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Chinese New Year 2011

Chinese New Year 2011 is approaching fast. This year it will fall on February 3rd & it will be the “Year of the Rabbit”.

About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is an important festival and holiday for Chinese people. It is also the longest holiday in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar does not begin on January 1st and is a different date every year. The Chinese Calendar can begin anytime between January 21st and February 18th.

Every year is named after an animal. There are 12 animals. So, every 12 years the cycle begins again. The Chinese strongly believe that depending on the animal ruling, the year you were born, will have an effect and influence your life.

Here is a chart showing the dates & animal signs for Chinese New Year.

YEAR    DATE         ANIMAL SIGN

2010      February 14        Tiger

2011      February 3          Rabbit

2012      January 23          Dragon

2013      February 10        Snake

2014      January 31          Horse

2015       February 19       Sheep

2016       February 8         Monkey

2017      January 28         Rooster

2018       February 16       Dog

2019       February 5         Pig

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year’s Eve

The Chinese will visit relatives and friends during the New Year holiday. They will usually clean the house and wear new clothes and give red envelopes (with money inside) to children (given by the married and elders).

The colour red is symbolic so you will see many people wearing red or many red decorations. Some families will give their homes, doors or window frames a coat of red paint.

Cleaning their homes symbolises a new start. They believe that cleaning will sweep away bad luck and bring good luck.

Chinese New Year’s Day

In addition to giving red envelopes, small gifts will normally be exchanged between friends or friends. Mandarin oranges, cakes or biscuits are common gifts.

Fireworks

You will often hear fireworks during Chinese New Year. They are thought to help in driving away evil spirits. Burning firecrackers are also common. They signify a joyful time of year.

Dragon Dance and Lion Dance

Dragon dance and lion dance is very popular during Chinese New Year.  They are colourful, bright and lively. A great way to experience the local Taiwanese culture.

Cuisine During Chinese New Year

Mandarin Oranges

These are very popular and available to buy in all shops. The round shape symbolises wealth and good fortune.

Nian Guo

This is most commonly eaten in Eastern China. Nian Guo literally means “Year High” which translates as “a more prosperous year“. Nian Guo is made from a glutinous rice flour, wheat starch, salt, sugar and water.

Rou Gan

A salty and sweet dried meat. This can also be given as a gift. It is similar to Jamaican Jerky.

There are many other famous Taiwanese Foods and Drinks

Where to go for Chinese New Year 2011

Chinese New Year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The Kaohsiung City Government has organised many celebrations during Chinese New Year. Kaohsiung, Taiwan is an excellent place to be during Chinese New Year. The weather in the daytime is still warm and sunny.

San Fong Jhong Street, Kaohsiung

This street, is a dried goods food market. The dried food has come from China and many other foreign foods can also be found.

During Chinese New Year, It is packed with people who are stocking up on food for the holiday period. A good place to go to soak up the atmosphere of Chinese New Year.

The Lantern Festival, Taiwan

Celebrate Chinese New Year 2011 in Taiwan. A fantastic place to be to see local celebrations. The major cities such as Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung all celebrate with the Lantern Festival.

This is normally on the last day of the Chinese New Year. This year it will be on February 17th. You can see magnificent displays of fireworks and beautiful lanterns.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival was a huge success in 2010. This year the 2011 Kaohsiung Lantern Festival will be held by the riverbanks of the Love River in Kaohsiung City.

Local and International visitors will visit Kaohsiung to see thousands of traditional and state of the art lanterns. Local delicacies, cuisines and souvenirs can be tried.

Click Here to find out: What is open in Kaohsiung on Chinese New Year?

Miaoli, Taiwan

This year, 2011 Lantern Festival Celebration will also be held in Miaoli. Miaoli is located about 90 minutes away from Taipei.

Apparently, over 48,000 lanterns will be displayed in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record. 100 of these lanterns will be in the shape of a rabbit.

Throwing Firecrackers Ceremony

Taitung City, Taiwan

An interesting ceremony will take place in Taitung during Chinese New Year 2011.

A chosen man will take the role of the “God of Wealth” called “Master Han Dan“. He will only wear red shorts and nothing else.

He will hold a bamboo fan in front of his face and stand on a chair. Four people will then hold the chair up in the air.

The locals will then throw firecrackers at the “God of Wealth“. As he is believed to be the chosen one he is not supposed to feel the cold and bring wealth.

This ceremony will take place on February 17th, 7 pm on Nanjing Road; February 18th, 7 pm at Tianhou Square and lastly on February 20th, 8 pm at Haibin Park.

Firework displays and other performances can be seen.

The Yanshuei Firecrackers Ceremony

Tainan, Taiwan

This is a popular and well known celebration in Taiwan. This year, the ceremony will be held in Tainan County at Yanshuei Wu Miao Temple on February 16th.

Popular Tainan snacks and firecrackers can be enjoyed. Many historical sites are also worth a visit while you are here, such as the famous Anping Tree House and the Chikan Towers.

Greetings to Greet Family & Friends During Chinese New Year

  • Congratulations and Prosperities – Gong Xi Fa Cai
  • Happy New Year – Xin Nian Kuai Le
  • Happy New Year – Gong He Xin Xi
  • Blissfulness and Prosperities – Wan Shi Ru Yi


Book your Kaohsiung Hotel now to join the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Other Taiwan Hotels

Miaoli HotelsTaichung HotelsTainan HotelsTaipei HotelsTaitung Hotels

New Pub Opening – Leader Bar Kaohsiung Arena

The Galley Bar in the Kaohsiung Arena area of Kaohsiung recently closed it’s doors for the last time. In it’s place is the all new Leader Bar “American Style Bar”.  The change is more than just a makeover, the old ownership, management, and staff have all gone.

A pint of Taiwan draft is still only NT$100, but they no longer have an English menu. They do have some English speaking staff, but otherwise you will need to be able to read Chinese.

The Three Cups Chicken and Stir fried beef were quite tasty and well cooked. Overall the staff are very friendly, and the new look is very cosy and warm.

Beautiful Flowers of Taiwan

Orchids grown in Taiwan won a silver medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. The Chelsea Flower Show took place this year on May 25-29 2010. Over 600 florists and horticulturists took part in the Show. The event attracted over a hundred thousand visitors. It was said that Queen Elizabeth commented on the delicacy of Taiwanese Orchids.

It is surprising to know that Taiwan is the world’s largest exporter of orchids. Taiwan exported an amazing US$ 62.6 million in 2009. The orchid industry has been labelled the “Golden Flower Industry”.

Flowers in Taiwan are seen everywhere and are very beautiful. The Government in Kaohsiung seems to take special care with the flowers especially in parks.

The blooming period in Taiwan is quite long as they have an excellent topography and climate for growing flowers. Some of the flowers that you may also see are Chrysanthemums, butterfly orchids and white lilies.

One species of flowers called the anthurium, also called the Flamingo Flower, has been grown in Taiwan for over 30 years, over 10 million of these flowers are exported to Japan every year. This is due to the top Taiwan quality.

The International Flora Expo is being hosted in Taipei. The flower exhibition started this month and will continue until April 2011. There are said to be outstanding flowers in beautiful surroundings.

  • Our Full Guide to the International Flora Expo: Click Here

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Flowerbeds in Kaohsiung
Flowers in Aozihdi Park, Kaohsiung

Christmas in Taiwan

Is Christmas Celebrated in Taiwan?

Christmas is not officially celebrated in Taiwan. However, it is a coincidence that on 25th December 1947, the signing of the Constitution of the Republic of China took place.

Therefore, 25th December used to be an unofficial holiday in Taiwan. Nowadays, Christmas is celebrated by some people in Taiwan but it is not recognised as an official holiday.

Christmas in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

It is surprising to see in Kaohsiung that outside many apartment buildings, department stores and shops have put up a Christmas tree and Christmas decorations.   It is very beautiful especially with all the Christmas lights lit up at night.

In Kaohsiung, the majority of Taiwanese are Buddhist. The number of Christians and Catholics in Kaohsiung is increasing. They will celebrate Christmas in the normal way by putting up decorations, giving presents and eating turkey.

It is good to know that all shops in Kaohsiung such as 7-11 or Hanshin Department Store will be open over the Christmas period. As it is not officially celebrated or recognised as a holiday, everything will run and open as usual.

Many Western restaurants, hotels and pubs in Kaohsiung will be serving a traditional Christmas Dinner. General Panchos will be serving a Christmas turkey dinner for NT$350.

Bars and Pubs in Kaohsiung

Hotels in Kaohsiung

About Christmas

Christmas is generally about celebrating the birth of Jesus. The actual birth date of Jesus is not actually known. For Christianity, Christmas is the beginning of the Christmastide season which is over twelve days.

These days, although Christmas is largely a Christian holiday, Christmas is now celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians.

Nowadays, the Christmas period or festival has become a key role in increased economic activity. Retailers and businesses in many parts of the world can experience a growth in sales.

Kaohsiung’s Amphibious Vehicle

Kaohsiung’s Amphibious Vehicle is a great and interesting way to do a sightseeing tour of Kaohsiung City. The vehicle can travel on both land and water. It is often called the “Duck Boat“.

The Amphibious Vehicle takes passengers along the famous Love River. The tour covers 20 minutes of sightseeing on land and 40 minutes on water. The vehicle is easy to recognise as the front is shaped like a duck’s head.

Ticket Prices:

  • Full Fare NT$120 per person
  • Half Fare NT$60 (For children under 12, 65+ senior, people with disabilities)

Citizens of Kaohsiung City / County with ID Cards:

  • Full Fare NT$ 80
  • Half Fare NT$ 40

Available Tour Times:

  • 11 am – 5 pm, Tuesday – Sunday

Boarding Places and Ticket Purchase Locations:

  • 3. Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Zuoying Station (Exit 2)

Routes:

Orange Line – Sat – Sun

1. Pier-2 Art Center – Glory Wharf (between Wufu Bridge and Jhongjheng Bridge) – Pier-2 Art Center

Green Line – Tue – Fri

2. Dream Mall – Glory Wharf (between Wufu Bridge and Jhongjheng Bridge) – Dream Mall

3. Taiwan Railway Administration Zuoying Station – Lotus Pond (round trip) – Taiwan Railway Administration Zuoying Station

Charter and Reservation Tel: 07-286-6188 / 07-749-8668 ext.5602

Information Centre On Site Tel: 0975-738-897

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New Flight Service: Kaohsiung – Qingdao with Eva Airways

Taiwan’s Eva Airways has now launched a new flight service from Kaohsiung City, Taiwan to Qingdao City, China located on the southern bank of the Shandong Peninsula.

Direct Service

It is the first time that a direct service is offered between Kaohsiung City and Qingdao City.  At the moment, flights are running every Saturday (once a week) and will be increased to 20 flights per week.

About Qingdao

Qingdao is known for it’s beautiful environment of white sand and green trees.

Qingdao is considered to be more Westernised than other cities in China. Qingdao is an attractive city with a mixture of modern and old European-styled buildings.

Mt. Laoshan (highest mountain on China’s coast) and beautiful beaches can be seen here.

There are currently huge bargains on Hotels in Qingdao and Hotels in KaohsiungCheck Prices Here.

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The History of Cijin Island’s Cihou Fort

Cihou Fort (or spelt Qihou Fort) is a 19th Century Fort that used to guard the northern entrance to Kaohsiung Harbour. The entrance of the Fort was destroyed by the Japanese in the battle of Yiwei in 1895.

Two out of the four Chinese characters inscribed on the Fort Gate were recognised in a historical photograph as “Tian” meaning “Sky” and “Nan” meaning “South“.

When Kaohsiung City Government began restoration of the Fort in 1991, the historical photograph was magnified and used as a reference in producing the replica of the Chinese Characters.

One source of information believes that the four characters were inscribed as “Di Jhu Tian Nan” meaning The Great Stone Holds the Southern Sky.

Cihou Fort is a fascinating and interesting place to visit especially from a historical and strategic perspective. Cihou Fort has served as a defense against the Mudan tribe, the Japanese, and the Chinese. At the top of the Fort you can see Cijin beach and the 85 Sky Tower in the distance.

Nearby:

How to get there:

Metro / Underground

  • Take the Orange Line and get off at Sizihwan (R01). Take exit 1
  • It’s sign posted from there. Basically you turn left and go straight for 5 – 8 minutes to the harbour
  • Take the ferry to Cijin Island

Total Walk Time = 8 minutes to the Island

Ferry Instructions:

  • The Cijin Ferry is very easy to use, and doesn’t require any speaking. Therefore, language is not a problem.
  • Simply queue at the entrance with the people (or at the motorbike section if you have a motorbike)
  • When you get to the barrier there is a transparent box that you need to put your money into (currently 15 NT dollars for adults)
  • Board the ferry, and within 10 minutes you will be at Cijin Island.
  • It’s the same procedure to get back.

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Taipei Int’l Flora Expo is Expecting 6 Million Visitors

The Taipei International Flora Exposition presents a great opportunity to promote Taiwan. The event formally opened on 6th  November 2010 and stays open until 4th April 2011.

This is the first international event if its kind to be held in Taiwan. The Taipei Flora Expo will show Taiwan’s strengths in the horticulture industry and environmental technologies. The Taiwan Government hopes that the expo will inspire home owners and communities to adopt more “green” lifestyle habits. The event will not only attract gardeners and horticulturists but also a large number of foreign tourists. They expect about six millions visitors over the next coming months.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan held the World Games in 2009 and was very successful, the Flora Expo in Taipei, Taiwan is also expected to be an outstanding event.

Dates: 6th November 2010 until 25th April 2011

Opening Hours: Everyday 09:00 am – 10:00 pm

Locations:

1. Dajia Riverside Park

2. Taipei Artist Park

3. Yuanshan Park

4. Xinsheng Park


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Our Full Guide to the Taipei Flora Expo: Here

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Touring Kaohsiung County – Cishan Hakka Village

The Hakka Village in Cishan is a worthwhile visit if your planning a day tour around Kaohsiung County. The village was completely destroyed in Typhoon Morakot in 2009. Many of the Hakka people were killed. Now a year later, the village has been newly rebuilt by the Buddhist community.

In the village, the Hakka people have set up stalls selling all kinds of traditional local foods and arts and crafts. A famous food called “Taro” is very popular with the Hakka people. It tastes a bit like sweet potato and is very tasty as a snack. It has a thick skin which is peeled and then eaten.

Cishan Old Street, Cishan Sugar Refinery and the Wudu Confucius Temple are all interesting places to visit in Cishan.

For more information on..

What to do and see in Cishan?: Cishan

What to do and see in Meinong? (nearby Hakka Village to Cishan): Meinong

Want to see Hotels in Kaohsiung?: Hotels

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Fullon Hotel Kaohsiung Now Open!

The Fullon Hotel Kaohsiung is a 5-star hotel with numerous branches throughout Taiwan. They are opening a new hotel located on Wufu 4th Road in downtown Kaohsiung. The hotel’s location is excellent as nearby tourist attractions include the beautiful Love River, the Kaohsiung Film Archive, the peaceful Kaohsiung Harbour and the Kaohsiung Museum of History.

The Fullon Kaohsiung will have the following facilities; a swimming pool, a sauna and a spa, a gym, a banquet hall, a cafe and restaurant.

With it’s convenient location, excellent facilities and service and glamorous exterior, the Fullon Hotel is expecting to attract many to the area.

Nearby

Useful Websites

Fullon Hotel Kaohsiung Official Website: Click Here

Fullon Hotel Taipei Official Website: Click Here

Fullon Hotels Official Website: Click Here

See MORE Hotels in Kaohsiung: Click Here

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