Taipei touts beef noodles
Home to most of the beef noodle shops in the country, the Taipei City Government has recently decided to promote the food as one of the city’s attractions, in addition to the Taipei 101 skyscraper and its clean and efficient mass rapid transport system. Beef noodles have been a part of Taipei’s culinary culture for many years. Taking advantage of the food’s special flavor, which attracts travelers from overseas, the city began in 2005 to organize an international beef noodle festival every year as part of efforts to boost tourism. According to city officials, the festival has triggered a trend among local gourmets to seek award-winning beef noodle restaurants in Taipei.
Yaung borrows for auction
Former health minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) said yesterday he would participate in an online charity auction of a wooden replica of a briefcase he used when he was in government, but that he would have to borrow NT$1 million (US$33,450) to do so. The replica briefcase, made from camphor wood by sculptor Yang Pei-chen (楊北辰), had topped NT$600,000 as of yesterday in the auction to raise funds for disadvantaged people who need help to pay their health insurance premiums. To push up the bid, Yaung said he would borrow NT$1 million to take part in the auction on Yahoo Taiwan. The item was modeled on a leather briefcase Yaung used when he was health minister from 2009 to last year. The actual briefcase fetched more than NT$5 million in February last year after Yaung put it up for auction on the site. It was bought by Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘). The auction started on Monday and is expected to end on Thursday next week.
Fake shirts go to needy
About 22,000 counterfeit sports shirts that were confiscated by Taichung prosecutors were donated to socially disadvantaged groups yesterday. Prosecutors confiscated the fake shirts — valued at about NT$40 million (US$1.33 million) — in an intellectual property rights violation case and the shirts would normally have been destroyed in accordance with regulations, the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office said. However, given environmental concerns and the needs of socially disadvantaged people, the authorities decided it would be better if the clothing was donated to families in need, the office said. Prosecutors negotiated with the rightful manufacturers regarding intellectual property rights before the donation of the goods was approved, the office added.
B&Bs, hotels increasing
The number of registered bed and breakfast (B&B) establishments increased by 6.6 percent year-on-year as of April to reach 3,450, according to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. The number of rooms available at B&Bs totaled 13,718, up 6.7 percent from last year, according to the statistics compiled by the Tourism Bureau. Hualien County had the most B&Bs with 808, while Yilan County had 604 and Nantou County had 480. Together, the B&Bs in these three counties accounted for 55 percent of the B&Bs in the nation. Meanwhile, the number of tourist hotels increased from 105 last year to 107. The hotels had a total of 25,437 rooms, which were priced at an average rate of NT$3,433 per night. The occupancy rate was 68.2 percent, an increase of 1.6 percentage points from last year, and total revenue also increased by 10.9 percent, to NT$7.17 billion, over the same period.