Liuqiu island, Taiwan: Day visit from Kaohsiung: planning tips - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Liuqiu island, Taiwan: Day visit from Kaohsiung: planning tips

Liuqiu is a small island off the coast of Taiwan, accessible via 1 hour bus ride from Kaohsiung and 30 minutes ferry ride. Liuqiu was not in my Taiwan plan. however I had a free day in Kaohsiung and was wondering what to do. Many day tours were sold out or could not be booked last minute. A friend suggested Liuqiu island. Visiting Liuqiu sounded like better option than my other alternative- going to Tainan city and exploring city attractions.

How to reach Liuqiu island from Kaohsiung?

Reach Zyung high speed rail station from wherever you are in Kaohsiung. From there there is a bus service to ferry point- departs every 30 or 60 minutes. From ferry point, buy a ticket and board ferry to Kaohsiung.

What to expect in Liuqiu island?

#1 Scuba diving & Snorkeling: Liuqiu island is popular for water sports. A scuba diving session will cost around 2500 TWD or almost 6500-7000 INR per dive. You can also try snorkeling all over the island. We were supposed to find turtles under water but we were not lucky when we tried. You will need some luck and need to try different locations. 

#2 Nature spots: Liuqiu island has several spots very scenic and photogenic. Lobster cave, several sunset/sunrise viewpoints, a lighthouse, lots of walking trails under the rocky formations, several temples, rocks in ocean etc

Most of these are free to explore all through the day. Some four of the spots have a common ticket that costs 120 TWD.

Below are some samples of what you can expect to see in LiuQiu island. I couldn't explore all of them in detail, but visited most of the important/interesting spots during my overnight visit.

Tender coconut: I had Taiwan's best and cheapest tender coconut in Liuqiu island. A shop near our hostel would weigh the coconut and price them. Paid around 60 to 80 TWD per coconut here. Price in Kaohsiung was 100 TWD, ask near Shifen was 150 to 200 TWD.

How to explore Liuqiu Island?

Option 01: Walk: The whole island is about 12-15 kms in circumference- so if you are an able bodied person comfortable walking you can just explore entire island on foot in a day's time at your comfort. 


Map link

If you are staying for a night, you can easily split the above into two parts, explore say 6-7 kms each day

Option 02: Two wheeler rental: However two wheelers are easily available for rent, costing between 500 to 1000 TWD per day depending on type, power, duration etc.

Indians will need international license (IDP) to rent a two wheeler in Taiwan. But then, if you don't have a license but know how to ride, you can take electric vehicles that don't go faster than 25kmph- these things do not need any license, so I could rent an odd looking two seater shown below. Not very convenient, not very fast, but serves the purpose. Could explore the island in reasonable comfort.

Option 03: Tour buses: I saw some tour buses near ferry entrance. I guess you should be able to book a tour in which a tour operator takes you along. I would say this option is convenient but not good- you can't explore at your pace, need to get in and out of bus as instructed by tour guide and a tour would cost same or more than two wheeler rental.

I didn't see many taxis in Liuqiu but I guess your host will be able to arrange one for you if you need.

Stay: Liuqiu has few hotels and hostels for your stay. 

Should we stay for a night at Liuqiu island or day trip is enough?

if you can start very early from Kaohsiung and reach Liuqiu by 8 or 9 AM you might be able to explore most of the attractions and return by last ferry (by around 5 PM). However if you prefer to explore the island with some relaxed mode, if planning to take scuba, snorkeling etc better to spend a night.

Other things to know:

  • Most shops close by evening and open next day 8 or 9 AM or late. So if you have plans to take last ferry or first ferry out, plan your rental scooter/snorkeling gear return properly checking with the operator their timing. 
  • ID proof is asked while booking ferry ticket.
  • Most of the shops, facilities are concentrated around the northern tip around ferry entry point. It will be convenient to book a stay within 1 km from ferry entrance. However some stays are bit far- you will have to plan your transportation if you're booking them 
  • There are several ferry operators operating through out the day. You can walk in and buy a ticket-online ticket may not be needed. However there won't be a ferry to/from Liuqiu island early morning or late evening. Plan well.
  • Do not buy return ferry ticket if you're not sure of your plans. Buying 2 one way ticket gives you more flexibility w.r.t day of journey, operator, time etc. No price difference either.

Hope this helps

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