Friday, July 17, 2015

2015 Taiwan Summer Trip 06: Long Journey to Taitung, Night Travel at Green Island

Our next destination was Green Island. We came to Tainan Train Station early in the morning to take a 3 hours and 11 mins train to Taitung.

Tainan Train Station at 5:56 am

Train route from Tainan to Taitung, which traveled across the southern Taiwan. Green Island is opposite of Taitung.

After passes through Fangshan Station, which is the most southern station at west coast of Taiwan, the train will pass through Central Mountain Range. Tunnels and forests are everywhere along the railway and its surroundings are devoid of people. The next station is Guzhuang Station, the most southern station at east coast of Taiwan. View of Pacific Ocean at right and mountain ranges with paddy fields at left could be seen after this station.

Seashore at Dawu Township, Taitung County

Paddy fields along railway after pass through Zhiben Station

Lijia River

Tourism board outside Taitung Station

Tourism sites and road map of Taitung County

We took taxi to Fugang Fishery Harbor after that. Ferry ticket for round trip to Green Island could be bought here. Our next ferry was one hour later and it was so hot outside, so we just waited in the building. There were a lot of tourists waiting for ferry in the building.

Breakwater with full of marine life figures

After one-hour ferry ride, we arrived at Green Island. The staff of the homestay "Lian Lian Huo Shao Dao" (or lit. Fall in love with the Burnt Island) already waited at the exit of harbor. They provided scooter for every two tourists to ride to the homestay located nearby.

(Note: Lyu Dao, or Green Island in Mandarin, was first called as Sanasai by indigenous peoples of Taiwan, then named as Huo-shao Dao, or Burnt Island in Mandarin, by Japanese.)

The scooter here are electric-driven. There are three places providing batteries islandwide, one of them is just beside this homestay.
The sea view in front of homestay. It is located at the west coast of the island, so residents could enjoy sunset here.

The small huts of homestay

Due to the extreme hot weather outside, we just stayed in the hut whole afternoon. We rode on the scooters and traveled around the Green Island during evening. The entire round trip is about 20 km, if visiting every tourism sites one by one, it just need 2 to 3 hours.

The street north from the homestay is the only street on the island that restaurants and shops could be found.

Green Island Prison, which is still in operation, but the prisoners are minor criminal offender.

Chaikou Diving Area

The archway seen at the section between Green Island Prison and Chaikou

Sunset at Human Rights Memorial Park

Three-peak Rock (rocks at central left) and General's Rock (rock at central right)

Oasis Villa, which imprisoned political inmates, is located near to General's Rock. It has became part of the Green Island Human Rights Memorial Park, which will be introduced in next post.

If go straight along the main road, there will be an uneven path, which is not covered by asphalt. This small path could lead to Thirteenth Squadron, where deserted tombs could be seen, and a large sea cave, called Swallow Cave. These two places are the activity areas of the detainee during the period of New Life Correction Center.

There were 12 squadrons in New Life Correction Center. The Thirteenth Squadron was named to commemorate those inmates who died due to illness or suicide and buried here during the 15-year New Life Correction Center Period. On the other hand, Swallow Cave was the place where New Lifers rehearsed and painted backdrops of mandatory political drama. Cremation of fellow inmates were held in this cave too.

The beach here was rock-breaking area during the period of New Life Correction Center. Swallow Cave is at the far side of the beach.

Sun set behind the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan
Revolution Gate

The main road should be continued by turning right through this gate. Words of "Beneath Szuwei Peak" could be seen on the hillside in front. By turning left, the road becomes uphill and Chouchin Reservoir could be seen here. This reservoir was named by James Soong Chu-yu, the only elected governor of Taiwan Province (1994 - 1998).

Green Island Vocational Training Center (Jingdeh Villa)

We just completed a round trip without visiting tourism sites one by one because the sky had turned dark. Just a small adventurous story, the scooter that my brother and I rode on showed "no battery" sign halfway, and we still had 6 km to reach homestay! Under the complete darkness, we had no other choice but continued our ride. Luckily, we managed to reach homestay at last.

At night, the homestay arranged a night travel, which brought us to see sika deer and stick insects, which only showed up at night.

Due to less light pollution, the night sky at Green Island is full of stars, especially on the main road at the east side of the island. Besides, milky way could also be seen outside homestay. It was so enjoyable to look at the starry sky and listen to the waves.


The Prisons of White Terror, New Life Correction Center and Oasis Villa

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