Penghu restates heavy penalty for entering ‘Blue Cave’

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Heavy penalty for entering 'Blue Cave': Penghu

Penghu County Government reiterated on Tuesday that entering the ‘Blue Cave’ on Xiji Islet in the South Penghu Marine National Park is subject to heavy fines after yachts had been spotted anchoring close to the cave entrance for tourists to engage in snorkeling activities.

The South Penghu Marine National Park is the ninth of Taiwan's national parks and the second marine national park. The park comprises the Dongji, Xiji, Dongyuping and Xiyuping islets as well as other smaller peripheral islets and waters. This area features precious ecological resources and great biodiversity with coral reef concentrations comparable to international standards, offering a paradise for snorkeling.

The Blue Cave, located in the Penghu South Sea Basalt Nature Reserve, is fast becoming a tourist draw after photographs taken around the Blue Cave went viral on the Internet.

The county government said news had spread that some tourists visiting the Blue Cave were trapped in an area with rapid currents and later safely rescued last year.

As the cave is prone to rockfalls, the local government has banned entry to the cave and imposed a heavy fine of NT$30,000 – NT$150,000 for violations, and a five-year jail term and a fine of up to NT$ 1 million for any damages.