“Pretend Vacations” are still going viral in Taiwan, a range of domestic travel subsidies have taken effect in July, including the Executive Yuan’s Triple Stimulus Voucher program. Domestic tourisms, especially offshore islands, are boosting the most since “Pretend Go Abroad” currently all the rage in Taiwan. (Read more: Call For Explorer! Explore Taiwan with expats – Taiwan domestic travel kick-start.) Besides a Taipei day tour, visiting offshore islands of Taiwan is your best choice of Taiwan tour!
Green Island, also called Lyudao, is one of the most popular resort destination as an offshore island in Taiwan. The island once served as a penal colony for political prisoners during Taiwan’s period of martial law. The Green Island Human Rights Monument was completed on Dec 10, 1999. Former President Lee Teng-hui apologized to the victims of the White Terror at the inaugural ceremony of the monument. (Read more: Lee Teng-hui, Who Led The Way Of Taiwan’s Democracy)
There were around 140,000 White Terror victims during period from 1947 to 1987, about 3,000 to 4,000 were executed just because their real or perceived opposition to the Kuomintang (KMT) government led by Chiang Kai-shek. Other 20,000 of them are put into two notorious Green Island prisons, the New Life Correction Centre (1951-1965) and later, the Reform and Re-education Prison (1972-1987).
Despite all the historical sites, here are some must-see natural spots that you must not miss!
Yangzi Cave – old days’ execution ground
Yangzi Cave, also called Swallow Cave, this is where prisoners did their rehearsals of unwilling plays. Moreover, rumor has it that during Japanese occupation period, this cave was also an execution ground. Therefore, there are always some ghost stories about this cave. If you are visiting here, please embrace a devout heart.
Youzihhu, another one of the most popular tourist attractions in Green Island. You can take a beautiful silhouettes picture by standing on top of the rock.
Green Island Lighthouse
The lighthouse was built in 1939 and funded by the American Red Cross because the residents of Green Island rescued SS President Hoover after hitting the island reef in 1937. The lighthouse was once destroyed by an air strike during World War II but was reconstructed by the Republic of China government in 1948.
Little Great Wall – features Pekingese Dog Rock and Sleeping Beauty
Little Great Wall is a 300m walking path, with a pair of pavilion on top where you can see striking coastline and rocks with bizarre shapes. This was formed as the northern crater lip of the volcano that produced Green Island.
Zhaori Hot Spring
The Zhaori Hot Springs is one of only three saltwater hot springs in the world along with others in Kyushu Island of Japan and Sicily in Italy. Zhaori has three open-air pools and a spa pool, is one of the best place to relax and see sunrise/sunset at the same time.
You should definitely include Green Island in your Taiwan tour packages! Green Island is a township of Taitung County; you can reach there from Taitung by plane (around 15 mins) or ferry (around an hour). If you have just finished you Taiwan family trip – Taroko gorge in Hualien, you may add this special offshore Taiwan tour this beautiful small volcanic island as well!