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Hehuanshan applies to become Taiwan's first dark sky park

Hehuanshan is the best star gazing spot in Southeast Asia, the news release said

(Photo credit: Taiwan's Forestry Bureau)

(Photo credit: Taiwan's Forestry Bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Staff members of an international dark-sky association are currently in Taiwan to survey Hehuanshan (Hehuan Mountain) in central Taiwan with regard to its application to become a dark sky park, according to a news release posted by Forestry Bureau’s Dongshih Forest District Office (DFDO) on Monday.

Hehuanshan is the best star gazing spot in Southeast Asia due to having the advantages of high elevation and low light pollution, the news release said.

In order to make the most of the natural advantages Hehuanshan is bestowed, the DFDO, Taroko National Park, and Nantou County Government joined hands in July to apply to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) for the mountains to become an IDA certified dark sky park, according to the news release.

IDA staff members arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 2 for a one-week visit. They visited Nantou County Government on Dec. 3 and stayed overnight at Song Syue Lodge on Hehuanshan to experience the beauty of the starry night sky above the mountains and to make an assessment regarding the application for a dark sky park, the DFDO’s document said.

To make Hehuanshan more friendly to star gazing, the DFDO had taken measures to manage lighting equipment in the Hehuanshan National Forest Recreation Area so that light pollution in the area could be reduced, the district office said, adding that the purpose of doing so is not only to make the beautiful night skies observed from Hehuanshan more enjoyable to visitors, but also to successfully help the mountains gain the status of Taiwan’s first international dark sky park.

The district office said Hehuanshan is situated more than 3,000 meters above sea level and the weather is very changeable, reminding those intending to visit to bring warm clothing and rain gear with them.

For more travel information, please call Hehuanshan Visitor Center at (049)2802980 or visit the Taiwan Forest Recreation website.