Penghu, a grouping of about 90 islands within the Taiwan Strait, is located about an hour’s flight from Taiwan’s East Coast. It’s popular among urban-dwelling mainlanders for its slower pace, pristine beaches, fishing, watersports and opportunities for hiking and biking.
Another reason it’s ripe for discovery by outdoorsy clients? Penghu doesn’t have many manicured, Western-style resorts — save for a relatively new Four Points by Sheraton, which is located in Magong, Penghu’s largest city.
In Penghu, environmental appreciation and preservation is a way of life. Here are five eco-friendly travel ideas for adventurous clients.
Explore Natural Treasures
Clients can take a 2 1/2-hour ferry to the island of Qimei from Magong. Once onshore, suggest they travel with a guide by bike or van to the island’s rock formations, parks and beaches. The most famous attractions include Twin Hearts Stone Weir, a heart-shaped, basalt formation, and Seven Beauties Tomb (seven little houses located next to a tomb).
Other dramatic natural spots include Little Taiwan (an eroded slope of coast in the shape of the country), Great Stone Lion Recreation Area and Waiting Husband Reef (a rock formation depicting a forlorn pregnant wife waiting for her lost fisherman husband). There are also several man-made marvels, such as Nanyu Castle, which was built from basalt rocks.
A short distance from Magong are seaside farms near Suogang Fishing Harbor, where clients can observe fish and seafood getting shucked, dried and prepared for the market.
Here, nothing is wasted; oyster shells and various found objects are reclaimed for interesting art installations nearby.
Clients can also explore Marine Leisure Farm, about an hour from Magong by boat, which immerses travelers into Penghu’s maritime lifestyle. The farm’s biggest draw is fresh barbecued all-you-can-eat squid and oysters, which should be enjoyed with ice-cold beer or soda. Other activities on the boat and its surrounding platform include catch-and-release fishing; holding starfish, pufferfish and other creatures; and attending talks about local ecosystems.
Hit the Trails
Magong Penghu Visitor Center offers free bicycle rentals, and there are smooth paths allowing clients to ride to Gaillardia Garden Recreation Area, Tianren Lake and other green spaces within Penghu Recreation Park. Be sure that clients first fill out a short application at the service counter of Penghu Visitor Center.
Take Time for Turtles
From May to October, Wangankou Beach is a prime spot to see green turtles migrating to the sea. In addition to turtles, visitors can observe several species of migratory birds and other protected animals. However, the beach is only open during daytime hours. For more information, contact Penghu County Government Agriculture & Fisheries Bureau.
In Nanliao Village, elderly women demonstrate for guests the sustainable agricultural practices that have kept their village running for generations. The centerpiece is an interactive “cow pat experience,” where the women show how cow manure is collected, shaped into patties, dried and used as a biofuel for cooking. Then, spectators are encouraged to don a pair of rubber boots and try it themselves. The intrepid locals also proudly show off traditional fish-cooking methods; restored heritage houses and coral walls; and how they tend sweet potato fields with the help of a buffalo.
Penghu County Government
Penghu National Scenic Area Administration
Taiwan Tourism Bureau