Green Island (Taiwan)

Green Island (綠島; Lǜ Dǎo) is located off the coast of Taitung County. Several small villages are found around the island, but officially the entire island is considered as Green Island Village.

Talk

Mandarin Chinese is spoken by the locals just as on Taiwan, however their accent is heavily influenced by Taiwanese Hokkien. Many people will also codeswitch between the two without realizing, and older people often have a lower level of Mandarin fluency. If you feel in trouble, find the youngest person possible as their Mandarin will be perfect and they most likely have learned some basic English in school.

Get in

Two options are available for those heading to Green Island.

The first option is by boat. The ferry heads from TaiDong's FuGang harbor to Green Island before heading to Orchid Island. Tickets are NT$920 round trip. The trip lasts about an hour. Motion-sickness bags are plentiful around the ship and many are used when the sea is choppy. Taxis from TaiDong's train station are NT$350 each way.

The second option is to fly. Daily Air flies three times daily from TaiDong Airport to Green Island's small airport. Tickets are NT$980 one way for adults and NT$460 for children. The flights last 15-20 minutes.

Unless pressed for money, it is suggested that the flight be taken. The ferry makes many people sick.

Before you go, make sure to bring enough cash for the entirety of your visit. Although the island does have two ATMs (that only accept domestic cards), the machines could run out of money and leave you stranded as only the larger hotels on the island accept credit cards.

Get around

Scooters can be found lining the roads around the harbor on Green Island. Most guesthouses include a scooter rental in their accommodation packages. There is a single gas station on the island near the port open from 8 AM to 5 PM. GreenIslandadventures.com offers packages that include ferry and pick-up from Taitung as well as accommodation, scooter, snorkeling and hot spring tickets .Scuba is also offered as well as scuba courses. Packages start from as low as NT$2500 per person (in a group) (approx. US$80.00)

Do

Besides one of only 3 saltwater hot springs in the world , Green Island boasts great snorkeling and scuba. Over 200 different hard and soft coral species and even more fish species.

Beware the currents as it is very strong. There are a few places with little current that novice or beginner divers can use however.

One famous attraction underwater is (claimed by the locals) the oldest and largest living coral head in the world. It is about two stories tall and about 4 meters wide. A very beautiful site but it requires a 300 meter round trip swim to visit.

Snorkeling can be done for as cheap as NT$300 for an hour or so if you ask around.

Eat

Many small restaurants can be found on the road between the port and the airport. A local specialty is deer meat from the native deer. Some live deer are attached to ropes to the restaurants themselves.

There is a 7/11 and Family Mart on the island open 24 hours like on Taiwan, however the prices are inflated and stock may run out more easily due to less frequent restocking.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, May 05, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.