Penghu Must Do List!

Overgrown pathways at Aimen Beach
  • EXPLORE THE ISLANDS – Explore by scooter around the main islands, across the great bridge and out to Siyu Island and lighthouse. There are countless small villages, narrow country lanes that lead to secret beaches, traditional coral wall gardens and much more to see, as well as the amazing ocean view on all sides.
  • TONGLIANG BANYAN TREE – Tongliang Banyan Tree is an incredible tree that has to be seen to be believed. There are souvenir shops,  cactus ice cream stores and a  Temple surrounding the tree.
  • WALK THE RAINBOW BRIDGE – Walk over the Rainbow Bridge and watch the sunset at Guanyingting park. After sunset the bridge lights up with rainbow colors that shimmer over the bay. A great place that’s in the city centre – you can wind down and enjoy the view, visit the small temple, take kids to the play ground or have a picnic bbq.

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Japanese Taiwanese Fusion – Da You Tien

Da You TienDa You Tien has been on Guang Fu road for a long time and is popular with students and those who enjoy tasty and relatively cheap eats. There is an English menu but you’ll have to ask for it. Prices range from 30NTD – 150NTD and that covers a large variety of sushi, sashimi, tempura, salads, fried tofu, soups, fried noodles and more, such as Taiwanese inspired meat over rice or salted chicken thigh. Continue reading

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Penghu Bike Rental

penghubike.comIf you’re interested in cycling around Magong City, or even further out around the islands, Penghu Bike rents out fully equipped 7 speed mountain bikes for 200NTD / 24 hours. Each bike is well maintained and has a helmet, headlight, odometer, small pump, water bottle holder and a bag (suitable for camera, wallet, water, swim gear, suncream, hat etc).

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The Ends of The Earth: Dongji Island

How far is it to the very ends of the earth and what would it look like once you got there? How remote does a place really need to be to feel like it’s the last outpost? The place, I imagine, is lying in wait somewhere just before the Great Nothingness. Right on the edge of that once sorely feared, yet entirely fictitious, drop off into oblivion.

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Penghu Fireworks Festival

Each year the residents of Penghu and thousands of visitors greet the coming summer season with the Fireworks Festival. This year the event will be held twice a week, on Monday and Thursday, from April to May at Guanyingting Recreation Park. An awesome array of fireworks are set-off over the iconic Rainbow bridge while visitors and locals chill out in the park below. Last year there was a squid, fish and a heart exploding in the night sky to wow the crowds.

Stages are also set up to host other entertainment, including shows by local children and high school students as well as bands. A few more well known headlining acts are spread though out the months, though nothing too exciting by international standards. Market stalls line the street above the park and sell snacks and souvenirs to the crowds of people who after the show slowly make their way downtown to restaurants, KTV pubs or back to their hotels.

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Slowly the clouds have cleared and spring is waking these sleepy islands. An exciting buzz takes over from the whistling wind and warmth returns as the sun claims its place in the big blue sky. New plants are springing forth from the sandy soils, creeping across the islands, forming a layer of green to cover the crusty earth exposed by the winter wind’s gales. Spring is here and windy days are few and far between.

Visitors from what the locals call “Taiwan” begin to appear, everywhere. Large herds of rented scooters amble the streets downtown as they clumsily try to navigate, maps in hand, obliviously obstructing traffic. Like so many ‘destinations’ the rules surely don’t apply to tourists here.

Locals begin to shake off the thick layer of dust deposited by the wind and pull out the summer chairs, tables and umbrellas. Stores that shut for the winter now prepare for the summer season. Busily readying themselves for the hordes of visitors soon to deluge the islands.  New stores, restaurants and guesthouses open their doors each summer season, though not all make it to the next.

Endless sunny hot days are not far away. Soon there’ll only be scorching hours filled with swimming, lazing about on beaches, picnics, barbecue dinners and cool breezy evening walks downtown. Boat trips to outer island, visits to old haunts, more snap shots of another picturesque summer and iced coffee, lots of iced coffee. Summer isn’t far away now… but, after that the wind returns and it all starts again.

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Jun Tou Tea House

Magong, like much of Taiwan is littered with ‘tea-shops’. Little stalls that are literally everywhere, selling take-away tea and assorted drinks. Some are chains and others just one-off mum and pop shops. More often than not these places are take-away only, with no place to sit and relax – they offer no way to enjoy your tea in a setting that reflects the traditional tea-culture of Taiwan. That’s where Jun Tou Tea House comes in. Like a haven amongst a sea of sameness, Jun Tou is truly one of Magong’s best kept secrets. Few foreigners have ever found the place and those who have were probably loath to share the secret of this quiet retreat.

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