Visitors to flock to Lanyu for next year’s first sunrise

EARLY BIRDS::While Lanyu is to be the venue of the first sunrise of next year, a travel agency said travelers’ top picks to see the event were in Nantou and Chiayi counties

By Lin Chia-chi and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 - Page 3

The first sunrise of next year will break over the horizon on Lanyu (蘭嶼) — also known as Orchid Island — at 6:33am, to be followed by the first sunrise on Taiwan proper in Pingtung County’s Longpan Park at 6:35am, the Central Weather Bureau’s Astronomical Observatory said.

With the New Year approaching, the bureau released a list of locations where people could see the last sunset of this year and the first sunrise of the year to come.

Astronomical Observatory engineer Cheng Chen-fong (鄭振豐) said islands off the east coast have almost always been the places to welcome the first sunrise of a new year and that next year would be no exception.

“Green Island (綠島) will be one minute behind Orchid Island in ushering in the first sunrise of the New Year at 6:34am, while on Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島) the sun will appear at 6:40am, followed by Matsu at 6:48am, the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) at 6:50am and Kinmen at 6:51am,” Cheng said.

On Taiwan proper, the first sunrise of the new year will be seen at 6:35am at Longpan Park on the east coast of Kenting National Park, Cheng said.

One minute later, dawn will break in Taitung County’s Taimali Township (太麻里) and Sansiantai (三仙台), where the sun is scheduled to rise at 6:36am in both locations, Cheng said, while residents living near Yilan County’s Suao Township (蘇澳), Hualien County and New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sandiaojiao (三貂角) will greet the year’s first sunrise at 6:37am.

Meanwhile, the last sunset of this year on the nation’s outlying islands will occur on the Pratas Islands at 5:43pm, while those interested in seeing the last sunset in Taiwan proper could do so close to Greater Tainan, Greater Kaohsiung or Kenting at 5:25pm on Dec. 31, Cheng said.

Meanwhile, statistics by Lion Travel Service Co show that the top three popular tour packages to usher in the New Year are going to see the first sunrise on Chiayi County’s Alishan (阿里山) and on Nantou County’s Hohuanshan (合歡山), as well as enjoying the fireworks at Kaohsiung’s E-Da World.

Other sought-after locations for the New Year countdown include New Taipei City’s Fulong (福隆) and other parts of eastern Taiwan, the travel agency said.