Dragon Boat Festival tourism on Taiwan's Orchid Island doubles

Crowds prompt thirsty resident to wonder when convenience store refrigerators would be replenished


(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An Orchid Island (Lanyu Township) resident mocked the sight of drink shelves quickly emptied by tourists at a local convenience store during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, saying, "Is a typhoon coming?"

Since the beginning of the long holiday on Thursday (June 25), more than 3,500 tourists have landed on Orchid Island, which is off the coast of Taiwan's southeastern Taitung County. As a holiday heatwave has been roasting the island, as it has much of the nation, most of the drink shelves at the 7-Eleven on the island were emptied by tourists as soon as they were replenished, according to CNA.

The fact that the island's villages of Hongtou (紅頭) and Dongcing (東清) are also holding millet harvest festivals during this period has contributed to a larger-than-usual number of visitors. Each ferry reached capacity in the first three days of the holiday.

A convenience store clerk said that as the sun was belting down on tourists over the holiday, drinks were the hottest merchandise. Other items such as instant noodles, bread, and packaged snacks were selling well too.

An island resident surnamed Chen (陳) went to the convenience store to shop on Sunday morning and saw that the drink shelves in the refrigerators were almost empty. This prompted the resident to wonder aloud when the store, which relies on shipping from the main island, would restock its shelves.

According to the Coast Guard Administration (CGA), the number of tourists visiting Orchid Island at the moment is about twice as many as in the same period last year.

(Hongtou Community Development Association photo)