The main area for hotels is Hongtou Village, a couple of kilometers southeast of the airport.
Its population is about 5,000 of mostly Taiwanese aboriginals of the Yami ethnic group, not Han Chinese. Most people live in one of the six villages along the coastal road that traverses the island's perimeter.
The main local language on the island is the Yami language, an Austronesian language closely related to languages spoken in northern Philippines. However, most younger locals are also able to speak Mandarin.
- 1 Lanyu Airport (KYD IATA 蘭嶼航空站), ☏ . Daily Air (website in Chinese only) has around 6 flights a day from Taitung to Orchid Island's airport on the central west coast. You can easily become stranded on the island for days when winds pick up even during non typhoon weather. Daily Air will cancel flights when the winds are even as low as 35 miles per hour. The flight from Taitung takes about 25 minutes.
|Taitung → Lanyu|
|Lanyu → Taitung|
|Remarks:Refer to the Daily Air website for the most up-to-date schedule and announcements.|
- 2 Lanyu Kaiyuan Harbor (蘭嶼開元漁港). Ferries run from Taitung City's Fugang Fishery Harbor year round, while in the summer, there is a ferry from Houbihu port in Kenting.
There are basically only two roads on the island - the loop road following the coast circumnavigating the island, and the mountain road, dissecting the island in two (east-west).
Other than walking, the only practical means of transport for tourists is hiring a scooter. These can be hired from an area next to the ferry port, which is also the location of the only petrol station on the island.
Hitch hiking is also possible, although you may have long waits between rides due to the low number of vehicles on the roads.
Visit churches: Christianity is pretty big here; each of the six villages on the island has exactly one Catholic and one Protestant church. (The Protestant ones are larger and in better repair.) Access and times of services vary. Ask around!
- 1 Orchid Island Weather Station (蘭嶼氣象站) (on the highest point of the island), ☏ . Daily 06:00-18:00. A good place to see the whole island from one place and can help to orient yourself for your journey around the other attractions.
- 2 Lanyu Lighthouse (蘭嶼燈塔) (on the northernmost point of the island). A 15-m-tall lighthouse, built in 1982.
Parks and nature
- 3 Dragon Head Rock (龍頭岩), Huandao Road. 24hrs.
- 4 Lover Cave (情人洞). A natural stone archway with association with young love.
- 5 Datienchih (大天池). A lake inside the crater of a dormant volcano, covered in vegetation which feeds on the rich volcanic soil.
- 6 Lion Couple Rock (雙獅岩). A popular fishing spot, despite the dangers posed by the sharp rocks. The unique rock formation lies on the northern part of the island and faces out into the Pacific Ocean.
- 7 Ye-Yin Old Tribe (野銀地下屋). A village consisting of a unique local architectural style, where the houses are built partially above and partially below ground.
- 8 Lanyu Flying Fish Cultural Museum (蘭嶼飛魚文化會館), ☏ . Built in 2005 to showcase the local culture, particularly the Flying Fish Festival, the museum also has a number of workshops in local arts and crafts.
- Tour the beautiful island on a scooter.
- Talk and dine with the local Yami people.
- Enjoy relaxing on this quiet island
Tribe Bar is probably the most popular place for western tourists and offers a mix of Asian and Western dishes.
- 1 Bayang Bar (巴漾複合酒吧), ☏ . 07:00-23:30.
- 2 Rover (蘭嶼旅人), ☏ . 20:00-00:00. A seaside restaurant serving a variety of more international cuisine.
- 3 262 Bar (蘭嶼262). This outdoor restaurant serves a combination of local seafood specialities and local Taiwanese favourites.
- 4 A Li Gei Breakfast Restaurant (阿力給早餐店), ☏ . 06:30-23:00. A popular breakfast restaurant, just down the road from the airport.
- 1 11 Neighbours Bar (十一鄰), ☏ . 08:00-00:00.
Getting out is not always so easy. Winds can be very strong which makes flying and boat travel impossible at times. Leave yourself at least four extra days in case the flights are cancelled.