Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jade Mountain

Taiwan’s tallest mountain is getting renewed international interest by making the shortlist of the New Seven Wonders of Nature Contest last summer. Standing at 3,952 meters high (13,966 feet), Jade Mountain is the jewel of Yushan National Park, a parkland sanctuary rich in plant and animal life.

Jade Mountain, also known as Yushan, is a Taiwanese icon. Although taller than Mount Fuji by 176 meters (577 ft.), it is not visible to most of Taiwan’s people. Unlike Mount Fuji which is readily seen by millions of Japanese throughout all seasons. Yushan can only be seen once you are in the mountains. After it was realized that Yushan was higher than Mt. Fuji, its reputation skyrocketed and it became a popular destination for Japanese and Taiwanese in the first half of the 20th Century. In fact, climbing the mountain became a popular graduation ritual.

When the Chinese Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949, the mountain’s popularity waned with a more mainland-centric government. “The status grew slowly, alongside a Taiwanese identity that is still struggling to define itself and its icons,” said the Wall Street Journal.

Today, Yushan National Park is again a popular tourist destination, and climbing Jade Mountain has once more become a post-graduation tradition. The park stretches over 105,000 hectares (259 acres), covering subtropical forest to highland scrub. It has incredible biodiversity and in the last ten years, has seen a rebound of some of the park’s endangered wildlife. The park is well protected with a maximum of only 90 hikers allowed to start the two-day climb up to Jade Mountain each day. During certain months, the mountain is closed entirely to prevent overuse.

If you think Jade Mountain should be one of the New Seven Wonders, voting will continue into 2011. The winner will be announced on November 11, 2011. To vote for Yushan, visit:
http://www.new7wonders.com/community/en/new7wonders/new7wonders_of_nature/finalists?page=1.


Photo by Chen Fang-yi (Taiwan Tourism Bureau)


Photo by Chen Fang-yi (Taiwan Tourism Bureau)


Photo by Yang Chun-shan (Taiwan Tourism Bureau)


Courtesy of the Government Information Office


Courtesy of the Government Information Office


Courtesy of the Government Information Office


Courtesy of the Government Information Office


Courtesty of the Government Information Office

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About Me

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.