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Are the Penghu Islands in Taiwan worth visiting?
Made up of an archipelago of 90 islands, the Penghu Islands are Taiwan’s next big thing.
The islands’ largest city is Magong, and among the many sightseeing spots and attractions you’ll find the Whale Cave, Double-Heart of Stacked Stones and breathtakingly beautiful beaches as far as the eye can see.
Add the Penghu Islands to your Taiwan itinerary and enjoy this hidden gem!
18 Things To Do In Penghu: Itinerary Ideas
- Four-Eyed Well
- Guanyinting Recreation Area
- Fongguei Cave
- Whale Cave
- Yuwengdao Lighthouse
- Daguoye Columnar Basalt
- Kuibishan Geopark
- Tongliang Great Banyan
- Penghu Great Bridge
- Double-Heart of Stacked Stones
- Penghu International Firework Festival
- Penghu Cross-Sea Marathon
- Island Hopping in Penghu
- Squid Fishing in Penghu
- Snorkeling in Penghu
- Diving in Penghu
- Most Beautiful Beaches in Penghu
- Best Hotels & Hostels in Penghu
Before we look at the things to do in Penghu, it might be a good idea to brush up on some basic facts.
THE PENGHU ISLANDS AT A GLANCE
In our guide about things to do in Taiwan we argue that the Penghu Islands are Taiwan’s next big things.
Because there is no doubt that they are one of the most scenic destinations in Taiwan.
Located just off the west coast of Chiayi County, the Penghu Islands (also known as the Pescadores Islands) are made up of an archipelago of 90 islands in the Taiwan Strait.
Collectively, the archipelago forms Penghu County, which is the second smallest county in Taiwan, right after Lienchiang.
Apart from picturesque beaches, the archipelago also has countless attractions and is steeped in rich cultural heritage.
In this guide, we’ll explore 18 things to do in Penghu so that you have enough inspirations to fill up your Taiwan itinerary!
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PENGHU ISLANDS
If you are planning your trip to the Penghu Islands, you want to avoid the heavy winds.
The winds in the Penghu Islands are their tamest from May to September. Also, the weather is dry and moderately warm in this time period.
The warmest month of the year is July, with an average temperature of 28.0 °C. January is the coldest month, with temperatures averaging 11.4 °C.
Please bear in mind that the sun is strong on the Penghu Islands, so make sure to pack hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.
If you want to take a deep dive into the weather data, head over to the website of the Central Weather Bureau.
THE BEST WAY HOW TO GET TO THE PENGHU ISLANDS
Penghu is easily accessible by plane or ferry.
Flying is the best way to go if you want to maximize your time on the Penghu Island. Flights leave from Taipei, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung and take 35-50 minutes.
If you don’t want to fly in, take a 4 hours ferry journey either from Chiayi or Kaohsiung to Magong. In summer, all ferry services operate (provided the weather is good) and in winter only the Taihwa Boat ferry services is in operation.
For more details on the ferries from Chiayi and Kaohsiung to Magong, visit the website of the Tourism Bureau.
We recommend renting either a car or a scooter upon your arrival so that you can explore the scenic landscapes of the beautiful Penghu archipelago without any hassle.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s jump right in and explore the amazing things to do in Penghu, Taiwan!
Wells on the Penghu Islands can be traced way back to the Ming dynasty. Among the remaining ones, the Four-Eyed Well is probably the most famous. Located in Magong, the 400 years old Four-Eyed Well is a true historical monument. It is said that it was remodeled from a one-eyed well to a four-eyed well due to safety concerns. Tip: when visiting the site, we recommend purchasing “Qianyi Tang Herbal Eggs” at the Chinese pharmacy besides the well for an authentic taste experience.
GUANYINTING RECREATION AREA
The expansive Guanyinting Recreation Area looks out over a bay that is known as a world class windsurfing spot. The Buddhist Penghu Guanyin Temple, which was founded in 1696 during the Qing dynasty, is also located in the park. Next to the park you’ll find the Xiying Rainbow Bridge that lights up in seven colors at night. When you are on the Penghu Islands during the Penghu International Fireworks Festival, the Guanyinting Recreation Area is pretty much the go-to spot. So, make sure to pop by when you are on the archipelago between April and June.
Although the Whale Cave is far more popular, the Fongguei Cave has its own unique characteristics. During the tide, the air in the cave gets strongly compressed, which creates a sound resembling that of a blast furnace. This sound is known as the “Fongguei Cave Wave Sound”. That’s not all! If you’re lucky, you can even see the holes of the cave emitting high column of water during the tide! Don’t miss this natural spectacle and put the Fongguei Cave on your Penghu itinerary!
One of the most well-liked attractions on the Penghu Islands is the Whale Cave. According to popular believe, the natural basalt sea cave looks like a whale when approached from a specific angle. Nonetheless, local legend has it that the actual reason for the cave’s name is that a whale lost itself here and died. It is said that a bone from that whale is being preserved and kept at the Dayi Temple. Make sure to visit the Whale Cave and see what all the fuss is about.
Originally built in 1778, the Yuwengdao Lighthouse played a crucial role in protecting ships traveling between China and Taiwan from the hazardous rocks that surround the Penghu Islands. Yuwengdao is also considered to be Taiwan’s oldest lighthouse. Yet, after more than two hundred years of service, the lighthouse ceased its operation. As a remnant of the Qing Dynasty, the Yuwengdao Lighthouse stands at just 11 meters, but is being well-preserved for you to enjoy and explore.
DAGUOYE COLUMNAR BASALT
When traveling around the Penghu Islands, you can get a good view of a host of columnar basalt formations. The Daguoye Columnar Basalt is one of the most prominent and was discovered during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. What makes it different from all the other basalt columns is the fact that is can be accessed from the land, making it the most accessible one the archipelago. The magnificent formations of the Daguoye Columnar Basalt should definitely feature prominently on your bucket list if you are a fan of nature’s beauties!
The Kuibishan Geopark is an intertidal zone. Whenever the tide is low, a coral-and-rock pathway is exposed that leads to a small island. This pathway is called “Moses Parted-Sea Trail”. On the small island, you can also get a glance of the famed basalt columns of the Penghu Islands. When visiting, make sure to wear slip resistant shoes. And, when you are not familiar with how tides work, you should only walk along the Moses Parted-Sea Trail with a professional tour guide. Otherwise, enjoy your trip out at the ecological phenomenon that is Kuibishan Geopark.
TONGLIANG GREAT BANYAN
The Tongliang Great Banyan is said to be more than 300 years old, making it not only the oldest, but also largest tree on the Penghu Islands. Covering an area of 660 square meters, the roots of this spectacular tree spread over the columns and beams in front of the Baoan Temple. The Penghu islanders deem it to be sacred, which is also the reasons why it is the official tree of Penghu County. Stop by at the Baoan Temple and take in the mesmerizing miniature forest that is the Tongliang Great Banyan.
PENGHU GREAT BRIDGE
The Penghu Great Bridge (or Penghu Trans-Oceanic Bridge) crosses the Houmen Waterway and connects Siyu Island and Baisha Main Island. The ocean current underneath the bridge can be as fast as 3m/s! When crossing the bridge, you can hear the roaring tides while feeling the sea breezes and enjoying the spectacular oceanic vistas. When visiting the Penghu Great Bridge, see if you can spot the legendary shop of the Yi Family on Baisha Island. Why? Because here you can sample cactus ice cream!
DOUBLE-HEART OF STACKED STONES
As mentioned in our guide about things to do in Taiwan, the Double-Heart of Stacked Stones is amongst the most famous tourist attractions on the Penghu Islands. It’s a well-preserved ancient fish trap that makes for a wonderful holiday snap. Mainly, this is due to the fact that its stacking stones are arranged in a double-heart shape. Although Taiwan boast the highest number of ancient stone fish traps in the world, the Double-Heart of Stacked Stones stands out. Do stop by and enjoy the charm of nature when gazing at the stone formations in the turquoise water.
More Things To Do in Penghu: Itinerary Ideas
PENGHU INTERNATIONAL FIREWORK FESTIVAL
We referred to the Penghu International Fireworks Festival in our guide about things to do in Taiwan, and we’ll do it again. Here is why. The festival takes place in the summer season from April to June in Magong at the Sea Wall of the Penghu Rainbow Bridge. During this time, visitors can marvel at the breathtaking fireworks shows on display. You can do so from Penghu’s beautiful beaches, while island hopping or aboard a sailboat. Our tip: head over to the Penghu Guanyin Temple (Guan-Yin-Ting) during the Penghu International Fireworks Festival for the best view!
PENGHU CROSS-SEA MARATHON
If you are looking something really unique, take part in the Penghu Cross-Sea Marathon. The marathon takes place in November and takes you across the beautiful landscapes of 3 Penghu islands. The marathon starts on the island of Xiyu, passes through the island of Jhongtun, and finishes on the main island of Penghu. Also, you can choose between a full and a half-marathon. The Penghu Cross-Sea Marathon is not only one of the most scenic marathons in the world, when completing it, you can also enjoy a real sense of achievement too!
ISLAND HOPPING IN PENGHU
Penghu County has many beautiful islands to offer. Amongst the smaller ones, the most popular ones are Qimei, Jibei and Tongpan. When you are done exploring Magong City and its surroundings, book some island-hopping trips! Tour operators on the Penghu Islands offer various island-hopping trips, so check these out at the visitor centers. Mostly, you can choose between half day, one day and multiple day trips. Also, make sure that your trip package includes transportation options at your destination island(s) or rent a scooter to travel around.
SQUID FISHING IN PENGHU
In the Penghu County, fishing villages are a common sight. One of the most fun activities when exploring the archipelago by boat is squid fishing. Squid fishing can present a challenge, though. Regardless, it is a real joy for experienced and new fishermen alike. On these boat tours, the catch of the day will be turned into meals for you to enjoy; freshly caught squids might just be turned into delicious squid noodles and sashimi. It doesn’t get much fresher than that! If you are a seafood lover, book a squid fishing trip at one of the visitor centers and get ready for a feast.
SNORKELING IN PENGHU
The water surrounding the Penghu Islands is clear, making the archipelago an ideal site for a bit of snorkeling. There are a number of really great snorkeling spots across Penghu County. However, it’s a matter of knowing where they are. We suggest booking your snorkeling experience at one of the visitor centers so that an experienced guide can show you the ropes. Always be careful, though, as the ocean currents can be quite strong. Make sure to take along a waterproof camera and take some awesome snaps of the rare and colorful marine life and corals on the ocean floor!
DIVING IN PENGHU
Naturally, the deep and blue waters of Penghu County offer ample opportunities for truly memorable diving experiences. If you wish to dive on your own, head over to DeepBlu for some inspirations on where to dive. If you’d rather join a group of divers led by an experienced guide, book a guided tour at one of the visitor centers. The benefit of a guided tour is that you will learn more about the underwater ecosystem of the Taiwan Strait. Also, your guide will take you to Taiwan’s first ever underwater mailbox! Purchase a waterproof postcard and send your loved ones a memorable souvenir!
MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IN PENGHU
Penghu County has many picturesque beaches.
So, let’s look at the most beautiful ones.
Shanshui Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Penghu Islands for swimming and surfing.
At Shili Beach you won’t find as many tourists and can enjoy a more local beach experience with picnic.
Restored by conservation efforts, Aimen Beach offers you bounteous watersport opportunities and secluded retreats.
Off the beaten track you will find Longmen Beach, a beach with pure white sand and perfect swimming conditions.
Tucked in between green hills and a deep blue ocean, Neian Beach should be your go-to beach for a relaxed afternoon.
Jibei Sand Peninsula
Basically a sand split, Jibei Sand Peninsula is popular with tourist that want to undertake some watersport activities.
Considered to be one of Penghu Islands’ best kept secrets, Wangankou is the local tip when you are looking for a scenic seaside spot.
Considered to be one of Penghu Islands’ best kept secrets, Wangankou Beach is the local tip when you are looking for a scenic seaside spot.
BEST HOTELS & HOSTELS IN PENGHU
Four Points by Sheraton Penghu
The Four Points by Sheraton Penghu is located in the heart of Magong City and only a 15-minute drive from Penghu Airport. The rooms are appointed with lush beds and balconies that offer a breathtaking view of Magong Harbor. Relax in the outdoor infinity pool, recharge in the sauna and enjoy fresh local seafood in the onsite restaurants!
MF Harborview Hotel Penghu
If you like see views, the MF Harborview Hotel Penghu in Magong City should be on the top of your list. The hotel is located a short walk from the Four-Eyed Well and is in the proximity of the Guanyinting Recreation Area. All rooms have been carefully designed and offer individual flairs. Make sure to book a room on the upper floors and enjoy pictorial sunrise and sunsets.
Laguna Villas & Resorts
As a true architectural masterpiece, the Laguna Villas & Resorts in Magong City offer you a retreat in style. You can have fun in the water park or go for activities such as horse riding and snorkeling. Both the Qingwan Cactus Park and Fenggui Cave are in driving distance. The best rooms are those which offer a sun terrace and views of the sea, from which you simply cannot get enough.
If you are looking for a place to stay that has sustainability ingrained in its core, look no further than Discovery Hotel. The ambience of the hotel is a perfect blend of local characteristics and fishermen customs. The property is also conveniently located close to Magong City’s must-see destinations. Finish off your day at the outdoor swimming pool with a view!
Located on a beachfront, the Rainbow Hotel in Magong is the perfect place to escape the stresses of the day. The Guanyinting Recreation Area is in the hotel’s proximity, as well as many other must-see attractions such as the Four-Eyed Well and Zhongyang Old Street. This hotel is your best choice when you are looking for something cozy that offer great comfort as well
1 km from the city center of Magong you’ll find the Green Hotel. With its charmingly appointed rooms, you’ll feel right at home. Due to the hotel’s convenient location, you won’t miss out on all the unmissable sightseeing spots and activities. The hotel is a smart choice if you want to enjoy an unparalleled sense of comfort during your stay.
The wooden themed rooms with sea views are the reason why many travelers make Bowa Hotel their home when visiting Magong. Landmarks close to the hotel are Shih Lang Temple and Penghu Central Old Street. You can also rent a scooter and explore more remote areas of the city. When you have the munchies, take a stroll to the Blessed Oyster Restaurant up the road!
Staying at the PH Hostel is arguably the best value for money choice you can make when visiting the Penghu Islands. The hostel is ideally located in the city center of Magong, making it the perfect hub to explore all that the lively city has to offer. The rooms are fitted with terraces and there is ample room to socialize with other beach bums in the shared lounge or shared kitchen.
And there you have it: our tips on things to do in Penghu. We hope we were able to inspire you. Now, finalize your Penghu itinerary and look forward to those beautiful Penghu beaches. After all: happiness is a day at the beach.
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