Manyueyuan the most negative ions-enriched among eight Taiwanese forest parks, research

Go with your family or friends to refresh your mind and body through forest bathing!

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The bamboo forest in Basianshan National Forest Recreation Area.  (Credit: Forestry Bureau)

The bamboo forest in Basianshan National Forest Recreation Area.  (Credit: Forestry Bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Negatively charged ions, which are most prevalent in natural places, have been shown to offer health benefits in several studies, but the volume of negative ions may vary a great deal from place to place.

According to a recent study published by Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau, a forest park situated in the mountainous areas of Sanxia District of New Taipei City contains a far higher concentration of negative ions than any other national forest park in the country.

Manyueyuan National Forest Recreation Area (滿月圓國家森林遊樂區), a popular hiking location in northern Taiwan, tops the list for having highest volume of negative ions, with as many as 1,854 negative ions per cubic centimeter detected along its hiking trails, and up to 27,192 negative ions per cubic centimeter detected around the area's waterfalls.

Previous studies around the world show that waterfalls produce high volumes of ions carrying negative charges, which creates a pleasant and healthy atmosphere for hikers.

The tasteless and odorless molecules in the air are known to increase oxygen flow to the brain, accordingly decreasing drowsiness, and stimulating mental energy. Other health benefits, according to different research, include decreasing airborne viruses and bacteria in the air, normalizing breathing rate, decreasing blood pressure, inducing better sleep, and improving one's focus.

Unfortunately, homes and workplaces in urban areas are usually sealed off from the natural negative ions. The concentration of negative ions in the air of modern offices may only be one fourth to one tenth of the amount found in natural places. The bureau said the number of negative ions in urban areas usually reaches 200-300 per cubic centimeter.

However, the volume of negative ions varies a great deal at different natural environments. According to the study released by the Forestry Bureau earlier this week, the team sampled the air at eight different national forest parks, and discovered that Manyueyuan contains the highest density of negative ions at its Virgin Falls (處女瀑布) area, reaching up to 27,192 negative ions per cubic centimeter.


▲The Virgin Fall (處女瀑布) at Manyueyuan National Forest Recreation Area (Credit: Forestry Bureau)

Neidong National Forest Recreation Area (內洞國家森林遊樂區) in Wulai District, also in New Taipei City, comes second in the list, with 1,930 negative ions per cubic centimeter detected along its hiking trails and up to 16,748 negative ions found in the vicinity of the Neidong waterfall. The park is temporarily closed after the severe damage left by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015, but it is expected to reopen in July, 2018.


▲The Neidong Fall (內洞瀑布) at Neidong National Forest Recreation Area (Credit: Forestry Bureau)

Shuangliu National Forest Recreation Area (雙流國家森林遊樂區) in Shizi Township of Pingtung County comes third, with 1,615 negative ions detected along its hiking trails, and 9,350 negative ions found near the waterfall.


▲The Shuangliu Fall (雙流瀑布) at Shuangliu National Forest Recreation Area (Credit: Forestry Bureau)

Other national forest parks sampled in this study include Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area (太平山國家森林遊樂區) in Yilan County, Basianshan National Forest Recreation Area (八仙山國家森林遊樂區) in Taichung, Dasyueshan Forest Recreation Area (大雪山國家森林遊樂區) in Taichung, Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家森林遊樂區) in Chiayi County, Jhihben Forest Recreation Area (知本國家森林遊樂區) in Taitung, and Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area (奧萬大國家森林遊樂區) in Nantou County.

For more information about the national forest parks in Taiwan, please visit Taiwan Forest Recreation, or the Forestry Bureau.

▲ Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area (Credit: Forestry Bureau)


▲ Sea of clouds over the Alishan National Scenic Area (Credit: Forestry Bureau)