Thu, Jan 17, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Resorts anticipate crowds as cherry trees start to bloom

Staff writer, with CNA

Resort areas across the nation have reported that their cherry blossoms are in bud and resort operators said yesterday they are anticipating hordes of visitors during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Wuling Farm in Greater Taichung said some of its trees are already in bloom, adding that it expects to see a flood of travel inquiries from today, when the farm will start offering tickets for the Feb. 10 to March 5 period.

As many as 100,000 tourists a day packed the area during the Lunar New Year holiday last year, creating massive traffic jams that took eight hours to clear from an 8km stretch.

To prevent similar chaos this year, the farm has set a daily limit of 5,000 people for the cherry blossom season, with traffic controls to be imposed on part of Provincial Highway No. 9, the main gateway to the park.

In the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, a cherry blossom festival will begin on Feb. 1 and the village is banking on its recent recognition as a “famous cherry blossom site” by the Japan Cherry Blossom Association.

“We are very proud of the flamboyant, extravagant cherry flowers that can only be found in the park,” village manager Richard Huang said.

Huang said the park’s 5,000 cherry trees, a hybrid strain of the Taiwanese cherry and the Japanese Yae-sakura, will be decorated with lights for the first time to emulate the Japanese tradition of yosakura, or cherry blossom-watching at night.

Cherry blossoms can also be found at Wulai (烏來) and in Sanzhi Township (三芝) in New Taipei City (新北市) later this month.

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