Dispute over hiking trail permits between eastern Taiwan counties easing

Taitung, not just Pingtung, can now benefit financially from Alangyi Trail

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(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s eastern county of Taitung has finally begun to enjoy the financial benefit generated by the popular Alangyi Trail located along the coast between Taitung and Pingtung counties.

The Alangyi Trail crosses some of Taiwan’s most unspoiled coastline, which stretches from Taitung County’s Daren Township to Pingtung County’s Mudan Township. The 8-km Alangyi Trail has two entrances: one in Taitung’s Nantien Village and another in Pingtung’s Syuhai Village.

The ancient trail follows the coastline from the beaches up into the mountains. When on the shore, the scattering of rocks and pebbles can be heard under the crash of waves.

Designated an ecological reserve by Pingtung County in 2012, the Alangyi Trail now requires visitors to apply for entry permits and hire an aboriginal guide. Only 300 visitors are allowed to enter the trail in a day.

As the permits and guides are provided by Pingtung County, Nantien Village has received no significant financial benefit. Residents of the village have been hoping some revenue may yet come their way, according to CNA.

After politicians entered the negotiations, Taitung won the authority to issue 50 permits to enter the trail from Nantien Village on a daily basis starting in October. Booking for the permits began Tuesday (Sept. 1).

A Taitung County tourism official, Lee Chih-peng (李志鵬), said that the phone has been ringing off the hook with inquiries since Tuesday. He reminded the public to call the Nantien Community Development Office instead.