A total of 28 hot air balloons took off from Taitung at the July 1 opening of the Taiwan International Balloon Festival.
Colorful balloons, including several in the shapes of animals such as pandas, cats and birds, gathered at Luye Township in the southeastern county for the festival that will run through Aug. 7.
The festival will, for the first time, hold a competition for hot air balloons from July 2-6, in which participants will try to throw a bean bag from high in the sky to hit a target on the ground.
Six light shows incorporated with hot air balloons are planned for Saturdays in July and Aug. 7 across Taitung.
(By Tyson Lu and Kay Liu)