A group of passengers who were on a train tour down the eastern side of China arrived by boat on the Taiwan-held of island Kinmen (this, despite the fact it practically hugs the coast of the Mainland, on Saturday, having becoming the first tourists from Harbin to visit the offshore island since direct sea transportation was opened in 2001.
After more than four days of train travel from Harbin City in Hailongjiang Province northeastern China, the 544 tourists, mostly seniors, arrived in Xiamen in the southeastern province of Fujian.
Then they boarded three passenger ships that took them to Kinmen.
The trip, organized by China’s Harbin Railway International Travel Agency, allowed for only one stopover for a single night in Jiujiang City, in China’s Jiangxi province.
However, the elderly tourists said they were very excited about the trip and were not at all tired. They said they wanted to fulfill their dream of making a ‘once in lifetime’ visit to Taiwan, as the Harbin Railway International Travel Web site advertised.
Guo Lei, leader of the tour group and general manager of the overseas tourism center at the Harbin Railway travel agency, said, "When we left Harbin, the temperature was lower than 15 degrees Celsius, but when we arrived in Kinmen, we felt our hearts grow warm as the weather, and we are also very impressed by the warmth of the Taiwan people."
Taiwan News reports that developing transit tours for Mainland tourists has been one of the strategies for boosting Kinmen tourism, the bureau said.