TIME IDLES WHEN YOU ARE IN LANYU. I’ve always suspected that this has to do with the radioactive waste materials buried at Lanyu’s southernmost point. Just like what Kryptonite does to Superman, the air here makes you sluggish all day long. I hate to spend money getting here to sleep, but then I’ve never wanted to be more lazy than this. We would take many long naps throughout the day, and then chill out even more at the many huts around the island. Being in the tropics, the breeze cools you down as long as you are in the shade, and in the evening, the temperature drops to a comfortable 25.
Thanks to all the siestas, we woke up in time to go see the sunrise. One popular spot is at the Dongqing village, on Lanyu’s east coast. Beware when traveling in the dark because most roads are unlit and may be dangerous for the unfamiliar. After taking in the spectacular daybreak, head off to MeiYaMei (美雅美), a breakfast joint frequented by many tourists and locals alike. Food can be pricey on the island, but at least you receive large servings here.
Lanyu is truly a rugged island. Taking the loop road circling Lanyu and you will many bizarre rock formations that feeds your imagination. These are mainly coral or volcanic in origin, and since the island is geologically young, they are still in constant change. Little Heaven Lake (小天池) is a small body water nestled in forested area. It is a short hike on an ill-maintained trail, and since the entrance sign can be easily missed, it is best to ask locals for directions.
All sorts of rock formations can be seen on the island
A lazy cat dozing off in front of the Lanyu island’s lighthouse
Little Heavenly Lake filled with water from a recent rainstorm
VEGETARIANS WON’T SURVIVE LONG IN LANYU. The only greens commonly found here are the sweet potato leaves, all others can be very overpriced. Taro and sweet potato are staples along with the seasonal flying fish and other seafood. Islanders have very strict rules for fishing and planting. Failure to follow them is a very serious taboo. When we were here, the most affordable and easiest vegetarian option is the egg fried rice. Some restaurants offer vegetarian options but keep your expectations low because it will be edible but not necessary appetizing. Fruits are all imported and thus expensive. You can consider bringing food from the mainland if you are a picky eater. Nonetheless, there are still many delicious deserts to choose from. One of my favorite is taro ice cream with shaved ice.
A weird local fruit (林投果)
MOST HOME STAYS OFFER NIGHT ECO TOURS. Our host gathered us at 8pm, and led us into one of the local orchards in search of owls. We caught a glimpse of a couple of scops owl whose species are endemic to Lanyu. We were also very lucky to witness a giant female green sea turtle coming on shore. However, we would have to wait until midnight to see her eggs. It would be a very interesting experience but we would have to sacrifice our precious sleep time. So, the ideal choice is to go back home for zzzz… Bye for the night, there’s more to do in the morning.
The “night watch” team looking for creepy crawlies