Taiwan has five major diving regions with fantastic visibility and varied marine life year-round: Kenting, Orchid Island, Green Island, Xiao Liu Qiu, and Dungji Island.
Kenting is the most popular destination of the bunch. Here on the southern tip of Taiwan, divers can enjoy both shore and boat diving into warm waters brought by the ‘Black Tide.’ Kenting Marine Park boasts 1100 marine species and 80 species of coral. Pelagic fish such as barracuda are common, while rarer sightings include swordfish and humpback whales.
Orchid Island, which lies off Taiwan’s southeast coast, is home to some of the best visibility in the country. It is regularly more than 100 feet (30 meters). Dive sites here include coral gardens and an impressive Korean tanker wreck at 100 feet (30 meters.) Additionally, Orchid Island is known as a breeding ground for sea snakes, which are commonly spotting during dives year-round.
Green Island, which is easily accesses from Taiwan’s east coast, is popular with local divers who like the variety of marine life. Common species include Coconut crab, batfish and spotted rays. Green Island also contains Shark Point, perhaps the most famous dive site in the country. Every spring, large numbers of hammerhead sharks gather here. Scientists believe they use the area as a breeding ground. This dive is technically advanced due to the negative entry and heavy current. Dive companies will generally only take divers with more than 100 dives to Shark Point.
Xiao Liu Qiu, just 30 minutes from Taiwan’s southwest coast, is a newcomer to the dive scene. Diverse coral reefs and walls make pleasant dives. Spotting turtles is almost guaranteed.
Dungji Island, which is part of the Penghu Islands, is the least popular dive site in Taiwan due to its inaccessibility. The area is famous for its drift diving because of the strong currents of the Taiwan Strait. Pelagic fish species are commonly spotted. There are several interesting wrecks in the area, however they require hard-to-get permits from the Taiwanese Navy.
Whichever area you choose to dive, Taiwan is sure to steal your heart.