Penghu’s beaches are among the best in Taiwan and for good reason. With soft white sand, crystal clear azure water and endless sun in summer; there’s not much to hold them back. The beaches are generally undeveloped, with only a few examples of low level tourism ventures operating in summer.
In winter windsurfing dare devils take to the waters down near Guanyinting, while in summer surfers ride waves at Shānshuǐ Beach. At select spots around the islands conditions for snorkeling and diving are excellent, with an abundance of sea life and coral to swim amongst. Many tourists, however, come for water sports like banana boating, jet skiing, kayaking and fishing. The following beaches are all easily accessible by scooter, or if you’re keen by bike, from Magong city.
Shānshuǐ Beach – A popular swimming beach in Shānshuǐ village that is also Penghu’s surfing hub. This beach is set at the end of the main road in a quiet village about 15 minutes by scooter from Magong city. The beach is generally busy in summer with foreign and local tourists enjoying the water. There are a number of guesthouses and small hotels nearby, as well as the Penghu Surf Club, a few BBQ restaurants and a cafe or two. Umbrellas can be hired from a small store just off the beach. For surfboard hire and surfing lessons head to one of the Penghu Surf Clubs, set back just off the beach.
Look out for the Beach Break, a rustic surf club hut with some pretty interesting recycled woodwork, surfboards for rent and snacks and drinks on the menu.
Shíli Beach – This is a very quiet swimming beach in Shíli which sits on the Fongguei Peninsula, it’s also about 15 minutes from the city. Shíli village is a very sleepy strip of houses sitting right on the waterfront. The beach is known as a very safe place to swim as it is very shallow with very few rocks. There is a restaurant that serves drinks and set meals up behind the beach, just look for the tables and chairs. Chances are you’ll be the only one on this beach!
Àimén Beach – Thanks to some very smart locals Àimén beach was rescued from imminent doom; erosion was slowly eating away at the coastline. Now fully recovered, the beach is a lengthy 3km long and is used regularly as a place for tour group water sports (banana boat, jet ski), BBQs and swimming. The party atmosphere that exists on the touristy end of the beach however, fades out quickly as you walk futher up towards the more peaceful Lin-t’ou park. Lin-t’ou park also has a cafe situated near the beachfront that makes a nice place to have a cold drink or something to eat.
For prices and information on the water activities and outdoor BBQ at Àimén beach visit this website Penghu Golden Beach.
Longmen Beach – About 20 minutes from Magong, is Longmen Village, which has one of the best swimming beaches around. Getting there isn’t particularly straightforward, but this keeps the beach quiet and undeveloped. Once you get to Longmen Village you have to keep going and make your way through narrow country roads, past garzing cows and peanut fields, all without much signage. You might come across a small secluded rocky beach, that’s not it, keep going. It’s worth the trip once you get there. The beach is stunning and has recently been equipped with quirky army inspired toilet, shower and shade facilities. With its new facilities, the beach makes for another excellent camping spot – just bring the bbq! The sand here is blindingly white and the water clear and azure. It’s safe for swimming and isn’t as rocky as Aimen Beach or as over-popuated with tourists as Shanshui Beach. The one issue with this beach is the copious amounts of trash that blow ashore from fishing boats and the vast ocean from time to time. This especially becomes a problem during the windy months. If you are careful and watch where you step you should be able to find a nice spot free of ocean refuse. This place has also been known to yield some pretty interesting beach finds for those into scavenging for lost treasures. If you’re looking for something really chilled out and prefer to be one of the only people on the beach, this place is perfect.
Neian Beach on Siyu Island, about 35 minutes drive from Magong, is another great spot to camp. Set up with pagodas, barbecues and toilet & shower facilities – it really is beautiful. Here the open flat expanses of Penghu disappear and instead steep cliffs, grassy hills and basalt columns gracefully stand along the shore. Swimming at this beach one feels almost surrounded by mountains in a mountain-less landscape. The beach itself is white sand pushed up against the cliff-face surrounded by rock pools and a pebbled shoreline. Despite the rocks the swimming here is excellent, just find the right spots to enter the water and the rocks give way to sandy azure water.
* Pon Pon Island – Pon Pon (or Peng Peng) is less of an island and more of an uninhabited sand bar sitting about 30 minutes off shore and can only be reached by boat. Waters are calm and clear and the it’s generally quiet and peaceful with nice views of the main islands and neighbouring Niao Yu (Bird Island). Pon Pon is on the tourist route, so, in summer tour groups stop on the islet for a short visit before moving on. It can be reached by ferry from the North Sea Visitor Centre in Baisha.
* Jibei Island Sand Spit – The largest island in the northern sea is Jibei and it takes about 40 minutes to get there from Houliao Visitor Centre in Baisha. The island has an amazing white-sand spit that stretches out into the ocean for 1.5km and is a popular place for water activities in summer. The island can be seen comfortably in a day and is best explored by scooter.