12 Must-Do Activities in Penghu to Include in Your Taiwan Itinerary

12 Must-Do Activities in Penghu to Include in Your Taiwan Itinerary

Your ultimate first-timer list to explore the shores of Penghu!

Situated off the Western coast of mainland Taiwan lies beautiful Penghu, also known as the Pescadores Islands. Did you know that Penghu is an archipelago of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait? As you pack your bags and embark on your next adventure, be prepared to step into a county steep in history and culture alongside breathtaking ocean views and numerous natural wonders!  

Currently Taiwan’s best-kept secret, Penghu remains unfamiliar to most international tourists. It is at the moment popular with domestic tourists who flock to the island in the summer months in hopes of experiencing the sunny coastal charms of the area.

If you’re wondering how you could get there, the most convenient way is for you to catch a domestic flight to Penghu’s Magong Airport. Choose to depart from Songshan (Taipei), Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung or Kinmen Island and you’ll be well on your way to Penghu. Alternatively, there are ferry rides available from both Budai Harbour in Chiayi City and the Port of Kaohsiung. Are you ready? Here we go!

1. Visit beautiful beaches

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Penghu is your paradise. As you explore the island, be prepared to be blown away by the beautiful beaches of Penghu that is said to be among the best in Taiwan. With the sea around Penghu decked in a saturated turquoise colour and with white coral sand on the shores, the sight is simply unbeatable.

During the winter months, witness windsurfing daredevils challenge the waves in the waters near Guanyinting while surfers in the summer ride the waves of Shanshui Beach. Plus, you could also partake in various water activities ranging from jet skiing to banana boating on Aimen Beach.

2. Enjoy the symphony of whistling blowholes

Do you know how whistling blowholes sound like? Located at the south-western corner of Magong City lies the ancient fishing village of Fenggui and there’s no better place to experience the wonders of Mother Nature.

As the sea cave is almost an airtight space, each time the waves gush into the cave, the air within the cave would be pressed to be released through the narrow air vent on the ground, eventually forming the whistling sounds of the blowholes. Plus, with strong winds and tidal surges, you might even get to witness a natural fountain right here at Fenggui Blowholes. Jets of water would be seen spouting from the blowholes up to several stories high; can you imagine what a spectacular sight that would be?

Address: Wind Cabinet, Magong City, Penghu County

3. Get yourself the catch of the day

In case you haven’t heard, Penghu is well known for its seafood spread. This shouldn’t come off as surprising since the islands provide easy access to the sea. Take a trip to the Suogang Fishing Harbour and catch a glimpse of newly-harvested seafood as the fishermen return back to the shores.

The fish market in the Suogang Fishing Harbour is a famous seafood retail market in Penghu. Twice a day, in the morning and afternoon, fishing boats would return with their harvest for the day and sell their yields by the shore at the harbour. Join the afternoon crowd as locals from the various areas of Penghu come together at the fishing harbour to get their daily supply of fish and seafood!

Address: Suogang Borough, Magong City, Penghu County

4. Visit a military dependents’ village

Image credit (left): Polyxyz

Duxingshi Village is the oldest military housing in Taiwan. While you’re there, explore the distinctive living quarters and the historical background of this well-preserved military dependents’ village. The village used to serve as the venue for artillery bands’ practices and drills during the Qing Dynasty. After the Japanese occupation, the Japanese army established Penghu Fortress Headquarters and official residences at Duxingshi Village. Today, the remaining buildings are mostly Japanese-styled with a slight touch of Western influence.

Also, the village is home to the Chang Yu-sheng (張雨生) Memorial Museum and Pan An-Bang’s (潘安邦) House. As talented singers who have a strong influence amongst the Chinese population, ethnic Chinese of the world would not give the village a miss while in Penghu.

Address: No. 22, Ln. 2, Xinfu Rd., Magong City, Penghu County

5. Get a glimpse of local life

A small community located in Huxi Township, the Nanliao community continues to utilise traditional farming practices and maintain the customs of past generations. As you explore the village, you’d be able to sign yourselves up for different kinds of activities and experiences. Probably unfamiliar to city dwellers, this is the perfect opportunity for you to have a go at ox ploughing! With the guidance of the friendly farmers, try guiding the ox to field the earth for you. After which, grab some peanuts and start planting them with your bare toes in the very trenches that you’ve ploughed.

Penghu is also well-known for its peanuts. Here at Nanliao, you could also have a go at stir-frying peanuts and have a taste of your own cooking once you’re done. Before you leave the village, remember to get yourselves a yummy home-cooked meal! Have a taste of the local produce of pumpkin and peanuts as well as the fresh squid and fish from the sea — all of it put together into a delicious rice bowl just for you.

Address: Nanliao, Huxi Township, Penghu County

6. Witness the sea part into two

Whenever the tides ebb, a footpath formed by basalt stones is gradually revealed from the intertidal zone between Kuibishan and Chiyu. This path connects the shore of Kuibishan in Huxi’s Beiliao to the unpopulated island of Chiyu, approximately 300m across the sea. If the weather permits, you should definitely venture to Chiyu and get a once in a lifetime experience of walking across the sea. Do keep in mind not to displace the stones while you’re crossing as most of the stones have been dislocated by sea currents and visitors over time and the path would eventually cease to exist if it happens in the long run. For the less adventurous, the Kuibishan Chiyu Geopark continues to remain as a great spot for catching the sunrise or to relax into the night by stargazing.

Fun Fact: This famous scenic area in Penghu is dubbed as “Moses Parts the Sea” (摩西分海) by visitors as it reminds many of how the sea parted to make way for Moses and Israelites across the Red Sea.

Address: Kuibishan Beiliao Village, Huxi Township, Penghu County

7. Cross the ocean by foot

Did you know, at a length of 2,494 metres, the Penghu Great Bridge is the first deep ocean bridge in East Asia? It was constructed in 1970 in order to connect the Baisha Main Island and Xiyu Island so as to facilitate communication between Magon Island and Xiyu Island. With the bridge opened to traffic as well, it served as an important road of network for Penghu County contributing to local prosperity.

During the summer months, the piers on the northwest side of the bridge become the nesting ground of black-naped terns as they roost and brood over the piers. As you cross the bridge, keep your eyes peeled for the terns catching fish in the ocean and enjoy the sounds of the roaring tides and refreshing sea breeze!

Address: Baisha Township, Penghu County, Taiwan  

8. Have a taste of the ocean

Seafood lovers, rejoice! Penghu’s seafood (especially squid) is without a doubt, to die for. An island archipelago in the Taiwanese Strait, Penghu has the perfect access to the wonders of the ocean. You haven’t really been to Penghu if you didn’t reward yourself to a seafood feast and have a taste of the ocean as the area is known for its fresh, sweet and succulent seafood.

From boiled squid, fresh oysters and grilled clams to uni (sea urchin) fried rice and various shellfish, you’re in for a good treat!

9. Run a marathon alongside scenic views

If you have a love for both running a marathon and admiring scenic views, why don’t you combine the both of them together? The inaugural Penghu Cross-sea Marathon was held in November 2017 and it’s definitely a first of its kind where the marathon takes its runners through a point-to-point course and allow you to experience island-hopping on your own foot, how awesome is that!

The marathon would be back for its second edition this year so keep a lookout for the signup dates and don’t miss out on this point-to-point route as you conquer Penghu’s natural elements during the race and most of all enjoy this refreshing experience.  

10. Feast like a local

Image credit (right): Penghu Tourism

Penghu’s topography automatically puts it at the mercy of the weather. An island that is mostly flat and deprived of dense forestation and high hills, Penghu has plenty of low-lying shrubs and cacti. Cacti delicacies have become the icon and speciality of Penghu, from cactus ice creams and sorbet to slushies and beers.

Left: Squid Vermicelli; Right: Stir-fried Rice Noodle with Pumpkin | Image credit: Penghu Tourism

With squid being one of the most popular variant of seafood in Penghu, the local squid vermicelli serves as the perfect comfort food for any day. Tender and appetizing squid paired with the delicate vermicelli – this is a must-have for any visitor.

Similarly, the stir-fried rice noodle with pumpkin is a traditional Penghu dish. With fresh shrimp and squid paired with shredded pumpkin stir-fried with rice noodles, the dish is said to be a reminder of home for the people of Penghu.

11. Take a geology class

Image credit: Prattflora

Geology enthusiasts, this one’s for you! Venture into Xiaomenyu, located in the north of Xiyu. Xiaomenyu is, in fact, a lava plateau with a variety of geological landscapes and is hence known as “the outdoor geology classroom”. With poor topography of the area, the only plant strong enough to survive is cacti and you could witness these magnificent plants blooming with beautiful flowers as you stroll along the slopes.

While you’re there, don’t miss out on the famed scenic spot — the Whale Cave. Originally a basalt headland, the Whale Cave was eroded by both the Northeast monsoon and seawater over time, eventually forming a marine abrasion arch-like sea cape. As it looked a lot like a whale reaching a deadlock on the beach, it acquired the name “Whale Cave”.   

Address: No. 11-12, Xiaomen Village, Xiyu Township, Penghu County

12. Sign up for an island hopping adventure

Simply hop onto a ship from either the Penghu South Sea Visitor Centre or North Sea Visitor Centre to begin! It is recommended that you take a full day to explore the South Sea and half a day to explore the North.

South Sea Recreational System:


things to do in penghu

Image credit: Events for Taiwan Facebook (left); Penghu Tourism (right)

Hop on and embark on a 90-minute journey towards Qimei.

Qimei is renowned for its Twin-Hearts Stone Weir (left) which were originally traditional fish traps built from basalt and coral reefs. Today, the stone weirds in Qimei remain to be the most intact one in Penghu and has become the tourist icon of Penghu. Also on Qimei is the renowned Little Taiwan (right) which sits in the Donghu Village of Qimei Township. As a result of wave erosion over time, an abrasion platform is formed and it largely resembles the shape of Taiwan Island, with a rock taking the shape of Taiwan’s Guishan Island at the same spot.


things to do in penghu

Image credit: Penghu Tourism

Just six nautical miles from the coast of Magong Island lies Tongpanyu, also known as the “Yellowstone Park of Penghu”. The whole island of Tongpanyu is surrounded by columnar basalts with well-defined lines and it is said that the columnar joints found here are the most enriched ones in the whole of Penghu. Taking a more hexagonal and pentagonal shape in the initial stages, the edges of the columnar joints have gradually been eroded and hence taking on a more circular shape.

Do remember to drop by Tongpanyu to have a clear view of the columnar basalt that best defines the Penghu Islands!

North Sea Recreational System:

things to do in penghu

Left: Jibeiyu; Right: Mudouyu Lighthouse | Image credit: Penghu Tourism

Spanning a coastline of 13km, Jibeiyu is the largest island in the North Sea and is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taiwan. This is the perfect spot to be at for all the adrenaline junkies out there as you take on the various water activities from banana boating and dragged buoy to a two-man speedboat, paragliding and snorkelling.

The “Sand Beach Beak” at the south of Jibeiyu extends to 1.5km, forming the key feature of JIbeiyu. It has been formed by marine deposits over time when corals and shells were moved over time to for the sand spit. Take a walk to enjoy the sunset or simply just enjoy the stars in the night sky to conclude your day!

Mudouyu is just a short 7km away from Jibeiyu and with a perimeter of 843m, the tiny island is famous for its Mudouyu Lighthouse. The shallow waters between Mudouyu and Jibeiyu allow for sufficient sunlight to pass through and contribute to the flourishing growth of plants and animals. While you pass the island, keep a lookout for the marine life below as you can see right to the bottom of the ocean. If you’re in luck, walk through the underwater tunnel of Mudouyu when the tide ebbs and take the chance to reconnect with nature!

There you have it — 12 things to put on your list for your very first trip to Penghu! If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, geologist, seafood lover or simply looking to reconnect with mother nature, Penghu is exactly where you should be at for your next trip. Plus, did you know that Penghu has joined the ranks of The Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club (MBBW)? With its unique marine geology and landscape, deep roots in culture and history coupled with breathtaking bays, there’s so much in store for you. Don’t take our word for it, come on down to see, feel and breathe Penghu for yourselves!

Special thanks to Taiwan Tourism Board for the wonderful opportunity to visit and explore Penghu!

About Author

Cheryl Seet
Cheryl Seet

Cheryl loves the outdoors and lives for adventures no matter how big or small. When taking a break from the sun, she re-watches the Harry Potter series and spends some time on the piano or guitar. She dreams of conquering extreme thrill rides all over the world, one theme park at a time.


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