RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Discover Taiwan's outlying islands

11th February 2013 Print

The remote location of Taiwan's outlying islands means that they remain relatively untouched by tourists; however each offers a unique experience for holidaymakers from rainforests to sand beaches, tribal villages to Cold War forts.

The Taiwan Tourism Bureau has recommended its top five undiscovered islands to visit for those looking for an alternative holiday destination in 2013:


When to visit: Spring/Summer

How to get there: There are over 50 daily flights from Taipei and Kaohsiung to Penghu with airlines including Mandarin Airlines, TransAsia Airways and Uni Air.

Located just off the western coast of Taiwan, Penghu is actually Taiwan's largest archipelago and is made up of 90 small islands with a combined coastline that stretches more than 320 kilometres. Penghu is well-known amongst locals for its stunning beaches, with basalt columns also playing a dominant part of the geological landscape. Popular activities in Penghu include sailing and windsurfing thanks to the strong winds and clear water. Accommodation is mostly traditional homestays, with the pretty seaside town of Makung proving a popular base for tourists.

Lanyu (Orchid Island)

When to visit: Spring/Summer

How to get there: Boats run daily from May-October from Fugang Harbour in Taitung.

Volcanic Lanyu, also known as Orchid Island, is the southernmost island of Taiwan and is covered in tropical rainforest. The island also boasts unspoiled coral reefs and is a popular spot for deep sea fishing and scuba diving. The natives of Orchid Island are known as the 'Yami' and are of Australasian descent with their own distinct language and a culture that is far removed from that of mainland Taiwan. Visitors are encouraged to respect the local traditions of the Yami, with homestays available for those keen to find out more about its unique culture.

Green Island

When to visit: Year Round

How to get there: In the summer, boats run three times a day from Tiatung's Fukang Harbour. Daily flights also operate between Taitung and Green Island with Daily Air Corporation.

Off the eastern coast of Taiwan, Green Island boasts superb sandy beaches and is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs - making the island a snorkelers' paradise. The island is also home to one of the planet's three known seawater hot springs, the Chaojih, where temperatures vary from 53 to 83 degrees Celsius. Hiking is a popular pursuit on the island with the Kuoshan Ku Tao trail connecting ancient trails, lighthouses and sea caves, as well as spectacular lookouts. For a historical day tour, Green Island's Human Rights Cultural Park offers visitors an interesting look back at a time when the island was home to a notorious prison camp where political opponents were sent to languish.


When to visit: Summer/Autumn

How to get there: Flight from Taipei with Mandarin Airlines, TansAsia Airways and Uni Air.

The fortified island of Kinmen is steeped in military history and visitors today can still witness the historical remains of the Cold War between Chinese communists and nationalists, from the concrete tunnels that once served as air-raid shelters to the Kinmen military headquarters of the Qing dynasty. Alongside its military history however, the island also boasts sandy beaches, thick forests and landscaped parks, intermingled with traditional villages and ancient pagodas. Adventurous travellers to the island are encouraged to hire scooters to explore the island independently.


When to visit: Summer/Autumn

How to get there: There are six daily flights from Taipei o Matsu with Uni Air.

A military outpost, Matsu includes fortifications from before the Cold War, as well as intricate tunnels and temples. A scooter is the best mode of transportation on Matsu and allows travellers to see the authentic stone houses from the 19th century that are scattered around the island. April through September is a popular time for bird watching and guided bird watching boat trips are offered during this period. Matsu has several protected historical sites on the island, including the Dongyin Township and the Dongquan lighthouse. Activities on the island include kayaking
through the disused tunnels.

For further information on Taiwan, visit