Orchid Island 蘭嶼, Lanyu
One of the world's best destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling, Orchid Island (蘭嶼) lies just off the southeast coast of Taiwan, and is home to the Tao aboriginal tribe.
Completely surrounded by numerous, unpolluted coral reefs and home to green sea turtles as well as 35 tropical plant species unique to the island, Orchid Island is a great destination for nature lovers looking for a friendly, safe environment to explore.
Similar to Green Island (綠島), the local community is small and tight-knit, so safety is not a concern as locals take pride in sharing their home with visitors.
Many visitors to Taiwan ask how to get to Orchid Island, and if there is flight or ferry service. At the moment, ferry services are suspended, but flights can be booked with the main commercial flight operator: Daily Air (德安航空).
From Taitung Airport (台東機場, code TTT), take a Daily Air flight to Lanyu Airport. Planes flying this route are typically turboprop propellor planes and can carry a maximum of 20 passengers. Be sure to book a ticket as early in advance as possible. Although English language service is spotty at best, click here to view Daily Air's flight schedule. Tickets are available for purchase online by credit card or through telephone by calling (07) 801-4711.
The official English name of Orchid Island is the romanized form of 蘭嶼, pronounced Lanyu.
Due to Orchid Island's remote location and unpredictable weather, flights are often delayed or canceled. When visiting Orchid Island, please be sure to allow for some flexibility with regard to scheduling travel.
Besides the main island, a smaller, uninhabited volcanic islet known as Lesser Orchid Island (小蘭嶼) is located nearby, and as it is the southernmost point of Taitung County, it is primarily used for military purposes, and is home to an endangered orchid species.