Penghu Travel Guide! Plan Your Trip to Penghu in Taiwan! Shanshui Beach on Penghu Island.
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Facts About Penghu in Taiwan. Ninety little islands make up the Penghu archipelago, off the Western coast of mainland Taiwan, longitudinally wedged between Taichung and Tainan. The island group may also be referred to as The Pescadores Islandsof Taiwan, the name given to it by Portuguese explorers. Check out hotel deals for Penghu Islands. Ruby and I at Shuncheng Gate on Penghu Island Unlike the Taiwanese mainland, Penghu's geography has lent itself to the development of flourishing beaches, thanks to the intense wind that the islands experience in the spring and winter. These are commonly held to be the finest beaches in all of Formosa, with glistening white sand, coral reefs and transparent water.
The heavy winds draw surfers and windsurfers from around the world. Old Chinese houses just south of Magong City, Penghu Though the Penghu Islands of Taiwan have a rich history of piracy, imperialism and colonization, temples and traditional homes, along with the rich natural landscape, are the main feature of tourism here. That is to say, not museums and war memorials.
It has tons of hotels, a few cafes, old temples and sights, awesome seafood, and of course, proximity to the water. One of the city's most popular destinations is its Mazu Temple, accordingly celebrating the Chinese goddess of the ocean, who is charged with helping seafarers to safely cross the great blue. Penghu's Matsu Temple is quite old as Taiwan goes, built in the latter part of the 1.
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Some argue that it is the oldest temple in Taiwan. Make sure to take some time to walk around the little alleys nearby the temple. One sight we particularly enjoyed is the Well of a Thousand Soldiers.
Penghu's old Matsu Temple in the central part of Makung City. Other Makung Attractions. One of the nicest things to do in Magong City is to walk from the city center (around the Mc.
Donald's) all the way to Shuncheng Gate to see the Makung Old Wall and catch a glimpse of the harbour. From there, you can head east toward Penghu Bay where you can follow a beautiful walking trail that will take you to the colorful Kuanyin Temple. My mom and Ruby take a look inside The Well of a Thousand Soldiers. Coral Spotting. Coral is an essential aspect of Penghu, and not just when it comes to the water or scuba diving.
In fact, coral markets are a big tourist attraction, and shops in Makung City sell the stuff in all kinds of colors and varieties. Similarly, coral has been used for construction of walls and homes, and even forms entire beaches. One of the many gorgeous beaches on Penghu Island Snorkeling on Penghu.
One of the clearest spots for snorkeling on Penghu Island is located at the far southern end of Shanshui Beach. Shops to rent snorkeling gear are hard to find and the stuff is usually very old, so bring your own goggles and fins if you can.
Some hotels/hostels offer snorkeling equipment. Scuba Diving on Penghu. Scuba diving on Penghu is possible but not easily accessible. The institution isn't as developed as the highly- exploited coral tourism on Green Island, but humble shops will assist you and lead you to abundant hard coral reefs if you are interested. Ask your hotel staff to help you contact a scuba diving center when you get there. My mom, overlooking Penghu Bay, near Makung.
Penghu Beaches. With over 3. Penghu offers not one but several beaches, each with distinctive characteristics. Scooter adventuring is the best way to find an ideal, secluded spot on the beach. Most popular is Shanshui beach near Makung, which features the elusive, lusted- after feature of white sand. Further exploration reveals beaches made up of shells and your standard- issue off- white sand. Aimen is Penghu's longest beach.
It's possible to walk up to 3. Neian is a favorite for beach volleyball.
Surfing, Kitesurfing, Windsurfing on Penghu. Shanshui, Shili, and Longmen beaches are the top spots for surfing. The surf scene on Penghu is not as strong as Kenting's or Fulong's and that's one of the reasons why riding the waves here is such a fun experience - you won't have to fight with dozens of other surfers for a wave.
Wind surfers from all the corners of the world congregate here every fall for the three- day long Penghu Pro- Am windsurfing competition. Penghu has some of the strongest winds in the northern hemisphere, so you won't be disappointed if you head to the Pescadores with your sail or board. June, July, and August are considered the three best months of the year for entry- level kite surfers / wind surfers when the winds are at their most serene. Other Islands. Makung and the main island are the easiest spots to get around, but taking ferries can bring you to more secluded spots with even more of the untouched beach feeling that the main drag has to offer. Check out Qimei and Jibei Island if you're thinking along these lines.
My mom and Ruby in a taxi Getting Around Penghu Like Kinmen, the best way to get around Penghu in Taiwan will be renting a scooter. Make sure you organize an International Driver's License before coming, otherwise renters might reject you. If one or two turn you down, keep looking as you'll almost definitely find somebody willing to give you a motorbike for a decent price. One of the easiest ways to rent a motorbike on Penghu (or anywhere else in Taiwan) is to ask the staff at your hotel to help you get a set of wheels delivered right at the hotel. I paid 3. 00. NT for a 9. It was a dangerous piece of junk, but it got me around Penghu. In Magong (and other smaller villages), walking is your best option if you want to see more not- in- the- guidebook spots and meet the locals.
Renting a scooter in Penghu can be as cheap as 3. NT$ per day. If you must, you can take taxis, which won't be expensive. If you plan to be doing lots of moving around, you could always offer the cabbie a full- day price, and he or she can haul you around as you please. Bicycle rental is also a terrific way to see the small areas and fit in a bit of exercise. Many hotels and guesthouses have bikes for their guests. NT$ per day should be the maximum you agree to pay to rent a bicycle. Where to Eat on Penghu Perhaps quite obviously, Penghu's cuisine is seafood- centered.
Beyond that, there are a number of specialties that you won't find in Taipei. Cactus fruit smoothies, pumpkin rice noodles and the famed baked brown sugar cake are all unique items that you should definitely try out.
Most seafood restaurants around Penghu serve plates of fried rice or fried noodles for as little as 1. NT$. That's what I usually order when I travel alone as it can be quite expensive to order a bunch of different dishes. Fried noodles with squid is especially delicious! So.. What are the best Penghu restaurants? Here are two good places to start: Halhali Cafe.
A coffee shop in Makung that sells siphon- made cups of joe, for when you need a reboot after extended sunbathing or all- night- drinking sessions. Linhai Rd., Magong (Makung) City Lai Fu Seafood Restaurant The name says it all.
The restaurant next door is also extremely popular. Sincun Rd., Magong (Makung) City. Traditional Chinese roof on an old house on Penghu Island.
Penghu is a very popular Taiwanese tourist hotspot, so make sure to plan ahead when looking for hotels and hostels. You can make a reservation for a cheap hotel in Makung right from this page. Penghu Sunrise Bed and Breakfast This B& B / guesthouse is on the main island of Penghu, about 1. Makung City. They offer complimentary airport pick- up, complimentary breakfast, and free access to bicycles. Rooms start at NT$1,2. No. 1. 29- 3 Guoyeh Village. Everspring Penghu Hotel Crisp rooms with in this well- decorated hotel are spacious and will leave you feeling refreshed for a day full of activity.
A bit on the pricier side with rooms starting at NT$2,5. No. 6 Zhong. Zheng Rd., Makung City. Camping on Penghu Island.
There are tons of free, secluded camping spots on Penghu Island that it would be impossible to list them all here. Really, the possibilities for sleeping under the stars are endless. The best way is to simply get on your scooter with your camping gear and ride around the island until you find a quiet spot that inspires you.
You can definitely spend a night (or a week) in your tent on the most secluded beaches without worrying about the police, locals, or tourists. Just don't start a huge bonfire. Barbecuing (Taiwanese style) should be OK on most beaches. Downtown Makung City, Penghu Islands Penghu Nightlife. If getting wasted under the stars on a sandy strip of land lost in the middle of the China Sea sounds exciting to you, then you can read the next sentence..
Penghu has some of the best nightlife in Taiwan! Getting there: Start at any convenience store. Head for the closest beach.
Find a quiet spot on the beach. How much: 5. 5NT$ per big Taiwan Gold Medal Beer. Tip #1: Leave your scooter at your hotel. Tip #2: Bring a business card of your hotel. Tip #3: Don't go for a swim after the 3rd bottle. Tip #4: If you make a fire, keep it small.
Tip #5: Chances are that there won't be any 7- 1. Tip #6: If you don't follow Tip #1, throw your scooter key in the sea or bury it in the sand after your second bottle. It will be easy to get a new one the next day.
If you're looking for bars, clubs, or discos, don't go to Penghu. You'll have better chances to find those in Taipei City. Getting to Penghu. You will be traveling by air or ferry to Penghu. The easiest and fastest way to get to Penghu is definitely by airplane as boat schedules and fares change almost monthly. Travel to Penghu by Boat.
Ferries will no doubt be cheaper, but the windy season might leave you grabbing for vomit bags. Boats leave from Kaohsiung and Budai near Jiayi. Boats are limited in winter. Expect to pay around 1. NT$ each way. The fares and schedules change all the time, so I recommend you contact the Taiwan Hangye Company for more precise information about boat travel to Penghu. You can reach them at 0.
Top Tourist Attractions in Vietnam (with Photos & Map)Most travelers to Vietnam are attracted by the country’s wonderful natural beauty: From the green rice fields in the north to the fascinating bustle of the Mekong Delta in the south. Vietnam however is also a country with a long history and ancient traditions. It has many historic attractions and old temples.
An overview of the most amazing tourist attractions in Vietnam. Blending both Vietnamese and European design elements, the architecture of the Khai Dinh Tomb in Hue has been described as Buddhist as well as Roman Gothic. Constructed in the 1.
Emperor of Vietnam as his own future tomb. The entrance of the complex leads to the Honour Courtyard, and then on to the main building called the Thien Dinh.
Khai Dinh’s final resting spot is clearly marked by a bronze statue surrounded by beautiful murals. Under French rule, the Con Dao Islands were known as the Devil’s Island of Indochina, a place where thousands of prisoners of war were kept. Today, this group of 1. Vietnam has a completely different purpose. Visitors come for the beautiful beaches and the abundance of scuba diving and snorkeling spots. However, the history of Con Dao can still be explored at some of the prison buildings that still stand.
South of Da Nang, Vietnam, are the Marble Mountains. These five peaks are named after the five elements of earth, water, wind, fire and wood. The mountains are picturesque on their own, but they are also home to countless caves, some of which house incredible Buddhist sanctuaries. Some caves contain Confucian or Buddhist shrines, and others were used as sanctuaries and hospitals during the Vietnam War. In Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, stands the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral.
Built in the late 1. Romanesque and clearly influenced by European architecture of the same time period. In fact, many of the materials used in construction were imported directly from France. While the exterior is impressive, the interior is also worth exploring. Look for the surviving stained glass panels as well as carved tiles and a statue of the Virgin Mary. In the Ninh Binh province of Northern Vietnam near is Tam Coc, which translates to English as three caves. The three caves are nestled in a scenic landscape of limestone cliffs and rice paddies, and the river winds through the region.
The caves are called Hang C. Guided boat tours take you to the caves and along the Ngo Dong River, which is often dotted with floating vendors capitalizing on the tourist visiting on a day trip from Hanoi.
The most scenic spot in Da Nang is arguably My Khe Beach. Also known as China Beach, this was where US servicemen were helicoptered in for R& R during the Vietnam War. These days people come here however for tis pristine white sand, blue water and sunny skies. Visitors can rent a lounge chair on the sand, relax in the shade under a thatched umbrella or rent a kayak from nearby vendors.
Many hotels and cafes are within walking distance of My Khe Beach, making it a hub for visitors as well as locals in search of incredible views. One of the largest caves in the world, and certainly the largest in Vietnam, is Hang Son Doong. Approximately three million years old, Hang Son Doong Cave is an incredible destination unlike anywhere else on the planet.
The cave is enormous, and it is possible for dozens of people to camp within it at a time. Bright blue water pools are located in the cave, and a river runs through it. Lush greenery lines the walls, thanks to erosion that lets in beams of sunlight. The cave is ethereal, and guided tours are available to best explore this amazing landmark.
In the city of Hanoi, there is an incredible temple dedicated to Confucius. Built in the 1. 1th century, the Temple of Literature honors scholars and the many academic achievements of the Vietnamese, past and present. The Temple of Literature was even the site of the very first university in the nation. Among countless statues of Confucius and his disciples, there are impressive pagodas and a pond known as the Well of Heavenly Clarity. Once a week, the quiet town of Bac Ha becomes a hub of culture and trade in Northwest Vietnam. Residents from the surrounding villages and valleys flock to Bac Ha, and the roads are filled with buses packed with tourists.
Visiting on a Sunday means watching locals in their traditional ethnic dress, sipping the juice from fresh coconuts and browsing countless stalls. Shoppers can find everything for sale in Bac Ha, including water buffalo, delicious Hmong and Thay cuisine, brightly colored fabrics and fragrant spices. Several miles off the coast of Hoi An is a cluster of mountainous isles known as the Cham Islands. Primarily granite, these islands were once restricted but are now open to the public. The main island Hon Lao, the largest and the only one inhabited, is less than two hours’ away by speed boat. Overnight stays are limited, but can be an incredible experience for the intrepid traveler. Known to many travelers as Crazy House, Hang Nga’s Guesthouse is a very unusual piece of architecture that also serves as accommodation in Da Lat.
The structure was designed by a local architect named Dang Viet Nga, but he was clearly influenced by the Spanish architect Gaudi. The guesthouse looks like a tree and is complete with details like a cavernous stairway, branches that twist out of windows and sculpted animals that double as furniture and even fireplaces. One of the most sacred attractions in Vietnam is the Cao Dai Temple, which was constructed in the 1. Caodaism is a uniquely Vietnamese religion that is influenced by elements of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and even Roman Catholicism. In the main building of the Cao Dai Temple, there are four prayers conducted daily, and visitors can watch or even participate in the ceremonies.
In addition to the temple, which boasts beautiful murals, the complex is home to many additional residences, administrative buildings and even a hospital. For nearly 1. 50 years until World War II, the Imperial Citadel of Hue served as the capital of Vietnam’s Nguyen dynasty. In the very center of these secure walls was the Purple Forbidden City, an area reserved exclusively for the royal family.
The enormous Imperial Citadel was also a strategic hold during the Vietnam War, as it stands very close to the demilitarized zone that separated North and South Vietnam. This destination is significant for all those who are interested in the history of the nation. More than 1,6. 00 years ago, the Chan people of Vietnam began construction on dozens of Hindu temples near the village of Duy Ph. Under the shadow of Cat’s Tooth Mountain, and surrounded by a green valley, several of these temples still stand. Known collectively as My Son, most of the temples are now ruins. However, that only adds to the atmosphere.
Visiting My Son is like stepping back in time, thanks in part to its secluded location and the lack of touristy infrastructure. Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park boasts many attractions, but none is so popular as its caves.
The Phong Nha Caves are made up of hundreds of cave systems, many of which are large enough to hold entire city blocks. The biggest, and most notable, is Hang Son Doong. A gateway to the caves is Son Trach, a growing village that is home to several transport links throughout Vietnam, local restaurants and meeting points for guided tours to the caves. Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most popular seaside resort town located along the second most beautiful bays in the country. It features beautiful beaches with fine and clean sand and clear ocean water with mild temperatures. The city has about 3.
Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. It’s also the scuba diving center of Vietnam.
The Cu Chi Tunnels are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located about 4. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during the Vietnam War, and were the base of operations for the T. The tunnels have become a popular tourist attraction, and visitors are invited to crawl around in the safer parts of the tunnel system. The Mekong Delta is the region in southern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea. It is a very rich and lush area, covered with rice fields, that produces about half of the total of Vietnam’s agricultural output. Subsequently, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and all the villages are often accessible by river rather than by road.
The formerly little- inhabited beach south of the fishing village of Mui Ne has seen some serious development in the last 1. Due to strong sea breezes it is a popular destination in Vietnam for kite- and windsurfing. No trip to Mui Ne is complete without a trip to the famous sand dunes located a short distance north of the town. The vast sandy expanse provide some great panoramic views especially during sunset. Sa Pa is a town in northwest Vietnam not far from the Chinese border.
Rice terraces can be found in the Muong Hoa valley between Sa Pa town and the Fansipan Mountain, on a backdrop of thick bamboo woodlands. Local mountain people, the Hmong, Giay, Dao, Tay, and Giay, grow rice and corn on these paddy terraces, along with vegetables.
Located in front of the Cambodia coast, Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam. Phu Quoc is what Phuket would be if it hadn’t been overrun by development. The island features pristine tropical forests, undamaged coral reefs and great beaches. One of its beaches, named Bai Dai (Long Beach), was chosen by the ABC News as one of five beautiful and clean beaches. Phu Quoc is famous for producing the best nuoc mam or fermented fish sauce in the world.
This fishing- village- turned- tourist- attraction is situated on the coast of the South China Sea. Hoi An has been an international port from the 1. Da Nang. The heart of the city is still the Old Town, full of winding lanes and Chinese- styled shops.