In the latest in a series on the expanding Asian love affair with Wanaka, reporter Marjorie Cook meets Taiwanese tour guide Richard Chen.
Richard Chen’s love affair with Wanaka seems destined to never end.
The Taiwanese tour company operator has been bringing Mandarin-speaking compatriots to Wanaka for at least nine years and one day Chen hopes to convince his wife Michelle to move south.
Michelle Chen already has a head start on her husband. While Chen shuttles backwards and forwards between Taipei and other destinations, she works for a trading company in Auckland.
But Chen says his wife has yet to be convinced about a permanent move to the lakeside resort that has captured his heart.
A key reason why Chen brings hundreds to Wanaka each year, is that he loves Wanaka people.
‘‘Wanaka suppliers work as a team. For example, Sue [Pihama] at River Jets. She is just happy to help.’’
Another reason is the happy faces of his clients as they leave cities and shops behind and head
Tourism trio: From left, Geoff Marks of Lake Wanaka Tourism, tour guide Richard Chen of Taipei, Taiwan and coach driver Craig McKeitch of Ashburton, at Edgewater Hotel in Wanaka last week.