Taiwan, a small island east of China, is actually surrounded by other small islands as well. Those islands are populated, and some have even become popular destinations for travelers, offering breath-taking views, sunshine, and fun activities.
One of them is known as Xiao Liu Qiu, or Little Liu Qiu.
A small getaway in Pingtung County
Originally known as Samagi, Xiao Liu Qiu (小琉球) is a small and beautiful island just on the outskirts of Taiwan. It is southwest of Pingtung County and can be reached by a 20-minute ferry ride. The island had been in the possession of other countries, such as the Dutch, during colonization.
Nowadays, people live there and have businesses such as B&Bs, scooter rentals, restaurants, and snorkeling and diving shops. The island is quite small and can be explored in 30 minutes with a scooter, hence the name Little Liu Qiu.
Beautiful views on the island
Xiao Liu Qiu is the perfect destination for those looking for a one-day or weekend getaway. It is a tranquil site with many beautiful landscapes, a great option for those seeking to escape from the hectic city life.
Places to visit include caves, such as the Black Dwarf Cave and the Beauty Cave, hiking trails, temples, seafood markets, and many more. You can choose to explore the island in one day or take it slowly and stay the night to witness the bright stars that decorate the island’s night sky.
Bed and breakfasts are available throughout the island, but, if you want, you can always choose to camp at the Samaji camping grounds.
Under the sea at Xiao Liu Qiu
Xiao Liu Qiu is one of the few coral reef islands that surrounds Taiwan, which makes it a perfect spot to go snorkeling and scuba diving. For snorkeling, travelers can choose to rent the goggles and swim independently, or go with a group of people.
Renting goggles independently will cost around 50-100 TWD (approximately 2-3 USD) and going with a group will cost 300-500 TWD (approximately 10-16 USD), which includes goggles, wetsuit, aqua shoes, insurance, and a coach. A well-known tip is to snorkel near the Beauty Cave, because it is less crowded and turtles can be seen swimming there on a daily basis (mornings and late afternoons).
Getting to and around Xiao Liu Qiu
In order to get to the island, you must take a ferry from Pingtung County. The most recommended way to get to the ferry is to take a bus from Kaohsiung City or a shared car leaving from Kaohsiung Train Station. Rates from Kaohsiung to Pingtung are about 100-200 TWD one way (approximately 3-6 USD).
Ferries to Xiao Liu Qiu only depart from Donggang Ferry Harbour; there are two ferry companies, Liuqui Township Ferries and Dongliu Line Ferries. Information regarding hours and rates are available on the official ferry website, but a return ticket will cost around 300-400 TWD (approximately 10-14 USD) depending on which company you go with. The last ferry usually departs at 5.30 PM so be sure to arrive early if you are only there for a day.
Getting around the island is better with a scooter; renting a scooter for the whole day will also cost around 300-400 TWD (approximately 10-14 USD). There is a bus that goes around the island, but the hours aren’t quite reliable.
Visit Xiao Liu Qiu
Xiao Liu Qiu, the small but marvelous island just off the coast of Taiwan, is a fine option for those looking for a quick escape. You can roam about the island on a scooter, swim in the ocean, relax on the beach, and much more.
Transportation to the island is quite easy and convenient, making it a great destination for both national and international travelers. So, wait no more! Come and swim with the sea turtles in Xiao Liu Qiu!
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