Yangmingshan National Park in Taipei has been designated the world’s first official urban quiet park, which is defined as a natural area in or near a city that offers culturally relevant quiet experiences to urban dwellers.

 Yangmingshan National Park 2.jpg
The park covers 11,338 square kilometres © venemama via Getty Images

The park covers 11,338 square kilometres and has had more than four million visitors per year since 2011. It comes complete with forested mountains, hot springs, rolling grass hills and some spectacular butterfly and bird species. In good news for visitors, it's easily accessible from the downtown area of Taipei by frequent buses. Its certification comes courtesy of Taiwan’s government and Quiet Parks International, a non-profit charitable organisation based in Los Angeles.

Yangmingshan National Park is ideal for those who like hiking and nature, and of course the delights of hot-spring pampering. There are a couple of heritage sites, including Grass Mountain Chateau, the former mountain retreat of a Japanese prince. “With lush forests, ice cold springs, and natural sounds of birds and insects by the trail, Yangmingshan is a wonderland that can help cleanse our body, clear our mind, and claim our spirit," says Laila Fan, founder of Soundscape Association of Taiwan.

Skyline of Taipei city at dusk
The park is easily accessible from the downtown area of Taipei © Richie Chan/Shutterstock

Future urban quiet parks are planned for Stockholm, New York, London, Portland and elsewhere, and as many as 50 more may follow Yangmingshan over the next ten years. "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," says Ulf Bohman, executive director of Urban Quiet Parks, QPI. "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."

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