Category

Outlying island

Category

Three Days on Xiao Liuqiu (were not enough)

Astute readers of my regular weekend column may have noted that there was no column last weekend, and this was because I was off for three days enjoying myself on Xiao Liuqiu island. MyTaiwanTour published a previous article on this barely discovered gem here  a few months back, but this was the first time I’d gotten to experience the place firsthand. Readers, brace yourselves, because you’re going to be hearing more about Xiao Liuqiu in the months to come. Because if Taiwan is Asia’s best kept travel secret, then Xiao Liuqiu is definitely Taiwan’s best kept travel secret. And if nearly two decades in travel writing has taught me anything it’s this: “best kept travel secrets” don’t stay secrets long. So before the cat gets too far out of the bag, let me create some hype of my own by telling you why I’ve fallen in love with this island off…

Green Island — A Tropical Island of Myriad Scenic, Historic, and Outdoor Fun Attractions

Text: Owain Mckimm Photos: Taitung County Government Green Island may be tiny, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in rugged volcanic scenery, startling political history, and a tropical sense of abandon. Its hot springs and teeming coral reefs draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, almost all of whom whiz round the island on motor scooters. For those who perhaps want to take things a little slower, the island’s compact size makes exploring by bicycle not just a possibility but a pleasure, and gives you the chance to avoid the irony of a gasoline-fuelled “Green” Island rampage to boot. Green Island coast On a recent outing with friends, after arriving by ferry at Nanliao Harbor (南寮漁港) our first port of call is our guesthouse, where we drop our bags and rent our new wheels. Most, if not all, of Green Island’s guesthouses offer…

Where Taiwan Is Not Quite Itself The Remote, Rugged, and Very Different Matsu Islands

Riddle: What’s the farthest away you can get from Taiwan while still in Taiwan? Answer: sdnalsI ustaM (hold up to mirror) Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo The answer, yes, is the Matsu Islands. “Taiwan” is of course the name of a great big island, but in the modern political sense “Taiwan” is also a collection of this great big island and scores of smaller ones. Among the latter, two – Kinmen (金門) and Matsu (馬祖) – are archipelagoes so close to mainland China you can see the red stars on People’s Liberation Army caps on the opposite side. Well, maybe only with a telescope, but you get the point. Pretty darn close. Over the years countless soldiers have made faces at each other across the waters, and mouthed nasty things about each other’s mothers and political systems – though over the past two-plus decades things have quieted down markedly…