- By John Van Trieste
- 4 June, 2014
- Comments Off
I took advantage of the recent Dragon Boat Festival holiday to take a three day trip to Hsiao Liuchiu with a group of 50 or so friends from all over Taiwan. This is my second trip with everyone. Even though there were fewer people than last time, it was still a lot of fun! Hsiao Liuchiu is a tiny islet off Taiwan’s southwestern coast. Named Lamay or Golden Lion Island by the first westerners to arrive here, the island has a bloody history (check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsiao_Liuchiu for details), but you would never know it from the beautiful ocean vistas, rocky, wave-beaten shores, and blue, tropical skies.
A thirty minute ferry ride from Taiwan’s southern coast, this island is hugely popular with tourists during the summer. Its strange rock formations and the clear blue waters off the coast make it a mini-paradise. You can go snorkeling off the coast, visit one of the huge number of temples, enjoy fresh seafood, and catch some sweet, sweet sun.
The clear, sunny weather made a refreshing change from Taipei, where it always rains. At night, the islands many bed and breakfasts make a perfect place for a barbecue under the stars. If the sun is too hot, you can always explore of the island’s many eerie caves, or take a dip in the sea. During the martial law era, this islet in the Taiwan Strait was also home to military installations- these days, they are no longer in use, but open to the public.
This is the famous flower-vase rock. Just look at the color of that water!
I had a wonderful time on this little slice of paradise. If you come to Taiwan, this is a great place to spend a day or two!