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Taiwan, Orchid Island, trip report

Discussion in 'Taiwan' started by Makhno, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Makhno

    Makhno Divemaster

    From a prior post about Green Island, http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/general-asia/314792-taiwan-green-island-trip-report.html:
    Let me correct that: after another trip to Orchid (Lanyu) Island, I'd have to say they're both really good. I must have just had bad luck when I dived Lanyu last year, because this year the marine life was great.

    I got back late last night from a 3-day weekend of diving at Orchid Island and I can see now why so many divers love it. It offers the best visibility in Taiwan (averaging 30 - 40 meters). There were many more fishes than last year -- loads of the smaller reef fishes and some bigger ones, too (the group of 7 humphead parrotfish, each almost 2 meters in length, was a highlight of the trip), but there were also some big pelagics I don't see at Kenting, including dogtooth tunas, milkfish, and some others we couldn't positively ID. Other attractions included lots of schooling fusiliers, many snakes and a big green turtle, plus healthy hard and soft corals, sponges, tunicates, and other small invertebrate life (no shortage of nudibranchs, a few octopuses, porcelain crabs and some mantis shrimps, etc.). A pod of dolphins was there but we only saw them from boat and from shore, not underwater. And there's a good wreck, which is rare in Taiwan. We arrived at the wreck at slack tide during a half-moon so there was no current whatsoever, and it was perhaps the best dive of the long weekend's 6 dives.

    I'm really glad that I gave diving at Orchid Island another chance; it was well worth it. The diving was quite good. And Orchid Island is a lot more rustic than Green Island (watch out for the feral goats if you're driving a scooter), which means it has fewer options for good dining and lodging, but on the positive side it's a lot more mellow and picturesque topside, with much smaller tourist crowds.

    Maybe I can talk a buddy of mine into posting some really good photos here; if not, then you should go and take a look at Orchid Island yourself. There are ferries (about 2 1/2 hours, about NT$2000 round-trip) from both Kenting and Taitung, and there's a small airport too, with inexpensive but quickly-filled flights. As with Green Island (Ludao), Orchid Island (Lanyu) doesn't have a lot of English-speakers, so if you can't speak Chinese then it's best to organize a diving trip with someone who can. I've been there twice with Andy at www.taiwandive.com - Kenting - Green Island - Orchid Island - XiaoLiuChiu and he does a good job of organizing and managing a trip to the island. Greg at http://www.shellbackdiver.com also goes there sometimes. He did a good job of organizing and managing a trip I took to Green Island, so I assume his Orchid Island trips are also good. Both of those guys would also be good options in Kenting.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010

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