Taiwan Is Home to the World's First Urban Quiet Park — and It Has Hot Springs, Lush Forests, and Gorgeous Wildlife (Video)
Everybody needs a little peace and quiet every now and then, especially when it allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving your city.
But if you think you need to get out of a city in order to get it, think again. Yangmingshan National Park in Taipei, Taiwan has become the world’s first official urban quiet park, according to Lonely Planet. An urban quiet park is a natural area in or near a city that offers a particularly quiet experience for people who visit.
Even though the park has been open since 2011, according to Lonely Planet, it only received this distinction recently from Taiwan’s government and Los Angeles-based organization Quiet Parks International (QPI).
The park itself is easily accessed from Taipei’s Main Station via bus, which drops visitors off 700 meters (2,297 feet) away from the visitor center, according to Culture Trip. Visitors may also drive themselves or take a metro train from the Jiantan MRT Station. According to Trip Advisor, it takes less than an hour to get there. There is no admission fee, but there are fees for parking.
Once you reach the park, you’ll see that it’s well worth the trip. The park takes up about 11,338 square kilometers (about 4,377 square miles) and is full of incredible features like hot springs, lush forests, mountains, and dozens of bird and butterfly species, according to Lonely Planet. You would never think this wonderful, natural space is so close to a densely populated urban area. Considering that urban dwellers are constantly barraged with noise 24-hours a day, the silence and beauty of the park seems almost unbelievable — until you go, that is.
“Every individual should have access to a place in nature that is dedicated to silence in the external sense and stillness in the inner sense,” said Ulf Bohman, executive director of Urban Quiet Parks, QPI, to Lonely Planet. “Cities around the world should identify, protect and make accessible places in nature that are dedicated to silence in the outer sense and stillness in the inner sense.”
According to Lonely Planet, more quiet parks may pop up in other major metropolitan areas like London, New York, and Stockholm. Some psychologists think that getting into nature (regardless of noise) for just 20 minutes per day can have major benefits to our physical and mental health, so having a natural space within a big city that is also a break from the noise of the streets sounds like the perfect place for city dwellers to rest and recharge.