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1. 2019 Penghu International Bay Light Festival to feature 15 meters long whale arch[1]
Autumn is coming, and so is cooler weather, marking a good time for visiting the Penghu Islands off Taiwan. To promote autumn getaways to Penghu, Penghu National Scenic Area Administration, Tourism Bureau held the 2019 Penghu International Bay Light Festival from August 17 to November 2 at the Magong Guanyinting Recreation Area. The Penghu National Scenic Area Administration has invited design teams to create lanterns under the theme of “Coral Heart” and has commissioned a 5 meters tall Whale main lantern, which measures 15 meters in length—a spectacle sure to impress every traveler.

On the opening day on August 17, Mr. Billy Chang (one of the only three Taiwanese to ever work for Cirque du Soleil), Taiwanese music maestro Chen Ming-Chang, and Italian Design Award winner Sammy Liu performed a program titled “Hidden Sea”, narrating the legend of the Sea Dragon King who protected Penghu, in combination with a world-class light show. All 440 meters of the Starlight Bridge in Guanyinting Recreation Area have been decorated with 10560 meters of light cables to create a trail among the stars. The shimmering blue and white lights were mesmerizing and of international allure.

On July 31, a press conference was held at the Tourism Service Center of the Ministry of Communications. The event was hosted by the Director-General of Tourism Bureau Chou, Yung-Hui. The guests included members of the Legislative Yuan Yang, Yao, deputy speaker of the Penghu County Council Chen, Shuang-Chuan, Penghu County Government Counselor Tsai, Chi-Hsien, deputy director of the Tourism Department of Penghu County Government Liu, Mei-Fan, director of the Penghu National Scenic Area Administration Hsu Tsung-Min, deputy general manager of Far Eastern Air Transport Lu, Chi-Jung, deputy general manager of Uni Air Chen, Yung-Yu, manager of Mandarin Airlines Cheng, Chun-Hsueh, general manager of Profond Company Co.,Ltd. Chang, Chun-Mei, deputy general manager of ezTravel Hsiao, Kuan-Chun, and many other VIP guests. In addition to jointly promoting the 4th Penghu Autumn Festival series of events, they also welcomed domestic and foreign travelers to come and experience the beauty of Penghu in autumn and winter. The highlight of the press conference was the official switching-on of the Whale main light, the 1.5 meters tall light sculpture commissioned by Penghu National Scenic Area Administration. The symbolic event was officially started with a 3D light show, which gave the public a preview of the big autumn show that will be staged on Penghu for travelers in August.

Every Saturday from 7pm to 9pm during the event, a themed light show will be held for young and old, featuring major celebrities such as Lala Hsu, Genie Chuo, Bii, Huang Fei, Shen Wen-Cheng, Olivia Tsao, Henry Hsu, Michael Shih, who will light up Penghu’s starry night with their talent and entertainment. The 4th edition of the Penghu Autumn Festival also includes the 2019 Penghu Ocean Party Carnival, 2019 Jibei Yu Beach Carnival, Fun travel in Penghu - Huxi Township Tourist, Field trip - Jibei Yu Stone Weir Environment, 2019 International Windsurfing Championship, 2019 Penghu Chrysanthemum Island Cross-sea Marathon, and many other fun events. Detailed information can be found at the Penghu National Scenic Area Administration website.

2. 2019 Penghu Jibei Yu Beach Carnival Warmly Welcomes You this August
Penghu owns Taiwan’s richest tourism resources and has always been one of the most popular vacation destinations for international and domestic travelers alike – it has been thereby considered the brightest “pearl” on Taiwan’s Strait. A total of 90 islands reside in Penghu where a long history of humanities and cultures has evolved; their ubiquitously magnificent oceanic sceneries are also nature’s most precious blessings. This summer, the 2019 Penghu Jibei Yu Beach Carnival will be taking place in Taiwan’s most beautiful bay in Jibei, Penghu, where the marvelous glories of Jibei’s “golden coast,” as shown in the popular TV drama At the Dolphin Bay, will once again become a nationwide sensation.
The press conference on 6/26 was held on the 1st floor of Travel Service Center at the Tourism Bureau, MOTC and was hosted by Director Hsu of the Penghu National Scenic Area Administration. Distinguished guests attending the press conference also included the Executive Officer of Penghu County Government Tsai Chi-hsien, Manager of Department of Business at Mandarin Airlines Cheng Chun-hsueh, Manager of Department of Business at UNI Air Chen Yung-yu, and more. In addition to supporting and promoting the 2019 Penghu Jibei Yu Beach Carnival events, they also introduced us to an in-depth experience of the romantic views at Jibei’s most beautiful bay as we take in the fanciful and captivating charm unique to summery islands.
Director Hsu Tsung-min of Penghu National Scenic Area Administration pointed out, “Jibeiyu, Penghu is the largest populated island in North Sea of Penghu. Besides the breathtaking charm of the Shawei beach in Jibei, Jibei also takes pride in its distinctive gourmet food and humanistic and cultural sceneries. To promote tourism of outer Penghu islands, we have especially incorporated this time the capabilities from all local departments and industries. And by integrating Penghu’s various tourism resources, its most beautiful and most romantic beaches and its stone tidal weir culture will be promoted globally via the form of a sports carnival, which will encompass Jibei’s summery splendor and brilliance, beach volleyball, running races, fun activities and music concerts. Another key event – Jibei beach running race will re-invigorate Jibei Island along with the ocean waves and its energetic ambiance. With these events, tourism branding and popularity for Jibei, Penghu will hopefully be once again brought under the spotlight, so that local industries will be revitalized and tourism production will expectantly be created.”
2019 Penghu Jibei Yu Beach Carnival offers plenty of exciting events, which have been collaboratively planned out by Penghu National Scenic Area Administration, Penghu County Government and Baisha Township Hall of Penghu County. The Carnival organizing team also invited Kevin Lin, a renowned endurance athlete, to coordinate a series of Beach Carnival events to take place from August 15th through 25th, offering more than a thousand people an opportunity to realize their dreams on this dazzling summery island. Among the activities, Jibei Beach Running Race will have a 4K leisure team, a 10K challenge team and a 10K duet team, which will all occur at what has been dubbed as “Taiwan’s Most Beautiful Bay” – Shawei beach. And the two 10K teams will go around the island and embrace Jibei’s sunshine, beaches and sea breeze. Besides the races, there are also varieties of events waiting for all to participate in, which will include beach volleyballs, experience of the stone tidal weir culture, environmentally-conscious beach cleaning, oceanic tourists’ market and all kinds of fun activities exclusive to Jibei Beach; they will thereby allow people from all over to fully take in the bests of Jibei, Penghu. On the night of the races, there will also be an oceanic tourists’ market offering an array of delightful dishes and a sea breeze party that will get the crowd go crazy! All travelers staying overnight at the island will be able to enjoy an exclusive “VIP night” having the island all by themselves, as they enjoy powerful performances given by the hot new-generation rap group CHING G SQUAD, the popular contender for the 30th Golden Melody Award for Best Mandarin Female Singer – Shi Shi, and many other local groups as the singers ignite the whole Jibei Island! Beach Volley Tournament will be open to a total of 500 participants, and the application will start now and end on July 15th or when spots are filled. Jibei Beach Running Race will be open to 1,000 participants, and the application will start now and end on August 4th or when spots are filled. Penghu residents will even enjoy a 50% discount on the application fees. Openings are limited, so please sign up now if you are interested!

3. Sunset Picnic and Concert on Hujing Island – Enjoy a Romantic Summer Evening!
2019 Formosa Summer Festival - Sunset Picnic and Concert on Hujing Island will kick off on Hujing Island – the 7th largest island in Penghu – in the evening of June 22 (Saturday), and Penghu National Scenic Area Administration invites tourists and local residents to head to Xishan Recreational Area on Hujing Island to admire the afterglow of the sunset and listen to melodious music under the mesmerizing star-studded summer sky.
Hujing Island is a stunning little tropical/sub-tropical island situated in the south of Penghu, and it has been voted as one of the top 10 best secret islands in the world by Lonely Planet. The Tropic of Cancer passes through the southern waters of Penghu's Hujing Island, therefore Penghu National Scenic Area Administration has collaborated with Tourism Bureau, MOTC to host the summer sunset picnic and concert at the nearby Xishan Recreational Area on Hujing. The event incorporates exciting activities such as community guided tour by local elders, mammoth kite demonstration, Hujing Elementary School children's folk song performance, and performance by Taiwan Brass Quintet, presenting the vibrant, rustic characteristics of Penghu Bay and the appeal of a tropical island. The aim is to create the leisurely vibe of Penghu as an island paradise that is perfect for vacations and romantic getaways.
Penghu National Scenic Area Administration offers 150 spots for tourists who want to participate in the island music festival on Hujing Island at a cost of NT$300 per person. The spots are limited, so reserve your spot today in order to appreciate the enchanting charisma of slow living on Hujing Island!

4. Travel Freely in Penghu with Bike Expert Leading Biker Guides You Along
In order to develop Penghu into low-carbon island and introduce green recreational activities, Penghu National Scenic Area Administration and Penghu County Government have established a round-the-island bike trail and collaborated in installing hardware such as signs, bike stops and public restrooms, publishing biking pamphlets, constructing websites and others to fully construct a bike traveling environment.
In order to welcome Taiwanese bikers to enjoy the fun of biking at Penghu, Penghu National Scenic Area Administration cooperated with the Penghu County Biking Association in providing free leading bike traveling service and arranges 2 iconic itineraries of “Traveling around the Classic Small Towns of Huxi” and “Biking Around Yuwengdao Geopark”. With the guide and introduction of expert leading bikers, it enables tourists to further understand the hidden commoner culture, quodis arcana or forgotten corners with gradual and relaxing pace in order to let them know about Penghu and fall in love with Penghu.
This event will start from April 1st and end on June 30th. We welcome groups of 5 people or more who attempts to travel Penghu on bikes to file online reservation through the website or contact Mr. Cheng of Recreation Section (telephone number).
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5. Penghu Intellectual Tour – Opening for the 2019 Penghu Lantern Festival Turtle-Granting Carnival
 “Turtle-Granting” is one of Penghu’s traditional folk custom events. In order to pray for abundant harvest and safety in the coming year, the various temples in Penghu organize the Turtle-Granting pray for blessing and make a wish event on a grand scale during the Lantern Festival period. In order for visitors to sense the bustling atmosphere of Penghu’s Lantern Festival, to experience the cultural content of the Turtle-Granting event, as well as to enjoy the leisure fun of vacation in small towns and villages on the sea island, the Penghu National Scenic Area Administration especially organized the “2019 Penghu Lantern Festival Turtle-Granting Carnival” with Wen Ao Zushi Temple on February 16th, 2019 as an opening to this year’s Penghu Lantern Festival.
While all regions around Taiwan are creating new ideas to attract visitors during the New Year and Lantern Festival period, the traditional, natural and original Penghu Lantern Festival Turtle-Granting Pray for Blessing event has also become the new fun for intellectual experts to explore, search the root and experience the New Year. The event content this year included 800 Penghu Prosperity Turtle souvenir coin sets blessed by the Wen Ao Zushi Temple, which is available for the people at the event site to obtain via throwing the moon blocks; there was also the opening ceremony for Penghu Hao-Ke – the mascot for the 2019 Taiwan Small Town Ramble. Besides obtaining souvenir coins via throwing the moon blocks, domestic and international famous balloon master – Mr. Chia-Chiao Lin was also invited to perform at the event and teach how to make balloon turtles, while the DIY activities on turtle-shaped pineapple buns and turtle-shaped cakes further added an interesting touch. The activities for the evening party included battle drums, temple parasol, music performance and lantern riddles,etc. Wen-Cheng Chen was invited to act as event spokesperson, and the event atmosphere was extraordinarily lively.
Tsung-Min Hsu, director for the Penghu National Scenic Area Administration indicated that “The Lantern Festival is much more bustling than New Year for the people of Penghu”, it can be seen the importance of Lantern Festival to the people of Penghu. The Turtle-Granting folk custom of Penghu is to pray for safety, those who obtain the sacred combination with one flat block and one convex block when throwing the moon blocks will be able to take home the various types of “Turtles”, symbolizing work safety and health for the coming year, and must also provide the equivalent or even more quantity of what one has earned this year for the next year in order to pass down the fortune to the next person. Turtle-granting items include turtle-shaped cakes and red glutinous rice turtle-shaped cakes in the old days, to the rice and noodles stacked in turtle-shape, the “golden turtle” created using gold and the various types of daily commodities during the recent years, and along with the change of time, the turtle-granting event is fused with cultural inheritance and local folk customs, thereby introducing more diversified fun to the Lantern Festival. Taiwan’s Lantern Festival includes “sky lanterns in the north, beehive firecracker in the south, Handan in the east and turtle-granting in the west”, where the “turtle-granting in the west” is the praise to Penghu’s Lantern Festival, as well as the expectation of sustainable inheritance and carrying forward.
Other than this, in collaboration with the experience promotion of the “2019 Taiwan Small Town Ramble” to attract more tourists to visit the various small towns and villages in Penghu, the Penghu National Scenic Area Administration further expanded the marketing of Penghu Lantern Festival Turtle-Granting culture via the excitement and charisma of the Lantern Festival event, and has especially produced and provided 10 thousand sets of “Prosperity Turtle Souvenir Coin” to 10 temples which collaborated with the event, including Penghu Mazu Temple, so that the visitors may interact with the turtle-granting activity, thereby allowing pilgrims to become visitors, and let the turtle-granting culture to become well-received amongst visitors. Moreover, in order for visitors to experience the cultural content of the turtle-granting and pray for blessing event, exquisite Lantern Festival Turtle-Granting Tour Guide Brochure has been designed in combination with a diversification of tourism resources, including Penghu’s traditional culture, folk custom characteristics and natural sceneries, etc. It is integrated with the launch of the event on “Obtaining Penghu Hao-Ke figurine with the collection of Lantern Festival stamps”, hoping that each tourist visiting Penghu may feel the added joy through receiving a small gift in order to take home with them loads of happy memories.

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Singing performance from the event spokesperson – Wen-Cheng Chen

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Opening for the 2019 

6. The 2019 Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival will be launched resplendently
The 2019 Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival will be launched resplendently from April 18 to June 27 every Monday and Thursday night at Guanyinting, Magong, with a total of 22 shows. We enthusiastically invite visitors at home and worldwide to this grand annual tourism event in Penghu, a splendid fireworks feast. We expect to see “Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival” shine again.

The Fireworks Festival is iconic for Penghu tourism and held from April to June every year, with the attempt to incorporate other creative elements, hoping to attract more tourists, thereby allowing Penghu Fireworks Festival to be innovative and eco-friendly in order to keep up with the times.

Other than the magnificent charisma from the resplendent fireworks and the romantic Xiying Rainbow Bridge, the organizer will also include technology and light art to create astonishing visual effects for this year’s Fireworks Festival, introducing all-new audio and lighting experiences together with the meticulously selected music. The Festival brings tourists to Duxing 10th Village, Magong Business District and the peripheral industrial clusters. It is able to connect famous event sites of Penghu to form a belt-like touring route, thereby expanding the event efficacy on the whole. 

The 2019 Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival will also continue with the thematic night, which has received great reputations and performances with various themes will be presented. In the night breeze, local groups and famous artists present splendid programs. Everyone at the Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival will enjoy the energy of “The Most Beautiful Bay in the World – Penghu Bay.”

7. Penghu National Scenic Area Administration holds “Precious Penghu, GeoPark Photo Gift’Event
This year Penghu has shown its brilliance during such occasions as the 2018 annual meeting of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World, 2018 Bay Tourism Year and the 3rd Penghu Autumn Festival. This final season of the year, riveting sports events, a dazzling Penghu International Light Festival and breathtaking fireworks shows make a Penghu a perfect destination for autumn and winter trips, as well.
In addition to repositioning the archipelago for autumn and winter tourism, the island boasts of famous tourist attractions such as the Daguoye Columnar Basalt in Siyu Township on Penghu Island, a stretch of 100 meters of columnar basalt rocks formed ten million years ago. Heavy rains will create a temporary pond in front of them, reflecting the towering basalt cliffs—a majestic sight. Easily accessible and highly photogenic, this unique natural landscape attracts photographers from far and wide. The intriguing intertidal zone between the coast of Chiyu to Kuibishan changes with every tide and is worth a visit. During high tide, the seawater submerges the sea trail there, yet when ebb tide sets in, a beautiful, curved gravel trail emerges, and like Moses and the Israelites in the Old Testament, you can walk across the sea. A similar structure, the Azure Window of Malta in the Mediterranean had been a hot spot visited by millions of tourists and had appeared in movies and TV dramas, when weakened by sea erosion its famous arch collapsed into the sea during a storm on 8 March 2017. Suddenly swept away, its beauty has been reduced to a mere memory. Although the Azure Window has closed, the Whale Cave of Xiaomen Islet of Penghu fortunately still exists. This rock formation is a basalt mesa eroded by the sea into its present arched shape. Its name is derived from its resemblance to a whale breaking the surface of the sea. Although the Whale Cave has been spared the fate of its Maltese counterpart, the forces of nature are capricious and for those who wish to experience a spectacular landscape, it’s never too early to visit Penghu’s Whale Cave.
The Penghu National Scenic Area Administration Court, Tourism Bureau, MOTC and the Penghu County Government have applied for these three attractions to be listed as a Geological Park in order to stimulate local communities to participate in regional sustainable development, promoting geological science and environmental education, and support conservation, education and sustainable development. To make the Daguoye, Kuibeishan and Xiaomen (Whale Cave) Geological Park better known to tourists, the “Precious Penghu, GeoPark Photo Gift” event is held online from 5 November through 15 December 2018. Participants only need to check in at and take a photo with “the World's Most Beautiful Bay in Penghu” logo at Daguoye, Kuibeishan, Xiaomen Geological Park, or the Penghu Visitor Center, and upload their picture to the Penghu NSA’s Facebook page called Gaillardia Island Happy Travels together with a short comment on education, preservation, protection or similar entries. These posters will be included in a lucky draw. The diverse and beautiful prizes include three prizes of 3-day-2-nights travel packages covering return flights from FAT AIR Taipei, Kaoshiung, or Taichung to Penghu, accommodation in Jiaqi Hotel, airport shuttle); one prize of a 42 mm Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS); one prize of two UNI AIR Kaohsiung-Magong round-trip tickets; one prizes of one CENTURION 29” suitcase model Whale Shark C23 (zipper suit case/flight attendant suit case); eight prizes of one Starbucks On-The-Go Card (including a store value of TWD 500). Come and share your best photo and join the lucky draw!
In addition, tourists visiting Penghu in the autumn or winter will be given a 3rd Penghu Autumn Festival Discount Passport, launched by the Penghu Tourism Department. The passport contains descriptions of the festival activities, autumn and winter experience tours, travel services and transportation information, as well as special discounts on food, accommodation, travel, shopping, and more, all provided by high-quality businesses. To enjoy your discount, just present the discount page of the passport at the store. The passport also enables you to join a big lucky draw with over TWD 350,000 worth of prizes in dining, accommodation, travel and shopping.

[1] Source: Penghu National Scenic Area Administration