Green Island Stories and Tips

Don't say a word

Going Green, Green Island that is. Photo, Green Island, Taiwan

The tourism bureau at Taipei Main Station, across from EZStay Hostel, called to make arrangements for me per my request for a hostel on Green Island. At most accommodations, a 2 night, 2 day motor scooter rental with ferry boat passage was the typical package. I was booked at the A-Li Hostel and was advised that no English would be spoken by the lady. I would probably be picked up at the dock by someone holding a sign with the name of the hostel in Chinese. I figured if I was the last person standing around and someone remained holding a sign it would be for me.

The gentleman I had spoken to on the boat had offered me a ride to the hostel as it wasn’t looking like anyone was holding up sign. Upon arriving at the hostel it was apparent that nobody was scheduled to pick me up. The lady at hostel spoke absolutely no English so she beckoned me with her hand. She drove me back to the ferry where she pointed to a scooter. There, with the keys in it, was my transport. She pointed to the empty gas and motioned me to follow her to what was the only station on the island. She took off and I was left to find my way back to the hostel. After only one wrong turn, I arrived.

A beautiful 3-story, red brick building greeted me standing tall above neighboring structures. Through the open garage, where I would park my scooter, were the reception room and a narrow staircase that would lead to an immaculate room. Neither top sheet nor bath towel were provided, but a nice comforter lay folded on the bed.

The location, I realized two [hours] later, was walking distance to the lighthouse where a beautiful beach and bay would be found. It was also a block away from a 7-11 where I conveniently purchased snacks and beverages for my daily outings.

After figuring out the end of my second day that she was asking what time my ferry was to leave the next morning, I handed her my ticket. Along with it, I showed her a piece of paper with a later time and arrow indicating I wanted to change the time from 10:30 to 12:30. After plenty more hand gestures and nodding, she indicated she would do it and notify me by 9:00am. How she got that across, I barely recall.

In the morning I brought my bag down and went to hand in my room and scooter keys. She accepted the room key and let me keep the scooter key. I would continue to be able to travel around the island for a couple of hours. Upon returning for bags, I noticed nobody was around. Riding back to the harbor with my bags, I carefully parked in the same spot as before. It was then that I noticed keys left in all the other bikes as well. Guess I shouldn’t have picked myself up when I arrived.

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