Taiwan might not be one of the first Asian countries that come to mind when you think of a beach break. Yet this island nation has some pretty good sandy stretches. Taiwan beaches also have great diving spots, especially in the waters around its outlying islets, plus a burgeoning surf scene. In the main, the best beaches in Taiwan are located along its northern and eastern coasts, with the exception of those around Kenting in the south.
Fulong hosts a Sand Sculpture Festival every year from May-July. During this time you can see the large and elaborate sand sculptures. The subject matter of these truly impressive sculptures ranges from people to buildings and other scenes.
The waters here are becoming popular with surfers, and boards can be rented from shops on the beach. Baishawan is close to Taipei, and makes an easy escape from the city. Regular buses make the journey from Taiwan in less than an hour. The beach is officially open to swimmers from May to September.
In just under a week, this tailor-made trip to The Essentials of Taiwan allows you to explore Taipei and nearby national parks. Expect waterfalls, panoramic walking trails and thermal springs, all while enjoying the amazing food scene, a blend of Chinese & Japanese cuisines.
There are several lovely beaches to choose from in Kenting National Park. We recommend Nanwan for its buzzy beach vibes and Kenting Baishawan (different to the Baishawan in the north) for something quieter.
If you want to do more than just lie out in the sun, Kenting has several coral reefs ideal for snorkelling; one of the most popular spots is towards Ho bi hu harbour.
For those who fancy a dip — we recommend Wai’ao Beach. Also known as Wushigang, this beach is one of Taiwan’s top surf spots, and is great for swimming too. There are plenty of local surf outfits where you can rent boards and pick up some lessons. The ocean is divided into surf- and swimmer-only sections, so keep your wits about you. Wai’ao Beach is open all year round.
Wanli Beach often hosts various events and activities, which also attract a large number of young people. This beach is known for it's lively atmosphere.
The beach is particularly popular with couples because of the romantic scenery, consisting of blue waters and green mountains. Together they create an ideal backdrop for relaxation.
Taiwan was formerly known as Ilha Formosa - "beautiful island" and it's easy to see why: lush rivers, tropical forests, and imposing sea cliffs.This tailor-made trip focuses on Taiwan's nature. Start in cosmopolitan Taipei before heading to Taroko National Park, coastal Hualien and finally Sun Moon Lake.
Surf shops on the beach rent boards or offer lessons. The nearby town of Dulan has a growing arts scene so you might not have the beach all to yourself for very long.
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The area is a designated marine reserve, so there's plenty of healthy aquatic life including rays, eels, sea snakes and of course, tropical fish. More experienced divers can dive to deeper sites to try and spot the mighty hammerhead shark. Getting to Green Island requires either a short flight or a boat ride (which can be quite rough depending on the waves) from mainland Taiwan.
Little Bay Beach is Liuqiu’s prettiest beach, a gently curving stretch of white coral and sand backed by palm trees which can get packed on summer weekends. Swimming is possible here at high tide (although beware rip currents and sharp coral), and at low tide the intertidal zone is alive with small fish, crabs and brittle stars.
On Pengnan’s southern coast, Shanshui Beach offers fine golden sand, clear water and a gentle break that is suitable for surfing in winter. There are also plenty of places to stay nearby, plus a few cafés and surf shops in Shanshui itself, although this means it gets very busy at times.
Laomei Beach is located near the village of Laomei on the north coast of Taiwan. The best time to visit the beach for swimming is in October, as the rainy season starts in spring and the region is too hot in summer.
Explore Taiwan's diverse culture and fascinating landscapes with this tailor-made trip to the Treasures of Taiwan which covers the whole island. Starting in Taipei you will move on to Sun Moon Lake before heading to Alishan. Discover monasteries and national parks on the Southwest coast before heading back to Taipei.
Dawulun Beach, also known as Waimushan Beach, is a picturesque little beach just off Keelung City. This beach remains off the tourist radar, so if you are looking for a combination of seclusion and mesmerising scenery Dawulun Beach is the right place for you.
Looking for ideas for a holiday in Taiwan away from the tourist crowds? Explore our guide to Taiwan beyond Taipei: venturing off the tourist trail.
Cijin Beach is one of the best beaches in Taiwan and attracts crowds of tourists every year. The reason for this popularity is that the beach has a very well-developed infrastructure for visitors. There are a variety of recreational options, such as a picturesque path with a sea view and a natural ecological area, so that even when the swimming area is closed, holidaymakers can enjoy other forms of activities.
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Top image: Beach in Kenting, Taiwan © Tim Warren/Shutterstock