Category

Outlying island

Category

10 reasons to visit Xiao Liuqiu, Taiwan’s Hidden Island Gem

Located off the coast of Southern Taiwan’s Pingtung county, Xiao Liuqiu (also known as Little Okinawa) exists in that perfect mid-point of “known to locals” and “largely overlooked by international travelers.” Unlike well-trammeled Taiwan scenic spots like Sun Moon Lake, Taroko Gorge and Alishan, Xiao Liuqiu hasn’t gotten much international press. Indeed, outside of a few intrepid international travelers who find their way to the island, most westerner visitors to Xiao Liuqiu are local expats who’d likely prefer that the island remain a secret. ( Xiao Liuqiu Island 3- Day Free & Easy Package) To the aforementioned group, apologies: Awesome destinations never stay secret for long, so take solace in having found the place first. For everyone else, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag (so to speak). Here are 10 reasons to visit Taiwan’s (mostly) hidden Island Gem. 1. Xiao Liuqiu easy to reach… Liuqiu is by…

Journey to Another World – Orchid Island

Lanyu (蘭嶼), or Orchid Island, may be on Taiwan’s doorstep – two and a half hours by ferry from Taitung – but it is a world apart. Home to the Tao (達悟; officially, Yami) indigenous people, it has a culture, lifestyle, traditions, cuisine, and sense of time and space that are nothing like those on what the Tao call “the mainland.” While walking through one of the villages on a recent island visit – my first, despite having lived in Taiwan 20-plus years – a travel companion who has been in Taiwan as long and was also on his first Lanyu foray suddenly turned to me and said: “It’s like we’re in another world.” I had at that moment been thinking just that. Here’s a selection of highlights that will prepare you for your own journey to “Lanyu world.” The Place Mountainous Lanyu is a big cooled chunk of lava,…

Kinmen – Garden Built on a Granite Fortress

Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo Rich military history + traditional architecture + cycling/scootering excursions + birdwatching & eco-touring = the “Golden Gate” Everyone in Taiwan knows of the Golden Gate. No, not the bridge. Taiwan has its very own Golden Gate, an archipelago directly off the China mainland. For historical reasons the official transliteration of the “golden gate” characters is “Kinmen,” rather than the standard-use Hanyu Pinyin “Jinmen.” Posing for a photo in Beishan Village Kinmen is of Taiwan, yet not. Twelve of the 15 islands are controlled by the Republic of China (Taiwan). The islands are, geologically speaking, part of China’s Fujian Province rather than of the island of Taiwan, and both the ROC and PRC refer to them in this way. The two largest ROC-controlled islands, Kinmen (金門) and Little Kinmen (小金門 ; Lieyu), have become popular tourist destinations in the past two decades. Recently, I visited the larger…