, in Luodong Township in Yilan County, he was surprised and asked "where is this clown going to perform?" But After learning that the guy who kept shaking his head was actually a spirit medium, Geradts learned to keep his mouth shut. Franco Devittori of Switzerland said he was frightened by a man who talked with the voice of a child in Hualien County. After learning that the man was a spirit medium for Nuozha, a local Taoist deity, he still could not quite understand the concept. Team leader Huang Chun-hsiang said many funny things occurred along the way, including some involving curious passers-by who occasionally joined the group. In one case, a couple with a backpack joined them and seemed to have difficulty keeping up. After a lot of questioning, the couple finally said they were carrying valuable gold bars in the backpack, Huang said. The group embarked on their journey on Nov. 16 in front of the Presidential Office and traveled the country in a clockwise direction before returning back to Taipei. (By Lung Po-an and Ann Chen)


Updated : 2021-04-23 06:17 GMT+08:00