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Dear Green Island 綠島, love Lomo and Luna

What is it about analogue photography? Every picture just seems so much more real, so much beauty is captured. I don’t even care that they’re a little grainy. Each one is so special because I had no idea what was being snapped, what light would leak in, or how they would turn out. The colours are saturated, but in no way do they change what it actually looked like in real life. It really was a bluer-than-blue sky, and the ocean really was that deep and sparkly.

I love using film. What do you think? Does it give you a different feeling from looking at a digital print? It makes me want to run out the door right this minute and experiment with double exposure. Infact that’s exactly what I’m going to do tomorrow.

Take a peek…

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If you’d like to visit here, which I really recommend you do, here are a few travel tips:

Transport

* Firstly, take the train to Taitung 台東. You can pick up a really good deal using Taiwan’s TR Pass. We went for their 5 day pass for a bargain 599NT, which covered our return journey, saving us 400NT. The only downside with these passes is that you are only permitted to travel on the slowest trains and you don’t get a seat. Well, saying that, we had a seat the entire time. I recommend taking the night train from Taipei. You can snuggle down and wake up in Taitung at 4am, bright and early. And you’ll probably score a seat or two.

* Secondly, take a taxi from Taitung train station to the Fugang Harbour. It takes around 15minutes and if you arrive at 4am like we did, it will cost you 350NT, otherwise during the day it is 300NT.

* Thirdly, pick a good spot to make a nest. The first ferry is at 9.30am and well, you might as well make yourself comfortable. We chose the harbour wall and settled down, amongst the mosquitos, to watch the sunrise over the bay. It was very pretty, and before long we were passed out.

* Fourthly (wait, is that even a word), we bought our return ferry ticket- 900NT, and hopped aboard the first ferry- 9.30am. I warn you now, it is not a fun journey. If you are prone to sea-sickness, pleaseeee take a tablet. We had to deal with people vomiting all around us, and seriously that is the last thing you want to deal with after a night train and a harbour- wall bed. Luckily, the ferry is only around 50minutes, and truly it is worth it in the end. Alternatively you can fly on a mini 4 person plane from Taitung Airport. I hear it is around 1000NT one way. Up to you!

* Fifthly (yup, totally not a word), once you arrive on the island you will probably have dreams of hiring a scooter, yes? Well, unfortunately you can’t. Not unless you have a Taiwan driving license and even then you’ll be so lucky. Two foreigners drove off a cliff a couple of months ago, and since then they’ve tightened the laws. However, you can still hire bicycles, and the crazy-cool invention of electric bikes. The latter ROCKS. For 300NT a day (worth every penny) you can hire one of these beauties and sit back and be lazy while the battery does all the work. It’s actually ridiculously fun, and easy. I can’t recommend these enough! The shop you hire from (right next to the harbour) will give you chargers and after a day of cycling (sitting back and enjoying the ride) you can plug the battery in at your guest house and prepare it for the next day.

Accomodation

* Before we arrived we booked Lijing Hostel which Lonely Planet had recommended. I’m not going to lie, this place was a little old and dusty with a few too many bugs for our liking, but at the end of the day it’s a friendly place to rest your head and for only 500NT per person, it’s cheaaap. It’s actually pretty fun to be living with so many spiders… No, but really, the owners are awesome and we called them as soon as we arrived and they whizzed over to pick us up.

* I personally wouldn’t worry too much about booking in advance, there are tons of hostels, guest houses, hotels etc, dotted around the island. Why not just arrive, take a stroll and see what floats your boat?

Food

* Deer. Yeah. A lot of deer. It’s the island of deer. There is even deer burger. Yup.

* Seafood. Yum. You saw that sea above, that is a fresh blue sea. Eaaaat.

Fun

* It’s an island. Go here and roam around. Frolic. Dance. Cycle. Picnic. Laugh. Be free. It’s beautiful.

* Scuba-dive or snorkel. Apparently it’s world class here. Stupidly we skipped it as we were feeling pretty lazy, but you can get your scuba license here and a snorkel sesh is only 300NT. Wow!

* Hot springing. Green Island is home to one of only three salt-water hot springs in the entire world. Take my advice- when you get there and they tell you you can’t use the real hot spring right next to the ocean, don’t listen to them. Skip on down the steps and hop on in. There are no crowds of tourists there and it’s the real deal. Otherwise, of course you can still enjoy the bustling springs near the entrance, even if they do feel a little fake and hotel-esque. It costs 200NT to get in. Go at night and enjoy the stars. It’s open until 2am right now, and possibly 24hrs during the summer months. Yay!

If you have any questions about this little gem of an island, feel free to comment below and I will be sure to bombard you with my enthusiasm! It really is a wonderful little getaway, and it isn’t too touristy (yet..go quick!).

p.s It used to be an island for prisoners, just incase you wonder why there are prisons etc dotted around. Don’t let that freak you out though, it just shows how much history is lying around.

p.p.s Enjoy!

Love Luna.

3 Comments on “Dear Green Island 綠島, love Lomo and Luna

  • Joey
    May 16, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Sounds cool. However, something happened when you uploaded all your photos, it seems the image quality was greatly degraded and there is massive noise everywhere. Might want to fix that. Otherwise cheers!

    Reply
  • David Put
    September 16, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Hey,

    Really cool blog with a lot of practical information.
    We would love to go to the green Island, but I have one more question.
    Could you tell me how much time the train from Taipei Main Station to Taitung Station takes?

    David

    Reply
    • lunafinula
      September 16, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Hi David, thank you for commenting 🙂 It should take approximately 5 hrs from Taipei to Taitung. When I went to Green Island I took the night train which left around 11pm and got into Taitung around 5am and then we just waited for the first ferry to Green Island. Have a great trip and feel free to write back if you have any more questions! Thanks, Siobhan

      Reply
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