Xiaoliuqiu (小琉球) is a tiny, gorgeous coral island located a short ferry ride from Kaohsiung. Often also called Little Liuqiu, Lamay Island, Lambai Island, or Little Ryukyu, Liuqiu is revered for its gorgeous scenery, warm tropical waters, laid-back vibes, tasty seafood, and the chance to see green sea turtles up close!
Despite only being 6.8km2 big, this stunning Taiwan island has plenty to do and packs the perfect mix of outdoor fun and fascinating history. Whether you’re exploring the lush jungles and centuries-old caves on land or discovering the diverse animal life underwater – there’s something for everyone in Xiaoliuqiu!
In this Liuqiu Island guide, I’ll cover everything you need to plan the perfect Xiaoliuqiu itinerary – whether you’re making a day trip, spending a weekend, or planning a more extended beach vacation. Find out how to get to Xiaoliuqiu, when to visit and where to stay. I’ve also included all the best things to do in Xiao Liuqiu and tons of tips to help you explore Liuqiu at your leisure!
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Xiao Liuqiu Island Itinerary Pre-Travel Tips
Before you dive into this comprehensive guide, here are a few quick tips for planning the perfect Lambai island itinerary:
- Search the best Xiao Liuqiu hotels well in advance. Rooms fill up quickly, especially on weekends. Also, make sure to book a room with a free cancellation policy as ferry departures depend on the weather conditions.
- To get to Xiaoliuqiu from Taipei, or elsewhere in Taiwan, you need to get to Kaohsiung first. The fastest way to do this is via Taiwan’s super-efficient High-Speed Rail. Book a seat on the HSR in advance to get to Zuoying Station (the terminal station) stress-free.
- Grab a discounted return ferry ticket online if you’re only planning a day trip.
- If you aren’t comfortable exploring the underworld independently, check out this guided snorkeling tour or this scuba diving excursion.
- Make sure to download Google Translate and Google Maps before your trip. That way, you can easily access maps, plan your stops, and translate Chinese menus on the go.
In a rush? Pin this Taiwan island post to read later.
Lambai Island Essentials
Along with the tips above, here are a few things I highly recommend bringing along for a stress-free Xiaoliuqiu trip.
- Cash: Make sure you bring enough money for your trip. There are a few ATMs on the island, but they only accept local bank cards. Therefore, if you are traveling with an international bank card, remember to withdraw cash on the mainland.
- Eco-friendly Sunscreen: Since Liuqiu is a protected area, regular sunscreen won’t do. Make sure to pack a reef-safe sunscreen that won’t harm the environment.
- Quick drying towel: Pack a lightweight towel, like this Turkish beach towel. It dries in a jiffy and won’t weigh you down.
- Waterproof Cellphone Case & Dry bag: If you’re planning on spending a lot of time near the water, make sure to pack a decent waterproof cellphone case and a dry bag to keep your belongings dry.
- Snorkel Gear: If you’re not joining a snorkeling tour, it is still possible to rent gear at one of the dive shops in town. Alternatively, bring your own snorkeling equipment to save the hassle.
- Beach Umbrella: Since there’s not much shade on Little Liuqiu’s beaches, it’s worthwhile to pack a sturdy beach umbrella or this super lightweight, portable pop-up beach tent.
- Camera: I always travel with my Olympus Mirrorless camera. It’s not as bulky as a DSLR and takes gorgeous photos. If you prefer something more lightweight, consider investing in a waterproof Go Pro or grab this DJI Fly More drone that fits in your pocket!
- Mosquito repellant: Xiao Liu Qiu’s jungles are home to lots of mosquitoes. Make sure to pack an eco-friendly bug repellant to stay protected.
- If you need more help figuring out what to pack, check out my detailed Taiwan packing list for more tips.
How to get to Xiaoliuqiu
When I started researching how to get to Lambai Island, most of the English information I found online was quite outdated and confusing. That’s where this guide comes in. I’m going to show you the easiest and fastest ways to reach Xiao Liu Qiu so that you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying the island vibes!
The only way to get to Lambai Island is by ferry from Donggang Ferry Terminal in Donggang City, Pingtung County. Before hitting the road, you should also know that Donggang is an hour’s drive from Kaohsiung City.
Boats sail roughly every hour between 7:00 and 17:30 and take less than 30 minutes to reach Xiaoliuqiu. (More info below).
How to get to Donggang Ferry Terminal from Kaohsiung
If you are not in Kaohsiung yet, the very first thing you need to do is get yourself there. And the fastest way to do that is to book a seat on high-speed rail to Zuoying Station.
Once you’re in Kaohsiung, the easiest way to get to Donggang Ferry Terminal is by car or scooter. However, if that is not an option for you, you’ll need to rely on one of these transport modes to get to Xiao Liu Qiu.
A great stress-free way to get to Liuqiu from Kaohsiung is to take a cab or an Uber. But unless you’re traveling in a group, expect to pay between NT$1000-1300.
A much cheaper option to get to Donggang Ferry Terminal from Kaohsiung is to take a private shuttle bus. You can include a transfer from either the HSR Station or Kaohsiung Train Station when buying your ferry ticket online via Klook. But you can also arrange a pickup directly from the HSR Station with this company, 東琉計程車.
Another option is to take the red MRT line (adjacent to the HSR Station) towards Siaogang to Kaohsiung Main Train Station (TRA). Then walk to Spring Tourist Rental (春天旅遊汽機車出租, see map here) to grab a shuttle taxi to Donggang Wharf. It’s advisable to phone in advance to book a shuttle unless you travel during peak seasons or weekends. It’s also good to know that you might need to wait for passengers to fill up the taxi, but usually, this doesn’t take very long. Rides cost NT$150 per person.
If you prefer to take public transport, the Dapeng Bay Liuqiu Express bus (9127D) goes directly to the Donggang Ferry Terminal. The ride takes about an hour, and the first bus leaves at 8:30 am. The ride costs about NT$120, and you can buy a ticket at the Kenting Express ticket booth at Exit 2 of the HSR Station.
Although it is a cheaper option, I do not recommend taking the Kenting Express Bus (#9189) to Dapeng Wan and then transferring to bus #503 to Donggang Ferry Terminal as you’ll be wasting a lot of time. It took me well over 4 hours and a lot of sweat and tears to follow this route!
Travel Tip: Getting back to Kaohsiung from the Donggang Ferry is much easier. Once you exit the ferry, you’ll see several taxi drivers waving signboards for shuttle services. The prices are the same, no matter which company you choose. A shuttle ride to Kaohsiung Train Station costs NT$150, while a trip to Zuoying HSR Station is NT$200. If you’ve missed the window, simply cross the street. There is a taxi shuttle company right next to Family Mart (see map).
Taking the Xiaoliuqiu Ferry
Three private ferry operators (TF Express, Dongliu and Leuco Sapphire) sail from Donggang Ferry Terminal. Prices are the same no matter which company you use and the sailing times are quite similar. I sailed with TF Express, and the ride was comfortable and smooth.
I also recommend buying a return ticket as it works out a bit cheaper. Return ferry tickets to Xiaoliuqiu cost NT$450 and NT$230 for a single journey. The return ticket is valid for seven days, allowing you to spend up to a week on the island.
There is also a public ferry that runs at a lower price (NT$200 one way) but with fewer sailing times.
It’s also good to know that private ferries sail to Baisha Tourist Harbor while the public ferry goes to Liuqiu Dafu Fishing Harbor.
Sailing Times from Donggang to Xiaoliuqiu
7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 9:00, 10:30, 10:45, 12:00, 12:36, 13:30, 14:00, 15:30, 17:00
8:00, 11:00, 14:00, 16:30, 18:45
Sailing Times from Xiaoliuqiu to Donggang
7:40, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 10:30, 11:30, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 16:30, 17:00, 17:30
7:00, 9:30, 13:00, 15:00, 18:00
Travel Tips: These prices and timings were correct at the time of writing. Since things often change, please only use them as a guideline. Make sure to arrive at the ferry terminal 30 minutes before sailing times. Bring your ID card or passport to purchase a ticket. Oh, and don’t forget to pack medication if you suffer from seasickness.
When to visit Xiaoliuqiu
Xiaoliuqiu is a great destination year-round, making it perfect for a quick island getaway. The climate is mostly dry and warm, but expect hot and humid conditions during the summer months.
Spring (Mar-May) is a popular season to visit Lamay Island as the temperatures are pleasant with little rainfall. Expect average highs in the upper twenties while the temperature hardly ever dips below 21°C.
While summer (June – Aug) is the low season in Liuqiu Island, the temperatures are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. It can be quite hot and muggy, though, with temperatures ranging in the mid-thirties. Since typhoons aren’t uncommon during summer, it’s best to keep an eye on the weather forecast before booking a trip.
During fall (Sept – Nov), expect pleasant temperatures ranging between 25°C – 30°C. Since the weather is perfect for an island getaway, hotel rooms fill up quickly. Prices also tend to be slightly higher than in summer. You should, however, know that Xiaoliuqiu is still susceptible to typhoons, storms, and huge waves during the month of September.
Winter (Dec – Feb) is an enjoyable time to visit Liuqiu as the weather is quite pleasant, with average highs ranging between 22°C – 25°C. If you don’t like crowds, this is a great time to visit the island.
How long to stay in Lambai Island Taiwan
Most people visit Xiao Liu Qiu on a day trip from Kaohsiung. While a 1-day itinerary is enough time to stop by several tourist attractions, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch, and work in a 2-hour snorkeling tour, staying longer is highly encouraged, especially since there is so much more to do in Xiaoliuqiu!
To really experience all of Liuqiu island’s best bits, I highly recommend spending at least 2-3 days on the island. By doing so, you can explore all of its nooks in crannies, relax at the beach and work in a few snorkeling trips.
How to get around Xiaoliuqiu
The easiest way to get around Xiaoliuqiu is by scooter or electric bike. It’s easy to rent a motorcycle (NT$450 per day) or an electric bicycle near Baisha Tourist Harbor. To locate the bike shops, turn left when you exit the ferry terminal and go up the stairs. Alternatively, rent a scooter via Klook or ask your hostel or hotel to help you rent one.
Travel Tip: To rent a scooter in Taiwan, you must have a local license or an IDP for a motorcycle. Don’t forget to bring this along, as you won’t be able to rent a scooter without one!
Walking: Since most of the attractions in Xiao Liuqiu are quite spread out, it’s nearly impossible to see all of the island’s best bits on foot. If you’re only planning on sticking to the center of town and swimming at Vase Rock or Zhongao Beach, there’s not much need to rent a scooter. That said, there are heaps more to do further afield, and you’d seriously be missing out if you don’t have your own set of wheels.
Bus: There is a little round–the–island bus, but I wouldn’t recommend wasting time trying to figure out the schedules and stops. I couldn’t find any English information online, but if you are keen to use it, see the bus route here. Alternatively, visit the Liuqiu Visitor Center on Minzu Road (see map here) for more info.
What to do in Xiaoliuqiu: Top Liuqiu Attractions
Located 13km southwest from the mainland in the Taiwan Strait, Xiaoliuqiu is revered as Taiwan’s most extensive coral island with plenty to entice travelers. From adventure activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, SUP, kayaking and swimming with sea turtles to trekking through lush jungles and exploring the island’s unique geological caves.
But that’s not all this little island has to offer! There’s a great food scene, tons of tourist attractions, and more than 80 temples to explore!
Ready to discover the best things to do in Xiaoliuqiu? Let’s go! Here are my top recommendations!
Hit the beaches
Xiaoliuqiu is home to some of the best beaches in Taiwan. The beaches are beautiful, and the waters are warm and full of marine life. Here are the best beaches not to miss when visiting Little Liuqiu island.
Vase Rock (花瓶石)
Vase Rock is the most iconic tourist attraction in Xiaoliuqiu. It’s also an intertidal zone, so the beach is not all that big. Still, there is plenty of room to bake in the sun or take a gentle stroll along the coastline. Before you visit, though, it’s a good idea to check the tidal schedules.
Secret Beach (厚石魚澳)
Despite its name, Secret Beach is no longer a secret. Still, it’s an incredibly beautiful beach neatly nestled along the Houshi Fringing Reef. The beach itself is not very big, but the water is warm, and there’s loads of animal life underwater. In fact, if you’re an independent snorkeler, this is the best place in Xiaoliuqiu to see colorful coral, all kinds of fish, and sea turtles.
Zhongao Beach (中澳沙灘)
Zhongao Beach, also called ChungAu Beach, is the largest beach on the island and a firm favorite among beachgoers and sun-seekers. The marine life is not as good as elsewhere, but it’s a great swimming beach. And since there’s lots of room, it’s the perfect spot to bask in the sun!
Beauty Beach (美人沙灘)
Located a hop, skip, and a jump from the Beauty Cave, this sandy beach is the stuff of postcards and brochures! The beach is not very big, but it’s a great place to chill and one of the best places to spot sea turtles. There are lots of coral fragments, so remember to wear water shoes or flip flops.
It’s also worth noting that mornings are usually quite packed with snorkeling tour groups. It’s best to come in the afternoon if you want to skip most of the crowds.
Geban Bay (蛤板灣)
Geban Bay or Venice Beach, as locals like to call it, is right up there with the most beautiful beaches in Taiwan. While the beach is only 100m long, the sand is soft, and the waters crystal clear! Gebanwan is the perfect spot for hunting ecological treasures in the intertidal zone, soaking up the sun, and relaxing in the warm waters.
Shanfu Fishing Harbour (杉福漁港)
Shanfu is a natural harbor formed by coral rocks and one of the three fishing ports on the island. Nearby you’ll find several sea-eroded sights along the coastline such as potholes and pillars resembling giant mushrooms. While Shanfu is a popular place to go kayaking in Xiaoliuqiu, the small beach near the port is perfect for swimming.
Go Snorkeling with green sea turtles
While you don’t necessarily need to get your feet wet to see sea turtles in Xiaoliuqiu, a visit to this dreamy island would simply not be complete without a snorkeling adventure!
What’s more, the water is the perfect temperature year-round! There are quite a few popular snorkeling spots on the island, and it’s easy to join a guided snorkeling tour.
However, if you prefer to discover the underwater world independently like me, grab your gear and get ready for a fantastic adventure! Here are the best places to snorkel in Xiao Liuqiu.
- If you are not a good swimmer, the tidal pools at Vase Rock are perfect to see sea turtles up close without going in too deep.
- Secret Beach is the best snorkeling spot in Xiaoliuqiu, and you’re guaranteed to see quite a few turtles. If you are not a strong swimmer, don’t go in too deep as the water on the eastern side of the island can be quite choppy with stronger currents.
- Beauty Beach is another excellent snorkeling place in Liuqiu. I spotted seven sea turtles here. If you are a good swimmer, don’t be afraid to venture out a bit further past the tidal pools. The underwater world is surreal here and full of pink, blue, and purple coral, not to mention bountiful sea turtles and colorful fish. Just a heads up, though, unless you are freediving, I wouldn’t recommend swimming out to the fishing cages as a shiver of sharks was spotted there a while back.
- Zhongao Beach is another popular snorkeling spot, but it’s mostly packed with guided snorkeling tours and kayakers. If this is your first time snorkeling, it’s a good place to start, but you should know the coral life isn’t as vibrant as elsewhere on the island.
Travel Tips: Xiaoliuqiu’s green sea turtles are endangered, and it’s strictly prohibited to touch them. In fact, you can get a harsh fine (up to NT$300, 000) if caught doing so. Always stay 5m away from them, use reef-safe sunscreen, and remove your makeup before heading into the water.
Go on a semi-submarine cruise
If you are a non-swimmer or prefer not to get your feet wet, the best way to discover the treasures below is on a glass-bottom boat cruise. Klook has a fun 1-hr sunset tour, which will allow you to watch the stunning sunset and soak up the underwater scenery without getting wet!
Take a selfie at Vase Rock
Situated right below the impressive Lingshan Temple, you’ll find Xiaoliuqiu’s most iconic sight and probably the most photographed, too – Vase Rock (花瓶石).
Shaped by decades of sea erosion, Vase Rock is quite a peculiar coral limestone formation. With its thin body and big head covered with lush plant life, Vase Rock is a firm favorite among sunset chasers, beachgoers, and photographers.
During the day, the tidal pools are perfect for playing in the water or snorkeling. But if you don’t feel like swimming, kick off your shoes and take a gentle stroll along the beach. There’s also a nice trail at the rear of the beach that goes back to the main road (Meiren Rd).
Explore Beauty Cave
Beauty Cave (美人洞風景區), located along the island’s northwest coast, is one of the three natural caves in Xiaoliuqiu and a huge must-visit spot.
The 700m trail is cut in half by the Round-the-Island Road and offers a fantastic glimpse into the island’s unique geology. Along the way, you can duck into hidden caves, get a closer look at the limestone formations covered in fossilized shells and corals, and spot hundreds of butterflies and birds.
After exploring all the little paths head to the Tranquility Pavilion for one of the best views over the Taiwan Strait. Just a tip, though, come early to beat the heat and skip the crowds!
Travel Tips: There is a small entrance fee of NT$120, but it’s worth every penny! Don’t lose the ticket as you can use it to enter all of Xiaoliuqiu’s natural attractions. These include Beauty Cave, Black Devil Cave, and the Bamboo Ecology Pond.
Walk the Wild Boar Trench Trail
The Wild Boar Trench Trail (山豬溝) is a beautiful trek that takes you through a lush jungle filled with towering banyan trees and incredible tropical plant life. Since the trail is mostly covered with a thick jungle canopy, it’s the perfect place to escape the harsh rays on a hot summer day. What’s more, there are plenty of benches where you can take a breather and admire the uplifted coral reef rocks covered in lush vegetation.
It’s quite an extensive trail with several noteworthy stops along the way, but if you’re pressed time, make sure to follow the main path to the sea view pavilion. The view won’t disappoint!
Visit Black Devil Cave
Black Devil Cave (烏鬼洞風景區) is another geological wonder with a fascinating history not to miss when visiting Little Liuqiu. It’s also one of the best things to do in Xiaoliuqiu!
There are quite a few whispers about the cave’s complex history, but legend has it that a group of slaves was abandoned on the island by the Dutch. Later, after being found living secretly in the cave, they were massacred.
If you’re brave enough, squeeze through the extremely narrow passage to explore the inside of this collapsed cave. Afterward, follow the circular route for a closer look at the limestone formations, century-old banyan trees, lush jungle, and mind-blowing seaside views.
Drive along the Houshi Fringing Reef
Liuqiu boasts varied landscapes shaped by thousands of years of sea erosion. Houshi Fringing Reef (厚石裙礁) on the southeastern shores of the island is one of the best examples of the sea’s brute force to reshape nature.
The extensive reef between Dafu Fishery Port and Haizikou stretches along the coast, and the unique platforms featuring rough, uneven ditches are indeed a phenomenon to witness firsthand.
Along the way, there are several coral formations to keep an eye out for. These include Guanyin Rock named after the Goddess of Mercy, Indian Rock, and Mouse Rock.
Walk the Sanfu Ecological Path
Sanfu Ecological corridor (杉褔生態廊道) used to be a military bunker. Today, it’s free to explore the inside of this military shelter and it offers a quick glimpse into the past. Next to the massive outdoor viewing platform, there’s a cute little pavilion where you can sit back and watch the waves come and go. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a sea turtle or two playing in the water!
Catch the sunset at Sunset Galley
Watching an epic sunset is the perfect way to end a day exploring Xiao Liu Qiu island. And the Sunset Pavilion (落日亭) on the western side of the island is the best place to watch the sun dwindle over the Taiwan Strait!
Interestingly enough, the area was once a landfill. Today, however, Sunset Pavilion is one of the most popular places on the island and definitely deserves a spot on your Xiaoliuqiu to-do list! Just a heads up, Sunset Pavilion gets crowded quickly. Therefore, it would be wise to come a bit earlier to grab a spot.
Stop by White Lighthouse
The White Lighthouse (白燈塔) is 11.6 meters tall and was built in 1929 during the Japanese occupation. It’s the only lighthouse on the island and helps guide ships through the Taiwan Strait and Bashi Channel.
While you can’t go inside, it’s still worth a quick pitstop. Plan on spending between 5-10 minutes here. That way, you can snap a few photos, walk around the Lighthouse, and admire the lush jungles surrounding it.
Drop by the Century-Old Banyan
A short drive from the White Lighthouse, you’ll find the oldest tree on Liuqiu island. This massive tree is more than 100 years old and is perfect for a quick photo stop. But that’s not all! Most travelers to Xiaoliuqiu don’t know this, but right behind the banyan, there is a tiny footpath that leads to the BEST view of Houshi Fringing Reef!
Tread carefully and watch your head as the vegetation is quite dense. Once you reach the cliff, you’ll be rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of Secret Beach, the reef, and verdant greenery to the sides.
Seek out the wildlife at Lobster Cave
Lobster Cave (龍蝦洞) is a popular spot among photographers and Instagrammers. Unfortunately, you can’t go into the cave, but you can still enjoy the incredible view from the walkway bridge. It’s also worth walking to the end of the trail. From here, you can get a close-up look at the rocky reef coast, potholes, and ditches.
More adventurous travelers can scramble on top of the reef platform for a gentle walkabout. If you’re lucky, you might spot a few lobsters, crabs, or sea turtles!
Watch the sunrise at Sunrise Pavilion
If you’re spending a few days in Xiaoliuqiu, it’s worth getting up early to catch the sunrise. Sunrise Pavilion is located on the island’s eastern side and offers lots of room to watch the golden hour. It’s a great spot to enjoy your morning coffee, but remember to check the sunrise timings the day before.
Where to stay in Xiaoliuqiu
Despite its small size, there are heaps of choices when it comes to Xiaoliuqiu accommodation, no matter your budget.
Begin Inn (check rates here) is a gorgeous guesthouse that will make you forget all your worries from the get-go. The rooms feature modern decor, and the breezy decks that gaze out over the Taiwan Strait are the perfect spots to kick back and unwind after a day out exploring the island. What’s more, stunning Geban Bay is just around the corner!
Outline Hotel (check rates here) offers stunning ocean views with clean and bright interiors. During the day, you can cool off in the spacious pool, and at night, gaze at the stars while you listen to the sounds of crickets and frogs from your balcony.
Hide & Seek Inn (check rates here) is a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth every penny. The rooms feature beautifully decorated Scandinavian finishes with bright, modern interiors. The glimmering pool and breezy outdoor area is just the place to kick back and enjoy Liuqiu’s sights and sounds as the day unwinds.
Need more help finding the perfect hostel, B&B, or hotel in Xiaoliuqiu? Check more listings here with Agoda!
What to eat and drink in Xiaoliuqiu
- Seafood: Fresh seafood is easy to find on the island no matter where you go. What’s more, there are loads of barbeque places where you can enjoy an ice-cold beer as you barbeque your own seafood for as little as NT$250 per person.
- Sesame twisters: One of Liuqiu’s specialty snacks and a must-try! Sesame twisters consist of twisted dough that is fried or baked and sprinkled with flavorings such as caramel, seaweed, brown sugar, plum, black pepper, coffee, and more. There are lots of vendors in town, and bags usually go for NT$80 a pop.
- Dried cuttlefish: Cuttlefish is a typical Taiwanese snack. There are many variations on the island (salty and sweet, flattened, or shredded), so if you’re feeling adventurous, give them a try!
- Mango cheese smoothie: You’ll be missing out if you didn’t try Macu‘s delicious mango cheese smoothie! This refreshing layered drink consists of chewy green tea jelly, fresh-cut mango pieces, topped with a smooth cream cheese foam. It’s a great drink, especially on a hot summer day!
- Haigui Beer and Captain Beer: Don’t miss Xiao Liuqiu’s own two craft beer varieties because you cannot buy them anywhere else!
- Saffron Rose Water Ice Cream: Apparently there is a new Iranian restaurant in Xiaoliuqiu that is making waves! Try their ice cream and let me know if it’s as good as it sounds!
Keen to explore more stunning Taiwan islands? Read my guides on Green Island, Turtle Island, Cijin Island and dreamy Penghu for more travel inspiration.
Xiaoliuqiu might be small, but there’s plenty to keep you busy for a few days. If you have anything to add to this ultimate guide to Xiaoliuqiu, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Feel free to share your tips on the top things to do, places to stay, the best eateries, and anything in between.
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Raymond Ko says
Great guide, I live on Xiaoliuqiu and that is pretty impressive!
Wow! Thanks so much, Raymond – I’m stoked to hear that! Glad you found it useful, even as a local.
wow, this is a great guide. I wish I read it before I went.
Thanks Eric, that’s great to hear. Hopefully you can go back soon!
Being in Taiwan for almost five years now, I’ve always wanted to go to Xiaoliugiu Island and this article made me realize: why have I waited so long to go there!?
I’ll be heading over there this coming Mid-Autumn Festival.
Oh my gosh, Nic, you’re going to LOVE it! No pictures or words can do it justice, and you just have to see it for yourself. Have an amazing time!
roberto ribas says
Just came back from a week there, with my wife and 4 year old. We were planning to spend a couple days then go to Kenting, but we liked it so much we changed plans. It is ultra slow season right now, judging from the thousands of rental scooters covered up, I imagine it’s very crowded during normal tourist season! We hiked literally every trail on the island, and had many beaches all to ourselves. Water was chilly, but I still went swimming to see the sea turtles without a wetsuit, but I’m a swimmer, so I’m sort of used to getting into cold water. Loved this little island!
Nice to read this! I will go next month to this island . And the problem is I dont know how to drive a motorcycle only e-bike I can do.😅 I hope when I go their is still e-bike can rent.
Thanks for stopping by, Carla. You can definitely rent a Gogoro in Xiaoliuqiu, but it might be a bit more tricky to rent an actual bike (or e-bike). There’s a strip of scooter shops near the tourist harbor, which might be a good starting point. Alternatively, it might be a good idea to ask your accommodation to recommend a reputable bike shop.
very informative. are they open now for tourist? we’re planning to go this week thank you. stay safe
Thanks for stopping by, Jetrone. Yes, because we are currently only under Level 2 restrictions. Have a great time!
Thanks for all the great info. I plan on travelling onto Kenting after Xiaoliuqiu. What is your suggestions for this? Do you recommend going back to HSR Zuoying to get a tourist bus to Kenting, or to catch a bus to Kenting from Donggang? Thank you
Hi there Thomas. Thanks for stopping by. I think your best bet would be to just get the bus from Donggang to Kenting (that’s what I would do). Going back to Kaohsiung would just add more travel time (1-2 hrs to get back to Kaohsiung + around 2.5 hrs to Kenting, traffic permitting). I quickly looked, and bus #9117 looks like the most direct and fastest option from Donggang to Kenting (just over 3 hours). The bus leaves from Donggang Train Station, so you’ll need to get there from the ferry terminal (16 minutes walk or a quick taxi ride). Just make sure you time your trip as the bus isn’t that frequent. The earliest options seem to be at 11:01 and 12:21. You can find the schedule on Google Maps or online with a quick google search. Alternatively, you can also check out the iBus Information website. If you need more help, though, just give me a shout. 🙂
Thank you so much for your advice and taking the time to look into this for me.
No probs, happy to help. 🙂 Have an amazing trip!
Excellent information! I was just wondering if there are any other efficient ways of travelling if I do not have any scooter license (we are a group of 17-18 year-olds)? Any advice would be much appreciated!
Hey Chris, you could try to use the local bus, but it’s not very frequent as far as I know. If you’re only sticking to the main area (around Vase Rock and Zhongao Beach), you can easily get around on foot as it’s really not that big. Another option would be to rent a bicycle near Baisha Tourist Harbor. Once you exit the harbor, walk towards the Zhongao beach and go up the stairs. You’ll find a bunch of scooter and bike shops there. I always rent a scooter when I go, so I’m afraid I can’t comment on costs, etc. I’m pretty sure your minsu/hotel can help arrange bikes for you or at the very least recommend a good bike shop. Hope that helps!
At least one of the scooter rental shops near the ferry terminal offers electric scooters that don’t require a license. They are slow and only carry one, but are perfect for teenagers without licenses.
That’s so useful to know, thanks Alan. Do you recall the name of the shop?
This is a great guide, thanks!
I’m planning a visit with my family (kids aged 7 and 4) for the long weekend next week, and have been using your guide to great help. However, the weather forecast is expecting rain for the whole 3 days.
Given this, would you recommend a trip to Xiaoliuqiu, given our primary purpose is to spend time on the beach and shallows?
Hi there, Yu-Foong. So glad my guide is coming in handy! I’ve had a quick look on the CWB website (see here), and it looks like Saturday and Sunday will still be pleasant during the day, with occasional showers on Sunday eve. It seems like it’s only really going to start raining from Monday onwards, which may cause complications getting back to the mainland if the sea is too rough. Do you know which company you are sailing with yet? If so, it might be good to phone ahead and find out if they think it will be a problem getting a ferry back on Monday/ Tuesday. Yesterday, several ferry companies also announced cuts to their daily schedules due to the pandemic, so you may want to check the new sailing times with them too.
Robert Lee says
Exceptional!! This is the only site I need to visit before I head to this island. Thank you so much!
Thanks so much, Robert! Have an AMAZING trip!
This is such an amazing, well-written guide! Thank you for the time and effort you put into writing this. It has been a great tool for me 🙂
Thanks so much Megan, so glad to hear that!
Woah!! Yes that’s pretty detailed travel guide… Thank you.
I’m so delighted to come across your amazingly wrriten and well detailed guide about Xiaoliuqiu. It’s simply incredible. I’m going to hit the road to Xiaoliuqiu from Kaohsiung tomorrow and will be using your guide to explore this fabulous island.
Hi, thanks for sharing all the information.
I’m planning to travel from Kaohsiung to Donggang via HSR.
Is there connected line from Zuoying HSR station to Donggang near to the ferry terminal?
Hey Annie, the HSR only goes as far as Zuoying Station in Kaohsiung. So from there, you’ll need to catch a bus (Dapeng Bay Liuqiu Express 9127D | TWD120) or take a taxi (around TWD1000) to get to the ferry terminal.
If you can speak Chinese, you can also contact one of the minibus services (like 東琉計程車) to arrange pick up. They charge around TWD 150-200 per person one way.
We had a wonderful two days on the island this month. The public bus was always on time and according to schedule (the schedule lists departure time at three locations and you kind of just have to calculate when the bus will approximately arrive at your stop, should it not be one of the three listed). We had an EasyCard (def recommend anyone who travels to Taiwan and plans to take public transportation to get one) and it cost us approx 25 Taiwanese Dollars per ride. Alternatively, you can get a 100 Taiwanese Dollars day ticket. We found that walking was also a good option, most of the scenic locations were about 10 min walk apart. The traffic is relatively sparse, so walking on the road was comfortable. They’re also currently expanding a already existing footpath right above the coast.
Thank you for your very detailed guide, without it we probably wouldn’t have gone to Liuqiu and would have missed an amazing island!
That’s amazing, Maria – I’m so glad it helped you plan and explore the island! Thanks for sharing the info about the bus, too. Great to know that it has gotten a little easier to use it. 🙂
Liz C says
Hi there! I am soon about to embark on my trip to the island and am so excited. Your guide is super useful! I have a question about baggage. As I am a backpacker, I have quite a large backpack that weighs about 15kg. I know that going to Orchid Island has a baggage restriction of 10kg so now I am slightly concerned about my bag. Do you know if the Xiaoliuqiu ferry companies allows you to bring large luggage on board?
Hey Liz, I can’t remember seeing anything about baggage restrictions, but I’ll double check for you. It might be a good idea to bring a smaller bag along (just in case) so that you can pack some stuff in there specifically for the trip. Then you can just store your big bag in a locker at the HSR or train stations.
I quickly checked for you, Liz, and it sounds like you should be okay with your backpack. You might still wanna do the smaller back-up bag if you are heading to Orchid Island.