20 Taiwan Beaches I’m Obsessed With

A view of a palm tree beside one of the best beaches in Taiwan

Taiwan tourism campaigns tend to focus on the country’s mountains, hot springs, friendly people, and food. They often leave out the country’s vast array of stunning beaches.

With around 1000 miles (1600 kilometers) of coastline, this island nation boasts dozens of expansive beaches. They come in an incredible variety, with volcanic black sand, golden sand, or pebbles, and even a few white sand beaches on the outlying islands.

Taiwan isn’t as famous for its beaches as, say, many Southeast Asian countries. Overall, you’ll find fewer beach hotels, beach towns, or beach party scenes here. But, on the plus side, this often means you can have the beach almost (or entirely!) to yourself in Taiwan. Just one of the many reasons to visit Taiwan!    

It was a tough call, but I’ve narrowed it down to the 20 best beaches in Taiwan.

Top-5 Best Beaches in Taiwan

I know you really came here to find out: what is the best beach in Taiwan? Here are the top five most beautiful beaches in Taiwan, according to me!

Peng Peng Beach, Penghu

Pengpeng Beach, a white coral beach in Penghu

Peng Peng Beach (澎澎灘) wins the prize for most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen in Taiwan. This tiny island in the Penghu archipelago (read about Taiwan’s best islands) supposedly appeared out of nowhere one year after a typhoon.

This is a properly white-sand beach (actually made of tiny bits of coral), which is rare in Taiwan. It his surrounded super clear water. You can only get there by taking an eastern islands tour from the main island chain of Penghu.

Tours typically stop there for a few hours for time to play (banana boats, sea-dooing, jumping off platforms, etc.) Hopefully this island sticks around!

Baishanwan, Kenting

A golden sand beach in Kenting with beach umbrellas

Kenting National Park at the southern tip of the country is practically synonymous with beaches in Taiwan. When Taiwanese people think of the beach, Kenting is often what first pops into their mind.

There are a handful of excellent main beaches in Kenting, but I give the top choice to Baishawan (墾丁白沙灣). Here you’ll find an idyllic expanse of sand with turquoise water, and extra points for the fact that it is less crowded than the other main beaches in Kenting.

Baishawan literally means “white sand bay”, although the sand here is more somewhere between golden and white. It’s not to be confused with another beach with the same name in Northern Taiwan, which we’ll get to below!

Here are my most recommend hotels at Baishawan and other beaches in Kenting.

Fulong Beach, New Taipei City

A pedestrian bridge leading out to a thin strip of sandy beach called Fulong

Fulong Beach (福隆海水浴場) is, in my personal opinion, the prettiest beach in Northern Taiwan. The thin strip of beach in New Taipei City is accessed via a picturesque pedestrian bridge over Shuang River.

Besides its unique look, Fulong Beach hosts the incredible Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival every summer. Fulong also has the most famous lunchboxes in all of Taiwan, which are available at the train station.

It only takes 1 to 1.5 hours to reach Fulong by train from Taipei. We enjoyed our stay at Fullon Hotel Fulong, which is just off the beach. It has hot springs and an outdoor pool.

There’s a small entrance fee for Fulong Beach (TWD 100 for adults, 50 for kids 3-12 or seniors, free for under 3). If you don’t want to pay it, head to the Fulong free beach here.

Secret Beach, Xiaoliuqiu

Secret Beach on Xiaoliuqiu, shot from above, with three people in the water

Xiaoliqiu, also called Lambai Island or Little Okinawa, is Taiwan’s only inhabited coral island. It is especially known for its 1000 or so sea turtles, which you are guaranteed to see if you go snorkeling there.

Although the island boasts several fine beaches, Secret Beach (厚石魚澳) stood out for me as the most special. Here a break in the offshore coral has resulted in a small, secluded beach that is the perfect place for a swim when touring the island.

Qixingtan Beach, Hualien

A pebble beach in Hualien called Qixingtan with a purplish cloudy sky

Qixingtan (七星潭) is an atypical entry for my top-5 beaches. There’s no sand and you can’t even swim there. So why include it?

Qixingtan, which literally means “seven star pond” (don’t ask me who came up with this name…) is an incredibly picturesque pebble beach on the coast of Hualien county on Taiwan’s east coast.

The multi-colored pebbles juxtapose beautifully with the dark blue waters here. Looking up the coast, the immense Qingshui Cliffs are visible in the distance. Most Taroko Gorge tours include a stop at Qixingtan, or you can cycle there from Hualien city.

Even though Taroko Gorge remains closed since the 2024 Hualien Earthquake, Qixingtan is one of the attractions you can still visit in Hualien.

Beaches in Northern Taiwan

Besides Fulong Beach, there are several other excellent beaches in the north of Taiwan, all easily accessible from Taipei City. Because Northern Taiwan is subtropical, these beaches are best visited outside of winter, when it’s a little too chilly.

Wai’ao, Yilan

A boy running on a black sand beach called Wai'ao, with a turtle shaped island off the shore

Wai’ao (外澳沙灘) is the best beach in Yilan county on the East Coast of Taiwan, plus it’s the most popular surfing spot in northern Taiwan. The surfers tend to occupy the southern end of the beach. You can usually rent a board right on the beach, but there are also surf shops on the road just behind it (they also sell cold beers!)

Wai’ao is probably my personal favorite beach in Northern Taiwan, even though I put Fulong in my top-5 for its unique look. Besides the cool surfers’ vibe, the mountainous coast along the beach is stunning, not to mention the views of Turtle Island (Guishan Dao) off shore.

It takes two hours to reach Wai’ao by train from Taipei, so it’s not the closest, but still doable as a day trip from the city.  

Baishawan, New Taipei City

Aerial view of Baishawan Beach in Northern Taiwan

Not to be confused with Baishawan, Kenting (in the top-5), here’s another Baishawan (白沙灣遊憩區) but in New Taipei City in Northern Taiwan. In fact, it is quite close to the actual northern tip of Taiwan.

Many of my Taipei friends cite Baishawan has their favorite beach. It’s less busy than Fulong, free, and has legit fish & chips plus good British beers at Dazzler’s.

In summer, they have white tent-like canopies for the sun. If you like to escape the crowds, there’s lots of empty space if you’re willing to walk down the beach from the main area.

You can get there by riding the Taipei MRT to Tamsui then taking a bus (1 hr) or taxi (30 min).

Qianshuiwan

Qianshuiwan Beach near Taipei

Qianshuiwan (淺水灣海濱公園) is another north coast beach, reached the same way as Baishawan, but it’s even closer to Tamsui (40 minutes by bus, 20 by taxi).

Qianshuiwan seems to get less love from Taipei people than Baishawan, but I actually like it more. Yes, the beach is narrower and rocky in parts. But it’s very long, often with areas that are people-free.

Also, a combination of excellent sunsets and several restaurants lining the beach make this an especially romantic spot in the early evening.

Dawulun Beach, Keelung

Dawulun Beach near Keelung, Taiwan

One of the closest beaches to Taipei, but one that few foreign residents or travelers seem to know about, is Dawulun (大武崙白沙灘), also called Waimushan.

This little secluded beach is just a short hop from Keelung city, which everyone flocks to for its world-famous night market (click here to read about Taiwan’s top night markets). There are just a few shops across the road for beach gear, simple snacks, or a post swim shower.

You can get here in just 15 minutes from Keelung by taxi or 30 minutes by bus.

Shalun Beach, Tamsui

Looking toward the sea at Shalun Beach in Tamsui

Shalun Beach (沙崙海水浴場) in popular Tamsui district of New Taipei City holds the title of closest beach to Taipei City.

You can practically get here by MRT – you can either transfer from Hongshulin station to the Danhai LRT (Shalun stop), or get off at Tamsui station then ride a river ferry to Fisherman’s Wharf and walk from there.

It may not be the best beach on this list, but it wins points for accessibility and for its beautiful sunsets. Don’t be surprised if you see people riding horses on the beach – there’s an equestrian center nearby.

Beaches in Southern Taiwan

In Southern Taiwan, Kenting National Park at the country’s southern tip is home to several of the best beaches in Taiwan. But there are more outside of Kenting! I’ve included here a mix of beaches from the east, west, and south coast of tropical southern Taiwan.

Yuguang Island Beach, Tainan

Sunset at Yuguang Beach in Tainan, with people walking on the beach

As you may notice from this list, there are hardly any beaches worth mentioning on the highly developed and industrialized west coast of Taiwan. There are some beaches on the west coast, but few made my article because they just aren’t nice enough.

However, Yuguang Island Beach (漁光島沙灘) in Tainan is one that I felt deserves its spot on this list. Also called Moon Bay (月亮灣), this is a super long, curving stretch of black sand. It is especially known for its beautiful sunsets, and you can surf here when conditions are right.

Yuguang Island is adjacent to Anping district of Tainan city, where the famous Anping Fort and Anping Treehouse are located. You can walk or ride a taxi to the island via a bridge from Anping, which itself is also technically an island.

East Coast National Scenic Area, Taitung

One of several beaches on the East Coast National Scenic Area in Taitung

This is one entry where I couldn’t choose just one beach. The coast of Taitung in southeastern Taiwan has several excellent beaches, and the best part is that most of them have no people on them.

Sanxiantai (三仙台) is famous for its “dragon’s backbone bridge”, best viewed from the pebble beach beside it. Douli Beach (都歷沙灘) has beautiful reflections when the water becomes very shallow at low-tide. Dulan Beach (都蘭沙灘) is the go-to surfing beach in southern Taiwan. Last but not least, Taimali (太麻里) has an insanely long stretch of beach, almost always empty.

The best way to visit Taitung’s beaches in to drive down coastal Highway 11 on a scooter and just pick a spot that looks good. Just be aware that it isn’t safe to swim at most beaches on the east coast due to strong currents and rip tides.

Siziwan Beach, Kaohsiung

Black sand Siziwan Beach in Kaohsiung

Another impressive black sand beach in Southern Taiwan is Siziwan Beach (西子灣海水浴場). This one can be found right in Kaohsiung city.

Siziwan is especially picturesque when viewed from the side, with green Shoushan Mountain backing it. The beach is (annoyingly) privately owned by Sunset Beach Resort, which charges a TWD 100 fee to access it.

However, you can skip that fee if you enter from the resort’s parking lot to the south – you’ll just need to walk further. The fee means the beach is seldom crowded. Also, they say that no swimming is allowed, but they don’t seem to stop people from doing it.

To get there from Sizihwan MRT station, walk through the pedestrian only Xiziwan Tunnel.

Nanwan (South Bay), Kenting

Sea of umbrellas at Nanwan Beach in Kenting National Park

Besides the one Kenting beach I already included in the top-5, I have to mention at least a few more.

Nanwan, or South Bay (南灣遊憩區), is one of the national park’s best beaches. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway where you can stay in a family-run B&B, cross the road to the beach every morning, rent an umbrella, order drinks right on the beach, and enjoy good swimming, here’s your spot.

Yes, it does get busy, especially on popular weekends (the image above was shot on a long weekend in the days when Kenting was THE place to go in Taiwan on long weekends). And the nuclear power plant visible at the side of the bay isn’t ideal.

But still, I’ve enjoyed a great holiday at this beach, so it has earned its spot on my list. See my recommended hotels here and other beaches in Kenting.

Sail Rock Beach, Kenting

Sail Rock Beach in Kenting, with the sail-shaped rock visible down the coast

Sail Rock Beach (船帆石小沙灘 or Chuanfang Rock Beach) is another very popular Kenting beach. It is named after the large, distinctive stone visible just down the coast.  

This is another perfect getaway beach, with a handful of B&Bs and small resorts around, and the staple 7-Eleven where you can get your cold beach drinks.

You may have noticed that I didn’t include Kenting’s main beach (墾丁海水浴場), which is beside Kenting night market, main town, and largest collection of hotels in Kenting. That beach is nice, too, but doesn’t make the list because you can’t swim there.

Beaches on the Offshore Islands

From what I’ve seen, the offshore islands of Taiwan have some of the most beautiful beaches in Taiwan.

In total, there are half a dozen main offshore islands or archipelagos in Taiwan (Green Island, Orchid Island, Xiaoliuqiu, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu) and many more smaller ones. So I really can’t cover all the awesome beaches you can find on them.

Aimen Beach, Penghu

A red sculpture on Aimen Beach in Penghu

I personally think that the Penghu archipelago has the best beaches in Taiwan. I was tempted to put several more in my top-20 list, but decided to limit it to just two to be fair to other places.

For the second one, I’m going with Aimen Beach (隘門沙灘), which is the most popular beach in Penghu. (the sign above says “愛”, which means love, and is a play on words with the ‘ai’ in ‘Aimen’.

The beach is busy, no doubt, not to mention all the water activities locals love doing there. But this beach is also undeniably beautiful. It is located on the south coast of the main island of Penghu, Huxi, near the airport.

For more great beaches in Penghu, also check out Shanshui, Shili, and Dream Beach.

Da Bai Sha, Green Island

Aerial view of Dabaisha beach on Green Island in Taiwan from above, with lots of coral visible under the water

Da Bai Sha (大白沙), or “Big White Sand”, really does have white sand. That alone is a big deal in Taiwan, but the beach’s stunning location in a remote bay at the southern end of Green Island also helps. The picturesque stone path leading out to sea is the icing on the cake.

There are coral reefs just off the beach, so it’s not ideal for swimming, but it is a good snorkeling and scuba diving spot. In fact, the only time I’ve ever been scuba diving in Taiwan was at this beach!

When you’re in the area, don’t miss Zhaori Hot Springs nearby. It is one of only three saltwater hot springs in the world! It’s right on the coast, with waves from the ocean sometimes splashing into the lower pools.

Cihu Beach, Kinmen

Anti landing spikes on Cihu Beach in Kinmen, with shore of China visible in the distance

Jumping over to Kinmen, a small collection of Taiwanese islands just off the coast of China, there are a few especially unique beaches.

Because Kinmen is so close to China (less than 5 kilometers from the closest island!), Kinmen is a heavily protected battlefront between Taiwan and China.

It is fitting, then, that you can see actual military relics on several of the beaches in Kinmen. On Cihu Beach (慈湖沙灘), there are rows of anti-landing spikes buried in the sand. If you can ignore the tension, the beach itself is lovely, too.

At Ou Cuo Beach (歐厝沙灘), another one nearby, there are more landing spikes plus an actual tank half buried in the sand!

Fuzheng Beach, Matsu Islands

Fuzheng Beach, a remote beach in the Matsu Islands

I wanted to include at least one super remote offshore island beach in my list, although there are countless ones to choose from.

I went to with Fuzheng Beach (福正沙灘), which is on the remote Dongju Island (東莒) of the Matsu Island chain. You won’t easily get here, but that is the whole point. The beach is actually backed by a traditional village, which you can’t see in the photo.

This is just a representative example of the many, many more beautiful beaches in Taiwan totally devoid of tourists.

Cijin Beach, Kaohsiung

Cijin black sand beach on Cijin Island in Kaohsiung

I’m bringing it back to the mainland of Taiwan (almost!) for my final entry. Cijin Beach (旗津海水浴場) on Cijin (Qijin) Island is a part of Kaohsiung City. It is a long, skinny island that forms part of the Kaohsiung Port.  

The ocean side of the island is lined with a long, black sand beach – you can see the full scale of it looking down from Cijin Fort. Swimming is usually but not always allowed at the beach, depending on ocean conditions. There’s also a cool sandcastle event here ever summer, called Qijin Black Sand Festival (旗津黑沙玩藝節).

A major highlight of this beach is the excellent Cijin Sunset Bar, with great food and even better beer. In a country with few beach restaurants and bars, this one really stands out.

For surfers, you’ll find a few surf shops on the street at the northern end of the beach.

9 thoughts on “20 Taiwan Beaches I’m Obsessed With”

  1. Thanks for the article! I like this new “Taiwan Only” website! I see that you enjoy beaches with few people. How about if I’m looking for the opposite? Could you recommend a “beach town”? A place with people, parties or activities (volleyball, snorkelling club…)?
    Also, which beach is good for snorkelling/diving? Kite Surfing?

  2. There are very beach towns in Taiwan like you’d find in for example Southeast Asia. Kenting is probably the closest thing. Kenting Main Street (Kenting Night Market area) has restaurants, bars, and parties especially during April long weekend. A few smaller beaches in the park have more water activities, especially South Bay (Nanwan) and Sail Rock (Chuanfan). And snorkeling can be done at Houbihu. Besides Kenting, if you go to popular beaches in the north like Fulong, Wai Ao, and Baishawan in summer, you’ll find tons of people there. At Cijin in Kaohsiung, if you go to Cijin Sunset Bar, it’s one of the few places in Taiwan where you’ll find a proper bar pretty much right on the sand. The best place for sailing and kitesurfing is Penghu in winter, when it gets super windy there.

  3. Any recommendations on where a family of one adult and two teens could find a clean but cheap stay to be (almost) on beach and have amenities and fun?

  4. Please check my Kenting National Park article for lots of recommendations there which are close to beaches.

  5. Hello Nick,
    Thank you for your article..just joined your Instagram.
    May I ask if any of these Taiwan beaches have Sea Glasses?
    Thank you
    😊

  6. You mean sea glass, like little pieces of smooth glass you can find on the beach? I’ve never personally noticed it, but I wasn’t looking for it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you can find it on some beaches. Sorry i can’t help more!

  7. Thank you for your information. One question: Is swimming in Taiwan or on certain beaches dangerous and where are the possible dangers? We will be visiting Taiwan in December.

  8. Most beaches on the east coast of Taiwan do not allow swimming due to very strong currents and riptides. Ones which are allowed include Fulong Beach in New Taipei City and Wai’ao in Yilan. In Kenting National Park, swimming is not technically allowed on the main beach but some people do it. But it is allowed on Baishawan, Nanwan, Xiaowan, and Sail Rock. In Cijin Island in Kaohsiung, it is usually allowed, but not on days with poor conditions. For most beaches in this article I have indicated whether it is allowed.

Leave a Comment