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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrFormerly known among the Japanese as Bonfire Island, and among the local Amis people as Samasana Island, Ludao is a unique and stunningly beautiful place. With several ships wrecked off its coast in the past two centuries, the Ludao Lighthouse was built in the 1930s to avoid more incidents in the sea.
You can see some curious rock formations on this volcanic island (such as the peculiar Sleeping Beauty Skerry), as well as an abundance of unique flora and fauna, such as Coconut Crabs and Chameleons, Orchids and Palm trees.
For a long time, Ludao served as a penal colony, and many political prisoners during the martial law period of Taiwanese history spent years living on the island. Oasis Village is a former prison that is now open to the public. Overall, the permanent population on Ludao is dropping, and many houses stand abandoned and forgotten, creating a slightly eerie feeling of the place.
When on Ludao, walking is the most ecological option (the island is small), otherwise you can rent a scooter or even a small car to go for a drive.
Activities and SightsThe abundance of shipwrecks and busy sea life make Ludao a smashing place to go diving. Moreover, it is so off the beaten track, that you will not have to dive with a crowd of other underwater enthusiasts. There are two dive centers on Ludao: Green Island Adventures Dive Center and Blue Safari Diving Center. They also rent snorkeling gear.
On dry land, bats inhabit the caves and produce spooky sounds at night, and during the day you can play hide-and-seek with Chameleons and Coconut Crabs, and try spotting elusive Deer in the woods.
Zhaori Salt Water Hot Springs are quite unique and famous in this part of the world: ticket for the day costs around 200 NTD and supplies you with everything necessary for a relaxing spa session.
Sleeping and EatingThere is a hostel by Green Island Adventures Dive Center, as well as a lot of restaurants near the port and hot springs.
Getting ThereDaily Air flies from Taitung airport several times a day, flights are subject to weather conditions and cost a little bit over 1,000 NTD.
Otherwise, there is a ferry from Fugang Harbor in Taitung that can carry about 250 passengers, costing 980 NTD for a return trip. Ferry schedule also depends on the weather and tidal changes.
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Author: wilhelminamurray. Last updated: Feb 28, 2015