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Alishan reaches 1 mil. visitor milestone in '14

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Tourists visiting the Alishan National Scenic Area in 2014 reached the 1 million mark yesterday, breaking past records for achieving the number so early in the year.

According to the Chiayi Forest District Office, Alishan has never attracted so many people in so short a time since the scenic park's opening 30 years ago. The earliest 1 million mark reached previously was in May, 2012. This year's success was attributed to the warm weather and the lack of major natural disasters; many had flocked to the area for the cherry blossoms that recently bloomed. Officials have also been working to improve the scenic park's appearance in the hope of drawing more visitors.

Aside from the cherry blossoms, Taiwan windowsill orchids have also been in bloom on Alishan, said the Chiayi Forest District Office.

Special exhibition areas roped off for the orchids are now open to all visitors, as well as the blooming azaleas and the bright orange crocus tritonias.

The Chiayi Forest District Office also suggests that visitors with smartphones download an app to view firsthand news of the scenic area. Designed especially for the cherry blossom season, the app updates the weather, temperature and the progress of the blooming trees for prospective visitors.

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