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Turtle island: The hidden gem of Taiwan

Surfing, diving, beaches? It has it all and it's not far from mainland China

Where it is exactly located

Being called Guishan Island or Turtle Island it is just a few miles off the Chinese mainland coast, making it a spot for tourists interested in water sports activities and beautiful scenery. Here you can surf, dive, and even lie down and enjoy the sunshine on the golden beaches present on the island. While tourists are not flocking yet there are huge advantages to taking the opportunity and visiting it while it's not so crowded as other famous spots are.

Its name as if you were wondering doesn't come from the turtles on the island but on the topography shape which resembles the one of a turtle.

How has it become a tourist spot?

The island length on the coast is about 60km and the scenery from every side of the island is magnificent. Visiting it by boat is the only option to admire the colorful mountains and the sandy beaches present around the island. To understand how it developed into a tourism spot for Chinese tourists we have to see how this island was used in the past. Firstly, fishermen relocated here till 1977 when it became a military base in 2000. Then later on in 2000 the island finally opened to the first tourist as a marine ecological park.

Can you visit it when you want?

Not really as you need to arrange a bit of paperwork before being able to visit it. First of all, as there's a limited number of tourists allowed to visit the island you need to fill out an application and agree with the shipping company that reaches the island on when you'll be sailing as not every day there are trips. This has to be done around a week before the visit.

Additionally to visit the highest point of the island, often restricted to visitors you need to submit another application and hope to get that accepted.

How to reach it?

First of all, you need either to be in China or Taiwan, with both countries having international airports and no restrictions whatsoever. Then, as it works much better in this area, find a local agency with the contacts for the ferry and documentation needed, and take around 10 days to get everything done. Once completed you will never regret your decision.

Written by Joshua Rasia- Travel & Sports Correspondent at YNBC

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