Coordinates: 22°20′19.12″N 120°22′11.34″E /
22.3386444°N 120.3698167°E / 22.3386444; 120.3698167
Liuqiu Township in Pingtung County
Satellite image of Xiaoliuqiu
Republic of China
Republic of China (Taiwan)
• Township Chief
6.8 km2 (2.6 sq mi)
Population (December 2014)
1,900/km2 (4,800/sq mi)
Liuqiu (Chinese: 小琉球; pinyin: Xiǎo Liúqiú)
or Lamay Island is an island belonging to
Taiwan administered as
Liuqiu Township (琉球鄉;
Liúqiú Xiāng) of Pingtung County. It
has an area of 6.8 square kilometres (2.6 sq mi) and lies
15 km (8 nautical miles) west of Donggang; it is Taiwan's only
large coral island. The eight villages on the island are populated by
approximately 13,000 residents with 10 shared surnames.
1 Etymology and names
3.1 List of scenic spots
4 Administrative divisions
6.1 Primary School
6.2 Junior High School
9 Notable natives
10 See also
12 External links
Etymology and names
"Lambay insel" (German) on an early 20th century map
Lamay (also Lambay or Lamey), formerly the most common English name
for the island, is a name that most probably originates from a
Taiwanese aboriginal language. Golden Lion Island is another
historical English name for the island. Two years prior to the
beginning of Dutch rule in Taiwan, a Dutch ship named the Golden Lion
(Early Modern Dutch: Gouden Leeuw) was wrecked on the coral reefs of
the isle. After the Dutch took control of the island, they renamed it
Gouden Leeuwseylant ("Golden Lion Island") as a memorial to the crew
who were killed by the native inhabitants.
Liúqiú originally referred to the island of Taiwan
according to the History of Yuan. However, during the
Ming dynasty the
term came to mean Lamay Island. However, the same Chinese name also
refers to the
Ryukyu Islands between
Taiwan and Japan. Thus, Xiao
Liuqiu (Chinese: 小琉球; pinyin: Xiǎo Liúqiú; Wade–Giles:
Hsiao3 Liu2-ch'iu2; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Sió-liû-khiû; literally: "Lesser
Liuqiu"; Pha̍k-fa-sṳ: Séu Liù-khiù) has been commonly used since
the Japanese era, although the island is officially
Liúqiú Yǔ; Liu2-ch'iu2 Yü3; Liû-khiû-sū;
Liù-khiù-yí). Variants of this name include Little Liuchiu, Hsiao
Liuchiu and Liouciou.
During Japanese rule, the island was administered as Ryūkyū Village,
Tōkō District, Takao Prefecture. After the
Republic of China
Republic of China took
control of Taiwan, the island was administrated under the name Liuqiu
Township of Pingtung County, the only island township of the county.
Liuqiu seen from Dapeng Bay,
Linbian Township, Pingtung
Located at the southwest coast of Taiwan,
Xiaoliuqiu is bordered by
Taiwan Strait to the west and the South China Sea to the South. It
is one of Taiwan's largest coral islands and the only one with
significant population and human activities. There are no rivers so
farming is very difficult. Most residents make their living by
fishing. In recent years the island has become noted for cage
Xiaoliuqiu has a tropical monsoon climate, with warm temperatures year
round with a rainy season from April to October and a dry season with
cooler temperatures from November to March of the following year. The
sea temperature of the island is above 25 degrees Celsius year round,
making it one of the best locations for swimming activities during the
winter in Taiwan, as well as allowing up to thousands of species of
coral reefs to inhabit the area.
Climate data for
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Central Weather Bureau
Central Weather Bureau (Rainfall data of
Kaohsiung City is
shown for reference due to the island's proximity to Kaohsiung)
Average sea temperature of Xiaoliuqiu
25.0 °C (77.0 °F)
25.2 °C (77.4 °F)
25.7 °C (78.3 °F)
26.9 °C (80.4 °F)
28.1 °C (82.6 °F)
29.1 °C (84.4 °F)
29.4 °C (84.9 °F)
29.2 °C (84.6 °F)
28.8 °C (83.8 °F)
28.1 °C (82.6 °F)
27.0 °C (80.6 °F)
25.8 °C (78.4 °F)
27.4 °C (81.3 °F)
Sanmin Old Street
Temple during Taiwan's Ghost Festival
Efforts for planned development received a boost after
included in the
Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area in 2004. Tourism
gradually got popular mainly since the late 2000s, with increasing
media exposure and advertisements. There are hundreds B&Bs or
hotels on the island providing service for the tourists, many of which
includes packages such as bicycle and motorcycle renting and scuba
diving. According to Pingtung county's statistics of tourism, the
number of visitors to
Xiaoliuqiu reached 400,000 per year in
2014, a relatively large amount for an island that is only
6.8 km² in size.
Some of the best-known local sights include Black Dwarf Cave, Beauty
Cave, Houshih Rock Formations, and Venice Beach.
Xiaoliuqiu is a popular tourist destination and is well known for its
ghost stories and rumors of haunted caves. The most famous is Black
Dwarf Cave. Carved on the entrance of the cave is this story:
It was in 1661 (the 15th year of the Yong Li Ming Dynasty) national
Koxinga (Cheng Chen-kung, 鄭成功), knighted as Yen Ping King,
drove the Dutch and restored
Taiwan and the Pescadores (Penghu).
During the Dutch escape, some Negroes were separated from their unit
and arrived at this island. They lived in this cave. Some years later,
a British boat with soldiers landed at the place northeast of the
cave. As they were enjoying the scenery, those Negroes robbed their
food and other things, burned the boat and killed all the British. It
was discovered by the British warship that they landed this island and
sought the murderers while the Negroes hid in the cave. In spite of
many threats, they refused to surrender. Finally, the British burned
the cave with oil. Then, all the Negroes died there in the cave. Later
it was named as the Black Spirit Cave, which means the cave in which
the foreign Negroes had lived before.
Many have doubted the accuracy of this story and have instead related
the "Negroes" to members of the local Siraya tribe, who were massacred
in the Lamey Island Massacre.
Beauty Cave has a tragic legend attached to its history. The cave is
named after the young daughter of a Ming loyalist who was exiled from
China by the Manchus. According to legend, the loyalist lived with his
daughter in the cave, surviving on plants and small fish. When the
father eventually died, his daughter was so stricken with grief that
she bit her own tongue off and died.
List of scenic spots
Black Dwarf Cave
Liuchiu Yu Lighthouse
Sea View Pavilion (望海亭)
SanFu Port (杉福漁港)
Wild Boar Ditch (山豬溝)
Sanfu Ecological Path (生態廊道)
Geban Bay (蛤板灣)
Sunset Galley (落日亭)
Wetland Part (濕地公園)
Sanmin Road (三民老街)
ChungAu Beach (中澳沙灘)
Restoration Pavilion (復育涼亭)
Houshi Fringing Reef (厚石裙礁)
Mouse Rock (老鼠石)
Guanyin Rock (觀音石)
Indian Rock (紅蕃石)
Climbing Tiger Rock (爬山虎)
Baisha Port, the only port on Xiaoliuqiu
Liuqiu Airport runway
Liuqiu Township consists of 8 villages, while Zhongfu Village is the
administrative center of the township.
Liuqiu Township Administrative Divisions
The only transportation to
Xiaoliuqiu is by ship from Donggang in
Pingtung County arriving at
Dafu Port on the island.
Although there is an airport that once had passenger service with
direct flights between
Kaohsiung international airport and the island,
it is now used for helicopter only. The island is 8-9 nautical miles
Taiwan mainland, which is about a 25- to 30-minute boat ride.
The island only provides education from primary to junior high school.
Senior high school and university students need to attend schools on
the Taiwanese mainland.
Pingtung Baisha Primary School
Liuqiu Primary School
Pingtung Tiannan Primary School
Pingtung Quande Elementary School
Junior High School
Pingtung Liu-chiu Junior High School
Xiaoliuqiu is famous for its 38 temples—six per square
kilometer. The most important temple on the island is Piyun Temple,
dedicated to Guanyin, the Buddhist
Bodhisattva of Mercy. On Guanyin's
birthday, the nineteenth day of the second lunar month, a festival is
held in Piyun Temple.
Taiwanese opera troupes perform twice a day in front of the major
temples for 40 to 50 days.[vague]
Xiaoliuqiu is well known for its diverse ecosystem. Chung Au Beach, a
popular tourist destination, is a shell sand beach abutting waters
that are home to approximately 176 species of fish and numerous coral
species. It is also home to sub-adult and adult green sea turtles,
with adult females coming ashore to nest during the summer months.
Marine vertebrates such as sharks, flying fish, sea turtles, and
cetaceans such as sperm whales may appear around the island.
Lee Shu-chuan, Secretary-General of Kuomintang
List of islands of the Republic of China
List of islands of Taiwan
List of islands in the East China Sea
Lamey Island Massacre
Archived March 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Glossary of Names for
Administrative Divisions. (in Chinese) Accessed at
Names Information System website Archived August 16, 2013, at the
Wayback Machine. (in English). Ministry of the Interior. 16 June 2011.
Retrieved 5 September 2015.
^ Black Ghost Cave Incident
^ Campbell, William (1903). "Explanatory Notes". Formosa under the
Dutch: described from contemporary records, with explanatory notes and
a bibliography of the island. London: Kegan Paul. p. 542.
^ Blussé, Leonard (2000). "The Cave of the Black Spirits". In
Blundell, David. Austronesian Taiwan. California: University of
California. ISBN 0-936127-09-0.
^ "Climate". Wunderground.
^ "Climate". Central Weather Bureau.
^ a b Momphard, David (2004-07-18). "Of grottoes and graves". Taipei
Times. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
^ di Genova, Trista (10 July 2008). "Hsiao Liuchiu: Unknown paradise
on the sea". The China Post. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
Tapeng Bay National Scenic Area (in Chinese)
Liuqiu Township Office (in Chinese)
Liuqiu official tourism website (in English)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lamay Island.
Cities and townships of Pingtung County
County seat: Pingtung
Mountain indigenous townships
Townships in Taiwan
Pinyin is the national standard and promulgated by the
Ministry of Interior. Exceptions: "Lukang" instead of "Lugang" and
names of Counties.
Administrative divisions of outlying islands of Taiwan
Pratas Islands and Taiping Island)
Toucheng (Guishan Island and Diaoyutai Islands2)
1 Lienchiang County commonly known as Matsu. 2Diaoyutai Islands are
controlled by Japan, (called Senkaku Islands). 3Seat of the outlying