Lyudao (綠島) – The Green Island

Lyudao (綠島), also called the “Green Island” is one of the smallest islands of Taiwan located in the east of the country. There are several ferries (about NT$500/one-way-ticket) and flights with Mandarin Airlines (about NT$2000/one-way-ticket) from Taitung City (台東市).

View Larger Map

Getting a train ticket and a reserved seat in Taiwan is not that easy. You have to book it a few days in advance or you will have to stand in the wagon the whole trip. Lucky us Michael and me got one and after three hours we reached Taitung. After a 15 minutes taxi ride to the harbour (about NT$250) we purchased the ferry tickets to get to the island and back. In many travel guides you can read that the boat trip may cause some problems with your stomach. The sea was very silent this day but still it was a kind of turbulent on the catamaran. After 50 minutes we arrived at Lydao Township, the only centre and harbour at the “Green Island”.

You get immediately offered a scooter and you need it! There are no taxis and the bus is not very trustful. For NT$300 / day you get a fucked up scooter but you will be able to get around. (Tip: Always check the breaks first!) The only gas-station is close to the arrival point and closes at 10pm.

Two days before we had booked the only available hotel in the web, the “Green Island Bali Resort”. The residence was situated at the north side, about 15min by scooter from the township. The price of NT$3800 per night was way to much, but as there are going a lot of Taiwanese people for holidays and scuba diving to the island as well, it isn’t that easy got a place to stay.

We forgot to get some money at the train-station in Taitung, but the woman at the counter for the boat-tickets told us there is one at the island. Well, it was correct, that there is an ATM in Lyudao Township, but it does not acdept foreign cards what caused a bit of troubles in our financial situation.

After we had been cruising around a bit we enjoyed the sunset from a cliff and met up with girls who have been attending the same Chinese-Courses as Michael in Taipei. Lyudao is famous for its seafood and so we went for it. One of the biggest attractions of the very chilled and quiet place is are the “Hot Water Springs” in the south. Because of hot lava stones the seawater is heated up naturally. The bath is open from 5am to 2am every day and for about NT$180 you can enjoy hot water and the stars directly at the sea. Important: Never forget your bath-cap!

If you are interested in watching crabs and other animals head over to the lighthouse at sunset. We will see beautiful crabs and if you are lucky squirrels. In the mountains there are several deer and birds.

The next day we surrounded the island and visited the sights. The street is 17 kilometres directly at the coast. There is just one second one up to the highest mountain where a military-base is situated. You are not allowed to get in and because of the trees you do not get a view over the landscape as expected.

Overall Lyudao is a great place to relax, go for hiking and scuba diving. The great corals around the coast are really beautiful to visit and if you want to get rid of the stress of the mainland you can get here through the woods and listen to the crickets and birds.