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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

So You Want to go to Lanyu...

While we drank, we tried to figure out what to do. Lanyu is a beautiful island, but it is hamstrung by the fact of the uncertainty of travel to and from the island. I knew that there were four flights scheduled on Sunday, but I was not sure if they were booked. I had also heard there was a boat leaving at two that would stop in Taidong and then head down to the southern beach resort area of Kenting. I did not want to leave the island so soon, but the people we talked to had heard the weather was going to turn bad on Monday, in which case there would be no flights, and there was not another boat scheduled until mid-week. Shaun had booked a return flight for Tuesday, but he began to wonder about staying that long and risking the weather changing for the worse. In the end, we decided that on Sunday we would start the day by renting a scooter to drive to the sanitation facility on the southwest coast of the island, opposite which is the trail head to Tianchi. We would hike up to Tianchi, and then use the scooter to drive around the northern part of the island, after which we would see about getting on either the 2:30 or the 4:45 flight back to Taidong. For anyone wanting to visit Lanyu, then, a word of advice: it can be done in a weekend, by taking the overnight train to Taidong on Friday night, getting the a morning flight out to the island, taking the 2:30 flight back to Taidong on Sunday, and taking a late afternoon (4:34 I think) train back to Taipei (and this is assuming you are coming from Taipei). You could also take the later 4:45 flight and a later train back to Taipei, but after that 4:34 train, I think it is a few hours before the next one runs. It would be wise to reserve your airline in advance (I suspect this is especially true starting in May) by calling down to Taidong and the Mandarin Airlines office. Also, it would be wise to have a contingency plan, or a Monday off to give yourself some breathing room in case of an unexpected delay.

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