TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- This year's annual hot air balloon festival at the Qingqing Grasslands (青青草原) in Hsinchu will include four balloons which will offer free rides to 550 members of the public from August 5-6, Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) announced on July 17.
The name of this year's event is the "2017 Slides, Hot Air Balloons, Qingqing Grasslands, and Summer Holidays" and will be held from August 5-6 on the 64 hectare Qingqing Grasslands. Free rides on the four hot air balloons will be split between morning and afternoon sessions, with about 350 passengers for the morning session between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., and 200 riders for the afternoon session from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The operation of the balloons will depend on the air current and weather conditions each day, and tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis at 5 a.m. for the morning session and 6 a.m. for the afternoon session.
In addition to free hot air balloon rides, the festival will also feature many activities on the ground, including: hot air balloon walks, burner demonstrations, kaleidoscope fun, street performers, picnics, children's plays, ecological tours, and musical performances.
In order to prevent traffic congestion, cars are prohibited from entering the surrounding area to the event, instead guests are asked to park at Haishan Port, Shui Zi Yuan Park, and Zhong Hua University. Scooter riders are asked to enter via Yuanpei Street, ride through Yuanpei Street Lane 148, park at Da Ping Ding Parking, and then head to the event site by foot.
Shuttle buses will also be available from Sanxingqiao Train Station, Haishan Port, Shui Zi Yuan Park, and Zhong Hua University. The shuttle buses run between 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the grasslands and 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from the grasslands, at 10 minute intervals.
Shuttle tickets are NT$10 (US$0.32) to the grasslands for each rider between the ages of 18-65, but the return journey is free. Passengers are asked to prepare exact change as electronic ticketing is unavailable.
Exact location of the Qingqing Grasslands on Google Map: