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Chiayi to host 'Tropic of Cancer' cycling event

TAIPEI -- A cycling event featuring Taiwan's location on the Tropic of Cancer will be held on the summer solstice in the central county of Chiayi, as part of a more diverse approach to tourism, the Tourism Bureau said Wednesday.

On June 21, Provincial Highway 82 that links the Chiayi townships of Dongshih and Shuishang will be closed to all traffic except bicycles, the bureau said.

On the 34.7 kilometer expressway, which runs parallel and close to the Tropic of Cancer at latitude 23.5 degrees north, the sun will be directly overhead at noon on June 21, which means there will be no shadows, said bureau official Wu Chia-yen. Although the celestial phenomenon at noon represents a mere moment in time, it is being highlighted as the focus of the bureau's summer travel promotion, featuring Taiwan's location on the Tropic of Cancer.

The cycling route will include tourist attractions such as Dongshih Fisherman's Wharf and the Solar Exploration Center, where the Tropic of Cancer marker lies.

β€œIt will be the biggest cycling event in Chiayi ever, involving the closure of a provincial highway,” Wu said.

The cycling event is the latest initiative under a project by the Tourism Bureau and the counties of Chaiyi, Hualien, Nantou and Penghu β€” which all lie on the Tropic of Cancer β€” to design exclusive travel packages for their respective areas.

Previous events have been organized around food themes, giving visitors an opportunity to sample specialties such as smoked flying fish in eastern Taiwan's Rift Valley and cactus ice-lollipops in the offshore Penghu County.

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