Penghu (Taiwan)

Penghu Travel Guide and Trip Resources


White sand beaches and temples

Penghu (sometimes called the Pescadores) is an archipelago off Taiwan's west coastHard to find your way around without speaking at least a bit of Mandarin, bring a dictionary!
Long stretches of beaches on the main 4 islands and sometimes even better ones on the islands less easy to reach
Excellent seafood, many Mazu temples and other cultural sights include traditional Chinese houses

Penghu (澎湖), in English better known as the Pescadores, is an archipelago and administrative County of Taiwan. Formed by a series of 64 small and sometimes tiny islands, Penghu is located in between Taiwan and China and is reachable by air from Taipei in less than an hour. Alternatively, you can fly from other Taiwanese cities or take a ferry from Kaohsiung.

When looking at Penghu on a map, one can't help but feel a slight sense of chaos. There are loads of outlying dots, but the main parts of Penghu are formed by the four interconnected islands of Magong, Baisha, Huxi and Xiyu (we are going with the names romanised into Pinyin here, apologies if you may elsewhere see the same islands referred to as Makung, Paisha, Huhsi and Hsiyu). Meanwhile, the islands of Wang'an and Qimei lie further to the south and can be reached by ferry. The only city of any significance on the island is Magong, which is also home to the region's airport and in general the best place to start exploring from.

Penghu, unlike mountainous Taiwan largely consisting of flat grass fields in the interior, is known as having some of the best white sand beaches in the region. As conditions get very windy in spring and winter (when temperatures barely drop below 19 Celsius or 66 Fahrenheit) it is also a favorite destination for wind surfers at that time of year, and year-round divers make their way here.

Besides the unbeatable beaches and all the fun those have to offer, Penghu also offers travelers a charming mix of temples (like the large Tianhou Temple in Magong City) pretty flat landscapes interrupted by rock formations here and there and interesting traditional Chinese houses as well as old Japanese buildings. All the islands have their own smaller attractions for visitors to check out too, such as the Banyan tree on Baisha, a 19th century fort on Xiyu or the cliffs on Qimei. None of these may be that spectacular in their own right, but it is a lot of fun making your way around the archipelago checking them all out. Finally, of course all the magnificent (sea)food that can be had here cannot fail to be mentioned. Read up on some of the local delicacies (such as the baked brown sugar cake) before going and try to have at least some of them.

An excellent way to get around Penghu, for example in order to find your own secluded beach spot, is by renting a scooter. Keep in mind when going here that when even in a city like Taipei it is sometimes difficult to find English speakers, in Penghu you will be even more out of luck. A mandarin dictionary may come in handy. [Review by travelindicator]

Key info

  • Penghu is a region in Taiwan. It is situated at an altitude of 69ft and the best airport to fly into is MZG (Makung, Makung)
  • The currency used in Taiwan is the New Taiwan dollar (TWD)

Penghu Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

66 66 72 79 82 88 90 90 88 82 77 70

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

0.3 1.2 0.9 1.8 2 2.8 1.7 2.3 1 0.6 0.2 0.3

More Penghu travel resources

Strangely, the Guide to Taipei has a pretty useful intro, while we liked the detailed attraction descriptions on Go2Taiwan. Wikitravel unfortunately only covers the basics here, while Lonely Planet writes both about Penghu as a whole and Magong City. Another decent guide is found on Taiwanese Secrets while Passport Chop did a really thorough write-up that we liked a lot.

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