Most hot air balloon flying takes place in the early morning and at dusk when the air currents are relatively stable. Flying is restricted by many force majeure factors such as wind speed and direction, temperature and thermals. Seeing a balloon take off is a memorable sight, being in one even more so.Climate :
In July and August the Luye Gaotai tropical sunshine is very welcoming, except for when a typhoon strikes. When you wait for a ride on a hot air balloon be sure to protect yourself against the sun.
Watching a hot air balloon take off is a happy experience for watchers. As the balloon slowly rises it is as if hopes, dreams and freedom all rise with it, people from all nations excitedly cheering as one amidst a happy atmosphere.
The hot air balloon was invented in 1783 by the Mongolfier brothers. They pumped hot air into a balloon made of hessian and covered in paper that spent 10 minutes at 1000 feet; in the same year, the first manned flight took place, the first recorded flight by a human. In the US, Australia, Japan and India etc hot air balloons have been listed as standard aircraft for many years.
Saga City in Kyushu, Japan has been developing hot air balloon activities for 30 years and, from nothing, hot air ballooning has grown to become part of local life. The Saga International Balloon Fiesta held in November every year is a grand occasion on the international ballooning calendar that attracts numerous strangely shaped balloon and 800,000 visitors in one week.
Like Chinese sky lanterns, hot air balloons carry people’s dreams and hopes into the air where they soar freely. By night, as the balloons are illuminated by the flame of their burner, a magical scene is created.
Until 2011 a hot air balloon had never soared over Taiwan, until the first Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta was held in 2011 and a place was found for hot air balloons in Taiwan after preparing the take-off and landing fields, equipment, coordinating with the Civil Aviation Administration and overcoming various obstacles; then, in 2012, the first batch of Taiwanese hot air balloon pilots was trained. With the full support of Taitung County Government the festival was held again in 2012 and was even more successful. Visitors enjoyed the summer sunshine on the Luye Gaotai while watching hot air balloons float through air gracefully, adding color to the blue sky over Taitung and giving visitors a memorably enjoyable time as they watched the balloons carry hopes and dreams into the air.
Of the many activity series held in Taitung every summer, the “taster” flights on a tethered hot air balloon during the Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta have provide extremely popular, giving people an opportunity to take a ride in a balloon (secured to the ground) without having to go overseas; the flying sessions are in the morning and afternoon. In the morning the air currents are relatively calm so it’s the best time for taking photographs. To take the short fixed point flight, it’s usual to have to get up really early and start queuing. It takes a lot of effort to make it onto the balloon but when you rise up into the air with your hopes and dreams you will feel it was all worth!
Hot air ballooning is subject to a variety of force majeure weather factors. Sometimes people who have been queuing all night are unable to take a flight because of unfavorable weather the next morning and just have to put it down to their own bad luck and try again next time. Even when the balloons are grounded because of the weather the venue has balloons to view, exhibitions and music performances to keep visitors entertained and make the trip worthwhile.
The Luye Gaotai has an elevation of 350 meters and has excellent views of the Central Mountain Range and the Coastal Mountain Range, offering a bird’s eye view over the confluence of the Luliao River and Beinan River. Its views from high up of the rift valley’s river and green fields and lush tea plantations are sure to please.
Protected from the wind by the high mountains, Luye is the best place in Taitung for different flying activities and so attracts a large number of flyers. At the PU covered Fuye Villa paraglider training field, a variety of brightly colored paragliders can be seen soaring into the air, creating an enchanting scene.
When the south wind blows in July and August, this is the time when hot air balloons and paragliders get to display their charms. The best place to watch them fly is the tea plantation area at the junction of Guangrong Road and Xianshu Avenue.