Taiwan Off the Beaten Track: Beautiful Xiao Liuqiu
Taiwan’s Xiao Liuqiu is a beautiful and unusual destination that until recently was off the beaten track. Tourists are starting to discover the tiny volcanic island—a 30-minute ferry ride from the southern Taiwanese port town of Dongang—and its white coral beaches, cave-studded volcanic coastline, and laid-back island atmosphere. A mixture of tropical fish, annual sea-turtle visits, and surreal underwater lava-rock formations make Xiao Liuqiu Taiwan’s best destination for snorkeling.
929, Taiwan, Pingtung County, Liuqiu Township, 屏東縣琉球鄉
Black Dwarf Cave (also known as Black Ghost Cave) is located on Xiao Liuchiu’s west coast. It’s more of a walkway through a maze of precipitous lava rock formations than a tunnel into a cliff like one normally expects of a cave. The cave has a morbid history; more than three hundred aboriginals were burned alive here by the Dutch during their occupation of Taiwan. The cave, however, is beautiful, with several vistas like the one pictured here overlooking the Taiwan Strait.
Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 929
Xiao Liuchiu is a beautiful island, but the best spot has to be the iconic Vase Rock. This spot is located near the downtown area and ferry dock. There’s a wooden walkway where you can walk along the coast and watch the sun set over the Taiwan Strait. There is also a beautiful coral reef filled with sea life, which makes for spectacular snorkelling. I thoroughly enjoyed both.
Liuqiu, Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 929
This west-facing beach may appear to be white sand at a glance, but your bare feet will quickly discover that it’s made of corse shards of coral, so watch your step. Rough edges aside, this beach is seldom visited (some people may have been known to camp on it) and is an excellent place to enjoy the sunset with a few Taiwan Beer and good company.