Taiwan Offshore Islands: Traveling in Penghu/ Kinmen /Matsu/ Green Island /Orchid Island
Taiwan is famous for its amazing night markets and its amazing access to natural resources. There are several paradise-like islands nearby, off the coast of Taiwan, where you can find breathtaking beaches, stunning views, mythical aboriginal tribal vibes and various charming landscapes. These Taiwan offshore islands are located at just close distances from the main island. They offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the industrial cities of Taiwan. Get ready! MyProGuide is taking you on an adventure. Let’s check out what to do and what to see in these amazing Taiwan offshore islands:
1. Penghu (澎湖)
Located in Taiwan Strait’s mid-section, Penghu has long been the key crossroads in the days of sail. It is widely known as the “pearls scattered on the turquoise sea” among the locals. Penghu enjoys a high reputation due to both its heritage sites and its natural resources. For heritage lovers, you would surely fall in love with Penghu’s old villages, old temples, old lighthouses, and fort ruins. Water activities are highly recommended in Penghu due to its geographical advantages. The heavy winds of Penghu entice surfers and windsurfers all around the world.
There are three main islands in Penghu, each connected by bridges. So when traveling there, it is usually recommended to stay overnight.
2. Kinmen (金門)
Its historical significance marks Kinmen as one of the most important military bases in Taiwan. Just about a few kilometers off the coast of mainland China, Kinmen is an island that still authentically carries old-Chinese characteristics. Kinmen has a relaxed and friendly vibe that is mixed with awe-inspiring Ming- and Qing-era architectural remnants, which reminds visitors of Kinmen’s many decades serving as a remarkable 20th-century military outpost. With just a short boat hop away, Kinmen is a great transit between Taiwan and Xiamen (China). What are you waiting for? Spend a day or two in Kinmen and enjoy a fun historical investigation.
3. The Matsu Islands (馬祖)
Located far in the Northwest of Taiwan, the Matsu Islands is Taiwan’s most prized possession in its Northern Region. Located just 20 kilometers from Fujian province, China, the Matsu Islands is shaped by its mountainous landscape characteristics. The island’s hustle and bustle shipping traffic comes from its indented coastlines and twisted and tortured landscape. Like Kinmen, the Matsu Islands carries historical significance as a military outpost. History lovers flock to the Matsu Islands for the defensive tunnels and forts with superb ocean views.
4. Orchid Island (蘭嶼)
Orchid Island provides visitors with countless varieties of plant life, animal life, and marine resources, such as coral reefs. Widely known as a paradise for deep-sea fishing and skin diving due to the warm Japanese current that flows by and attracts all kinds of fishes, Orchid Island is a haven for diving lovers. Another worthy reason to visit Orchid Island is its aboriginal culture. You can see many canoes that had been vividly decorated by the Yami (Tao) people, whose livelihoods depend on fishing. Tao people would wear narrow loincloths when fishing or hunting. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in Orchid Island during the annual flying fish season, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the Tao people. One thing for sure: It will definitely be a very interesting experience for every traveler.
5. Green Island (綠島)
About 33 kilometers East from Taitung City, Green Island is located in the Pacific Ocean and has a population of around 3,000 people. It’s nickname, “The Fire Island”, comes from an anecdote that happened a hundred years ago. Legend says that some fishing boats had sailed by Green Island during the sunset and was blown away by its beauty, because the island looks just like it is being burnt under the sunset. Green Island is an island for those who enjoy nature and water activities. With less developed tourism activity, Green Island’s natural sites and coastal sceneries are well-preserved. Also, the Chaojih Hot Springs in this island is one of the only few places in the world that is blessed with saltwater hot springs! Last but not the least, don’t miss out on diving and snorkeling at some of Taiwan’s most well-preserved coral reefs.
Summer is a great season to visit Taiwan. Apart from traveling the main island, don’t forget to plan a few days trip to the beautiful Taiwan offshore islands nearby! Be it a historical tour in the Matsu Islands, Penghu and Kinmen, or just chilling by the beach in Green Island and Orchid Island, we can guarantee you that either one of these choices will surely make your visit to Taiwan a memorable one!
Which among the Taiwan offshore islands is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section down below!
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