AsiaHong KongHongkongJapanTaiwanWorld Orienteering Day

World Orienteering Day: where to try orienteering in Asia?

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It’s time for World Orienteering Day again! The week-long initiative by IOF will start tomorrow (15 May) and last until 21 May.

WOD was originally intended for school orienteering, but has now become a convenient occasion for orienteers around the world to promote their sport. While Europe still has the majority of WOD events registered on
worldorienteeringday.com, Asia has quite some remarkable activities in remarkable places, with Taiwan registering 9 events (as of 14 May), 7 each in Indonesia and Japan, and a staggering 12 in tiny Hong Kong!

Here are some of the activities you should learn about:

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Nepal: forest (and school orienteering) on high

For the outdoor-loving, Nepal is perhaps synonymous with the highest mountains in the world. To go to Nepal often means to conquer the Himalayas, if not to see its exotic towns and villages (or other similar activity, however stereotyped).

But what about orienteering? Probably not many orienteers know that Nepal has become an IOF member this year. Besides, they even got this map of a small forest, behind a school!

Hong Kong: the metropolis continues to shine

Hong Kong is one of the earliest places for orienteering in Asia. Indeed, it has one of the highest numbers of WOD activities in East Asia this year (12 activities registered as of 14 May).

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Besides school orienteering, Hong Kong will be hosting downtown events, park orienteering, and an online trail orienteering course for WOD.

Macau: old town meets new sport

What do you know about Macau besides its Portuguese past, its UNESCO-recognised old town, and its casinos? Well, as an orienteer, I’d say it has orienteering! Although Macau is a relative newcomer in the sport, it’s learning quick from its neighbour across the sea.

Macau’s WOD activity will be in Guia Municipal Park, which hosts historical structures including a church, a fortress, and air raid shelters.

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Taiwan: beautiful island with active orienteering

The beautiful island (which is what Taiwan’s other name, Formosa, literally means) has been active in the orienteering scene for quite a while, being a short hop by plane from Hong Kong. In fact, Taiwan will host its sprint championship this weekend at Huafan University, a Buddhist university near Taipei.

Japan: WOD in a super-metropolis

Japan is the only Asian country to have hosted the World Orienteering Championships (in 2005), and this year’s WOD activity will be no less impressive. And this means orienteering in Tokyo, one of the most bustling metropolises of the world.

The WOD activity will be at Shinagawa Season Terrace, an urban park with mall and conference facilities right next to Shinagawa Station. Also, the Japanese will be showcasing NaviTabi, their GPS tracking service for orienteering.

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