LANYU IS NOT KNOWN FOR ITS BEACHES. Only a handful are safe enough to swim, but none equal to the beaches found on Kenting or Penghu. However, pristine warm waters with an abundance of tropical fishes make the island an excellent place for skindiving. The coral reefs here are untouched by human civilization, maybe one of the last spots that remain so.
Fishes and all other animals are relatively happy here on the island. Dao people pay a lot of respect for them and thus goats and pigs are free to roam freely. These animals are prized possessions, only sacrificed during ceremonial rituals or when they die due to old age. Hey are often treated like pets, sometimes even viewed as a part of the family. So please give way when they cross your path. One thing I’ve noticed is that the mountain goats here love to challenge themselves with rock climbing. It is a wonder how they manage to defy gravity and conquer these steep cliffs.
A herd of goats relaxing by the beach
Pigs share roads and act as mobile traffic lights
Goat occupying a stone plate
WHEN VISITING IN SUMMER, LANYU CAN BE HOTTER THAN AN OVEN. Midday temperatures hover near 35 degrees Celsius. The Ivalino cold springs can be a welcoming treat to sweating visitors. This spring connects fresh water from the water into the ocean. Local children and women can often be seen soaking in its water so it’s hard to miss.
The beautiful cold springs
Selfie taken enjoying a cold dip
The Epicurean Cafe belongs to my friends’ family. This rare casual yet upscale restaurant on the island serves local delicacies including flying fish, wild boar and tasty vegetarian options. It’s best to book up front because these popular dishes sell out fast.
With a comfortable sea breeze and sounds of the waves beating in the background, we contemplated on our journey while enjoying our dinner here at its balcony. We all agreed that Lanyu is a great place to relax, almost forcing its visitors to slow down and savor. I can’t imagine staying here long-term, the lack of amenities will definitely make me suffer (we were treated to an hour of electricity shutdown near midnight!). However, it gives me a peace of mind knowing that this haven welcomes us for the occasional renewal and replenishment.
The art-chic looking Epicurean Cafe
Nothing beats chillin’ off with my family