TAIPEI, Taiwan — One of the largest stamp exhibitions in Asia kicked off Friday in Taipei, showcasing some 1,000 frames of stamps from 24 nations with a total value at NT$1.5 billion (US$48 million). The 30th Asian International Stamp Exhibition, also the fifth time the event was held in Taiwan, attracted thousands of passionate philatelists who waited patiently to see philatelic rarities or get personalized products. Marveling at several award-winning collections across Asia, the visitors said it was an eye-opening experience. ��Stamp collecting is a king’s hobby,�� Chunghwa Post Chairman Philip Weng (�Τ��R) said at the opening ceremony. ��It makes you a more interesting person.�� At the exhibition, philatelists can catch a glimpse of some precious collections �X including the earliest cover with a Taiwan customs cancellation, dated back to 1875, and salvaged covers carried by Zeppelin LZ 129 ��Hindenburg,�� the world’s largest airship that tragically burst into flames in 1937. The exhibition will run through April 28 at the Taipei World Trade Center Hall No. 3. Admission is free.
Thousands of passionate philatelists flooded into the stamp exhibition Friday to share their love of stamp collecting with one another. The philatelists said they have learned much and find great joy in stamp collecting. Yu Chao-nien (�\���~), who heads several local philatelic associations, has been collecting stamps since he was 15 years old. ��Check out how these two stamps differ from each other �X you see, a variety stamp is always the most valuable,�� the 93-year-old said, pointing at his Shanghai print ��Flying Geese�� stamps on display. The stamp set cost NT$206 (US$6.7) in 1950, when Yu made a monthly salary of NT$280. Now estimated at NT$700,000, the stamps are a treasure for Yu, who said he will never sell them. Josep Jove, coordinator of the Spanish Variable Value Stamps Study and Collecting Group, was on a quick trip to Taiwan for the event that showcases frames of stamps from 24 nations with a total value of NT$1.5 billion. Patiently waiting in the queue to print out a limited edition of postage labels, Jove said he travels around the world to get the labels. ��Some people collect stamps featuring only butterflies. I collect postage labels, very specific,�� he said, adding that both the serial numbers on the labels and the color of the print make the collection unique. Still other visitors �X ranging from schoolchildren and office workers to foreign ambassadors �X marveled at the stamp rarities and exchanged their knowledge about them at the venue at the Taipei World Trade Center Hall No. 3.