Ecotourism Twenty-four sand sculptors from 12 countries have constructed 80 imposing sand castles along a three kilometer stretch of beach in Northern Taiwan, which is short train ride from downtown Taipei. Now in its ninth year, the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival on Fulong Beach attracted more than 300,000 attendees in 2015. How many people will the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival attract this year? Works in 2016 year include miniature sand re-creations of some of the world’s most iconic structures, such as the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai. There are also re-creations of Taiwan’s bustling night markets. My only question is, what happens if it rains? The Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. between May 7 and July 10. It can be reached on foot from the Fulong Train Station.
Sand sculpting festivals have been growing in popularity in recent years. Some of the higher profile events include Sand Sculpting Australia, which is held in Franston, Victoria; the Goa Sand Art Festival, which is held each year in India; and Sand Castle Days on South Padre Island in Texas in the United States. The Indonesia Sand Sculpture, which is held each year in Bogor, West Java, is the largest sand sculpture event in Southeast Asia. The largest sand sculpture event in the world is the International Sand Sculpture Festival, which is held each year in the Algarve in Southern Portugal. Fulong is located within the Yilan Coast National Scenic Area. It is about 34 miles east of Taipei. Express trains are faster but leave less often than local trains, which make more stops. Buses are another option. Water sports such as swimming, sailing, and windsurfing are popular. Surfing is occasionally possible. Miniature sailboats, canoes boogie boards, beach umbrellas, shade tents, and awnings can all be rented from vendors along the beach. Attractions include Ling Jiou San, an imposing Buddhist monastery, and Rainbow Bridge. There is a coastline biking trail. Bicycles can be rented at a shop next to the train station and other bike shops in the city.
One more high profile event is held in Fulong each summer. The Hohaiyan Rock Festival is held on Fulong Beach for three to five days every July. Local and overseas bands perform, attracting as many as 100,000 music lovers to the seaside resort. The Hohaiyan Rock Festival is one of Taiwan’s most important outdoor music festivals. Other high profile outdoor musical events include Spring Scream, which has been held in the Southern Taiwanese city of Kenting every April since 1995. As many as 300 performances are held across eight stages with local musicians performing alongside musicians from Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, and Europe. Launched in 2003, the Taichung Jazz Festival draws massive crowds every October. The Beigang International Music Festival was launched in 2006. In addition to Beigang, performances are held in the nearby8 cities of Douliu and Siying. Accommodation One of Taiwan’s largest campgrounds is located at nearby Longmen, which is a 10 minutes’ walk north of downtown Fulong. While tents can be rented, those in the know suggest brining your own tent. An assortment of hotels, hostels, guest houses, and bed and breakfasts dot the vicinity. The Fullon Hotel Fulong, which opened in 2015, is arguably the most stylish option for travelers wanting to spend the night. The hotel has 174 rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot springs, a sauna, gym, spa, and a children’s playground. The hotel has three food and beverage outlets as well as a banquet room. The Lobby Bar serves snacks, light meals, and beverages. The café serves international buffets. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fu Yue Lou Dim Sum is open for lunch and dinner. It serves Hong Kong style dim sum and a la carte stir-fried dishes. Where Fullon Hotel Fulong, No.41, Fulong St., Gongliao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Telephone: 86-2-2499-1188.