Taiwan The Road

Exploring The Small Island Paradise in Lanyu

We were warned that this particular travel through the Philippine Sea is seasickness inducing – long story short we cannot stress enough how true it is. Finally we rested at the port of Lanyu Island. No rush, our plan was to spend a few days there, although later we wished to stay much longer!

Lanyu (known also as Orchid Island) is home to the most isolated tribe in Taiwan,  approximately 3100 Tao people. Most of them are fishermen although nowadays probably more and more try to earn a living on tourism. Unique tribal patterns are painted vividly in every corner of the island. The most distinctive of their culture symbols can be found nowhere else but on the beaches –  beautiful Tao fishing boats resting in the sand. Cultural connection to the ocean is fascinating, wherever we saw them they had swimming suits on or fishing gear crammed on the mopeds. Hitchhiking around the island for days we had a chance to meet many of them, their kindness and being selfless left us speechles

Many places to see and just to be. The viewpoints, mountains, rock formations and the jungle. Our favorite were “cold water springs” which are natural swimming pools made by the coral reef with spring and seawater flowing in. If not for them hiking and wild camping in such tropical climate would be hardcore. Nothing better than snorkeling in the crystal clear water and watching all the sea life dancing below, we were in awe. That is until the highly venomous sea krait didn’t decide to swim with us!

After placing a tent we would leave it and take evening strolls through the villages. There were hardly any tourists but the place was full of life! Night Market is literally 7 pushcarts grouped around the square, but its climate is something not to be missed. Local kids and stray dogs playing around, completely not bothered by mopeds speeding through in the darkness, loud music was mixing with the sound of sea waves. And the 7-eleven shop, which inside reminded more of the community house – packed with people and dogs and filled with laughter! Sitting among fish drying racks we would drink cold beer and point to the places in the far, excited to see them the next day.

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