Take a look at Taiwan’s island paradises – Located on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, the beautiful island of Taiwan is blessed with over 1,500km of stunning coastline and more than 10 percent of the world’s marine species.
Much of this gorgeous coastline and marine life can be found on Taiwan’s scattered collection of off-shore islands. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the mainland, these delightfully diverse islands have plenty to offer, from white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and a variety of wildlife, to basalt rocks, fascinating history and colourful culture.
The Taiwan Tourism Bureau is highlighting the islands’ unique characteristics as part of the Year of Bay Tourism this year, a programme that is working in tandem to raise public awareness of the need for sustainable development and protection of marine environments.
Here’s four of the best of Taiwan’s outstanding off-shore destinations:-
Penghu – Designated a National Scenic Area the Penghu Islands off the west coast of Taiwan are a collection of reefs, islets and shoals that offer 194 miles of pristine, white-sand beaches and deep blue waters. Perfect for diving and snorkelling, the warm waters of Penghu are home to an incredible array of tropical fish, marine plants and coral reefs, while also offering the ideal conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Ludao – Situated off the east coast of Taiwan, Ludao, or Green Island, is also a haven for divers and snorkellers, boasting the world’s largest living coral head at four metres wide and almost two stories high.
Lanyu – Lanyu, or Orchid Island, is Taiwan’s furthest outpost off the southeastern coast offering numerous opportunities for birdwatching. Its rugged, mountainous terrain is covered in lush rain forests bursting with flora and fauna, including a series of special birds – the Lanyu Scops Owl, Taiwan Green Pigeon and the spectacular Japanese Paradise Flycatcher.
Guishan – Guishan Island (above), located about 10km off Taiwan’s northeast coast, is often referred to as “Turtle Island” because of its volcanic terrain that appears like a turtle floating in the sea. The island is known for its spectacular dolphin and whale watching tours, however, holidaymakers have to apply to visit in order control tourism numbers to protect the natural vegetation.