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Tours to Dadan Island prove a big hit with Taiwanese

2019/02/16 21:35:15

Photo courtesy of Kinmen County Tourism Department

Kinmen, Feb. 16 (CNA) Visits to Dadan, a Taiwan-held island off the coast of China and a major battleground during the Cold War, proved an instant hit following the start of tour bookings earlier this week.

The 0.79-square-kilometer Dadan Island, which is part of the Republic of China's (Taiwan) outlying Kinmen County, is set to be opened to tourists for the first time from March 1.

The number of visitors will be limited to 150 per day and admission tickets will cost NT$1,500 (US$48.67), including the return ferry trip, electric shuttle bus rides and group tour guide services, while Kinmen residents will be charged a discounted price of NT$750, according to Kinmen County Tourism Department.

However, Chinese nationals, including those living in Hong Kong and Macau, will not be permitted to visit the island.

Ting Chien-kang (丁健剛), head of the tourism department, said the admission price is intended to promote Dadan, rather than make a profit.

There are plans to provide other forms of discount tickets in the future, such as for seniors, veterans and children, Ting said.

According to the department, all 150 tickets for the first group of tourists on March 1 sold out within one hour of going on sale on 8:30 a.m. Feb. 12.

Those wishing to visit the island must make applications 10 days prior to their departure, the department said.

For now, applications to visit the island are focused on the period from March 1 to May 31, the department added.

The Republic of China military presence on Dadan and neighboring Erdan island dates back to 1949, when the ROC government relocated to Taiwan after losing the Chinese civil war to Chinese communist forces.

The islets were the site of a fierce battle on July 26, 1950 as the communists sought to capture ROC-held islands near China.

Administration of the small islands, located just over four kilometers from the Chinese city of Xiamen, was transferred from the military to Kinmen County government in 2014.

(By Huang Huei-min and Ko Lin)