Taipei guide: Four places where fireflies light up the night sky

By Stephanie Chao, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — It’s that time of the year again. Mid-April to mid-May is firefly mating season and the best time of year to catch a glimpse of fireflies. Thanks to a recent conservation program spearheaded by Taipei City Government’s Parks and Street Lights Office, urbanites of Taipei no longer have to venture out to the hills to see them.

Here’s where you can find them. Daan Forest Park (大安森林公園) Located in the heart of Taipei City, Daan Forest Park’s main area for firefly viewing is located at an ecological pond near the amphitheater in the center of the park. People looking for a convenient place to view fireflies at night can consider Daan Forest Park, where it is accessible by Taipei Metro’s Daan Forest Park Station. Once a place filled with fireflies, the creatures disappeared after the park officially opened in 1994. The park’s fireflies were part of a restoration project launched last year, where a local organization and volunteers expanded the ecological pond, planted native plants and turned the area into a restoration area for fireflies. Rongxing Garden Park (榮星花園公園) Another transportation-convenient location is Rongxing Garden Park, which is accessible by taking the Taipei MRT to Zhongshan Junior High School Station, Zhongshan Elementary School Station or Xingtian Temple Station. Chen Te-hsien, chief of the local borough, said the restoration of the fireflies’ habitat was completed on a collaborative effort from the city government and local organizations. Fuyang Eco Park (富陽自然生態公園) Fuyang Eco Park is far-flung compared to Rongxing and Fuyang, but still a short trip compared to making it out to Alishan. Get there by taking the Brown Line of Taipei Metro and stopping at Linguang Station Exit 1.

Once a restricted area managed by the military, Fuyang Eco Park today is freely accessible, teeming with plants and wildlife including abundant fireflies at night. Tours are offered during the day and night. Muzha Park (木柵公園) Of all four firefly conservation zones, Muzha Park is the most accessible by bus. Government officials say it has the highest population of fireflies of all four due to the proximity of the mountainous area in Taipei. Firefly viewing tours are available at night for visitors looking to appreciate the creatures without disturbing them in their natural habitat. Tours are on between April 15 and May 7 from 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.