What makes the perfect beach? White sand, gold sand, pebbles… or maybe you care about the range of activities on offer, the natural beauty of the overall setting. You might just want a resort where you can recline on a lounger and have cocktails delivered directly to your hand.
This is why Taiwan is the perfect beach destination: it has one to satisfy any desire. Plus this island nation is small enough to easily visit them all. It won’t be long before the world wakes up to Taiwan’s beach paradise status, so make sure you get there ahead of the crowds!
Here are just a few of our favourite Taiwan beaches.
Baishawan is one of the most popular beaches in Taiwan, found to the north of the country and renowned for its 1km stretch of fine white sand and crystal clear blue water. After you’ve had a paddle, there’s plenty here to keep you occupied: the hill behind the beach is a favoured hang gliding spot, or you can head to the western end to see volcanic rock formations and explore the hiking trails.
How to get there: Take the Taiwan Metro (MRT) from Taipei to Danshui and catch a bus from there. The journey should take no more than 45 minutes.
The golden sands of Fulong are lovely at any time of year, split by the Shuang River and connected by the delightfully-named Rainbow Bridge, but the area really comes to life during the annual Sand Sculpture Festival. Kicking off the summer, this lures large crowds to marvel at the weird and wonderful sculptures that are built along the length of the beach.
One beach here is private and requires an entrance fee of NT$100 (about £2.50), which includes park and beach facilities. A less well-equipped (but very nice regardless) public beach is accessible for free.
How to get there: From Taipei Main Station you can take a train straight to Fulong. Be aware that trains are often crowded on weekends.
Also known as Green Bay, this is one of the best beaches in Taiwan for water activities. Along the 1.5km white-sand beach you can find surfing, jet skiing, water skiing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and more. If you want jaw-dropping views across the whole area, take advantage of Green Bay being one of the few spots in the country for paragliding and hang gliding. Taiwan beaches don’t get much better than this.
How to get there: The nearest train station is Keelung, and a bus from there to Green Bay takes around 20 minutes.
If you’re after something a little different, Laomei Green Reef is unmissable. The sandy beach here is overshadowed by the deep troughs and trenches carved into the volcanic rock and trailing down into the ocean. The best time to see it is around April and May when the area is covered in thick green algae, a striking natural sight unlike anything else in the country.
How to get there: Laomei is easily reached by train from Taipei Main Station.
If you’re more interested in spectacular landscapes than swimming and sunbathing, the stony beach of Chihsingtan might be for you. The long, curving beach is bordered by cloud-shrouded mountains, and walking and cycle paths take you on a tour of the best views. Just don’t be tempted to go swimming, strong currents here mean taking a dip isn’t recommended.
How to get there: The nearest train stop is Beipu Station, which within walking distance of the beach.
You’ve enjoyed white sand, golden sand, and stones, but Taiwan still has more to offer – black sand! But only if you visit in winter. Jici is one of the Taiwan beaches worthy of your attention at any time of year, offering conditions ideal for swimming and surfing. The surrounding mountains make the whole area feel wonderfully secluded.
How to get there: Jici is fairly remote, lying at the end of an hour-and-fifteen-minute bus ride from Hualien.
Kenting National Park encompasses the southern tip of Taiwan, and the tropical climate combined with a favourable sea breeze means its beaches are kept pleasantly warm. Kenting is a great spot for sunbathing and swimming, and you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to dive into the coral reefs and meet the colourful marine life. You’ll also have easy access to the park inland, where you’ll find plenty more wildlife and a bountiful botanical garden.
How to get there: The nearest city is Kaohsiung, and express buses will take you directly to Kenting.