Scenic Spots and Attractions at Xiao Liuqiu
The Visitor Center lists 27 scenic spots around the island. Some of those “attractions” are nothing more than a rock sticking out of the sea, a path on a beach, or a hole in a hillside. The outrageous part about this is that there are maps, brochures, and even formal entrance access points with gates and even ticket booths to make you pay to see those somewhat uneventful features. I personally have a profound aversion to paying (even if it’s just a dollar!) to access nature, especially if it has absolutely nothing special!
I’m not saying you shouldn’t go and pay for those attractions, but I just want to warn you that you may end up inside a cave, on a tourist path, or in the middle of the forest, surrounded by hundreds of tourists wondering: “That’s it!? Why did I have to pay for this!? Let’s get the hell out of here!”
I think one of the best ways to discover a place like Xiao Liuqiu Island is to just wander around on your scooter or by foot and let the sights of normal daily life charm you. The island is home to a population that is still somewhat living in the past, and that is still observing many ancient traditions. Just ride around with your camera in hand, and you’ll be surprised how random small alleys can lead to wonderful discoveries.
From Fishing Rod to Selfie Stick
The older folks on Liuqiu have seen war, poverty, growth, tourism, all forms of extreme changes and challenges. They’ve seen their island transformed from a culture of fishermen and seafarers, to an amusement-park-looking place with hundreds of young kids zooming by their front yard holding selfie sticks on electrical scooters.
Diving and Snorkeling on Xiao Liuqiu
Being a coral island surrounded by pristine water and amazing sea life, Xiao Liu qiu is understandably a very popular destination for divers and snorkelers. There are quite a few diving schools around the island, and even more places where you can rent snorkeling gear.
I recommend you do your research before committing to a diving center. You want to double-check their safety record, as well as their policy regarding the maximum divers they take on trips. There’s quite a lot of horror stories about diving schools and snorkel day trip organizers who bring as many people as possible on outings.