Apr. 16 – Jun. 24
Location: Guanyin Pavilion Recreation Area (觀音亭休閒園區), 7, Jieshou Rd., Magong City, Penghu County (澎湖縣馬公市介壽路7號)
The Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival is one of the big annual tourist draws in Penghu County, an attractive collection of tourist-friendly small islands in the Taiwan Strait. The festival is jam-packed with activities, and a variety of tour packages are offered that maximize visitors’ enjoyment of the alluring local natural landscape, culture, and delicious seafood delicacies – with the grand fireworks-fest as the itinerary’s magnum opus. The main fireworks-release stage is by the artistic steel-arch Xiying Rainbow Bridge near the Guanyin Pavilion, and the reflections of bridge and fireworks on the open ocean water under the night sky create the most romantic of canvases.
(Source: eng.taiwan.net.tw March 2013)
Penghu to Boost Tourism after Entry into Most Beautiful Bays Club
Penghu County plans to construct shopping malls and quality hotels to attract more tourists, county officials said Tuesday, a day after the outlying islands joined the France-based Most Beautiful Bays in the World club.
Penghu needs better transport links and better quality hotels to boost tourism, said Chen Mei-ling, director of the county's tourism department.
There are only 300 rooms in hotels rated three stars and above available in Penghu currently, compared with more than 2,000 rooms in ordinary hotels, Chen said.
Penghu is now seeking investments in the construction of more higher-end hotels that will offer better services, Chen said.
Penghu County chief Wang Chien-fa said the expansion of Magong Airport is expected to be completed by 2014, which he said will facilitate the arrival of more direct international flights.
Penghu receives 850,000 visits by tourists per year but only around 10 percent of them are made by international tourists, Chen said, adding that joining the club can help raise Penghu's profile as an international tourist destination.
In order to draw more tourists from overseas, county officials will head to Japan and South Korea later this year to promote travel to the islands, and to Singapore and Malaysia next year, Chen said.
Penghu is famous for its basalt cliffs and a heart-shaped stone fish trap. There are a total of 558 fish traps in Penghu, and up to 88 of them are scattered around its Jibei Island, which boasts a white beach composed of pieces of coral reefs and shells.
The islands were approved as a member of the club at a meeting in Paris Monday.
Penghu was first invited to join the club in 2010, but could not because it was unable to attend the club's annual congress in Vietnam due to obstruction by China.
The county, located off Taiwan's southwestern coast in the Taiwan Strait, was invited to attend this year's annual congress in Turkey and Greece in September and formally applied to join the organization on that occasion.
Following the approval of Penghu's application at the meeting, the island chain will be formally inducted into the club at its annual meeting next year and be given a Most Beautiful Bay in the World certificate.
The club, founded in 1997, is a UNESCO-sponsored nongovernmental organization dedicated to promoting the preservation and sustainable management of coastal areas.
The club currently includes 37 bays spread across 28 countries and territories across the globe, including San Francisco Bay, China's Qingdao Bay, Vietnam's Halong Bay and Mont Saint-Michel in France.
Penghu's islands were listed in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2011 guide as one of the world's best secret islands for their natural scenery and the "touching nostalgia" of unspoiled traditional Taiwanese culture.
The magazine described the archipelago as a land of "ox-carts, fish-traps, stone-walled fields, basalt cliffs and ancient temples dedicated to the sea goddess Matsu” and called the beaches and windsurfing “impressive”.
(Source: focustaiwan.tw by Wang Shwu-fen and Scully Hsiao 13/11/2012)
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