What we would like if we could find it:
Shopping (for the wife, but I could do without it)
No need for long walks
Beautiful (we need to take some pictures)
Good, yet inexpensive accomodation.
Information of how to get there, whereever it is.
What we would like if we could find it:
How about Green Island?
I would assume the Bassman family has a vehicle, and from Taichung it’s about a 5-6 hour drive to Taidong. From there it’s a 13 minute hop by plane to Green Island. Flight costs 1064NT return, with the little Bassman flying for free. Can also be done by sea from the port of Fukang, about 20 minutes north of town on the Hua-Tong Rd. If you decide to go by ferry, I would recommend the Liu-dao tz-shing, which is the largest and safest of the Island plying vessels. Count on about an hour trip depending on sea conditions and be forwarned, it can be a rough ride especially this time of year.
The Island boasts stunning scenery, amazing indigo blue waters, a beach for the Spouse and little Bassman to play while you explore the underwater world, and finally one of only 2 seaside hot springs in the world. Scooter rentals are about 350NT a day, and it’s easy to get around as there is only one road to speak of. Shopping is more availible now that Green Island is on the tourist rader.
A hotel will run you anywhere from 1,000NT to 3,000NT per night depending on your comfort level. If you are a scuba diver, some of the dive sites can truly be world class! Over the years I’ve seen sharks, a 9 foot moray eel, sea turtles, schools of barracuda and jacks, and fantastic coral formations.
On a final note, Green Island has a first class campground, nothing at all like the crap normally associated with camping here. Has running water, a very chill setting, and best of all space between the individual camp sites. Cost is 350 per nite, providing someone is there to collect! It’s also located within walking distance of both the hot spring and the beach.
Might be worth checking out…
Enjoy your holiday wherever you end up!
I’ll second Green Island. The camping site is far better than any of the hotels. It’s mostly deserted, far from town, and has splendid views of the ocean, at only three hundred a night.
Bikes are NT$400 a day. Snorkelling is fantastic. Saw a tuna! Squid. A Dragon Fish, and countless others.
Wear a wetsuit! I saw an octopus, but only after getting in a painful and less-than-amorous embrace with a jellyfish, see here;
(photos from round Green Island there as well)
Best restaurant on Green Island is The Fisherman, directions here;
I sometimes forget how lucky I am to be married to the most accomodating of women.
I third (fourth??) Green Island… Fisherman is a spectacular restaurant… esp. the Japanese BBQ at dusk under a full moon, waves crashing beneath you… marvelous.
Thank god for outdoor loving spouses!
Don’t be put off by camping…There are plenty of decent hotels for offer.
My wife doesn’t dive either, and I’ve taken my daughter out there at about the little Bassmans age. They both had a fantastic time! While I was underwater, they were hiking, building sand castles, shopping or playing frisbee. Due to the bulk of my dive and underwater camera gear, I generally stay in a hotel. The campsite is awesome though, as many here have attested to already.
I would rate Green Islands shopping potential as fair. About the same as Kenting maybe 15 years ago. For such a short trip, it should be enough to extinguish the shopping bug for your spouse.
Actually, my biggest gripe about Green Island is it’s rapid pace of development! Not to worry though, it’s easy to escape the crowds. Most local tourists fly out for the day, jump on a bus, make 20 stops for 5 minutes at a time, then jump on a plane home. Been there done that.
The main town is close enough to shopping, but still quiet enough to chill.
Twist the arm a little harder, you’ll love the place…
Hotel on Green Island??
Far from the beach?
Contact data or web-site?
-I probably have to do some armtwisting myself, but if there is a hotel not far from the beach, it should be possible to convice the 2X3M and the X3Minis.
Is it so much jellyfish that a wetsuit is a must?
Nothing is far from the beach on Luda.
In July, yes. I don’t know whether they are more numerous in certain seasons, but we saw quite a few of these blue ones with long tentacles that easily get wrapped around you. My friend also got a little stung and came in early because he didn’t want to risk getting stung again.
I wouldn’t chance not wearing a wetsuit again. The snorkelling gear rental shops all want you to wear one; we had to look around to find a place that would rent us snorkels, masks and boots only.
Wetsuits are mostly to keep the locals from sinking into the abyss…
One of the reasons Green Island has such unusual amounts of coral and sea life is that it sits smack in the middle of the Kurushio current. Because of this, tropical species often get caught in the local eddies and currents, and end up trapped in the Islands local waters…
I believe that this is the case for your Jellyfish sighting. From your description, they are not a species local to the area. This happened to us once before back in 94, when swarms of the beasts arrived via the “Black river”. Despite it’s location and prolific marine life, Green Island lacks sorely in one specific but crutial area…plankton. Most of these uninvited guests tend to either leave or perish due to this missing link in the food chain or cooling winter ocean temps. But lack of plankton sure makes for nice vis!
Joesax,I think you happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I’ve done 200 plus dives out there and have never been stung once. But that’s the beauty of this place…you never know what the hell is going to show up from year to year! Too bad I was not there though, I could have pissed right on you, and you’d have thanked me for it! Could you describe the Jellyfish that stung you a little better? Size, color, tentacle length etc…? And where on the Island did you get stung? Once in a while a Portuguese Man of War will take the “Black river ride” that’s something we need to know and warn people about…
Do you really need a wetsuit for snorkeling…Well, yes and no. If you are new to the sport, and plan to stay on the surface, then yes, it’s something to consider…Remember, wetsuits are buoyant as hell so you’ll need weights to get down. Most of the rentals are 3mm, so figure at least 3kg if you want to get under and look around. So, cumbersome suit and weightbelt? Or au natural and risk getting stung?
I’d say the odds of getting stung were pretty low…but was surprised as hell to hear Joesax’s story! I will say this though, getting stung sucks! Take vinegar with you when you go snorkeling, and if you don’t have any…well, remember the saying when in doubt, whip it out? Dude, get everyone with a full bladder within 20yards to piss on you! DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ATTEMPT TO USE FRESH WATER TO WASH THE AFFECTED AREA!!! Unless of course, you are a sadist and want to experience “real pain!”
On a final note: The US navy web site is calling for the probable formation of 2 typhoons right around us within the next 24 hours, which could render this entire thread moot…Shit!
Chinese New Year and Hammerhead sharks…Can’t wait!
I was snorkeling over a dropoff at Green Island about 15 years ago – only about 100 yards from shore – and was looking into the abyss at several hammerheads swimming not that many meters below me. An image I won’t ever forget.
You lucky son of a …!
It took me years, dozens of dives to get that same glimpse! It’s not fair…!
They are fickle as hell, and seem to only show up when the water temp is hovering around 23C. In Green Island terms, January to early March. I’ve also seen white-tipped reef sharks out there, but unlike you, I had to drop down to 42 meters in a raging current to see the precious scalloped hammerhead. I never got any closer than 20 meters, just enough to identify them.
You have unknowingly joined a pretty elite club with that sighting…appreciate it!
I’ve been raving about the place for 15 plus years, and paid good money to travel to foreign destinations where the diving is not nearly as good! Just got back from Palau though, my third trip, that’s a whole other story…amazing!
[quote=“Michael J Botti”]Could you describe the Jellyfish that stung you a little better? Size, color, tentacle length etc…? And where on the Island did you get stung? Once in a while a Portuguese Man of War will take the “Black river ride” that’s something we need to know and warn people about.
My memory isn’t too accurate, but I’d say the body size was about two-three inches across and the tentacles were maybe 20-30 inches long. Long enough to get wrapped around my leg, drag over my body and necessitate grabbing them to throw the jellyfish clear of me. Color was transparent blue, quite pretty actually.
We were on a beach on the south-west of the island, a little north of the hot spring.
Vinegar’s good for jelly fish stings as too methylated spirits. I’d reckon the latter makes Kaoliang applicable. Best not to try and get the tentacles off, that just makes the suckers more ornery. But then if you happen on a pretty aboriginal lass you could try and convince her that pissing on you might just save your life. I believe there are whole web pages related to this.
As for hammerheads. I’m surprised to hear they are so shy. I’ve seen them several times. Mostly zipping away from boats. The last time was on a ferry between Koh Samui and Koh Phangan last Chinese New Year. Seen them while snorkelling off the coast of Rottnest Island off Perth, Western Australia also. Mercifully, on that instance it wasn’t that big - as an Australian I don’t particularly relish seeing much of my home country’s bigger sea life up close and personal, especially as suddenly as that sighting was.
Green Island sounds an absolute treat. Many thanks for all the great posts. Sadly I can’t convince my wife she won’t be spending the three days: (a) airsick; (b) seasick; or © sleeping in response to the anti-travel sickness medication. Chinese are such flakes. No wonder the non-Chinese dominated the race for empire. Imagine a Chinese naval ship full of heaving sailors up against the Bismark or HMS Invincible.
Lads, lets unite. Send the gals shopping. To the boats, to the boats!
Green Island hotels are booked solid and the wife here is also not too keen on camping. Same for ALL the islands actually, and the Taichung - Hualien plane is booked solid as well. Hong Kong is ferocious expensive for the holiday.
I think a day trip to Tainan is as exciting as it’s going to get.
Damn that sucks!
Looks like it may calm down weatherwise too. If you are really keen to get out there, hop on a plane and take your chances. That’s the rub with Green Island…It’s discovered.
Anyone check on Orchid Island? Diving is supposed to be even better…Alas, I’ve been blown out by a Typhoon, and had two trips cancelled by boat due to lack of passengers…All three attempts after making the long haul down by car…curses!
I should be able to tell you about Orchid Island next week. We had our flights confirmed yesterday, and plan to spend the next 3 days there.
In terms of accommodation, i’m not too keen on the concrete-box hotels, so we will probably try some homestays with some of the Aboriginal families, or will bring the tent and try a spot of camping (preferably the former…). Will also do a Costco run today to buy those little “necessities” (can’t travel without those muffins)…
Any last minute tips about the island would be appreciated.
The Big Babou
Everyone I know who has been luckier than me has raved obout the place. One of my Chinese dive buddies came back with photos of a marble stingray more than six feet across!
Last time I tried, we booked the boat, drove all night to the harbor, arrived at 3:30am. Crashed in the harbor parking lot, and woke up to the info that our boat had been cancelled! Turned around and drove home…
I don’t know if you are a diver, but if you could get some updated info (dive operators w/boats), contact numbers, this information would be appreciated by many in the expat diving community!
Lastly, if Joesax’s jellyfish adventure is the result of non-passport carrying illegal immigrant species, keep an eye out there as well. Orchid Island too sits in the middle of the “Black river”.
From what all my dive buddies tell me, water color and vis even better than Green Island…Not as much coral, but LOTS more fish!
Whatever info you can supply about the place would be…perfect!
Have a great time!