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.
The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to Taiwan, your essential guide for visiting Taiwan.
With 3km (1.9 miles) of golden sand, Fulong Beach is the most popular strand in northern Taiwan. It's a great place for swimming or sunbathing, and you can try your hand at windsurfing and canoeing too – the Shuangxi river flows out to the ocean here and is well explored by kayak. Like many beaches in the country, it's only open for swimming for part of the year (May-October).
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.
Baishawan’s name gives away its main characteristic, meaning White Sand Bay in English. Its white sand and clear waters make it one of the most attractive beaches in Taiwan. You'll also find hiking trails nearby and a bike-friendly boardwalk.
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.
Located on Taiwan's tropical southern tip, Kenting's bright waters are warm all year round. It's the most popular beach resort of choice for the Taiwanese and is home to some of the best beaches in Taiwan.
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.
The main Kenting town beach (also known as Dawan) is perennially popular with locals and has an amusement-park atmosphere. Bear in mind that swimming is prohibited at Dawan due to strong currents.
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.
Find more accommodation options to stay in the Kenting area
Facing the Pacific, the east coast boasts some of Taiwan’s best scenery. However, serious currents mean that several of the most picturesque beaches are closed to swimmers. Of course, you can still enjoy a scenic walk on the beach. Conversely, the strong waves also mean the best surfing in Taiwan is found here, especially during the winter months.
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 is located between Dawulun Beach and the popular Yehliu Geopark, with the White House Resort being one of the beachfront attractions. Although a hotel is located on the beach, visitors are allowed to use any part of the beach. Among other things, the beach differs from other best beaches in Taiwan because of its whitest sand.
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 Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area incorporates some of Taiwan’s most spectacular coastal scenery. It stretes 102.5km from Nanya, just east of Jiufen, to Suao. Neipi black sand beach is one of the lesser-known beaches in Taiwan. However, if you find yourself in the Yilan region this beach is a must-visit.
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.
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The crescent-shaped Jici (sometimes Jiqi Beach) is another popular swim-and-surf spot. Located in Hualien County, it's also one of the most beautiful beaches in Taiwan. Here you'll find great views of the coastal cliffs and mountains that surround it on three sides. There are hiking trails and camping areas nearby, so there's enough here for an extended stay.
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.
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Dulan Beach, located in bucolic Taitung County, is a pebble beach that is good for swimming and surfing. Perhaps because it has pebbles instead of sand, the beach is never crowded and is one of the most tranquil stretches of shoreline in all of Taiwan.
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.
Explore our guide to the best things to do in Taiwan and find some ideas for your Taiwanese holiday, or maybe you would like to choose your destination from the list of the most exotic places to travel in the world.
A tiny island located 20 miles (33km) off of Taiwan’s southeast coast, Green Island's beauty belies its past as a prison for political prisoners during the martial law period (mid 20th century). The water around Green Island features beautiful coral reefs with great visibility of up to 100 feet (30 metres), making for fantastic diving.
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.
A volcanic island located 9 miles (15 km) off of Taiwan’s southwest coast, Xiao Liu Qiu offers good snorkelling and diving. It also offers the chance to spot green turtles. You'll need to take a ferry from mainland Taiwan to get there, but it's worth the effort.
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.
An archipelago situated in the Taiwan Strait, the Penghu islands have one of the best beaches in Taiwan and shallow coral reefs ideal for scuba diving. There are also several good sites for drift diving (for more experienced divers). You can take a plane or ferry from mainland Taiwan to get there.
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, just 54 kilometres from Taipei City, is part of one of the unique natural attractions of Laomei Green Reef. Green Reef, is one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan. In spring, the volcanic formations of the reef are covered in a carpet of green algae and it is a truly stunning sight.
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.
The evocatively weathered port city of Keelung, sandwiched between verdant mountains and northern Taiwan’s best natural harbour, is a strategic location that has been fought over by foreign powers since the seventeenth century. Home to around four hundred thousand people, its setting is picturesque and there’s plenty to see.
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.
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The long sliver of Cijin Island lies between Kaohsiung Harbour and the sea, southwest of the city centre. It’s the oldest part of the city, with plenty to keep you busy for half a day, but the best reason for a trip out here is to enjoy the views. Most attractions are easily accessible on foot, but Cijin also has 15km of cycle paths.
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