PRC flag found on cliff
Mountain climbers are seeking ways to remove a People’s Republic of China (PRC) flag from a tree perched on the cliff of a mountain in New Taipei City (新北市). The climbers said the location of the tree on the 639m Wuliaochien (五寮尖) in Sansia (三峽) is such that anyone who wants to remove the flag will have to climb 10m of steep and slippery cliffs and then climb straight up the tall tree. As the removal of the flag is challenging, some climbers said they will attempt to take it down by throwing a rope or asking experienced climbers to assist in its removal.
Railway festival opens
A series of events featuring the nation’s railway network, which has played an important role in Taipei’s development, opened yesterday, Taipei Railways Administration (TRA) officials said. The festival, which runs through Oct. 26, includes outdoor activities, tours and seminars at the historic Taipei Railway Workshop. There will be theme-guided tours, including one on how the transportation of liquor, sugar and tobacco via the rail network helped fuel the nation’s economy during the Japanese colonial era, the TRA said. Seminars on railway architecture, maintenance and modernization will also be given, it said. Visitors can take part in hands-on workshops that allow participants to use discarded machine components to create toys. The last day of the festival will feature a full-day free garden party with rock music performances, a vintage market and documentary screenings, the TRA said.
Overseas trips up 6.8%
Taiwanese travelers have been making more overseas trips as tourism within the country has slowed down, according to the latest tourism data released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS). Citing statistics compiled by the Tourism Bureau, the DGBAS said that Taiwanese made 10.24 million overseas trips last year, up 6.8 percent from a year earlier, for which they spent NT$499.1 billion (US$16.75 billion), an increase of 7.5 percent. On average, each person spent NT$48,740 on each trip abroad, a 0.63 percent annual increase, with the total rising to NT$52,384 — or 0.9 percent growth — when including domestic consumption related to the trip, such as luggage or personal items purchased before boarding. Within Taiwan, travel was down to 142 million domestic trips, a decrease of 6.7 percent from the year-earlier level, statistics showed. DGBAS officials attributed the decline mainly to the higher comparative basis in 2011, which was fueled by the country’s centennial celebrations.
Pacific program planned
Taiwan will hold a program later this month for foreign young adults from Pacific countries to learn more about Taiwan’s development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Thirty participants from Taiwan’s six Pacific allies, including Kiribati, Nauru and the Marshall Islands, will come to Taiwan for the annual program, being held from Sept. 25 to Oct. 4, the ministry said in a statement. During the 10-day program, participants will attend seminars and visit various locations around the country to learn more about the country’s political and economic environment, culture and agriculture, the ministry said. The foreign attendees will also be accompanied by Taiwanese young adults.