Green Sea Turtles - Xiao Liu Qiu Island
Travel Update Summer 2020: Most destinations, sites and parks reopened with limitations. Check the official websites and read our crucial ‘BEST TIME TO GO' and ‘AVOIDING THE CROWDS’ tips:
Around the island of Xiao Liuqiu (Xiaoliuqiu or Lambai Island) green sea turtles are often spotted. You might be wondering: How can I spot these fascinating creatures up close? Check out our detailed tips:
- During high tide: They come closer to the shore to feed on seaweed. You can even watch them from the shoreline while they are feeding. The sea can be quite rough, and you should be an experienced snorkeler or diver if you go by yourselves at some places. There are also several small beaches where you get easily into the sea.
- During low tide: it’s easier to get into the sea, and snorkel tours are offered at Vase Rock. You will be supplied with a wetsuit, shoes, snorkel gear and life jacket. You stay together with the instructor and other snorkelers either holding a rope or lifebelt. It seems that there are fewer turtles around.
Weather of Southern Taiwan
It a tropical climate with warm temps and occasionally rain in winter often a heavy downpour in the afternoon. Summer is hot and humid and the south-west monsoon season lasts from May to September. Typically, typhoons occur from July to September. Weather for Taiwan
How to Avoid Crowds
Weekends are always super busy, and summer is the peak season in Taiwan. It’s boiling hot, and people come to the island for the beautiful beaches and sea. Midweek is much quieter, and in the morning it's still tranquil.
Liuqiu Island is just 4 km long and 2 km wide best explored with a rental scooter. It looks like that the island can be super busy during the peak season. We saw masses of rental scooters waiting for tourists. The price is between 250 and 300 TWD each day including gas. The island loop road is about 13 km long. The island gets visited by day-trippers and overnight guests. A huge variety of accommodations and a campground in the north are offered. You can already make a booking at the ferry terminal.
Using the Ferry
There are two different ferry companies in Donggang harbor. The faster ferry TF express offers seven to eight departures each day to Baisha port. The township ferry is cheaper offers fewer departures to the second smaller Dafu port. We’d chosen the Baisha port where more scooters and accommodations are offered. The ferry ride took us less than 30 minutes. There is space for 192 People plus scooters and goods.
What Else to Do (Activities)
We came here midweek and visited the popular Vase Rock, several caves (entrance fee is quite expensive), the white lighthouse, an old Banyan tree, and went snorkeling several times around the island. Each time we snorkeled, we spotted minimum one turtle.
Don’t miss the outstanding seafood and the huge variety at the Donggang fish market next to the ferry terminal. You can either select from the menu or buy your seafood and let one of the restaurants prepare it for you.
Facts About Green Sea Turtles
- Green Sea Turtles are endangered and the second largest after the leatherback turtle.
- They weigh up to 225 kg/496 lbs and reach 1.2 m/ almost 4 feet in length.
- The name comes from the color of their fat, not their shell.
- It's the only species which come on shore for basking. We observed this once in Western Australia and on Oahu; Hawaii.
- This species can be found worldwide.
- They are nesting in more than 80 countries.
- Their preferred diet is seagrass. It is believed that they enhance the growth of the seagrass beds.
- The biggest threats to them are the humans and a disease called Fibropapilloma. It's a fast-growing tumor on the face.