Green Island (綠島; Lǜ Dǎo) is an island off the coast of Taitung County.
Green Island is an island off the east coast near Taitung. Several small villages are found around the island, but the entire island is known as Green Island Village. It is quite beautiful, and features one of the world's few saltwater hot springs, lots of scenic tropical vegetation and coral seashores, as well as a number of current and former prison complexes holding political prisoners during Chiang Kai-shek's dictatorship. The trip there is either a harrowing flight or equally-harrowing boat ride (the plane ride is shorter but more expensive). Services on the island are quite limited, particularly during the off-season, so it would be a good idea to bring some snacks and water, and arrange overnight accommodations in advance. A rented scooter is useful for getting around the island.
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.
The first option is by boat. The ferry heads from Taitung'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 Taitung's train station are NT$350 each way.
- 1 Green Island Nan Liao Harbour (綠島南寮漁港).
The second option is to fly. Daily Air flies three times daily from Taitung 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 min.
|Taitung to Lüdao|
|Airline||Flight number||Departure time||Arrival time||Schedule|
|Ticket price: NT$1,130|
|Flight details and schedule may change, we recommend you check the latest information on the airline's website. (Official website [dead link])|
Unless pressed for money, it is suggested that you fly. 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.
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 08:00-17:00.
GreenIslandadventures.com offers packages that include ferry and pick-up from Taitung, accommodation, scooter, snorkeling and hot spring tickets. Scuba diving and scuba courses are offered. Packages start from as low as NT$2,500 per person (in a group).
- 1 Green Island Human Rights Culture Park (白色恐怖綠島紀念園區), ☏ . 09:00-17:00. A museum established to remember the victims of the White Terror.
- 2 Lüdao Lighthouse (綠島燈塔), ☏ . 09:00-17:00 (closed M). The original lighthouse was built in 1939 and funded by the American Red Cross, but was destroyed during the Second World War. The current lighthouse was rebuilt by the ROC government in the 1940s.
- 3 Guanyin Cave (綠島觀音洞), ☏ . 08:00-18:30. A stone which represents the goddess Guanyin inside a cave.
- 4 Pekingese Dog (哈巴狗岩), ☏ . A rocky island only slightly offshore which is said to be in the shape of a Pekingese dog.
- 5 Youzihu (柚子湖), ☏ . The remains of the first known settlement on Green Island, although little is left.
- 6 Fanchuanbi Grassland (帆船鼻大草原). A high plateau which offers panoramic views out to sea on one side, and of many of the unique rock formations on the other.
- 1 Zhaori Hot Springs, No. 167, Wenquan Road, ☏ . 08:00-24:00. One of only 3 salt-water hot springs in the world with rocks surrounding them. The sea is heated by the energy from underwater volcanic activity. The hot spring consists of three open-air pools, a spa pool and five terrace-like pools, each with a different water temperature. Vendors there sell eggs and shrimps. People can boil eggs and roast shrimps. While soaking in it, visitors can listen to the sound of waves hitting the beach, watch the sunrise, sunset, and appreciate a sky full of stars. NT$100-200.
- 2 Dabaisha Beach (大白沙). A white sand beach which stretches for hundreds of metres and looks out to sea from the south coast. The site is also popular for snorkeling.
- 3 Historic Mountain Trail (過山古道). This trail was the only way to cross the mountain of the island, before the ring road was completed. The trail is now only used for recreation. The whole trail takes around 90 minutes and includes some steep parts, so a fairly high degree of physical fitness is required.
- 4 Sika Deer Ecological Park. A recreational area established around the Sika deer which used to be farmed on the island and were released when the industry was no longer sustainable. There are activities related to the deer, and a paintball area.
Besides one of only 3 saltwater hot springs in the world, Green Island offers great snorkeling and scuba. Over 200 different hard and soft coral species and even more fish species.
Beware the current 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 m round trip swim to visit.
Snorkeling can be done for as cheap as NT$300 for an hour or so if you ask around.
- 5 Green Island Underwater postbox (海底郵筒). Unveiled in 2018, the landmark is essentially what the name suggests: it's a postbox that's underwater. The box itself is shaped like a white seahorse.
- 6 Shilang Diving Area (石朗), ☏ . A popular diving spot to see the coral reefs, supported by the warm currents coming up from the volcanic area below the island.
Many small restaurants can be found on the road between the port and the airport. A local speciality is deer meat from the native deer. Some live deer are attached to ropes to the restaurants themselves.
There is a 7-Eleven and Family Mart on the island open 24/7 like on Taiwan, however the prices are inflated and stock may run out more easily due to less frequent restocking.
- Orchid Island
- Taitung – Take a ferry back from Green Island Nan Liao Harbour to Fugang Fishery Harbor.