In March 2008, a group of us went to Green Island, a small volcanic island not far from Taiwan, on a Green Island Adventure. On Friday morning, we boarded the train to Taitung on a scenic 5.5-hour journey round Southern Taiwan. After a short wait (allowing time to freshen up at the new and clean bathrooms at Taitung station), we were greeted by Jacky who took us to the harbor where we boarded a ferry on a 50-minute cruise to Green Island.
Green Island greeted us with a blanket of greenery and crystal clear waters. A mini-bus transported us to our hotel and after checking in our scooters were delivered (one scooter per couple). Our three-day package allowed a lot of flexibility time wise and we decided to explore the island (17 km circumference) and its very special rock formations, old villages, white beaches and hiking trails as well as one of the only three salt water hot springs in the world – overlooking the ocean!
The evening kicked off with a lovely seafood meal at the “Fisherman” restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The fish and vegetables were fresh and the beers ice cold…
The next morning our scuba diving adventure was arranged. We kitted up at the dive shop, and were transported as a group to the first dive site. The underwater topography abounds with coral
(hard and soft) and reef fish.
Our second dive took us to some of the oldest coral formations known on the planet as the giant "Mushroom Coral". Spectacular underwater scenes greeted us…
While we were diving, Eddie took the non-divers for a guided tour around the island and all the interesting places like the prison exhibition center (depicting the modern history of Taiwan and the reign of the White Terror) as well as the original little settlement village of the first Taiwanese Chinese that inhabited the island. The Sleeping Beauty and Pekinese Dog rock formations provided excellent photo opportunities.
The afternoon was spent taking the non-scuba divers for a guided snorkeling excursion, which proved to be a momentous occasion for two people who have never been in the ocean before, let alone snorkeling – and they loved it! The rest of us joined the guided snorkeling excursion. Even snorkeling at very shallow depths was not disappointing. Coral and reef fish abounded!
The second evening was spent in an open-air table barbeque restaurant (eat as much as you like) on the quiet northern side of the island. In addition, Eddie surprised us with a few kilos of Boerewors (South African sausages). The food was good and the beers great…
Sunday morning was spent having a hearty breakfast after some went to their favorite spots on the island and others went shopping in the many little shops of which the “Brother Story” shop proved to be the most popular. Little coves with little white beaches and beautiful rock pools are to be found everywhere on the island and shell gathering is allowed.
Our journey back was perfectly organized by Eddie and the train ride along the South-Eastern Coastline very spectacular in scenery.
Points to note:
- Sea sickness tablets (well advised to take some)
- Beach Towels
- Favorite drinks
- Snacks etc. for the trip getting there
- Take your favorite mask or fins if you can (optical masks can be rented at dive shop)
- Remember SCUBA Certification card!
Green Island, once known as "Fire Island" is a small island located 33 kilometers in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South Eastern Taiwan. Having a population of 2000 on an area of 16,2 square kilometers, the island was formed by volcanic action which left a curved and complex coastline. Coastal beach terraces and cliffs drop to colorful coral reefs where schools of tropical fish make their abode. Along the shoreline, white coral beaches can be found and numerous coves which lead into warm tropical waters.
By Jerry Cardy