No matter where you are in Taiwan, chances are there’s a beautiful beach close by. The oval-shaped island offers a variety of beach experiences thanks to its position at the confluence of a quintet of seas and straits. The 973-mile coastline of Taiwan is surrounded by the East China Sea in the north, the Philippine Sea (which is part of the Pacific Ocean) to the east, the Luzon Strait to the south, which connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea, the South China Sea to the southwest, and the Taiwan Strait to the West.
From golden and black sand beaches on Taiwan’s north and east coasts to white powdered beaches in southern Taiwan to laid-back yellow sand beaches on the west coast, each of Taiwan’s beaches boast unique characteristics. Some beaches like Honeymoon Bay are ideal for romantic strolls while others like Nanwan and Baishawan are family-friendly with calm waters and others like Dawan are superlative for surfing. As a note, most of the island’s beaches get packed on weekends and holidays as does public transportation.
Dawulun (Waimushan) Beach
Just 35 minutes from Taiwan, the cerulean Dawulun Beach, also known as Waimushan Beach, is located on a scenic route sandwiched between the port city of Keelung, home to Keelung Night Market, one of Taiwan’s most famous Night Markets, and Yehliu Geopark, famed for its out-of-this-world rock formations. The fine, white sand beach is ideal for families thanks to its clean sand and clear and calm water. Plus, its close proximity to Taipei makes it a popular and convenient choice.
Located at the mouth of the Shuang River, Fulong Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Taiwan, especially among young people in the summer who flock here for the HO-HAI-YAN Gongliao Rock Festival and the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival. The nearly 2-mile-long golden sand beach—and the trains leading to the beach—can get crowded on weekends and all summer, but as you cross the Rainbow Bridge that connects the beaches two areas, from the Fulong Train Station, one look at the picturesque view makes it all worth it. Make sure to order a biandang (便當), a traditional lunchbox eaten all over Taiwan but especially famous here. After a beach day, consider heading to nearby Pingxi, a short train ride or quick half-hour drive, to launch a lantern for good luck.
The aptly-named, crescent-shaped Honeymoon Bay in northeast Taiwan is a beautiful black sand beach popular with couples seeking a romantic stroll. Near the hot spring hotspot of Jiaosi and Turtle Island (a turtle-shaped island 5.5 miles off Taiwan’s coast), Honeymoon Bay is an uncrowded beach that has also become popular with surfers. The beach is a 10-minute walk from Daxi Train Station and a short train ride (or 30-minute drive) to Jiaosi’s crystal clear sodium bicarbonate hot springs.
A 10-minute drive north of Hualien’s city center, Qixingtan Beach is a favorite among locals. The east coast pebble beach is beloved for its beauty. The waves can be rough here, making the beach prettier to look at than to swim in. Explore two extremes of Taiwan’s natural beauty with a beach day at Qixingtan Beach and a drive through Taroko National Park to admire Taroko Gorge, a massive 11.8-mile marble gorge. Taroko National Park is a 45-minute drive from Qixingtan Beach.
Part of Kenting National Park, Baishawan is one of the most popular and amenity-rich beaches in Taiwan. The crushed-coral-infused white sand and azure waters are almost always picture perfect. There’s everything you need right on the beach: tiki cocktails and snacks, rentable umbrellas, vendors selling whatever beach accessories you may have forgotten, and showers to wash off at the end of the day. The water ranges from calm on some days to rough on others. On calm days, Baishawan is not only a perfect place to swim, but the water, particularly in summer and autumn, is clear enough for snorkeling and exploring the coral.
All the way in Taiwan’s southern tip, Kenting is the epicenter of Taiwan’s beach culture. The beaches here are part of the sprawling Kenting National Park. A two-hour drive from Kaohsiung, Kenting is akin to a spring break beach town. Nearly year-round, the weather is ideal for a beach day. The currents are strong at Dawan, making it popular for surfers, but the white sand is soft and perfect for strolling. Swimming is prohibited here. The Kenting Night Market is a great place to eat after a day of surfing.
If you’re looking to have a yellow sand beach all to your own, Haikou Beach in Pingtung County on Taiwan’s southwest coast is just for you. You will need your own transportation to reach this no-frills beach devout of hawkers and amenities, but you’re guaranteed unspoiled views and serenity.
A two-hour drive from Kaohsiung, Nanwan is the quintessential Kenting beach. It’s the first beach as you enter Kenting, Taiwan’s beach bum paradise at the island’s southernmost tip. The fine white sand is pristine and perfect as is the clear blue water, which is ideal for swimming but not snorkeling. The beach has nearly every convenience beach-goers could want; a beachside bar, 7-Eleven, beach shops, and water sports.
A 10-minute walk from Taimali Train Station on Taiwan's southeast coast, Taimali Beach is a quiet, uncrowded large gray pebble beach that is perfect for making sandcastles and taking dips in the ocean. It’s easy to miss this beach; you'll need to cross Highway 9 and walk along a bike path. On January 1, thousands flock to the beach to get a glimpse of the first sunset.
Jibei Sand Tail
The archipelago of Penghu in the Taiwan Strait boasts dozens of pristine white sand beaches. In the summer, beach-goers can take a five-hour ferry from Kaohsiung or fly from Taipei to Magong, the largest island of Penghu. One of the most popular beaches is on Jibei Island. Jibei Sand Tail is popular due to its beautiful unspoiled beaches, bevy of watersports, and calm, clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up fun in the sun.