Thu, Apr 28, 2016 - Page 10 News List

Travel agent breaks taboo by taking tourists to Hsiao Lanyu Island
帶團到小蘭嶼登山 犯飛魚季禁忌

Hsiao Lanyu Island in Taitung County is pictured on April 19.
Photo: Chang Tsun-wei, Liberty Times

Photo: Chang Tsun-wei, Liberty Times

The flying fish season has opened in Taitung County’s Hsiao Lanyu Island. According to local tradition, people should avoid visiting Hsiao Lanyu Island during this season. However, a local travel agent recently posted on a Web site pictures showing groups of tourists hiking on Hsiao Lanyu Island. The agent, who apparently organized the tour, has continued to market the tours, and has consequently drawn criticism from locals.

Noting that Hsiao Lanyu Island has been an important fishing ground for local aboriginal communities, the Lanyu Township Office says that visiting the island for sightseeing during the flying fish season shows complete disregard for local tradition. People should learn about the local cultural traditions and taboos before traveling to a place, the office says.

Hsiao Lanyu is an uninhabited islet located three nautical miles southeast of Lanyu and covers an area of 1.75 square kilometers. Su Jui-ching, a resident of the Lanyu Township, says locals rarely visit the island, adding that the elderly in the village have often warned that visiting it during the flying fish season can reduce the fish catch, cause accidents or bring about other types of bad luck. Most residents are aware of the tradition and abide by it, says Su.

Visiting Hsiao Lanyu Island also involves other risks. The waters surrounding the island are fast-moving and fraught with undercurrents. The island has no docks so visitors must swim there and climb up the shore. Moreover, the township office says that many years ago, without consent from Lanyu, the Ministry of National Defense used Hsiao Lanyu Island as a shooting range and test-fired missiles at it. As a result, there are still large amounts of unexploded ordnance and missile casings on the island.


1. uninhabited adj.

無人居住的 (wu2 ren2 ju1 zhu4 de5)

例: There are many uninhabited islets on the Pacific Ocean.


2. undercurrent n.

暗流 (an4 liu2)

例: We need to be aware of undercurrents when swimming in the sea.


3. unexploded ordnance n.

未爆彈 (wei4 bao4 dan4)

例: The war left a large amount of unexploded ordnance in the area.







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