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Swimming in the train? Taipei turns metro car into pool for Universiade 2017

Posted July 26

Don't be alarmed if fellow passengers start stripping off aboard a metro train in Taipei.

Chances are they think they've found a swimming pool inside the carriage.

To celebrate being the host city of the upcoming Universiade 2017 -- the Olympics for international university athletes -- the Taiwanese capital has transformed a six-car train into six different sports venues -- a running track, a soccer pitch, a baseball field, a basketball pitch, a field for throwing sports and a swimming pool.

And the eye-popping 3D artworks have inspired a few commuters to dive in.

"Many people are still unfamiliar with -- and have never stepped inside -- some of the sports venues, we hope to bring sport closer to their daily life," a spokesperson for the city's Department of Information and Tourism tells CNN. "By choosing to revamp a train -- an everyday means of commuting, the public will have the opportunity to participate."

Fun campaign

The swimming pool car, with a floor that resembles a real water surface, has proved to be the most popular and Instagrammable theme so far.

READ: 40 of the best Taiwanese foods and drinks -- from gua bao to bubble tea

Hsu Tzu-Hsiung, an athlete who has represented Taiwan in international water sports competitions, was one of the passengers spotted in full swim gear.

"I waited until most of the passengers got off the train to take those pictures," he says. "I think it's a fun campaign to raise awareness about sport in general among Taiwanese and get the public to get involved in the games."

READ: 10 things Taiwan does better than anyplace else

In addition to the Universiade-themed train, Taipei has made other efforts to attract more international travelers including redeveloping old markets and promoting the city's Halal restaurants to Muslim visitors.

The train will run on Taipei's Songshan-Xindian MRT Line until August 30, 2017.

The 29th Summer Universiade kicks off on August 19 and closes on August 30. It's the first time Universiade is held in Taiwan and the game is the biggest sporting event Taiwan has hosted so far.

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