Do you see it?

XiaoLiuQiu: The Little Ryuku Island

William Wen


XiaoLiuQiu (小琉球), or XLQ for short, is a small coral island southwest of the main island of Taiwan. It’s a sleepy remote island that has gotten a lot more popular lately. As two random data points, both my dad and my childhood classmate have never been there.

After Jack started college, I had a few extra days. I thought… Why not go there? I had spent many days in Taoyuan, doing a lot of city stuff and running errands like going to the bank, stores, restaurants, malls, etc. It would be really great to get away for a few days, swim in the Pacific Ocean, and catch a glimpse of XLQ’s famous sea turtles!

Getting there

It’s actually pretty easy. From any major city in west Taiwan, catch the High Speed Rail to the last station in ZuoYing (左營). My ticket from Taoyuan to ZuoYing was $1330 NTD or $42 USD. Then catch the 9127D bus for 1 stop to the Donggong ferry terminal (~50 min, $53NTD or $1.70 USD). Then catch any of the five ferry companies to XLQ. A one way ticket is $230NTD or $7.32 USD. Total one way from Taoyuan is $1613 NTD or $51 USD. From Taipei, it’s just a little bit more.


There are a lot of hotels here, but I chose to stay at Raymond and Sheila’s House of Nomad. Just to show how small this world is, Ray and my brother-in-law are freediving friends in Las Vegas. Ray moved to XLQ with his wife to run a hospitality business and teach freediving lessons. It also turns out Ray was roommates with my cousin Brian in college.

I’m staying in one of their suites with a double bed and a private bathroom. For around $65 USD a night, it was very reasonable and comfortable. The room is minimalistic and efficient, with tall ceilings that make the room feel bigger. Unfortunately, Ray was away…