Taiwan Itinerary Series | Penghu Islands
Penghu truly surprised me with many things to do beyond my expectation. After spending three days in Penghu, I immediately wanted to go back because it wasn’t enough time to do everything I wanted to do. I shared more details of things to do and a list of activities you can do in Penghu along with essential tips for travel planning in another post. Please first read my Ultimate Guide to Penghu Island of Taiwan before continue reading this sample itinerary in Penghu. I promise it will make much more sense.
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Day 1: Magong (馬公)
Morning: Arrival & Check-in
Magong is Penghu’s main island. Either by flight or ferry, you will most likely arrive in Magong. First, check in at your hotel. Many hotels and homestay in Magong offer complimentary airport pickup. Check my Penghu hotel recommendations here. After the hotel check-in, go to Magong City to rent a scooter or car to get your tour started.
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Lunch: Lai Fu Seafood (來福海鮮餐廳)
Lai Fu Seafood is a local’s favorite restaurant. Enjoy great seafood dishes made with fresh ingredients from Penghu. Besides the seafood, get pumpkin rice noodle as well. It is one of the must-eat Penghu food. I don’t remember the names of many dishes I had here. As they don’t have the English menu, feel free to show these photos to order.
Opening Hours: 10:30 am – 2 pm, 4:30 pm – 9 pm | Click here to Open Google Map for Lai Fu Seafood
Afternoon: Mogong City Tour
After lunch, let’s start the Magong city tour. Here are a few Penghu attractions you should consider stopping by. Read more about each place in my Penghu Guide.
Shanshui Beach (山水沙灘): Walk the beach and appreciate the scenery.
Fenggui Blowholes (風櫃): Hear the whistling waves on the basalt cave from the cliff top.
Post Office Scallion Cake (郵局蔥油餅): Grab a quick bite of the Penghu’s famous afternoon snack.
Tianhou Temple (天后宮): Stop by the oldest Mazu Temple in Taiwan.
Magong Old Street (老街): Get a glimpse of Four-Eyed Well and historical architecture from the earliest settlement area. Get cactus ice cream or souvenirs while walking on the nostalgic street.
Yuguan Shaved Ice (玉冠嫩仙草): If you like traditional Taiwanese shaved ice with QQ (“chewy”) toppings like jelly and boba, this is the shop you have to stop by.
Duxingshi Village (篤行十村): Head over to the oldest military family housing and snap lots of photos in the retro village. Stop by Chang Yu-sheng Story House and Pan An Bang Memorial.
Evening: Guanyin Temple Leisure Park
Penghu Guanyin Temple (澎湖觀音亭): Check out this tranquil temple near the bay. Enjoy the sunset at the bay overlooking the Rainbow Bridge. If you are in Penghu during the International Fireworks Festival, this is the area to enjoy the fireworks and music festival.
Dinner: Seaway L’Atelier de Charlie
Enjoy a home-cooking meal at Seaway L’Atelier de Charlie. There is no menu as the chef handpicks local ingredients in season and creates the private dinner for you! This special dinner is more a creative meal than traditional Taiwanese cuisine. Make sure to make a reservation in advance (minimum of two people). This restaurant would’ve been part of my ideal itinerary. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a table. It’s rare that I recommend a restaurant without trying out myself. That’s how curious I am about this restaurant! Let me know how it goes.
Reservation: (06) 926-8068 | Click here to Open Google Map for Seaway L’Atelier de Charlie
Day 2: Xiyu (西嶼), Baisha (白沙) & Island Hopping
On Day 2, let’s explore to the other side of the main island beyond Magong City. To follow my itinerary, you will need to start the day as early as 7 am as we will be covering a wide area before hopping on a boat. Feel free to leave out places if you don’t want to get up too early, or run short on time before boarding.
Morning: Xiyu Township
Breakfast: If you skip breakfast at your homestay or hotel, try this Guabao shop on your way to the first stop.
Yuwengdao Lighthouse: Enjoy the peaceful morning with a gorgeous ocean view at the historic lighthouse.
Xiyu West Fort: Check out the ancient military fort with the cannons.
Dagouye Basalt Columns: Take a close look at Penghu’s famous basalt columns either Dagouye or Chixi Rock Waterfall.
Erkan Historical House: Take a look at the traditional Penghu houses at the Chen Family village.
Whale Cave: Enjoy Penghu’s geological landscape at the iconic Whale Cave.
Lunch: A-hong Restaurant (阿虹的店)
Before going into the Whale Cave, you probably have spotted many noodle shops near the entrance. Most of them serve the same menu. Grab a seat and enjoy local specialties like squid vermicelli and fried oysters.
Opening Hours: 9 am – 4:30 pm | Click here to open Google Map for A-Hong Seafood Restaurant.
Early Afternoon: Baisha Township
Penghu Great Bridge: On the way to the Qitou Wharf, stop by Penghu Great Bridge to take a quick snapshot. Cactus Ice Cream: If you have the stomach for it, grab cactus ice cream right off of the bridge.
Tongliang Great Banyan: If you have time, stop by the entrance to Baoan Temple to take a look at the 300-year-old sacred tree. Skip if you are running behind.
1:50 pm – 8:30 pm: Fishing Cruise Excursion
Arrive at Qitou Wharf by 1:50 pm at the latest. Check in at the Ferry Terminal to get your tickets for on-boarding. I recommend booking the Fishing Excursion here (in English). Or, you can call this number if you can speak Chinese: (06) 993-2305.
Offshore Fishing Farm: Learn how to fish at the fishing farm. It’s not as easy as you think! Inkai Island (Yuan Bei Wharf): Witness and experience net fishing, and learn about Penghu’s ecological system and marine lives. Eat fish soup on the boat as an afternoon snack. On-boat Deep Sea Fishing: With the help of professional fishers, enjoy deep sea fishing. Good luck! Peng Peng Beach (澎澎灘): Get off the boat at one of the most beautiful beaches in Penghu. It is on the inhabited island that can’t be easily accessible. Cho-Island: Hike up the hill to see a gorgeous sunset and gaze at the squid fishing boats on the horizon as it gets dark. How romantic! Dinner on Cruise: Enjoy your catch of the day at the course-meal dinner. In Chinese, it’s called “Xian Diao Xian Chi (現釣現吃).” On the side note, I received the certificate of the highest number of fishing after catching five! It is also my personal record. Squid Fishing: On the way back, enjoy more fishing. Squid fishing was a completely different ball game. I failed to catch any, but the sailors said it was also the end of the season.
I highly recommend the Fishing Cruise Excursion as it’s a fun and educational experience for children and adults. Don’t worry about getting seasick. No one on the boat felt sick.
However, if you don’t want to commit to this 6-hour adventure, you could do other activities, including further exploring Xiyu and Baisha attractions, relaxing by the beach and taking a half-day trip to Penghu’s North Sea islands to enjoy water sports. For more suggestions for activities, check my Ultimate Guide to Penghu Island.
Day 3: Qimei (七美) & Wangan (望安)
Hope you had a great night sleep because we are going on another island hopping today. It’s a lot of pressure to get to the harbor on time. But I promise it will be all worthwhile. On Day 3, we will explore the Penghu’s South Sea recreational system to see its unique natural landscapes.
8 am South Sea Visitor Center
Get to South Sea Visitors Center by 8 am to get the boat tickets. You can purchase boat+scooter combo tickets to grab a scooter on each island. I spent about 1,000 NT (USD 30) per person including two scooter rentals – one each on Qimei and Wangan. Otherwise, you can book the ferry tour tickets separately and sign up for a bus tour.
Opening Hours: 6:30 am – 5pm | Phone: (06) 926-4738. | Click here to Open Google Map fo South Sea Visitor Center.
8:30 am Magong Nanhai Wharf
Take a ferry to Qimei. The ride takes about 70 min. Make sure you check the terminal number on your ticket.
9:30 am – 11:45 am Qimei
Important! Before getting off the boat, make sure you understand the departure time. You have to be back on board on the scheduled time. The ship will leave whether you are back or not.
Pick up a scooter at the parking lot. I remember these scooters were older than the ones I rented on Magong. But it was working fine. They have plenty for you to choose from, so if one doesn’t work, get another one.
Twin Hearts Stone Weir: We went straight to the opposite side of the island to see this iconic site, which was the reason why we came to Qimei. You can see the stone weir from above the hill. Expect it to be crowded as it is the must-visit site on Qimei Island. There are a few shops and a cafe nearby. You can also take a restroom break here.
Lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant
Although there are other things to see in Qimei such as Wife Waiting for Husband Rock, we were afraid we didn’t have enough time to hit all the spots. Instead, we decided to grab a quick bite. By accident, we found this cute Vietnamese restaurant and had a pho and spring rolls.
11:50 am Off to Wangan
Our boat was scheduled to leave Qimei at 11:50 am. Make sure you check YOUR boat schedule. I suggest you be there by the harbor at least 10 min before the departure time. Remember you have to return your scooter as well. The return process is super easy as you need to drop it off at the designated lot.
12:30 am -2:30 pm Wangan
After a short 35 min ride, we arrive at Wangan. Pronounce as wang-an, not wan-gan.
Pick up a scooter as you did in Qimei.
Wangan Green Turtle Conservation Center: Wangan is best known for green turtles. We decided to check out the conservation center. As we learned about green turtles, we also appreciated being in a nicely air-conditioned building. It was hot outside. An island dog was smart enough to know where to go for the cold air!
I was slightly disappointed as the Conservation Center only had two turtles at the end of the exhibit. However, after learning the center just keeps the injured ones to heal and sends them back to the ocean, I thought it made sense. It was another learning moment for me!
Before leaving the building, stop by the souvenir shop and pick up a bag of black sugar turtles (100 NT) or two – one with black sugar only and the other with dried plum inside. We also had fruit popsicles. They tasted so good that we ended up getting two each.
Tiantai Mountain Fairy Footprints: It was our planned next stop. Unfortunately, it was closed due to construction. We ended up roaming around the area and took a quick nap on a bank. The sky was so high and blue!
2:30 pm Tongpanyu
On the way back to Magong, we passed by Tongpanyu, which is a famous island surrounded by basalt columns. Pay attention to the captain’s announcement. Although he only explains in Chinese, you will know where to look if you are expecting it. It will be on your left, so be sure to get the seat on the left side. If you’re allowed, you can also go out on the deck.
3:20 pm Back to Magong
3:30 pm Penghu Living Museum
Upon your return, head over to Penghu Living Museum. I enjoyed this museum as I could get a glimpse of the island’s history, culture and ecology. You will appreciate your trip to Penghu much more when you learn how the early settlers endured the hardship and made this beautiful island as inhabitable as it is today.
Opening Hours: 9 am – 5 pm (closed on Thursdays, Lunar New Year’s Eves and typhoon days) | Admission: 80 NT | Click here to open Google Map for Penghu Living Museum.
3:30 pm Souvenir Shopping
I love dried squid and handmade peanut candy from Penghu! Stop by a shop to pick up a few bags of dried seafood, flavored peanuts and peanut candies.
Where to Shop Penghu Souvenirs: 新臺澎海產總匯 – Click here to open Google Map.
5:30 pm Return Scooter
Thankfully, our host pulled a string to have the rental place to drive us to the airport. I don’t think it’s a standard service, and we much appreciated their service! But I think you might be able to request their help to call a taxi.
Ok, you like this itinerary but have a headache to plan it on your own? I know! Even though I speak some Chinese, it would not have been easy for me to do it on my own. I’m thankful that my homestay, who happened to be a friend, was able to plan and book everything for us. He rents out the second floor of his home in Baisha and can coordinate any tour activities for you. If you are interested, give a call to Ryan at (09) 8901-2397. He speaks some English.
Alternatively, you can ask your hotel concierge or homestay to see if they can help you make a few phone calls to book the tours in advance.
Also, don’t forget to check out my recommendations for other islands in Taiwan:
>> Xiaoliuqiu Island: Swim with Sea Turtles
>> Orchid Island: A Diver’s Paradise with Unique Tao Indigenous Culture
>> Kinmen Island: Taiwan’s off-the-beaten destination with Military History, Kaoliang Liquor and Ancient Architecture
>> Best Beaches in Taiwan: Thinking of a beach vacation? Check out my list of the most beautiful and unusual beaches.
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