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Anonymous tourist returns ‘stolen’ stone to Taiwan beach

Sender of letter expresses remorse for taking one of Qixingtan Beach’s signature stones

(Wu Ching-chan photo)

(Wu Ching-chan photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A tourist recently sent back a stone they picked up from Qixingtan Beach in Hualien County with a letter expressing remorse for taking the souvenir.

Hualien City cleaning squad chief Wu Ching-chan (吳慶展) told CNA on Tuesday (Dec. 21) that he received a “heavy” letter in which a rock accompanied a note this month. “This is a stone belonging to Qixingtan Beach,” the note read. “About a month ago, I took it home out of ignorance. Now I send it back, so it can return to its proper owner. Really sorry.”

Wu said there was no name or return address. The sender was possibly a tourist who took the stone on a whim and later pondered the environmental impact, Wu continued.

He went on to say that back when he worked for the county’s Environmental Protection Bureau, he had received similar “heavy” letters. He expressed surprise at receiving yet another in his current job.

Wu said he did not mind putting the stone back and hoped other tourists would leave them where they belong.

A sign forbidding people from picking up the stones has been placed at Qixingtan Beach, with a basket on each side of the sign for receiving returned stones.

Hualien Tourism Department official Chen Yung-nan (陳勇男) said the behavior of taking stones from the beach is punishable by a fine of between NT$5,000 (US$180) and NT$1 million based on the Act for the Development of Tourism.

Anonymous tourist returns ‘stolen’ stone to Taiwan beach
Qixingtan Beach (flickr, hanklee_photo)