Three-day Island Hopping Trip to Orchid Island and Green Island

Orchid Island and Green Island both have diverse ecosystems and unique geological formations. Moreover, there are very few people on Taitung’s outlying islands. This makes visitors feel like they’ve gotten away from the hustle and bustle of modern life for a brief moment. Each island has its own unique culture and beautiful scenery. The following three-day tour will surely make for a memorable first trip to Orchid Island and Green Island.

Day 1
Orchid Island Cultural Museum + Underground House Tour → Lunch: G’day Cafe → Heaven Lake → Sunset at Qingqing Grassland → Dinner: “There’s a BBQ”
(Depart from Fugang Fishing Harbor on the earliest ferry. Arrive at Orchid Island at 9 AM)


1st Stop: Orchid Island Cultural Museum

After getting off the ferry, head to the Orchid Island Cultural Museum in Hongtou Tribal Village. Go on the 10 AM guided tour of an underground house. During the tour, you’ll gain a better understanding of Orchid Island’s culture. The Orchid Island Cultural Museum was founded in 2002 by the Lan An Cultural and Educational Foundation. Their mission has been to spread awareness about Yami culture as well as preserve Yami cultural relics. Precious items such as Yami tools and accessories are on display in the museum. There’s also a video room that plays cultural documentaries. Members of the Yami tribe offer two guided tours of the grounds each day. Docents introduce the relics displayed in the museum and take visitors to a group of underground Yami houses. Visitors will learn about the history of Orchid Island and the wisdom of traditional Yami culture. Proceeds from the entrance fee fund charity projects as well as educational initiatives for local children. Therefore, a visit to the museum has a direct positive impact on Orchid Island. (Photo Credit:IG@kyokoamigo)

Address: No. 147, Yuren, Hongtou Village, Lanyu Township, Taitung County
Phone Number: 089-732-073
Hours of Operation: 08:00-17:00 (Closed on Mondays)
Suggested Duration: 2 hours


2nd Stop: Lunch: G’day Cafe

When you finish at the Orchid Island Cultural Museum, make the short trip over to G’day Cafe to get some lunch. G’day Cafe is renowned as the best western restaurant on Orchid Island. You will find a variety of authentic American and Mexican dishes here. The menu includes a wide array of appetizers, mains, and desserts. All their dishes will satisfy your inner foodie. Take their beef burger for instance. Everyone loves the juicy and tender patty paired with a succulent home-made sauce . Their delicious steaks are cooked just how you like them and their brownies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. These specialties have visitors flocking to G’day Café all year round! G’day Cafe is a comfy place to listen to some tunes and enjoy a great view of the ocean. As you can see, G’day Café is definitely the best date spot on Orchid Island! (Photo Credit:IG @im___marcus)

Address: No. 1-37 Yuren, Hongtou Village, Lanyu Township, Taitung County
Phone Number: 089-731-539
Hours of Operation: 10:00-20:00 (Closed on Tuesdays)


3rd Stop: Heaven Lake

Did you know that Orchid Island is a volcanic island? Underwater volcanic activity gradually formed Orchid Island millions of years ago. Present day Heaven Lake is actually the mouth of a volcano. Eons ago, magma used to spout out from Heaven Lake. Over the years, pooled up rainfall has formed a lake. The Yami call Heaven Lake “Da Wu Wu” which means “Sea in the Mountains” or “Ghost Land.” It is a sacred, but forbidden place for the Yami. Visiting Heaven Lake is like entering a tropical rainforest in South America. The trek up takes you past the area’s unique plants and flowers. Once you arrive at the lake, you’re immersed in an untouched primordial forest. In the middle of the lake, dried out branches crawl up from below the surface. This unique landscape has been dubbed “The Forgotten Forest.” A two-kilometer trail takes you up 340 meters to Heaven Lake. The hike takes roughly 3-4 hours and is relatively difficult. Sections of the trail are quite steep. Sometimes, it’s muddy and slippery. You’ll also have to climb over boulders and use ropes to get in and out of ravines. Therefore, plan thoroughly and be prepared. We recommend hiring a local guide for this excursion. Besides keeping you safe, they will also tell you everything about this amazing forest. (Photo Credit:IG @irishuang426)

Address: No. 1-37, Hongtou Village, Lanyu Township, Taitung County


4th Stop: Qingqing Grassland

After the hike to Heaven Lake, head down to Qingqing Grassland to enjoy the vibrant colors of a beautiful sunset. Qingqing Grassland is a coral reef terrace located on the southern tip Orchid Island. It has been dubbed the “New Zealand of Taitung” because of its unforgettable stunning scenery. The natural beauty of Qingqing Grassland transforms with the passing seasons. In the summer and spring, the grass turns into a vast green carpet and the hills are covered in wild lilies. In the autumn and winter, fields of silvergrass dance in the breeze. The unobstructed view looking west makes Qingqing Grassland one of the best spots in Taiwan to watch the sunset. As the sun dips into the sea, the sky becomes a deep orange above waves of swaying grass. A dazzling Orchid Island sunset is one that you’ll remember forever.(Photo Credit:IG

Address: Southeast Coastline, Lanyu Township, Taitung County
Suggested Duration: 1 hour


5th Stop: There’s a BBQ

Enjoy dinner at “There’s a BBQ” in the evening. There’s a BBQ has two locations on Orchid Island. One is in Yeyou Village and the other is in Dongqing Village. At both locations, you can look out at the ocean while having some delicious barbeque. There’s a BBQ is famous on Orchid Island for its all-you-can-eat buffet. Before you come by, be sure to make a reservation. The wide array of food here is always fresh. The buffet has pork, chicken wings, meatballs, squid, mackerel, and much much more. You can also order shrimp, snails, crab, lobster, and other fresh seafood a la carte. At There’s a BBQ, living the good life means spending time with friends and eating barbeque in the company of the Pacific Ocean.
(Photo Credit:IG @nancyfang1616)

Address: No. 296-4, Yeyou Village, Lanyu Township, Taitung County
Phone Number: 089-732-008
Hours of Operation: 10:00-20:00 (Closed on Tuesdays)

Day 2
Sunrise at Dongqing Bay → Brunch: Dongqing No. 23 Brunch → Yami Canoe Ride → Lunch: Do VanWa (By The Sea) Orchid Island→ Green Island Lighthouse → Dinner: Crazy Fried Seafood Joint → Nightime Intertidal zoneTidepool guided Ttour
(Depart for Green Island at 3 PM. Arrive at Nanliao Harbor around 5:30 PM)


1st Stop: Sunrise at Dongqing Bay

Day 2 on Orchid Island starts at dawn. A visit to Orchid Island is only complete after watching the legendary sunrise. The sunrise on Orchid Island is special because it’s the first place in Taiwan to ring in the new day. Also, you have a completely unobstructed view of the entire sky slowly coming to life. Watch as the first glimmers of dawn turn into the radiant sun climbing out of the Pacific Ocean. In addition, the Yami Canoes docked all along Dongqing Bay look especially majestic under the gentle morning sunlight. (Please Note: Respect local customs. Do not approach or touch the canoes without permission.) (Photo Credit:IG @child.yuying)

Address: Dongqing Village, Lanyu Township, Taitung County
Time: The sun rises at a different time depending on the time of year. Please check with the Weather Bureau for more information.


2nd Stop: Yami Canoe Ride

Canoes are an emblem of Yami culture. They are essential for fishing and also play an important role in Yami rituals. The Yami make their canoes out of planks of wood that are fitted together with the help of wood nails and tree resin. It’s notable that Yami Canoes don’t use metal nails. Canoe making reflects the Yami’s high levels of artisanship and knowledge of the natural world. Finished Yami canoes look quite elegant. They are mainly red, black and white, which are the traditional colors of Orchid Island. The front and rear of each canoe is adorned with traditional indigenous iconography. Referred to as the boat’s “Eye,” these icons are the Yami’s GPS system as well as a charm to stave away danger. Quite a few spots on Orchid Island offer canoe rides. The price is now uniform throughout the island. Tours last around 30 minutes and have two main parts. First, the captain will row out to sea. From the ocean, you have the best vantage point to enjoy Orchid Island’s beautiful mountains and coastline. Second, the captain will teach you some basic rowing skills. Afterwards, everyone on the boat gets a chance to paddle through the azure seas that surround Orchid Island. (Photo Credit:IG @janice_lee1114)


4th Stop: Green Island Lighthouse

The azure sky and lush grass around the Green Island Lighthouse is as scenic as a landscape painting. It’s no surprise that the ivory-colored lighthouse is Green Island’s most famous landmark. A visit to the Green Island Lighthouse is also a chance to learn about the history of this simple and friendly island. In 1937, a luxury cruise ship got stranded off the coast of Green Island. People on shore came to the ship’s rescue and helped all 800 people get to safety. As a token of its appreciation, the US later donated funds to build the Green Island Lighthouse. The Green Island Lighthouse itself is 30.5 meters tall. However, the light shines from 46.9 meters high because the lighthouse is perched on a cliff. From the lighthouse, you can see the airport, the Wuyou Tidepool as well as a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean. (Photo Credit:IG @kuro_luna_vancy)

Address: No. 1 Lighthouse, Green Island Township, Taitung County
Phone Number: 089-672-540
Hours of Operation: 09:00–18:00 (Closed on Mondays)
Suggested Visiting Duration: 30 minutes


5th Stop: Crazy Fried Seafood Joint

Crazy Fried Seafood Joint is Green Island’s most happening restaurant on the busiest street in Nanliao. People will tell you that you need to keep your mouth in check at Crazy Fried Seafood Joint. If you’re not careful, you’ll be too stuffed to walk! Your dollar goes a long way here on the menu full of delicious options. No matter if you get a set meal or order a la carte, the portions are always generous. The ingredients are super fresh, and the butter-textured sashimi is cut extra thick. The chefs here really know how to cook up some delicious fare. The house specialties are veggie fried rice with scallion beef, fried egg with seaweed and octopus spring roll. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try a plate of the fried venison! Crazy Fried Seafood Joint is different than your average Taiwanese restaurant. The South Pacific style décor puts everyone that walks through the door at ease right away. We highly recommend booking a table in advance. During the high season, getting a table is hard because there’s always a line down the block. (Photo Credit:IG @jenniliciousss)

Address: No. 126, Neighborhood 10, Green Island Township, Taitung County
Phone Number: 089-671-057
Hours of Operation: 11:00–14:00, 17:30–21:00


6th Stop: Nighttime Tidepool Tour

After dinner, you can take a nighttime tour of Green Island’s tidepools. Discover Green Island’s secret hidden world. Best yet, you don’t have to go scuba diving to see a whole bunch of interesting sea critters. After everyone meets up, put on some waterproof booties, grab a flashlight and follow your guide down to the beach. There’s a whole world waiting to be discovered amongst the sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and crabs. Green Island’s tide pools will surely leave you feeling amazed. Along the way, your guide will explain everything you see in great detail as well as teach everyone about marine conservation. This eye-opening tour is both fun and educational. Talk to your hotel if you want to book a spot on a tidepool tour. (Photo Credit:@linghuayuan_greenisland)

Day 3
Zhaori Hot Spring → Breakfast at Your Hotel → Snorkeling → Little Great Wall→ Green Island Doraemon Brown Sugar Seaweed Shaved Ice


1st stop: Zhaori Hot Spring

One of the world’s three saltwater hot springs is on Green Island. This alone should be reason enough to make the pilgrimage out to Green Island. You can watch the sunrise while you’re soaking because the pools face east. Bathing here dates back to the Japanese Colonial Period. Zhaori Hot Spring has three round outdoor pools, a spa area with hydrotherapy jets and a place to boil eggs in hot spring water. This rare saltwater hot spring is sulfate chloride and around 60-70 degree Celsius. The water is crystal clear and slightly acidic, but won’t irritate your skin. The Zhaori Hot Spring opens at 5 in the morning. Look out at the infinite expanse of the Pacific Ocean as you lounge in this natural sauna. Watch the golden sun rise over the horizon as you listen to the sound of waves lapping against the shore. These special memories made here are ones that will last a lifetime. (Photo Credit:IG

Address: No. 167, Wenchuan Road, Gongguan Village, Green Island Township, Taitung County
Phone Number: 089-671-133
Hours of Operation: Summer (May-Sept): 5:00 – 02:00. Winter (Oct-Apr): 6:00 – 24:00


2nd Stop: Little Great Wall

The Little Great Wall is located in the hills on the northern side of Haishenping. The name “Little Great Wall” comes from the fact that it’s built along a ridgeline. Therefore, as you look up towards the Little Great Wall, it looks like a miniature version of the real Great Wall of China. The Little Great Wall is a walkway made of stone steps that stretches out 400 meters. Walking the whole length and back takes only 20 minutes. The path takes you to a seaside headland where there are two viewing decks that look out over the ocean. From there, you can get a panoramic view of Green Island’s prettiest scenery. Looking east, there’s a view of the famous Pekingese Dog Rock and Sleeping Beauty Rock. North of the viewing decks are famous landmarks such as Youzihu and Niutoushan. The western side of the deck has a view of Green Island’s Amei Mountain Range. You’re sure to feel refreshed and at ease surrounded by rolling green hills and vast blue ocean. (Please Note: Although the Little Great Wall is short, there’s no shade along the path. We suggest that you visit in the morning or in the evening when it’s not as hot. To avoid heat stroke, please drink plenty of water during your visit.(Photo Credit:IG @_astera_99)

Location: KM 8 on the Huandao Road (round-the-island road), Green Island Township, Taitung County


3rd Stop: Green Island Doraemon Brown Sugar Seaweed Shaved Ice

Even on the hottest days of high summer, Green Island’s famous seaweed shaved ice can cool you off. On your trip to Green Island, trying out this local favorite is a must! The best place to try out this treat is Green Island Doraemon Brown Sugar Seaweed Shaved ice. The seaweed shaved ice here is different than other spots. Most shops just shave some ice and throw a bit of seaweed on top. However, at Green Island Doraemon Seaweed Shaved Ice, they put seaweed in water and freeze it into a chunk of seaweed ice. Afterwards, they crush it down into shaved ice. Eating this shaved ice is like taking a refreshing dip in the ocean on a hot summer’s day. What’s even cooler is that the owner actually collects the seaweed himself. He also makes his own toppings such as his signature taro balls, seaweed jelly, brown sugar, konjac. The toppings all go well together and have a delicious texture. When everything is ready, they put it in a gigantic shell and serve it up. You’ve got to try this sweet and refreshing iced treat on a hot afternoon. After just one bite, you’re sure to feel the fun summer vibes of Green Island.(Photo Credit: IG @yiting_foodie)

Address: No. 118-1, Nanliao Road, Green Island Township, Taitung County
Phone Number: 089-672-480
Hours of Operation: 10:00–22:30

(Take the 14:30 or 15:00 Ferry back to Taitung)