How to go to XiaoLiuQiu (Lamay island)

“How to go to XiaoLiuqiu?” well, we hear you! here is the transportation guide for you to have a nice and smooth trip to one of the best holiday destinations in Taiwan.

Liuqiu island, or passionately nicknamed “Xiaoliuqiu” (小琉球), is the best place to train freediving in Taiwan. This tropical island is located right next to Kaoshiung and Pingtung, and it is super accessible from Taipei with fast speed train and ferry service. Prefer to train freediving at somewhere civilized, affordable, with tons of fun things to explore? Come to Taiwan and dive at Xiaoliuqiu!

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Freediving training at Xiaoliuqiu

Weather and diving conditions

Tropical and warm all-year-round. During winter, the island is sheltered by the main Taiwan island from the north-east trade wind, so the water is flat and calm. Max depth is 34m for shore diving, and unlimited depth for boat diving.

Oct to Dec (the BEST diving season!)

Dry season; temp. 25°C to 30°C; comfortably dry and sunny; less tourists; water temp. is 28-30°C in general, and slowly drops to 23°C in Jan.

Jan to Feb (the coldest time of the year)

Dry season; temp. 21°C to 25°C; mostly sunny with occasional colder days; very little tourists; water temp. is 21-23°C.

March to April (also the BEST diving season!)

Dry/wet season changing; temp. 26°C to 29°C; sunny most of the time with sporadic rains; less tourists; water temp. is 26-29°C.

May to Jun (“the plum rain”)

Wet season; temp. 28°C to 32°C; extremely humid, and the weather is constantly switching between boiling hot and heavy downpour; many tourists; water temp. is 28-30°C.

July to Sep ( tourism at its peak)

Wet season; temp. above 30°C; very humid and sunny, with occasional heavy rains and typhoons; occupied by tourists; water temp. is 30-32°C.

Transportation guide to Liuqiu island

Going to Liuqiu is straight forward: firstly, get yourself to Kaoshiung, then take a taxi to Donggang, and finally hop onto a ferry…and there you are! If you depart from Taipei after breakfast, you literally will be having lunch on the island. Here is how and the alternatives:

Step 1: From Taipei (or any other cities on the west coast) to Kaoshiung

  • Treat yourself with a comfortable and ultra fast high speed train ride (HSR) to Kaoshiung (Zuoying);
  • Take a normal train to Kaoshiung;
  • Take freeway buses to Kaoshiung;
  • Drive by yourself directly to Donggang(東港).

Step 2: From Kaoshiung to Donggang harbor

  • Take a normal taxi($700~$1000/per trip);
  • Take a shared taxi from zuoying HSR ($200/per person) or Kaoshiung train station ($150/ per person), and you need to reserve your spot in advance;
  • Take a public bus (9127-D 大鵬灣琉球線) from HSR station ($120/per person)
  • or drive by yourself

Step 3: From Donggang to Liuqiu

At the Donggang harbor, you will find 3 private ferry companies and 1 public ferry. It doesn’t matter which one you take. Find the ferry that suits your schedule and happily hop onto it. Any of these ferries will bring you to Xiaoliuqiu in 20 minutes!

The earliest ferry is 7am-7h30am. The departure is every 30 minutes to every hour. The latest ferry is 5pm-6h45pm. Click here for ferry schedule.

There is another ferry port called Yanpu(鹽埔), which is located on the other side of the bay, about 3 minutes drive from the Donggang harbor. There is only 1 ferry company serving the route between Yanpu and Liuqiu. The good things is, since this port is less-used by tourists, you can literally park your car for free along the street!

Step 4: Arriving at Xiaoliuqiu

Oh, you might have noticed on google map that there are 2 ports at Xiaoliuqiu. That’s right! The main port is at Baisha village (白沙), on the north side of the island, facing Taiwan. Most of the ferries run between Donggang and Baisha, which is the main village on the island. Most of the restaurants and shops are concentrated here. The other port is located at Dafu village, on the south side. The public ferry goes from Donggang to Dafu. The Yanpu ferry also arrives here at Dafu port.

Both Baisha and Dafu port are fully functional. Either way, a scooter is needed to get around the island during your stay. Plenty of local ladies will be hovering around both ports trying to rent you a scooter. If you prefer a bicycle, there will be more options at Baisha.

Let’s freedive at Xiao Liuqiu

Xiaoliuqiu, with its super warm and calm weather, ultra convenient transportation to Taiwan, has become the best freediving training ground in Taiwan. 35m is easily accessible for shore diving, or you can have unlimited depth with boat dive. Every year in March, Taiwanese Cup depth competition is held at Xiaoliuqiu, attracting hundreds of athletes to come and train together. If you’re traveling to Taiwan, or if you live in Taiwan and are wondering what to do for your next holiday, FREEDIVING AT XIAOLIUQIU should definitely be the top of your list!

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