Explore Green Island

Explore Green Island

Situated 300 kilometers off the coast of Taitung, Green Island got its name for the thriving greeneries that cover the petit islet. It is also known as the island on fire. Among various tales, some say that sea surface around Green Island turns blood orange at sunset as if it was on fire. Some speak of the fire caused by a lightning strike as remembered by early settlers in Green Island. Another tale suggests that once a typhoon washed away surface soil and revealed a layer of red soil against black volcanic rocks that appeared to be on fire. Explanations may vary, but they all describe the unique landscape of Green Island that is simply mesmerizing to all visitors!

An island off the southeast coast of Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean

This green island, is like a boat
meandering through the moonlight.
Darling, you are
floating in the ocean of my heart.
Let the melody of my song follow the breeze,
blowing through your curtains.
《Green Island Serenade》Pan Ying Jeh

Though Green Island Serenade was actually referring to Taiwan, most people remember Green Island as the romantic lyrics depict it. Lying in the southeast of Taiwan, Green Island is formed by submarine volcano eruptions. Only 50 minutes away from Taitung by boat, Green Island is a top-rated holiday destination, divers’ paradise, and a unique place rich in Taiwanese history.

All year round sunshine at the island on fire

With the subtropical monsoon climate, Green Island is mostly warm like summer throughout the year. The lowest temperature is usually from January to February and the highest temperature from July to August. Summer is the high season for tourism. Though the scorching sun can be overwhelming, the cool seawater is the best way to cool down!

Top five things to do in Green Island

Not sure where to start upon arrival? Green Island is just about the right size. A motorcycle is sufficient for an exploration around the island where you can take in an abundance of natural scenery. The island also tells extraordinary stories of political prisoners in the White Terror period. The unique island lifestyle is especially appealing to travelers, making Green Island the top-rated offshore island of Taiwan. Here are five suggested itineraries for first-timers in Green Island!

  • 1


    Formed by submarine volcano eruptions, Green Island encompasses plenty of hills. The island is home to a variety of coral reefs and the world’s tallest living coral thanks to the warm and clean seawater. Divers from all over the world come to explore the underwater wonder. If diving into the ocean sounds intimidating, snorkeling is another popular activity that allows visitors to take in the spectacular scenery below under the guidance of diving coaches.

  • 2

    Saltwater Hot Spring

    There are plenty of hot springs in Taiwan, but the one in Green Island is one of the world’s only three saltwater hot springs. In the southeast of Green Island lies Zhaori Hot Spring of salted sulfur spring. Visitors can enjoy a good soak under the stars during the night, or watch the sunrise above the sea at the crack of dawn. It is certainly a world-class attraction one must not miss!

  • 3

    Niutou Hill Grassland

    Niutou (cow-head) Hill is a cape situated on the northeast coast of Green Island. Watching from a distance, the landscape resembles the silhouette of a seated cow with vivid characteristics of the cow’s head, nose, and ears. Other than its popularity for the cow features, Niutou Hill is also a great spot for sunrise and spectacular sea view.

  • 4


    Due to its geographic location as an offshore island not too far from Taiwan, several prisons built in Green Island were designed to hold political prisoners and felony offenders. In the past, departing for Green Island was hardly ever for leisure. In fact, people were mostly sent to prisons there. As Green Island has now become a popular tourist destination, prison-themed restaurants are considered appealing to visitors who are interested to learn about the cultural and historical aspects of Green Island.

  • 5

    New Life Correction Center

    The New Life Correction Center on Green Island is one of the two correction facilities that hold political prisoners. During the White Terror, a period of suppression of political dissidents, victims of political oppression were sent to the New Life Correction Center for labor and thought transformation. Though it still feels eerie owing to its past, it is now a public tourist attraction where visitors can learn about that particular historical period of Taiwan.

Eye-opening Delicacies in Green Island

Every place cooks up a distinctive culture on the dining table reflective of local characteristics. Of course, one cannot fully grasp the lifestyle within a short period of stay, but through tasting local delicacies, one can definitely learn a thing or two about the place. In shortage of a lot of resources, Green Island still features its authentic island tastes that are quite eye-opening to visitors!

  • 1

    Seaweed Ice

    A trip to a subtropical island will be incomplete without some shaved ice. You have probably had brown sugar shaved ice, mango shaved ice and others, but have you tried seaweed ice? It comes with the regular toppings like grass jelly and tapioca jelly, but seaweed takes center stage, adding a touch of saltiness to the sweet flavor. That’s the signature summer taste of an island getaway!

  • 2

    Starch Cake

    Only a couple of wind-resistant plants adapt to the strong wind in Green Island. Peanuts and yams are among the few plants grown to be the staple of early settlers. Starch cakes are one of the traditional snacks made of peanuts and yams. Added with basil and sticky rice, starch cakes are wonderfully crispy, featuring a mouth-watering scent of peanuts and basil. It is a traditional delicacy only found in Green Island.

  • 3

    Sea Mushroom

    Naturally, seafood is a big part of Green Island’s dining culture. When it comes to cooking seafood, islanders know best. Sea mushroom is the skin or tail fin of a cuttlefish but not a mushroom. Stir-fried with basils, it is a dish that goes well with rice.

    (Photo credit: Tseng Jing)

Explore Green Island