The Most Beautiful and Unusual Taiwan Beaches by Travel Bloggers
Taiwan is not exactly known for its white sandy beaches and emerald water to international travelers. Given the fact that Taiwan is an island country in the subtropical climate, it is almost odd that it isn’t. Anyone who has been to Taiwan would agree that the island has one of the most picturesque coastal lines and stunning ocean views in Asia.
I collaborated with fellow travel bloggers, who have extensively explored the nooks and crannies of Taiwan, to share their favorite seaside spots. Voila! Here is the list of Best Beaches in Taiwan. Are you ready to dive in?
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Best Time to Visit Taiwan Beach
If anyone asks me when the best time is to visit Taiwan, I always advise avoiding summer months. Summer in Taiwan is brutally hot and humid. If you are not used to the subtropical weather, it is not the ideal time to explore Taiwan. That is if you are visiting the cities like Taipei, Kaohsiung or Taichung.
On the other hand, if you imagine yourself beach bumming or water-sporting on the gorgeous uncrowded beach during your summer vacation, Taiwan can be your paradise island.
Taiwan’s summer is rather long. Southern Taiwan already gets warm in March. Following the monsoon season in May, the warm air turns to hot; you will feel comfortable dipping in the water. By June, the seashores of Taiwan is warm enough to swim in the ocean.
Anytime May through October in Taiwan is the perfect time to bask in the Sun. However, summer weather worldwide is getting more unpredictable. So be sure to check the local weather before hitting the beach. Also, watch out for occasional typhoons from June to September.
Pro Tips | Taiwan Beach
Taiwan has not fully developed a vibrant beach culture. And not all Taiwan beach has an appropriate shower facility or a resort nearby. Some beaches are there to enjoy the ocean view or rock formation rather than jumping in the water. In this list, you will find more information so you know what to expect from each beach.
Taiwan North Coast to Northeast: Tamsui to Keelung to Yilan
Wai Ao Beach (Yilan): Catch Some Waves at Surfing Beach
Wai Ao Beach (外澳沙灘) in Yilan County is one of the best and most accessible surfing beaches around Taipei. It is located just north of Toucheng on the breathtaking east coast of Taiwan. It features an enormous expanse of black volcanic sand that is separated in the middle by a creek that flows into the sea. From Wai Ao, you can enjoy an incredible view of Turtle Island, which sits 10 kilometers offshore, while a dramatic façade of steep hills form the backdrop to the beach. Floating on the sea and taking in the incredible scenery from all angles is my favorite thing to do at Wai Ao.
The southern half of the beach is mainly dedicated to surfing. If you are a beginner surfer, this is a great place to start, as the waves are usually decently sized but not too large. You can rent surfboards right on the beach, or follow one of the trails through the bushes at the back of the beach to find a row of surf shops and budget accommodations on Wushigang Road. Packages can be booked online for around NT1500 and include a two-hour lesson, full-day equipment rental, and place to wash up after, and the price drops if you have more people, but you can probably find something for cheaper if you show up and ask around.
Wai Ao takes about two hours on the regular train (NT$113) from Taipei, so it makes for a feasible day trip from Taipei. Near the train station, don’t miss Drifters Pizza Pub, which serves succulent pies and hosts musical performances on most Saturdays. From Wai Ao, you can also take a peek at Wushi Harbor just south of the beach, or nearby Lanyang Museum, a visually striking structure, which houses exhibits on Yilan’s environment and culture.
Recommended by Nick Kembel from Spiritual Travels (Facebook)
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Waiao Beach
Noir Home (compare Booking and Agoda) is a stylish design B&B that will make your dreamy beach vacation complete. The B&B is a stone throw away to Lanyang Museum and within a short distance to Waiao Beach.
Wanli Beach (New Taipei City): Explore the Semi-abandoned ‘UFO Village’
Wanli Beach (萬里) on the outskirts of Taipei is one of the most unusual stretches of shoreline in Taiwan. Wanli’s sheltered white-sand beach attracts swimmers—but it’s the area’s eccentric architecture that has made it famous.
Wanli ‘UFO Village’ is a semi-abandoned beachside resort that’s home to a pod of Futuro houses. The Finish-designed structures resemble alien spaceships (hence the nickname). Six saucer-shaped buildings supported by high concrete legs are surrounded by another type of pre-fabricated structure, called Venturo houses. When and by whom the resort was constructed remains a mystery, but it probably dates back to the 1970s when this style of architecture was in vogue. It’s not known why exactly the resort at Wanli was abandoned, either.
Today, architecture fans and urbexers flock to Wanli Beach to see the UFO Village in person and snap some unique photographs. Walking up and down the empty streets is haunting: Most of the houses lay in ruins, many with their original furnishings intact and personal possessions of former residents still inside. Visitors are free to explore (at their own risk of course), and you can poke your head into a few of the pods if you wish. Watch out for sharp debris on the ground, and be careful not to trespass (remember that a few people still live in the area!).
Located on Taiwan’s north coast, roughly halfway between Keelung and Yehliu, Wanli can easily be reached by public bus from downtown Taipei in under an hour. When you’re done in Wanli, you can continue walking north along the coast to reach Yehliu Geopark.
Recommended by Emily Lush from Wander-Lush (Instagram)
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Wanli Beach
While Wanli Beach does not have many hotel options, Howard Beach Resort Greenbay (compare Booking and Agoda) is an excellent option that features ocean views from rooms. It is also located between Wanli Beach and Yehliu Geological Park, which makes a trip to the nearby sights a piece of cake.
Fulong Beach (New Taipei City): International Sand Sculpture Festival
Fulong Beach (福隆海水浴場) is located on the Northeast corner of the Taiwan island. It is famous for the golden sand that stretches three kilometers along the coast. The golden sand beach features soft, white quartz sands that make the perfect playground for sand sculptors around the world.
In summer, Fulong Beach hosts the annual International Sand Sculpture Festival. Sand artists from all over the world are invited to participate in a competition to create sand sculptures following each year’s theme. These sculptures on the Fulong Beach are open to the public. In the evening, LED lights decorate the exhibition with a colorful light show.
2019 Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival
Dates: Apr. 21 – Aug. 25, 2019
Time: 8 am – 6 pm (Sat. & Sun. opens until 9 pm). Last admission is 30 minutes before the closing time.
Admission: $100 NT, $50 NT for children 3-12 yo or seniors 65+ yo
Location: Open Google Map for Fulong Beach
More info: Official Website
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Fulong Beach
Fullon Hotel Fulong (compare Booking and Agoda) is a 5-star luxury hotel right off the Fulong Beach with an outdoor pool and spa-like en-suite bathtubs. The spacious rooms feature either ocean or mountain views.
Taiwan East Coast Beaches: Hualien to Taitung
Qixingtan Beach (Hualien): Taiwan’s Most Beautiful Pebble Beach
Just north of Hualien City on the eastern coast of Taiwan, you can find one of the island’s most beautiful beaches – Qixingtan Beach (七星潭).
With the Qingshui cliffs (清水斷崖) as a backdrop and the endless calm waters of the Pacific Ocean, Qixingtan is definitely not your average beach! The main reason for this being that it is a pebble beach and not a sandy one. The beach is filled with pebbles in all shapes and forms imaginable, so if you want to test your imagination this is a great place to do so. Unfortunately, this also means swimming is not allowed here, but with its diverse scenic landscape, Qixingtan is the perfect spot for those looking to catch the sunrise or stargaze the night away. Sunrise chasers should head here early as the beach is often crowded with other like-minded travelers looking to welcome the day’s first light. So, remember to check the estimated sunrise time the day before!
Apart from enjoying a romantic stroll on the beach or soaking your feet in the cool waters, there’s also a neat 35km bike trail which runs all the way to Liyu Lake for those looking to explore the area on a bicycle.
Oh and just a tip – although the weather on the east coast is often quite unpredictable, if you happen to visit here on a hot sunny day, don’t forget to try some of the local ice creams or enjoy a bite to eat at one of the small eateries lining the beach.
Even though Qixingtan beach is largely one of Taiwan’s best-kept secrets, it is a favorite among the locals and one we highly recommend you visit.
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Qixingtan
Kadda Hotel (compare Booking and Agoda) is one of the best boutique hotels in Hualien City. The sleek hotel offers free bike rentals (and a bike rack in the room), which is a perfect way to get to Qixingtan while enjoying the scenic route along the Hualien coast.
Bayview B&B (compare Booking and Agoda) is an exceptional option near Qixingtan. The rooms have a balcony overlooking the beautiful bay along Taiwan’s famous East Coast. It also offers free shuttle service from Hualien Railway Station.
Before Sunrise Seaview B&B (compare Booking and Agoda) is an outstanding B&B that has the luxury hotel amenities and stylish rooms with a balcony and full-length glass windows to best enjoy the stunning ocean view. Free bike rentals.
Sanxiantai Beach (Taitung): Hike and Explore Taiwan’s Last Paradise
The East Coast of Taiwan is known for its stunning coastlines, gorgeous beaches and off-the-beaten-path trails where there are endless surprising gems. On a 10-day trip to Taiwan, I came across a dark pebble-stone beach in Taitung county called the Sanxiantai beach.
It is an 8-arch bridge looks like a set that came out straight from the Game of Thrones. It is a giant dragon bridge that stretches across the sea which became an offshore islet due to wave erosion.
According to Chinese legend, the story was meant to signify “Eight Mortals Crossing the Sea.” It used to be a military control zone, but was designated as a Scenic Area by former National Assembly Member, who recommended the eight arches
You can spend a couple of hours hiking around the area and go all the way to visit the lighthouse. As idyllic as it sounds, Taiwan is often known for its typhoons and high winds and getting across the bridge is not safe if the elements are unrelenting. The best views are often found halfway through the bridge or even if you do manage to complete the trek, it is quite a sight to take a break and watch the waves crash to the shore.
Despite the occasional high winds, Sanxiantai is known for its beautiful blue seas and rich, diverse wildlife. Not much is known about Taiwan’s Last Paradise.
To get across to Sanxiantai, you can take the train to Taitung Station, transfer to East Coast Line 8101, and get off at the Sanxiantai stop.
Recommended by Pashmina, The Gone Goat (Instagram)
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Sanxiantai Beach
When you stay in Sanxiantai Xingchen B&B (compare Booking and Agoda) featuring wooden paneled rooms and barbecue pit, you will feel as if you come to a retreat in a mountain lodge. The famous 8-arch bridge can be viewed from the property.
Dulan Beach (Taitung): Check out the Arts Scene and Hippie Vibe
Dulan Beach (都蘭), Taitung is probably Taiwan’s most well-known surf town. But seeing as Taiwan is not a country famous for its surfing, the town retains a hippie/backpacker vibe, and lovely Dulan Beach is pleasantly non-crowded most of the time; there were only about a dozen other people on the large beach when we visited on a weekday in summer.
Dulan is an aboriginal village that is home to a high concentration of foreign residents, most of whom stay there for the chill lifestyle, awesome coastal scenery, and/or are involved in the local arts community. The focal point of the arts scene is Sintung Sugar Factory Culture Park, an abandoned sugar factory that has been converted to an arts center where you can find craft markets, cafés, restaurants, and even a craft beer brewery. Every Saturday night there are musical performances on site, so that is the best time to visit if you want to check out the scene.
The town itself occupies a short stretch of coastal Highway 11, while Dulan Beach is about a 20-minute walk from the town center. There are several surf shops and surf-oriented hostels in Dulan where you can rent a board and find an instructor. Dulan also has a large number of foreign restaurants due to its expat community, so you can find everything from pizza and burgers to Indian and French cuisine.
While it is easy enough to get to Dulan by bus from Taitung train station (take buses 8101, 8102, 8103, 8109, 8119 or 8120 (NT58), or the East Coast Line tour bus (NT82)), the best way to explore the area is by scooter, which you can rent at Taitung train station with an international or Taiwanese license (NT400/day).
Recommended by Nick Kembel from Spiritual Travels (Instagram)
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Dulan Beach
Reflecting the art scene and hippie vibe in town, some of the B&Bs in Dulan Beach are chill and funky. Dulan The Travel Bug Bistro Inn (compare Booking and Agoda) is such hostel with dormitory-style bedrooms and shared bathrooms. This pet-friendly hostel offers good vegetarian meals.
Stone Party (compare Booking and Agoda) is a beautiful modern architecture with a lush green garden and a terrace. The isolated property in a quiet area will give you a relaxing retreat. You won’t believe this stunning beauty is a B&B!
Taiwan South Coast
Kenting Beach (Hengchun): Vibrant Beach Town in the Southern Tip of Taiwan
Unlike other Asian countries, Taiwan is not quite famous for its beach vibes. But any visit to the Kenting National Park will quickly reveal that the beaches in the south are totally worthy of adding to your ‘favorite beach list’.
Here at the tip of the island, you will find Kenting – a small sleepy town with spectacular white beaches and undoubtedly the best beaches in Taiwan! Kenting might not be very big, but during weekends and holidays, it is packed with sunshine chasers and beach lovers – so be prepared for the crowds!
Apart from the turquoise waters and golden beaches, Kenting oozes with fun things to do for everyone – from snorkeling and scuba diving to surfing and water sports. But if you’re just looking to enjoy some much needed R&R, there’s no better place than here. Spend your days soaking up the sun at one of the three main beaches; Nanwan (South Bay), Baisha (White Sand Bay) or Little Bay. Afterward, cool off with a sundowner at Howard Plaza’s cute beach front bar before snacking your way through one of the best night markets in Taiwan! For those looking to explore more than the beaches, head to Maobitou Park for great views and awesome rock formations or head to the most southern point of Taiwan for an iconic selfie. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed with a visit to Taiwan’s own little slice of paradise.
Recommended by Mariza from Hoponworld (Pinterest)
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Kenting National Park
Xiao Liuqiu: Snorkel with Green Turtles
Xiao Liuqiu (a.k.a. Little Liuqiu or 小琉球), is an island in the open water near Donggang Township, Pingtung County. With full of surprises and unexpected natural sceneries, this island is an excellent place for a day trip from Kaohsiung or an overnight stay.
There are three beaches on the island: Vase Rock, Gebanwan (a.k.a. Venetian Beach) and Zhongao Beach. Vase Rock and Gebanwan have excellent snorkeling spots (or scuba diving), where you can spot many sea turtles. Many stores offer the easy sign-up snorkeling service (snorkeling from a glass-bottom boat) for around NT$300, which includes gears, lifejackets, instructor, coaching lesson and insurance. The best part is most instructors will use a waterproof camera to take pictures for you during the entire snorkeling experience.
While these two beaches have lots of big coral rocks with the very little sand area, Zhongao beach has super soft sand and clear water, appropriate for sun tanning and swimming with tiny fishes right next to your feet. The beach is located right by the port and usually not crowded at all.
Another way to see sea turtles is from the Sea View Pavilion on top of the big drop-off. With the small fee of NT$120, you can also visit three other hiking spots such as Beauty Cave, Wild Boar Ditch and Black Dwarf Cave.
We also recommend joining an Intertidal Zone Tour by the local tour guide. A lot of sea creatures – starfishes, sea urchins, sea snails, etc. – live in the shallow water in between the reefs in low tide. The tour allows you to walk through the restricted coral reef area by the coast and see these sea creatures in close range. The tour doesn’t have a set time since it all depends on the tide schedule daily. If you stay on the island overnight, it is usually included in the package.
The only transportation to Xiao Liuqiu is a 30-min ferry ride from the Donggang Port in Kaohsiung. On the island, the best way to get around is by renting a scooter or electric bicycles.
Pro Tip: Stop by Da Fu Seafood restaurant. Our favorites here are fish sticks, lamb dishes and seafood. And don’t forget to grab some Crunchy Twist Rolls and Mercedes Buns as snacks for the ferry ride or as a souvenir.
Recommended by Steve & Angela FunTV (YouTube)
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Xiao Liuqiu
Since Xiao Liuqiu shopping street and food market are closed by the Zhongao beach, we recommend staying on this side of the island:
Su Beautiful Home Stay (compare Booking and Agoda) is a sophisticated guest house with tastefully decorated rooms. Guests love this property for a balcony with a garden view, as well as tasty breakfast and coffee from a Nespresso machine.
Taiwan Outlying Islands
Some of the best beaches in Taiwan are hidden in the country’s outlying islands. They are usually remote and take some efforts to get to. However, tourism hasn’t been fully developed, either. So you can often enjoy the gorgeous beach all to yourself.
Penghu Islands: Relax by the Shanshui Beach or Go Windsurfing
Penghu (澎湖) is an island chain in the west of the Taiwan Strait. As the county’s 90 islands feature many golden sand beaches with clear blue water, it is not easy to pick the best beach in Penghu. Some beaches are appropriate for swimming, another for the ocean view and the others for water sports. You can even hop an island after another or a beach after another if that is of your interest. However, if you ain’t got time for that, go straight to Shanshui Beach.
Shanshui Beach (山水沙灘) in the southeast of Magong City is the most popular beach in Penghu for swimming and water sports. While this golden sandy beach gets a steady stream of crowds, it never gets too crowded for you to find a peaceful spot. If you want to lounge around on the beach, you can do so in peace even during the busy season.
For those adrenaline junkies, there are some surf shops offer snorkeling, surfing and windsurfing. Shanshui Beach is ideal for surfing although the surf scene here is not as prominent and developed like Yilan or Kenting. Thanks to its notoriously strong wind in mild-temperate winter, Penghu also has gained a reputation as a windsurfing destination.
Shanshui Beach is easily accessible on a scooter from the hotel clusters in Magong. More conveniently, you can also stay in the B&B on the beachfront. The eclectic B&Bs on Shanshui Beach resemble the Mediterranean or European beach resorts and bring some characters to the area.
Recommended by me from Chloe’s Travelogue (Instagram)
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Penghu
Laguna Villas & Resorts (compare Booking and Agoda) is my pick for Penghu. While this gorgeous guest house is away from Shanshui Beach, its own ocean view from a bathtub and an outdoor pool make up for it.
If you want to be closer to Shanshui Beach, both Sea View Villa Penghu (compare Booking and Agoda) and Bayhouse Hostel for more economic option (compare Booking and Agoda) are excellent choices to enjoy the golden sandy beach up close and personal.
Green Island: Tidepooling and Diving from Dabaisha Beach
Dabaisha beach on Green Island is a spectacular place to experience the pristine marine environment of Taiwan. This white sand beach is full of tiny seashells with a long boardwalk out into the water, perfect for taking the perfect Instagram picture. When the tide is out, all kinds of sea creatures can be explored from the tide pools including sea urchins, sea stars, hermit crabs and sea cucumbers.
Not too far away at Shilang beach, you can find one of the world’s only underwater post office boxes to mail a waterproof postcard around the world to your family and friends. Avid divers will find spectacular diving conditions and very diverse marine life with excellent visibility.
Green Island is located about 1-hour ferry ride from the east coast city of Taitung. The ferry leaves several times each day. The best time of year to visit Green Island is from April – September when the weather is pleasant.
Green Island is lush, green and peaceful with stunning views and excellent diving and snorkeling, and Dabaisha beach is the perfect place to enjoy the evening sunset.
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Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Green Island
Happy Dive B&B (compare Booking and Agoda) is a perfect place for dive enthusiasts visiting Green Island. The B&B can also help arrange recreational activities such as snorkeling, diving, fishing and boating.
Kinmen Island: Walk the Underwater Path with the Four Oystermen Sculptures to Jiangongyu Islet
Jiangongyu Islet (建功嶼) in Kinmen Island (金門) is one of many hidden gems in Taiwan that have been kept under the veil for many decades. Located less than 20 nautical miles away from Ximen, China, Kinmen Island has a long history of being the battleground between Taiwan and China since the Chinese Civil War. The fire didn’t cease until the early 1990s, and the island under Taiwanese military control was entirely off the limit of the outsiders – including Taiwanese citizens – for a half the decade.
However, besides military history, there is a reason why Jiangongyu with an abandoned fortress and the General Koxinga statue is a special place to visit. The only way to get to the islet – apart from the obvious private boat – is to cross the ocean on foot. The underwater path connecting Kinmen with Jiangongyu opens up only about an hour a day during low tide.
As a slab stone path comes on the surface, the giant oystermen sculptures also reveal their full height. Finish architect Marco Casagrande designed the Four Oystermen in 2013 to pay a special tribute to the Islanders’ traditional occupation. When the tide comes in, the oystermen’s legs covered in oyster shells submerge under the water, looking as if the oystermen are walking on the surface of the water.
The low tidal time changes every day, and so is the view. The best time of the day to visit is during the sunset, although it doesn’t always coincide with low tide. Be sure to check the tidal time here before making your way to Jiangongyu.
Along the shore of the war-ridden Kinmen Island, you will witness many more unusual scenes. Beaches in Kinmen has remainders of the military time. Now all land mines on the beaches have been removed by special forces after working seven scorching summers and chilly winters. But many beaches still have anti-landing blocks – similar to those from the movie Saving Private Ryan’s Omaha Beach scene. You can also see a half-buried tank on a golden sandy beach during low tide. I will write later about this unique island in Taiwan. In the meantime, see the incredible sights from Kinmen on my Instagram.
Recommended by me from Chloe’s Travelogue
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Kinmen
Grace Kinmen B&B (compare Booking and Agoda) is a stunning B&B in an ancient Fujianese-style house built during the Qing Dynasty. Amazingly, the architecture of this house is all originals withstanding the time and war – even the tile details and calligraphy on the wall – whereas the cozy bedroom is all renovated inside. I thoroughly enjoyed all the decorative details of the house while staying here in the historic Shuitou Village.
810 Kinmen (compare Booking and Agoda) is a guest house that I also stayed while traveling Kinmen. This B&B is centrally located in the main area of Jincheng, which is convenient to explore sights scattered around the island.
Matzu Islands: See the Magical Blue Glitters in the Water
Matsu (馬祖列島) is an island group off the coast of Taiwan. Every summer, the shores of Matzu islands magically glitter in blue, creating the majestical view. This natural phenomenon, called “blue tears (藍眼淚),” is produced by glowing algae in the water.
The blue tears are spotted along the coast of Matsu’s islets such as Dongyin, Nagan and Beigan. You can explore the beaches along the coast on your own. Or, catch a boat tour from the Beigan Qiaozi Harbor (橋仔港) and Baisha Harbor (白沙港) to see it more closely on the water (May 1 – Sept. 20).
While many visitors travel to the remote island to witness the magical sight, only the lucky ones get to see and touch the blue tears as the universe needs to come together to create this magic. The experts say your best bet is on a clear, peach-dark night between three days before and after the first day of the month in the lunar calendar from April to August. The water temperature and wind direction are among the criteria for Mother Nature to display the blue tears.
Fair enough, it won’t be magical if everyone can have the same experience all the time, right?
Taiwan Beach Resort | Chloe’s Pick for Matsu
So Lohas B&B in Beigan (compare Booking and Agoda) is a stylish B&B with ocean views from a balcony in the rooms. Located in Beigan, it is an excellent base camp to chase blue tears in Matsu at night.
Mu Light B&B in Nangan (compare Booking and Agoda) is a fantastic choice for those who appreciate historic village homes in Jinsha Village. The B&B is housed in Matsu’s traditional stonewall home decorated with carved wooden windows while the rooms inside feature modern details.
Hope this post helped you determine your vacation destination this summer. Please let me know if you have any questions!
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