Travel

Taiwan’s Outer Islands Make for Exclusive Adventures

Friday May 18, 2012
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LOS ANGELES, CA - Taiwan’s best kept secret from worldwide travelers is its unique small outer islands surrounding the mainland. Lonely Planet described them as "opportunities for those intrepid enough to make the trip."

The four islands, Green, Guishan, Lanyu and Penghu, because of limited transportation, have remained exclusively private, well-preserved and almost unknown to the international travel spotlight for years. But with the recent discovery by foreign adventurers seeking for bold and fearless type of fun for their leisure, these islands are quickly becoming the best hidden gems of Asia.

Taiwan’s fourth largest island, Green (Ludao) Island, is located off-shore of Taitung, Southeast of Taiwan. The island is surrounded by coral reefs comprised of various colorful and vibrant species that makes it a snorkelers’ ultimate paradise.

The round-shape island is 16.3 kilometer designed with highways linking to most of the popular scenic spots including the Green Island Lighthouse, Green Island Park, General Rock, Gateway Rock, Guanyin Cave, Youzi Lake, Pekinese Dog Rocks, Sleeping Beauty Rock, Sail Cape, Black Ghost Cave, and the rare Zhaori Saltwater Hot Springs. According to the island’s indigenous people, soaking in the hot-spring water especially under the bright stars at night helps alleviate stress and a long list of ailments including neuralgia, arthritis, intestinal disorders, and skin diseases.

Located in the Northeastern Coast of Taiwan is Guishan Island, the only outer island with an active volcano and magnificent coastal views. In order to preserve the natural environment and beauty of this wondrous haven, the number of tourists is controlled. But with the recent growing popularity of whale watching, the island has become a must tourist attraction for mainlanders and foreigners.

The four islands, Green, Guishan, Lanyu and Penghu, because of limited transportation, have remained exclusively private, well-preserved and almost unknown to the international travel spotlight.

Situated off the Southeastern Coast of Taiwan like Green Island, Lanyu (Orchid) Island is its closest neighbor. According to scientists, Lanyu Island was raised from the sea by the accumulation of volcanic lava. The mountainous island has a moist and rainy climate covered with dense rain forest filled with a variety of plants and animals unique to the island. The island’s coral reefs combined with the perfect current makes it a paradise for fishermen and skin divers.

Since the island was discovered, it has been inhabited by the Yami tribe, the most primitive of Taiwan’s indigenous tribes. The main reason that the island has maintained its pristine natural beauty through time is Yami’s success to maintain their traditional culture and lifestyle, which includes a must visit tour of how they built traditional stone houses mostly underground to avoid extreme temperatures and ravages of typhoons. Other popular must see events created by the Yami tribe are The Flying Fish and Boat Launching festivals.

The Penghu archipelago is Taiwan’s largest offshore cluster of islands located in the straits that separate Taiwan from China. Penghu is made up of ninety small islands with a combined coastline that stretches more than 320 kilometers. Each season brings its own particular scenery to the islands. The landscape is characterized by basaltic rocks, coral reefs, sea-eroded formations, and beaches. The popular fishing culture and migratory birds are what makes this island unique from all other islands in the world.

"Taiwan’s outer islands have so much natural beauty, culture and treasure only unique to these individual islands that are still being kept as Asia’s best secret from our international travelers," said Trust Lin, Director of Taiwan Tourism Bureau Los Angeles. "By introducing our outer islands, we hope more international travelers seeking for unique places to explore will select our islands as their next new adventure."

For more information on traveling to Taiwan, please visit www.taiwan.net.tw

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