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Central Taiwan mangrove walkway opens, aims to become tourist hotspot

Changhua County’s Fanyuan Wetlands walkway attracted over 100 tourists on opening day

Changhua County's Fanyuan Wetlands walkway is now open to the public. (Changua County Government photo)

Changhua County's Fanyuan Wetlands walkway is now open to the public. (Changua County Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After four years of construction and investing over NT$90 million (US$3.25 million), Changhua County’s Fanyuan Wetlands walkway opened on Tuesday (Sept. 7), reported UDN.

The one-kilometer walkway is around two meters in height above the intertidal zone, thus allowing tourists to observe the mangrove and wetland habitat without disturbing wildlife.

At the opening ceremony, Changhua County Magistrate Wang Hui-mei (王惠美) said a mangrove forest is a special feature of Fangyuan Wetlands, providing pleasant surprises when taking a stroll along the walkway, according to UDN. Several bird species can be found in the wetland habitat, while receding tides reveal mudskippers, fiddler crabs, and hermit crabs.

Aside from appreciating nature, Wang also hopes to integrate temple visits as part of the list of local tourist attractions. She said Lion Travel has planned tour groups to set out after Sept. 15 for a two-day vacation at Fangyuan.

In October, Fangyuan also celebrates “Sea Ox Culture Festival” and “Mazu Blessing Culture Festival," highlighting traditional cultures in the historical fishing town. Wang said tourists can visit Fangyuan Putian Temple, which has the most land of all temples in Taiwan, as well as experience the sea ox cart, a local way to travel around intertidal zones to harvest shellfish.

A number of local government officials attended the opening ceremony, as well as over 100 tourists. According to UDN, the tourists were in high spirits and glad for the opportunity to get some fresh air after staying at home for so long due to the pandemic.

However, UDN reported that as the mangrove forest in Fangyuan was created artificially during the 1980s and may harm the soil in the intertidal zone, Changhua Wild Bird Society President Hsieh Meng-lin (謝孟霖) said the government should strictly limit its growth. He encouraged tourists to pluck any mangrove buds at the wetlands to help preserve the natural environment.