Mon, Feb 18, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Celebrities share travel stories in 'Touring Taiwan'

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

When artist Chiang Hsun (蔣勳) visited Wangan (望安) in Penghu County last year, he did not plan to see or do anything out of the ordinary.

"I just wanted to roam around that island by myself, without any purpose or destination," he said in his essay "Notes on Wangan."

"The island [Wangan] was nothing more than a small dot on the map," he said. "I was not sure if I needed to spend the night there, nor did I have a scheduled itinerary."

The trip to Wangan, however, turned out to be a worthwhile adventure. With a local resident volunteering to show him around, Chiang saw old-style stone cottages that were abandoned years ago.

LARKS

On a small hill called Tientai (天台), he was awe-struck by how male larks woo the female larks, by first soaring into the air, then flying down abruptly and quickly rising up again when they get close to the ground.

Chiang said he remembered lying down on the grass on Tientai, waiting to see again what he called the larks' "suicidal performance."

Chiang is one of 30 national celebrities, travel writers and artists sharing their travel stories in a book titled Touring Taiwan (旅行台灣 -- 名人說自己的故事), which was showcased at the Taipei International Book Exhibition yesterday.

JOINT EFFORT

The book was part of a project planned by Chunghwa Telecom Foundation and the Tourism Bureau.

Aside from Chiang, the book also features essays by hotel owner Stanley Yen (嚴長壽), writer and playwright Hsiao Yeh (小野), former manager of HP Taiwan Rosemary Ho (何薇玲) and filmmaker Lee Gang (李崗), brother of world-renowned director Ang Lee (李安).

A majority of the writers have chosen to tell about their travel stories along the east coast and in offshore islands.

Fifty writers were invited to take part in the project. While only 30 stories were chosen for the book, the other 20 stories were posted on the Web site Click Taiwan.

While the stories are only available in Chinese, organizers said English translations of the stories will soon be available.

Organizers also said this was a two-year project. They will start posting travel stories from the public, which will be chosen from a writing competition in April.

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