Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Green Island (Lu Dao, 綠島)

I apologize for my extended absence this week, but Nick and I just got back from a nice 4-day vacation on Green Island.

Green Island is a small island (VERY small, only 7 square miles at low tide!) off the eastern coast of Taiwan.

During our 4 days on Green Island we visited one of only 3 natural salt-water hot springs in the world, went SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and hiking; swam a bit, and we drove around the entire island at least 6 times. I have a couple of posts lined up about some of our activities, but first I'd like to introduce you to the beautiful 綠島 (Green Island) with some pictures I took during the trip:

One of the first things that we did when we arrived on Green Island was to walk their "mini-great wall" to a look-out point on the edge of a mountain peak over looking the ocean.

(here is a view of the look-out point from afar)

The trail looked a bit intimidating at first, but it only took a couple of minutes and the view was worth it:
Green Island is a relatively young volcanic island surrounded by thriving coral reefs. This makes for a very rugged and beautiful shore line (and great diving and snorkeling) but unfortunately, it means that there really aren't any sandy beaches with easy access to the ocean (for swimming and wading purposes).

Because of the young age of the island, in the couple of places that you do find beach, the sand is very course (but also very beautiful!)

Most of the water directly off the coast of the island is home to coral reefs (very beautiful to look at and great for shore-dives, but again... not so good for the casual swimmer).
There is one road that goes around the island with two little off-shoots to take you up the mountains for a birds-eye view. The road is beautiful and gives you great views of the mountains, the sea, and the rugged Green Island coast.

At any place on the road, if you look to one side, you'll see the ocean, and to the other side, you'll see lush green mountains.
On a clear day, you can even see the mountains of Taiwan off in the distance:
Unfortunately, my pictures don't even begin to capture the beauty of Green Island, it was absolutely gorgeous. Nick and I definitely enjoyed our vacation.

If you're a beach bum hoping to lay on the beach, read a book, and dip into the water very 30 minutes to cool off (like yours truly)... this is definitely not the place for you! I have to admit I was very disappointed by this unfortunate fact!

BUT it was absolutely beautiful and the activities were very enjoyable. Overall I give the vacation a 7! (If the island had a swim-able beach, it would have been an 8.5 - but I'll save the rest of my review for another post)


  1. Green Island looks beautiful - I can't wait until your other posts. And - I need that ab/mechanical bull thingy.

  2. i've been to Green Island 2 times and i can't say enough good about it. the history alone is worth checking out.

    did you get any photos of the prison? it's rapidly deteriorating and falling into dust. that's a shame because it needs to be preserved as an important part of Taiwan's history.

    btw, i also found the lukewarm oceanic hot springs to be a bit disappointing. when the seawater is mixed with the hot spring water the temperature is too low.