Taiwan Fun on the Tropic of Cancer

A Summertime Festival Celebrating Taiwan’s Distinctive Regional Characters


By Rick Charette

The Tropic of Cancer runs right through Taiwan, cutting across the central-south of the main island and through the Penghu Islands archipelago, which floats in the Taiwan Strait to the west of Taiwan proper. What this means is that this is a land of continual pleasing warmth, a fact of significance for tourists from lands of cooler climes, and the Tourism Bureau is inviting travelers to come get to know Taiwan on a personal basis with the first-ever Taiwan Fun on the Tropic of Cancer summerfest campaign this year.


The festival, which was formally launched with its first activity on June 1 and will finally draw to a close long after summer at the end of October, makes the line itself a tourist attraction. The tropic crosses through Hualien County, Nantou County, Chiayi County and City, Yunlin County, and Penghu County, along the way traversing attractive coastal areas, flatlands, hills, high mountains, a rift valley, and small, pretty islands.


A long, well-rounded series of special events is showcasing the unique features and strengths of each locality – the distinctive scenery, foods, handicrafts, products, and leisure/recreation activities. Many of the local summertime “Tropic of Cancer” specialty foods being showcased were chosen in an online public vote held in May. Among the favorite regional delicacies nominated are smoked flying fish, cactus ice cream, mango ice, cold noodles, aiyu jelly, herbal jelly, dairy products of the town of Ruisui, watermelon, sour plum soup, and carambola juice. These are available for you to try at all the major festival events.


Among the highly varied array of activities, which already took place this year, a highlight was the “Thousand People Link-Up” staged on June 21, the day of the summer solstice, with 1,000 people lining up and holding hands to symbolize the Tropic of Cancer. This took place at Dongshi Harbor in Chiayi County, in Taiwan’s southwest.


Another highlight event, showcasing the incredible beauty of Taiwan’s pristine, rugged east coast, was the “2013 Xiuguluan River Rafting Triathlon” staged on June 23, the official “Rafting Season Launch.” The event featured road running, cycling and, instead of the usual swimming section, whitewater rafting. This river, an extremely popular location for rafting, has a course that runs from the bucolic East Rift Valley through the soaring Coastal Mountain Range. The river spills abruptly into the bright-blue Pacific where the mountains just as abruptly spill into it. Make your way to the town of Ruisui during rafting season to enjoy the tremendous natural setting, participate in the many peripheral activities, and get in some thrilling rafting yourself. For more on this, read this issue’s accompanying article on rafting and the Xiuguluan.


Other festival draws include DIY on-the-sea canoeing and windsurfing experience activities in Penghu until August 31, triathlons on both August 31 and September 1, and a beach carnival from August 3 through October 30 with Mid-Autumn Festival activities, eco-friendly sand-sculpture contests, concerts, fireworks shows, old-time Penghu fishermen net-trawling experiences, and sampan-rowing experiences. There is butterfly watching, eco-appreciation, games playing, DIY activities, and live performances in the Guanziling hot-spring resort area (in Siraya National Scenic Area) until August 25, and in the evening of August 3 there are unusual God of Fire ceremonies; the Guanziling God of Fire is Japanese, not Chinese, for it was the Japanese who opened up the hot-spring area in the early 1900s, and local businesses continue the tradition of asking the god to keep the fires burning below and the hot-spring waters flowing above.

There will be a bicycle challenge in bike-friendly Alishan National Scenic Area on September 29 and in the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area, Hualien Soaring Season activities will run until September 1, featuring tethered rides in hot-air balloons, light aircraft, paragliding, hang gliding, and mini-theme-park electric trains.


You can get full details on the entire range of activities going on in the different regions, all the local summertime specialty foods chosen in the aforementioned online poll, and on other related subjects by visiting the official website: www.taiwan235n.tw (at time of writing Chinese only). Note that the Tourism Bureau has worked with the local authorities in each area to design recommended tour itineraries taking in major tourist attractions in each area, as well as exclusive travel packages.



English and Chinese

Dongshi Harbor 東石港

Hualien Soaring Season 花蓮翱翔季活動

Guanziling 關子嶺

Rafting Season Launch 泛舟季起跑

Thousand People Link-Up 千人牽手活動

2103 Xiuguluan River Rafting Triathlon 2013 秀姑巒溪泛舟鐵人三項


Lovely Lotus Flower Fields

Little Streets and Small Alleys

Noodles, Buns, and Dumplings

Shin Kong Chao Feng Resort Ranch

Hao Bu Hao Chi?

Taitung by the sea

Sleep, Eat, and Buy Options in Alishan’s North Sector

Mt. Guanyin

A Night at the Market

Alishan North

Green and Sleepy

Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail

Taiwan and Hotpot

Jinyue Indigenous Village

Seven Stars Mountain

DaMorLee Leisure Farm

Quick Trip to Taipei

Up into the High Mountains

Romantic Evenings in Kaohsiung

Railways to Bikeways

Xiang Luo Lei Restaurant

Land Ho! Penghu – Beckoning You

The Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path

The Heart of Hualien

Dageeli Tribe Restaurant

Coastal Hualien

Ximending (West Gate District)

Bunun Hunters Restaurant

Hello Hualien!

The Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area

Tianwei Highway Garden

Prowlin’ in Maolin

Strawberry Town

The Maolin National Scenic Area

Stairways to the Sky

Pedaling Along

Daluan Restaurant

Around the Northern Tip

Hats and Mats

Orange Country

Travel Taiwan, Film Taiwan!

A Place to Relax

Through the Grapevine

The Tatami of Dongshi


Lion’s Head Mountain and Beipu

Exploring the Valley of the Glowing Sky

Fruit of the Angels

Its Cake Culture

The Amazing Bamboo

Yilan’s Kumquats

Lovely Nanzhuang

The Sea of Flowers in Xinshe Festival

Healthful Eating and Delicious Flavors

The Black King Kong of Yuanchang

From Art Brush to Beauty Brush

A Strange Fruit

The Sound of Drums

Zuoying Wannian Folklore Festival

The Hot Springs of Beitou

Simakusi (Smangus)


Water Frolics

Overnighting on the Northeast Coast

Giant Buddha, Old Temples, and Glass Art

Mt. Beidawu

The Most Joyous Thing in the World is Music

Taiwan Fun on the Tropic of Cancer

FUN WITH CHINESE - Men in the Fields during Rain

NK 101 Tea @ Style

Taitung Backpack Bus Trip

The Life of Pi

Taipei’s East District Where the Art of Shopping Is Serious Business

Spring Onion Country Yilan's Sanxing Township Offers Ideal Conditions for Cultivating Scallions

Sandy Beaches, Rocky Coastline, Quiet Country A Whirlwind Tour Round Hengchun Peninsula

What Happened at Wushe

Confucius Day

Keeping It in the Family: I Wan Jan Puppet Theater

Taiwan Has a Unique Culture

Welcoming the Year of the Rabbit and the ROC's 100 Years

All the Flowers You Can Dream Of

Music from the Marshland

Pristine Scenes

Fierce Faces

Following the Tide

A Wonderful World Out There

Off to the Beach and the Rocks

Taiwan’s Easy Rider Goes Into the Wild


Taipei Int'l Flora Expo




Taiwan's Ultra Man Going Beyond Extreme

Rice by Any Other Name

Taiwan is Beautiful!


Slate Houses and Mud Rivers

From Fir Formosa

Touring Kaohsiung by KMART


Taoyuan HSR Station

Taking Taiwan's Slow Train

Bus Trip to Central Taiwan

Establishing a Beautiful Taiwan

High Mountain Ecology

Exploring High Mountain HighsTaiwan at Her Peaks

Cultural Tourism in Taiwan:What's in It for You?

Getting to Know Taiwan's Indigenous Cultures

Leaving Stress Behind

Taiwan! "Feel Good" Country

Exploring Taiwan's Rural Side

Aboriginal Tribes & Festivals

The Famous Lantern Festival in Taiwan

Night Markets in Taiwan

Great Arts, Culinary Exhibitions and Events in Taiwan's National Palace Museum and Other Places

Mountains in Taiwan

Water Fun in Taiwan

Taiwanese Arts, Arts Festivals and Interesting Artifacts

"Taiwan's Ghost Festival and Other Religious Events"

Dragon Boat Festival

City: The Tallest Building Taipei 101 & Kaohsiung's Love River

National Scenic Area (IV)-Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area, Penghu National Scenic Area, Matsu National Scenic Area

National Scenic Area (III)-East Rift Valley National Scenic Area, East Coast National Scenic Area, Maolin National Scenic Area

National Scenic Area (II)-Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area, Alishan National Scenic Area, Southwest Coast National Scenic Area

National Scenic Area (I)-North Coast & Guanyinshan National Scenic Area, Northeast Coast National Scenic Area, Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area

Offshore Islands- Penghu、Kinmen National Park、Matzu、Green Island(Lyudao)、Orchid Island(Lanyu)

Eastern Taiwan- Taroko National Park、East Rift Valley、Rueisuei & Hongye、Jhihben

Southern Taiwan- Alishan、Tainan、Kaohsiung、Dapeng Bay & Little Liouciou、Kenting National Park

Central Taiwan- Miaoli、Taichung、Changhua、Nantou、Yushan National Park

Northern Taiwan -Taipei City、Yangmingshan & Beitou、Danshuei、Wulai、Jioufen & Jinguashih、Yilan、Taoyuan & Hsinchu