Chiayi - Taiwan's top tourist destination

Sunday, February 28, 2010
By Jamie Wang, Supplement writer

The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year with festivities and celebrations across the island. This year's festival falls on Feb. 28, with celebrations continuing into March.

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

Kaohsiung City kick-started Taiwan's Lantern Festival celebrations on Feb. 20. Events will take place daily between 6: 30 p.m. and 10 p.m. alongside the Kaohsiung Honor Harbor (高雄光榮碼頭) and Love River (愛河), dominated by the city's towering tiger lantern. Huge crowds have been attending the event, at which attractions include pop singers and bands — culminating in a performance by rock band MayDay(五月天), on Mar. 7. Culminating in a performance by rock band MayDay(五月天), on Mar. 7. Similar festivals are celebrated in Shanghai and other major cities. If you are not from the area make sure to book hotels in advance to avoid expensive rates. Expedia can compare prices for local hotels and help you find the right one.

'Kaohsiung Lantern Festival' (2010 高雄燈會藝術節) / Kaohsiung City (高雄市) / Now through Mar. 7 / Accessible by train and Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) / Roundtrip from Taipei by Tzu-Chiang Express costs around NT$1,550 for a 5-hour trip, whilst the THSR, costing NT$3,000, takes less than 2 hours / For ticket inquires, please go to http://www.railway.gov.tw/ or http://www.thsrc.com.tw/ Kaohsiung City Tourism Bureau: (07) 2155100 / http://www.2010khl.com/

2010 Taichung Lantern Festival

Taichung City and Walt Disney Company have joined forces for this year's celebrations on the theme of A.A. Milne's classic character “Tigger.” The 18-meter lantern stands at the center of the venue, and celebrations will culminate with firework displays on Mar. 7.

'2010 Taichung Lantern Festival' (2010 中台灣元宵燈會) / Now through Mar. 7 / Taichung City (台中市) / Accessible by train and Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) / Roundtrip from Taipei by Tzu-Chiang Express costs NT$700 for a 2-hour trip, and NT$1,400 for a 50-minute journey by THSR / Taichung City Cultural Affairs Bureau: (04) 23727311 / http://www.tclantern.com.tw/

2010 Taipei Lantern Festival

Taipei City's lantern party takes place each day at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (國父紀念館) & the Civic Plaza (市民廣場) between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. until Mar. 7. The event will feature 10 special zones, including those inspired by the concept of Utopia, and classic children's tale, 'The Wizard of Oz.' Other attractions include afternoon stage performances and interactive games for fun-lovers of all ages, on Mar. 6-7.

'2010 Taipei Lantern Festival' (2010台北燈節) / Now through Mar. 7 / Taipei City (台北市) / Accessible by Mass Rapid Transit system from Taipei's Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station (國父紀念館站) and City Hall Station (市政府站) / Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs: (02) 2720-8889 / http://www.taipei-festival2010.com/

Yanshui Beehive Rockets

Tainan County (台南縣) is famous for its spectacular annual Lantern Festival and "Yanshui Beehive Rockets" (鹽水蜂炮), taking place this year on Feb. 28. What began as a folk activity has evolved into a major tourist attraction. This year's event begins at 8 a.m., and attractions will include the chance to try your hand at making fire-crackers. The fire-crackers party costs NT$300 per person and booking is essential. For safety reasons please ensure you're covered from head to toe.

'Yanshui Beehive Rockets' (鹽水蜂炮) / From 8 a.m. Feb. 28 / Accessible by Sinyin Train Station (新營火車站) / A roundtrip from Taipei Main Station costs around NT$1,200 per person with Tze-Chiang Express. For more information please contact Tainan County's Department of Cultural Affairs: (06) 6355-234 / http://www.tnc.gov.tw/

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