I decided that if I was going to get stuck anywhere in Taiwan during the crazy typhoon, Lanyu Island would be a beautiful place to perish if the elements did their worst. The next five days, amongst hiding in my locked down hotel as the rain tried to tear the doors down, were an epic adventure. Here are 15 reasons why you MUST go to Lanyu Island, Taiwan.
Or in Teacake’s case, dance around in the bathroom with your goggles on because that typhoon isn’t letting anyone in the water.
Lanyu Island, also known as Orchid Island is a world away from the ‘Chinese’ Taiwan. It has its own unique language and its Tao population are of Australasian descent. The island itself is rustic and wonderfully raw in its beauty. It is a volcanic island and covered in a lush, green, tropical rainforest. Teacake highly recommends a visit!
You have two options. You can take a boat or you can fly here. Please be aware that due to crazy weather here, the boats and plane flights can be cancelled at any time so don’t come out here if you’re on a strict schedule. You can easily find yourself on this island longer than you originally planned!
Boats leave from Fugang Harbour near Taitung or Houbitou in Kenting. Teacake got a boat from Fugang Harbour. It cost $1180 TWD one way and $300 extra to take my scooter there. The journey will take between 2 – 2.5 hours. WARNING: You will feel or be seasick. Take seasickness pills. Schedules can change easily depending on the weather so book no more than one day in advance or turn up there early on the day. Make full use of your hostel or guest house to help you book!
You’re really going to have to book in advance if you want to fly: the planes are small and typically take up to twenty passengers at a time. The benefit of flying is it only takes 20 minutes and no seasickness is involved. You can book a ticket here from Taitung Airport with Daily Air but I’m afraid the website is only in Chinese. My advice is brave the boat personally if you want to travel cheaper and with a more sporadic and unplanned schedule.
There are lots of dogs on this island and they all want to be your friend. Be prepared to be followed and their surrogate mother. One dog insisted on hitch hiking his way round the whole island with me on my scooter.
Bring your scooter with you or rent one on the island! It’s the ultimate way to get around this island.
Bring your cash! There are no international ATMs here.