Yehliu (野柳) in New Taipei City (新北市) won the most votes in an online poll organized by the Forestry Bureau that asked the public to choose the nation’s top 10 landscapes, the bureau said yesterday.
The bureau first commissioned research groups from several universities to investigate different landscapes across the nation in 2009. After four years of investigation, 341 sites were listed as requiring landscape preservation, implying that Taiwan has a great diversity of landscapes.
From the 341 sites, the bureau asked 12 geologists and geographers to select a list of sites for Taiwan’s top 10 landscapes and a “representative landscape for each county or city.”
The sites were chosen according to their scientific research value, geological or geographical significance, rarity or uniqueness, diversity value, and educational and recreational value.
In the Internet poll, the public was asked to make its own list, and selected 91 landscapes between the middle of August to the middle of last month, gathering a total of 219,630 valid votes.
Yehliu received the most votes in both the specialists’ selection and the poll, followed by the main peak of Yushan (玉山) and Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), both in Nantou County, Jinguashi (金瓜石) in New Taipei City and Yilan County’s Gueishan Island (龜山島).
“The main reason [that it came in first place] is that Yehliu is geographically diverse,” bureau Deputy Director-General Yang Hung-chih (楊宏志) said.
The bureau said the results of the poll showed that people tend to vote for famous tourist attraction sites, while the specialists’ selection was based on scientific judgement.
The bureau hopes the poll will raise public awareness to protect these landscapes and help landscape management offices to promote landscape preservation and environmental education.