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County News
Magistrate Huang Welcomes All to Enjoy Tasty Sailfish and Navel Oranges in Charming Chenggong
Date: 2015-11-04    
The “2015 Sailfish, Navel Oranges, and Easy Traveling in Chenggong” event took place during the whole month of November with a lot of fun. In an effort to market Chenggong to tourists, the County Government based the event on the town’s two largest economic forces: sailfish and navel oranges. Magistrate Justin Huang welcomed sashimi connoisseurs from all over to take a trip to Taitung and enjoy the savor of Chenggong.

Every November when the northeastern seasonal winds begin to blow, the local sailfish grow to their plumpest. The fish migrate along the east coast, and Chenggong’s Xingang Port is the major port where they are brought in. There are many species of sailfish, and their fresh, tasty meat is something fish lovers can’t resist. Thus, the County Government works hard every year to promote travel to Taitung for fresh sailfish every fall.

Navel oranges are quite a unique fruit. Known locally as “wealth oranges”, they are one of Taitung’s feature crops, and they mature in November and December each year. They are larger than most oranges (weighing between 300-350 grams), seedless, and have the unique feature of a “belly button”. In Taiwan, these oranges are only grown on Ganzai Mountain of the town of Chenggong. Full of juice and fiber, they promote skin health and are known as the “Rolls-Royce of fruit”.

In promoting the event, the Taitung County Government held a press conference at the Queena Plaza Hotel on November 4 at 2:30 p.m. Magistrate Huang explained the details of the event. Also present were County Council Speaker Rao Ching-ling, County Council member Gao Mei-zhu, East Coast National Scenic Area Administration Director Lin Xin-ren, Taitung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station Director Chen Hsin-yen, Warden Huang Bo-chang of Chenggong, Warden pan Shu-fang of Changbin Township, Chairperson You Ying-tong and Head Secretary Cai Fu-rong of the Xingang Fishery Association, Chairperson Zeng Sheng-yi of the Chenggong Farmer’s Association, Head Secretary Cai Ming-he of the Taitung Tourism Association, and County Government Department of Agriculture Director Xu Rui-gui. At the press conference, creative dishes made of sailfish meat, navel oranges, and cuisine unique to Chenggong gave proof that Chengong was well-prepared for the event and the expected tourists. The County Government arranged for November 14 as the day of the main event for sailfish and November 21 as the day of the main event for navel oranges. There were numerous fun activities and guided tours available. In marketing the concept of easy traveling in Taitung from November to January, besides promoting the impression that Chengong = tasty sailfish + juicy navel oranges, the rich history and culture of Chenggong was also integrated in offering a new form of vacation during the normally slow season.

Magistrate Huang stated that November could be considered the peak time for events on the east coast. The sailfish and navel orange events have always been important, yet they were usually held separately. Last year, the County Government decided to merge the power of the Farmer’s Association and the Fishermen’s Association in holding a two-week combined event in an effort to make the events bigger and attract more locals and out-of-towners. Spearing sailfish is challenging, and though it holds historical significance, it has died out for the most part. With the holding of the event, the younger generation will hopefully learn to appreciate the significance of the sailfish fishing industry. Navel oranges are by no means available all year long; they only grow and mature between November and January. Due to their tasty reputation, demand always exceeds supply, and they are seen as the “Rolls-Royce of fruit” due to their quality.

Besides the “2015 Sailfish, Navel Oranges, and Easy Traveling in Chenggong”, the Taiwan Open of Surfing, which is part of a world-class competition tour, is going on in November for its fifth year. In the East-Rift Valley, the Taitung Hakka Festival will be taking place with races through the rice fields. It is also the season for roselles and the beginning of the Jinlun Hot Springs Festival. All are welcome to come to Taitung to enjoy the roselle fields, hot springs, sailfish, navel oranges, and the beauty of Hakka culture.

The main event for the sailfish festival was held on November 14 at the Chenggong Beach Park. In fact, sailfish meat is available all year long, but they grow to their plumpest during November, and the Xingang Port in Chenggong is the major port where the fish are brought in. The “East Coast Sailfish Festival” and its integration with tourism has become the best spokesperson in sustaining these sea resources and the promoting fishing industry culture.

The main event for this year’s navel orange festival took place on November 21 in front of the Chenggong Farmer’s Association Supermarket. This unique orange has a hole on one side that looks strikingly similar to a human navel, hence the name. They are seedless, about two times bigger than most oranges, full of juice and fiber, and promote skin health and beauty. As a result, they are claimed to be the “Rolls-Royce of fruit”.

Beginning on November 4, online registration opened for event-related activities. Every Saturday and Sunday were filled with all kinds of activities, including sailfish spearfishing, guided tours of Chenggong, DIY navel orange dessert making, indigenous weaving with shell ginger leaves, and art activities for kids.

“Easy traveling” was also an aspect of the event. A discount passport including discounts for over 40 local businesses and places of accommodation was made available that may be used until January 31. There was also a point-collection activity in which people could exchange their points for limited edition souvenirs. If you want to be successful, you’ve got to come to Chenggong (“Chenggong” is the Mandarin term for “success”). For more information on discounts, please visit http://www.ttcg-fresh.com.tw or the event FB fan page: 來去台東成功旅行.