Pacific Ocean paradise: Green Island
-- By Lishea Zheng Translated
by Sho Huang
From the east-coast city of Taitung,
it's only 12 minutes by plane or a 50-minute ferry ride
before start marveling over the colorful coral reefs
and tropical fish around Green Island. Twenty meters
below the surface in the ShiLon diving area, you can
see coral shaped like huge mushrooms and 12-meter-tall
reefs that are estimated to be more than 1,200 years
Over time, coral has also formed into
hills around the island. On the northeastern point of
Green Island is Lo Men Rock, which seems to be dominated
by willow-like corals. Most of the fish congregate between
Da Bai Sa (big white sand) and the hot springs, located
at the southern point. There are seven scuba diving
points for beginners, and 20 for intermediate and advanced
divers. Scuba diving walkways are built at ShiLon, Da
Bai Sa and Chai Ko.
The whole island is only 22 kilometers
long. The five-star-grade Zi Ping Campsite is situated
on a grassy hill which allow you a great view of the
ocean. The island also includes the above-mentioned
Chao Ri Hot Spring, one of only three salt-water hot
springs in the world. The temperature here stays between
53 and 90 degrees, changing according to the tides.
Spas and indoor hot spring pools have been constructed
and stay open 24 hours a day till the end of September.
As one can imagine, the campsite and the hot spring
are more popular as the night moves on. Strangely-shaped
rocks can be seen here, with the "Pekingese Dog"
and "Sleeping Beauty" standing out the most.
While strolling down the beach, you can enjoy the view
and watching the sunset from Niu Tou Mountain is a great
experience as blazing orange colors immerse the ocean
and rocks. It's an unforgettable sight.
At night, tourists can take a walk
along the one and only road in Nan Liao to taste green
algae shaved ice. The original algae ice shop, Green
Life, serves ices with a heavier ocean flavor, while
Blue Sea does it the other way. By the harbor, a Western-style
sign notes Xiou Mao Kong (little cat sky). This is a
lovely guesthouse sitting on a hill. The host and hostess
are super friendly and a two-day-one-night deal for
each person is NT$2,400 (double room) or NT$1,980 (6-8
persons). The price includes room, pick-up from Taitung
airport or bus station, ferry ticket, scooter rental,
snorkeling, night walk, breakfast and travel insurance.
For an extra NT$800, there is a hot spring ticket, and
lunch and dinner will be taken care of as well. They
also can communicate in English. With all that taken
care of, all you need to bring is your backpack to enjoy
this coral paradise.
Many thanks to the Taitung Tourism
Office for its assistance in preparing this article.