A Guild to Diving in Taiwan
Taiwan has 6 major diving regions with excellent visibility and varied marine life year-round: PengHu, XiaoLiuQiu, Kenting, Orchid Island, Green Island and Northeast Coast. Let’s start from the West to the North!
PengHu is composed of 90 islands and islets situated off the west coast of Taiwan, and was selected as one of the “Top 10 Secret Islands” by Lonely Planet. One of the highlight is the South Penghu Marine National Parkwhich is the 9th Taiwan national Park and the 2nd marine national park established in 2014. The park features rich marine biodiversity and magnificent landscape of coral reef, where the purple acropora corals that resemble a purple lavender forest can be found under the sea of Dongji Yu.
Have you ever tried to post underwater?
There is an underwater post boxlocated 150 meters offshore and 6 meters down the waterin Penghu main islands’Sogang Port,it is an aquatic art installation that helps conserve corals. The postman will actually collect the postcards and deliver to the destinations.
For more info, please visit: http://waterpostbox.magong.com.tw
- XIAO LIUQIU
Xiao Liuqiu is the best dive site to swim with sea turtles in Taiwan as it is one of the areas with the highest density of sea turtles in the world (a record of more than a hundred sea turtles dwelling there). Undoubtedly, sea turtles are the spotlight to divers and majority of them are green sea turtles. Their daily activities like eating, self-cleaning, mating, and even hatching can all be observed on this island, how wonderful is this! Besides that, the best know local sights – Vase Rock, Houshi Fringing Reef and Beauty Cave, are located near Huandao Road, where tourists can easily reach there by bus or even cycling as the island covers just 6.8 km2 of land with a 12 km coastline.
Kenting is located in the southernmost tip of the Taiwan main island, a home to rich terrestrial and marine biodiversity with various diving spot suitable for all levels of divers. In Kenting National Park one could find different species of nudibranch and more than 300 species of corals including hermatypic corals, soft corals and sea fans. Moreover, there also thousands of fish species, which accounted for 1/30 of the discovered species on Earth. Above the sea, Kenting has several natural parks with well-developed ecotourism allow tourist to join.
- ORCHID ISLAND
Orchid Island, a volcanic island, is also name as “Ponso no Tao”, means the Island of People by the Tao. It has a strong yet unique oceanic culture with an extensive indented coastline and craggy sea bed, leads to an exciting adventure for diver to explore the rugged mountainous regions. However, one should be aware of the fluctuating water current and the sudden slope, it suitable for divers having advanced open water certificates and numerous of diving experience. Furthermore, due to the Kuroshio Current, the visibility is impressive as one may even see the Badai Bay Shipwreck which lies 40 meters underwater from the surface. Please beware that diving might not be allowed in some areas during March to June every year as this period is considered as Flying Fish Season.
- GREEN ISLAND
Green Island is a volcanic island surrounded by fringing reefs with rich marine ecosystem and fantastic visibility owing to the Kuroshio Current.With the extensive living corals reefs, there are over 200 kinds of corals are found in the sea of Green Island, one of the lobe coral is the world’s oldest and tallest. There are three walkways leading down to the coastline in Shilang, Chaikou and Dabaisha that makes shore dive easier, and dive could enjoy boat dive in Green Island as well.
Coleman’s Pygmy Seahorse Underwater Postbox
The postbox is 60 meters offshore and 11.5 meters underwater of Shilang Diving Area stands the world’s deepest underwater postbox. It also works as a garbage bin with a bag net beside. Local diving operators will collect the letters and trash regularly.
- NORTHEAST COAST
Taiwan’s northeast coast is the “Macro-organism Heaven”, with a broad spectrum of macro life like hundred species of nudibranch, shrimps and crabs. If divers are lucky enough, the rare Leopard Anemone shrimps, spider crabs and tiger prawns could also be founded here. One of the highlight is the “delivery rooms” for bigfin reef squids set up by the conservationists. As the northeast coast is close to Taipei, which just take 40 mins drive from Tapei City Centre, tourist can combine diving and city sight-seeing in just one trip!