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Visit the historic town in southwestern Taiwan where the world-famous Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival is held.

As the world-famous Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival in the Yanshui district of Tainan, southwestern Taiwan is coming up in a few days, it's befitting to introduce not only the fireworks festival, but also the charming small town itself as the town is as unmissable as the fireworks festival.

So come over to the town early in the afternoon on March 1 and March 2 to eat the delicious local Yi Mein, visit attractions of the town, and appreciate the poetic lanterns at the Yuejin harbor before the first shot of the fireworks is fired in front of the Wu Miao Temple (Emperor Guan Temple.

The Yuejin Lantern Festival 2018 hosted by the Tainan City Government at the Yuejin harbor in Yanshui will last from February 10 to March 4. The lantern festival features installation artworks of light that combine local culture with scenery of Yanshui.

The excitement and craziness of the Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival has been widely reported by some major media outlets around the world. According to an introduction by the Tourism Bureau of Tainan City Government, Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival, which is an annual religious tradition held on the 14th and 15th day of Lunar New Year in Yanshui, is listed as one of the world's three major folk festivals, and is also one of the most significant religious activities in Taiwan.

Since most visitors usually come early to prepare for being bombarded by countless beehive fireworks, they should spend some time taking a tour of Yanshui, one of the oldest towns in Taiwan, before the frenzy of the night sets in. The attraction visitors should not miss include Qiaonan Old Street, the Octagon Building, and the lanes and alleys in Yanshui's historic street district.

Once the main street in Yanshui and a gathering place for merchants, Qiaonan Old Street gradually declined after the neighboring Yuejin Harbor silted up, and the clamor of the bustling port is no longer heard. All that remains to tell the story of Qiaonan is a row of old buildings. Some old houses on the street look like they have been there since the Qing Dynasty.

Built in 1847, the Octagon Building is a large wooden residence, and at the time was the home of the wealthy Ye Family, who made their money in sugar and hired an expert from China to build the property. Built with Chinese fir and brick, the property can be considered as one of the grandest courtyard residences of the era, according to Tainan City Government.

Yanshui's historic street district where traditional Taiwanese old houses flank the narrow street includes the Wangyemiao Lane, Lian Cheng Lane and First Bank Lane.

After touring around the town, tasting delicious local specialties, visiting the lanterns at the defunct harbor, you should head to the Wu Miao Temple before 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 1 when the holy sedan chair of Guan Yu will depart from the temple and parade through Yanshui. Followers of the deity along the way will set off firework racks in front of their doorways.

At 9:00 p.m. on Friday, March 2, the main firework rack will be set up on the sports field of Yanshui Junior High. A large quantity of beehive fireworks will be lit simultaneously for participants to experience the excitement of 'running through the beehive fireworks," according to Tainan City Government.

Between Friday, March 2, at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday dawn, March 3, the holy sedan chair will parade through the entire district, and followers along the way will set off beehive fireworks, the city government said.

If you plan to enter the firecracker zone in the sports field of Yanshui Junior High, you must wear full protective gear. After you reach downtown Yanshui, you will find vendors selling thick jackets, helmets, and gloves. So don't worry if you do not come fully prepared.

Public Transportation

Take the train to Xinying Train Station

Walk to the bus stop right across the train station. Take the bus (Brown Line, Brown No. 1, Brown No. 3) to Yanshui

Get off at Yanshui stop, or ask the driver to tell you when to disembark.

The last bus for the night departs at 01:00 midnight (from Yanshui to Xinying). The last bus from Xinying to Tainan train station departs at 11:00 p.m.

Driving directions

Exit at Xinying interchange and head towards Yanshui, drive west along county highway No.172 for approx. 2.6 km. Traffic control will be implemented in downtown Yanshui from 3:00 p.m.. So private vehicles and buses can only park/stop outside the downtown area. Pedestrians can walk about 10 minutes to the fireworks area.

For more information on the lantern festival, please visit here, and check out this site for more information on the Beehive Fireworks Festival.
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Publication:Taiwan News (Taipei, Taiwan)
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Feb 25, 2018
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