British mother and son camping illegally on Taiwan’s Mount Hehuanshan

The son spent four months inside the national park

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Hehuanshan in winter.

Hehuanshan in winter. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - A British mother and son who spent four months camping illegally inside the national park including Mount Hehuanshan (合歡山) were removed and fined, reports said Saturday.

The area, which reaches up to an altitude of 3,400 meters, is famous as a spot to watch the sunrise, but visitors need to apply for a permit to enter and they can only walk around, not spend the night in tents, the Central News Agency reported.

A 26-year-old British citizen of Chinese origin first entered the area in August, and later left before bringing back his 60-year-old mother, who reportedly found it hard to adapt to urban life.

In October, visitors told the authorities they had seen someone camping on the north peak of Hehuanshan, but a first search failed to turn up anybody, according to CNA.

While the two reportedly asked for food from passersby, they would also help sort out trash and offer assistance in the case of medical emergencies, a park official said.

A group of police officers finally located the two British campers on December 13, and helped them take down their tent and other possessions down the mountain and out of the park. The mother and son were each fined NT$1,500 (US$48.5), CNA reported.