Taiwan might not be a beach holiday destination, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some stunning stretches of sand and sea. If you’ve had enough of night markets and street food and want to get away from the hubbub, take a break at one of the beaches in the country. From just a short distance away from Taipei all the way down south to Kenting, here are the best Taiwan beaches.
1. Fulong Beach
A short distance away from Taipei, Fulong Beach is popular among the younger crowd. It is easily accessible by bus and train from Taipei Main Station. While it may not be as nice as the Taiwan beaches in the south, there are lots of water activities that you can do here. Fulong Beach also hosts the annual International Sand Sculpture Festival which draws in large crowds and sand artists from all over the world.
2. Baishawan Beach
Here’s where things are a little confusing – there are two Baishawan Beach in Taiwan. They are completely different beaches, literally on opposite sides of the island. One is down south in Kenting, and the other is in New Taipei. The one we’re talking about is the latter, a 30-minute taxi ride away from Tamsui District. The infrastructure here is not as good as Fulong Beach, but many people would appreciate that. This is also a great spot to pick up surfing and there are also surfboard rentals available along the shore. Baishawan Beach has been drawing in sunseekers since the Japanese era, and it’s not hard to see why.
3. Qixingtan Beach
Qixingtan isn’t your typical beach, as it’s more of a scenic area than one where you would lie down and sunbathe. For one, it isn’t a sandy beach. Instead, it is lined with pebbles of all different shades! The waves can also be pretty gnarly, making it much nicer (and safer) to look at than to swim in. And the scenery is dramatic with a mountainous background. As one can expect, Qixingtan Beach is a very popular destination in Hualien. Come early in the morning to avoid the tour groups and enjoy the scene in peace and silence.
4. Jibei Island
To get away from the crowd, pack up and make your way to Jibei Island, one of Taiwan’s most remote islands. It’s not the best place for those that want to stay in a beachfront hotel with sun chairs and beach bars. But for those who want an unspoiled beach with no mass tourism, Jibei Island should be on your bucket list! The island itself is pretty small and you can rent a motorbike and explore it within a day. Apart from just lazing in the sun, you can also do some water sports such as banana boating, snorkelling and jet skiing.
5. Dawan Beach
Dawan Beach used to be a private beach exclusive for guests of the Chateau Hotel, but today it is open to the public. Even though the five-star resort is nearby, the crowd isn’t too excessive. Unfortunately this isn’t a swimming beach as the currents are strong all year round, but confident surfers will give it two thumbs up. If you’re not enjoying the surf, then have a picnic on the shore and enjoy a quiet day.
6. Laomei Beach
With its unique volcanic cliffs, rock trenches and algae growth, Laomei Beach is a photographer’s dream. The best to come is in April and May when the algae are growing on the rocks. They die out in the summer, but the scene is still quite a view to boot. Take a walk on the path leading to Fuguijiao Lighthouse. Looking out over the East China Sea and the stunning coastal countryside, the walk is extremely beautiful and scenic.
7. Qingshui Cliffs
Another scenic area, Qingshui Cliffs is one of the Eight Wonders of Taiwan. Located in Taroko National Park, it is the highest coastal cliff in Taiwan and here you can see the three different colors that make up the Pacific Ocean. If you venture along the Chongde trail, you’ll get below and arrive at Chongde Beach and its pebble coast. The waves are strong and swimming is prohibited. There are also no facilities or bathrooms here, just an awesome view.