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Published: September 22nd 2009
(Day 527 on the road)
We hadn't initially considered going to Green Island, but with a recent Taifun wrecking havoc in many parts of southern Taiwan, our plan to visit Alishan needed to be adjusted. It was a mixed blessing: On the one hand Green Island was very beautiful, on the other hand Alishan boasts a narrow-gauge alpine railway and some grand mountain vistas.
Anyway, the choice had been made for us, and Green Island it was. I had told myself not to ride a motorcycle with my mum again to save both our sanity, but as soon as we stepped off the ferry we realised that the only way to get around the island is by scooter. In fact, all the guest houses and hotels offer a package of rooms and scooter (there were hundreds and hundreds of scooters for rent lined up on the main road), so soon we were off exploring the island. Me riding in front, my mum clutching on for dear life on the back. At least that's what I thought judging by her comments and the way she gripped me around the waist.
We had arrived on the island on a Saturday morning, and
had secured the last two tickets on the ferry after being at the bottom of the long waiting list (lucky us). Despite the hordes of weekend tourists, we found the island pretty deserted and very relaxing. There are few real sites on the island save for a lighthouse and a former prison that held political prisoners critical of the oppressive Chiang-Kai shek regime. The real beauty of the island was in the great vistas that could be seen all around the island from the coastal route we took with our scooter.
The highlight of our stay was a visit to the sea water hot springs. There are only three of those in the world, one of them being here on Green Island. They are located right by the ocean where the hot water pours out of the sea, and are boasting a variety of different temperature pools, both outdoors and indoors. There are even some pools right in the ocean, amazing!
We had arrived in the afternoon and, despite it being Sunday, we had the whole huge bathing area completely to ourselves for at least three hours, perfect! Only around dusk did other people arrive. But even so
sitting under the stars in the warm sea water was pure bliss.
At the hot springs, my mum chatted to some other foreigners, and before long she had arranged for pretty much every single Westerner on the island (there were eight of us in the end) to meet for dinner that same evening. Well done! We went to a great restaurant for a pleasant dinner; I especially enjoyed the Sashimi of local fish.
The next day, we needed to move on. We hadn't seen too many Taiwanese temples yet, so it was about time to check some out. And trust me, we found more temples than we could handle at our next destination...
Next stop: Tainan (Taiwan).
To view my photos, have a look at pictures.beiske.com
. And to read the full account of my journey, have a look at the complete book about my trip at Amazon
(and most other online book shops).
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