Our first stop after Taipei was a trip to Green Island, a small paradise east of Taitung with great snorkeling spots, rare saltwater hot springs (Zhaori), and a few hiking trails and sights to visit along the 20 km long road around the island. We took the ferry from Taitung, which only takes about 45 minutes nowadays. Even though the waters were not too rough, there is still some truth in the infamous tales about the Vomit Barge. Once we arrived, we were picked up by our hotel and drove the 500 meters to the hotel. Then, appointments for snorkel trips were made and we also got an electric scooter, which is the most important thing to have in order to visit most sites on the island. In the afternoon, a quick thunderstorm came across the island that put the island in a beautiful light with a green glow.
Another very green spot is the beach between the main town and the saltwater springs. In low tide, there is a stretch of mossy rocks coming to the surface.
There are obviously not as many food options available as in cities at the coast, but Green Island has some very tasty spots. My favorite was once again the stinky tofu place in the middle of the main road, next to the tea shop Mr. Rich. The kimchi and tofu were topped with fresh basil leaves and truly delicious.
We also tried the seaweed pizza and omelette, both were interesting but I would not get them again.
The snorkeling experience was a bit mixed. Due to the strong currents, we were advised to go with an instructor who brought two life-saver rings for us and dragged us over the corals and fishes. What we saw was amazing and even more colorful than what we had seen in Kalimantan. But we were discouraged from paddling which resulted in being very cold very quickly and we could not explore some of the corals on our own. I would highly suggest to bring your own snorkel gear since the corals are just 20 meters away from the beach. Just beware that the currents are known to be tricky.
I will cover more of the island’s sites and the saltwater hot springs in the next posts.