TAIPEI--With 2012 just around the corner, local governments around Taiwan are busy preparing their New Year's Eve countdown parties, including extending transportation service hours.
Taipei has invited the popular rock band Mayday to open its countdown party, dubbed “Taipei beats. Let's party!” in the plaza outside City Hall, and the event will climax with the annual fireworks extravaganza at the nearby Taipei 101 skyscraper.
On the same evening, countdown parties will be held in 20 other cities and counties around the county.
Taipei and Kaohsiung, the two cities in Taiwan with mass rapid transit (MRT) systems, will extend MRT service to cope with New Year's crowds. The Taipei system will run uninterrupted throughout the night, while Kaohsiung's MRT will offer service until 3 a.m.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's Tourism Bureau is focusing its attention on welcoming in the first sunrise of the new year with an activity in Sansiantai in Taitung County.
The Central Weather Bureau has predicted that Sansiantai and Kenting in Pingtung County will be the first areas at sea level in Taiwan to see the sun on Jan. 1, at about 6:35 a.m.