CIP’s first aboriginal village tour of year slated for June 6, to highlight culture, lifestyle
The Council of Indigenous Peoples’ (CIP, ) first aboriginal village tour of the year is set to embark on June 6.
The program’s goal is to acquaint tourists with the traditional culture and lifestyles of aboriginal peoples, according to the CIP.
The council promoted its aboriginal tour concept at a press conference at Taipei Railway Station last Friday. Trial tours to aboriginal villages debuted last year.
Lin Chiang-i ( ), minister of the CIP, said that this year the council has partnered with the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA, ), which will offer charter trains that take tourists directly to Hualien County.
Trains are the most eco-friendly mode of public transportation, Lin said, adding that the charter trains arrive directly in Hualien County and will boost regional tourism by easing transportation difficulties.
The trains will enable visitors to spend more time in the tribes to truly experience nature, local culture, traditional foods and accommodation, as well as to interact with local people.
The TRA will provide a sixcar, 236-seat Tze-Chiang Limited Express ( ) for tour purposes. Starting from June 6, the train will depart each Saturday from Taipei and return from Hualien on Sunday, according to train officials. The charter trips will run for one year.
From July to August, the TRA will offer additional passenger capacity to meet increased demand during aboriginal festival season, the CIP said.
It is important “to respect the tribe, to not interfere with village life and the village essence,” stressed CIP officials.
The CIP said the tours are a partnership between the commercial tourism industry and aboriginal villages: Tour agents direct visitors to the villages while villagers provide tourism services.
This model may help encourage young aborigines to return to their villages, develop local businesses and promote tourism infrastructure, the CIP said.