XiaoLiuQiu (小琉球) is a little paradise, especially when you're dwelling somewhere noisy, smoggy and busy like Taipei.
Quintessential island living in that no one's in a rush (why bother? you can ride around the whole island in half an hour), no one wears helmets on the scooters, there are breezy eye-soothing sea views all along the coastal road and you can head inwards for leafy bamboo groves and undulating hills. I recommend the Black Dwarf Cave over Beauty Cave and the Wild Board Trench is pretty awesome, with the ancient sea floor now thrust up around you in huge slabs of rock. Feels very primeval.
Although I like the guesthouse we found last year late on a weeknight, this time taking my visiting sis I wanted to book ahead. After some searching, settled on the nice-looking and very well-priced SeaToTravel Guesthouse (海之旅 民宿) and I honestly can't recommend them enough. Such a sweet family, really took care of us, insisted we get the package deal, which is a good combo but most importantly includes a guided walk along low tide pools - holy, wacky and weird life out there!
Tell them 艾喜 (Ài xǐ) sent you, though I think they must treat everyone who comes like friends or family.
Getting there is pretty easy - from Kaohsiung or Pingtung take a bus to Donggang Harbor and I recommend the bigger ferry company which has more sailing throughout each day. From the bus there's a 15 minute walk to the ferry, or a taxi company from Kaohsiung will take you door to door: call 0973205507.
As this is a locals vacation spot, speaking Mandarin would certainly be a plus, but if you're fine with adventurous traveling and smiling and pointing, then go get yourself a very relaxing Little LiuQiu getaway.