There’s no doubt that the group of islands and islets known as Penghu (or the Pescadores) is one of the most scenic destinations in Taiwan. Located just off the west coast of Chiayi County, Penghu has everything from stunning beaches to a rich cultural heritage. Here’s our pick of the best experiences around.
Visit the Living Museum
As you’d imagine, this museum is all about life on the islands. It offers an insight into the way people survived throughout the centuries covering everything from farming to child-raising and religion to the local customs of Penghu.
No. 327, Xinsheng Road, Magong City, Penghu County, Taiwan, +886 6 921 0405
See the Twin Hearts Stone Weir
Set on the north side of Qimei Island, the Twin Hearts Stone Weir is, in fact, an ancient fishing trap that has been preserved by locals and is now a major tourist attraction. It was made by stacking stones in shallow water, and it makes for a wonderful holiday snap.
Play in the sand on Jibei Sand Beak (Tail)
Jibei Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the islands and with good reason. Not only is the beak-shaped stretch incredibly clean and the waters crystal clear, but it’s also a great spot for watersports. Don’t worry though, the action is limited to one side of the beak, while the other is where you can relax in the calm waters.
See a 300-year-old Banyan Tree
Tongliang Banyan Tree is an incredible blend of architecture and nature. The legend goes that a ship sank nearby and a seed from its cargo floated ashore where it took root and began to grow. A temple was later built nearby, and over the centuries the temple and tree have become inseparable.
Cross the Great Bridge
It’s not often you get to cross an ocean on a bridge, and so the Great Bridge between Baisha and Xiwu is well worth a visit. With its large archway, it’s become a bit of a thing to have your photo taken there.
Visit the Whale Cave
This unusual rock formation looks a little like a whale from a Disney movie if you look at it from the right angle. Formed by constant crashing of the waves against the headland in stormy weather, it’s another nice photo opportunity. Plus, you can take in Xiaomen Geological Museum on the same trip.
Watch the Fireworks Festival
Penghu Fireworks Festival runs from April to June with a number of displays and shows taking place throughout this period. Held in various locations, it’s an incredible spectacle and one that you can’t miss if visiting the islands during this time. Check out the local government website for more info.
Check out the forts on Xiyu
There are two forts on Xiyu which were both once extremely important military locations. Here you’ll see old cannons and tunnels complete with old artillery shells. Visiting both forts is a great way to spend an afternoon as both are quite close to one another.
Xiyu Western Fort – Xiyu Island, Penghu County, Taiwan
Xiyu Eastern Fort – Xiyu Island, Penghu County, Taiwan
Visit the Sea Turtle Center
This conservation center takes care of injured sea turtles and releases them back into the wild when they are fit to take care of themselves. It’s a wonderful place and the fact that it’s on Wangan Island give you a great excuse to make the trip away from the main islands.
Wangan Island, Penghu County, Taiwan, +886 6 999 1368#111
Walk through the Erkan Old Residences
Here you’ll find about 50 house set along the coast in Xiyu. They are private residences, but the locals are very proud of their homes and are happy to allow tourists to take photos of their unique dwellings. Decorated with every conceivable material salvaged from the ocean or mined from the local area, this is a quaint neighborhood that you won’t want to leave.