For a wonderful vacation in Taiwan, I highly recommend Green Island. Three to four days is suggested to truly appreciate every bit of the island and enjoy an ample amount of relaxation.
To get there from Taipei City, take the R63 train from Taipei Main Station to Taitung. From there, take a taxi or bus to the ferry station and hop the ferry to Green Island. If you don’t have the stomach for the boat ride, you can also take a plane from Taitung, but the flights are much less frequent.
We arranged our trip through Green Island Adventures (talk to Eddy). For $4500 (excluding the roundtrip train ticket), I got ferry boat tickets, 3 nights in a hotel, breakfast every morning, scooter rental, one ticket for the hot springs, one snorkeling tour of the reef, a kayak rental (we never actually took advantage of this), and a BBQ dinner.
The BBQ night was one of the best nights there. Picture nearly 40 international students dancing to a mix of American pop and rap music on tables with a horribly drunk Taiwanese ex-convict and the restaurant owner’s wife in quiet little Green Island until 1:30 in the morning. It was quite a scene. Of course, the following evening was spent soaking in the hot springs under the starry night sky, then inhaling a delicious meal of fresh stir-fried clams in ginger-garlic-basil sauce at a spunky little restaurant in the little downtown area. The weather is always beautiful and the water is never too cold. November is a great time to visit because it is after the high tourist season and the island is mostly deserted besides the few locals, but the surf is still excellent and the sun is still warm.