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First passengers on train tour from China's Harbin reach Taiwan

Taipei, Sep. 19 (CNA) A group of passengers who were on a train tour down the eastern side of China arrived by boat on the Taiwan-held of Kinmen Saturday, becoming the first tourists from China's famous "Ice City" to visit the offshore island since direct sea transportation was opened between the two sides in 2001.
After more than four days of train travel from Harbin City in Hailongjiang Province northeastern China, the 544 tourists, mostly seniors, arrived in Xiamen in the southeastern province of Fujian early Saturday morning.
Then they boarded three passenger ships that took them to Kinmen, where they were greeted on arrival by Kinmen County Magistrate Lee Chu-feng.
The trip, organized by China's Harbin Railway International Travel Agency, allowed for only one stopover for a single night in Jiujiang City, in China's Jiangxi province.
However, the elderly tourists said they were very excited about the trip and were not at all tired. They said they wanted to fulfill their dream of making a "once in lifetime" visit to Taiwan, as the Harbin Railway International Travel Web site advertised.
"When we left Harbin, the temperature was low than 15 degrees Celsius, but when we arrived in Kinmen, we felt our hearts grow warm as the weather, and we are also very impressed by the warmth of the Taiwan people." said Guo Lei, leader of the tour group and general manager of the overseas tourism center at the Harbin Railway travel agency.
On arrival in Kinmen, the Chinese tourists were split into 18 groups that will travel by air to Taiwan proper for a six-day visit.
They will return to Xiamen via Kinmen on Sep. 24.
According to Kinmen County's Transportation and Tourism Bureau, passengers on train tours from Zhejiang, Jilin, Hubei, and Shandong have traveled this year to Taiwan via direct transportation links between Xiamen and Kinmen-- the so called "mini-three-links." Developing transit tours for mainland tourists has been one of the strategies for boosting Kinmen tourism, the bureau said.
(By Fanny Liu)

Updated : 2022-05-29 01:32 GMT+08:00