man backflipping in nature

Penghu Travel Guide : A Hidden Gem in Taiwan

It was our first time visiting this island and in all honesty, if not for a travel company we found online, we wouldn’t even know Penghu existed! They arranged every single part of the trip so we were so happy discovering a new place with the company of locals. Here’s our Penghu Travel Guide.

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HOW TO REACH PENGHU

There is no direct overseas flight to Penghu. From Manila, we flew to Taipei for 3 hours via Airasia, and then to Penghu for an hour, via Mandarin Airlines. The flight was a full but I feel we were barely 100 passengers as the airplane was really small.

people waving goodbye to a plane
airport staff waving at Magong Airport, Penghu, Taiwan

Magong Island is the main island of Penghu, where Magong Airport is located. Magong City is relatively small, making you reach places in mere minutes. I remember we were still touring around the city an hour before the flight as we only needed 10 mins to reach the airport, and was perfectly checked in 30 mins before our departure. For more information such as ferry rides to Penghu and taxi rides to and from Magong Airport, you can check out this website.

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WHERE TO GO

Penghu is an archipelago, interconnected by bridges. It is a must that you get a tour or rent a car to bring you around sightseeing spots because you are unable to do that via local public transport.

1. AIMEN BEACH

silhouette of a person in front of a beach
Aimen Beach and Lintou Park was our first stop

Clear blues and white sand, it’s almost shocking to see this beach empty. Relax on the beach or stroll around Lintou Park, which is just right beside. If you get hungry, there is a popular cafe called Gilly Primavera that serves western food.

2. 22 ALLEYS CULTURAL AND CREATIVE HOTEL

880, Taiwan, Penghu County, Magong City, Xinfu Road, 2 巷 16 號 之 1


Inside 22 Alleys Cultural and Creative Hotel, you will find hotel rooms you can stay in, refreshments and food, and old alleyways and sculptures perfect for photography. Also in the estate is Duxingshi Village, which is the oldest military housing in Taiwan, Chang Yu Shen’s memorial hall, and a museum dedicated to Pan An Bang, a famous singer in Taiwan who rose to fame in the 70’s because of his hit song, “Grandma’s Penghu Bay.”

3. ERKAN HISTORIC VILLAGE

881, Taiwan, Penghu County, Xiyu Township

old houses made of stone
entrance to Erkan Historic Village

You would need to cross over to another island from Magong Island via a long bridge to reach Erkan Historic Village, which situated in Xiyu Island, Penghu. This village is included in the Top 100 important historic and cultural buildings throughout Taiwan.

stone houses in Asia
a small courtyard leading to a house in Erkan Historic Village

Predominantly made of stone, the houses in this village is inspired by the architecture of Fujian, China, and were built in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.

4. YUWENGDAO LIGHTHOUSE

white lighthouse with girl
the earliest western style lighthouse made of cast iron and fully painted in white

Built in the late 1700’s, Yuwengdao Lighthouse is a popular tourist destination in Penghu. You can freely enter because there are no entrance tickets but make sure you don’t visit on a Monday when the area is closed. While you’re here, take photos not only of the lighthouse but also the views around it as it is situated on a cliff, looking out to the sea.

5. DAGUOYE COLUMNAR BASALT

881, Taiwan, Penghu County, Xiyu Township, 池東村10號

columns formed from molten lava
Daguoye Columnar Basalt, Penghu

Located in the eastern area of Penghu’s West Isle lies Daguoye, a large group of hexagonal basalt columns that were formed from molten lava, thousands of years ago. Photographers and tourists are suggested to visit in the morning to get the best and clearest views.

6. PENGHU GREAT BRIDGE

man doing a backflip in the middle of the road
Ian doing his thing in front of the Penghu Great Bridge

Bridges in Penghu are a popular attraction in themselves. One of the longest bridges you will ever find in the county is the Penghu Great Bridge, which connects Xiyu and Baisha Islets, 2 of Penghu’s main islands. It is currently 13 metres wide and spans 2.5 kilometres, which is the largest of its kind in east Asia.

7. ZHoNGZHeNG ROAD

880, Taiwan, Penghu County, Magong City, Zhongzheng Road

street in Taiwan
Zhongzheng Road, Magong Island, Penghu

This road is the busiest in all of Magong City, Penghu’s capital city. Streets are filled with food places, drink stands, arcades, and shopping areas which are all walking distance from each other. If you’re lucky, you’ll find 茶汤会 (Cha Tang Hui), our favorite milk tea shop. Order a cup of Tie Guan Yin milk tea for us when you get a chance.

8. XIYING RAINBOW BRIDGE

880, Taiwan, Penghu County, Magong City, 觀音亭海水浴場

sunset on a bridge
perfects sunsets at Xiying Rainbow Bridge

Just a few minutes walk from Zhongzheng Road, you’ll reach Xiying Rainbow Bridge. This is the most perfect spot to watch spectacular sunsets in Magong. We easily spent an hour observing the locals and watching the sun set with them. What a perfect ending to a long day of touring around.

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WHAT TO DO

There are surprisingly a lot of activities to fill up even a week’s tour in Penghu. Here’s what we did given the 3 short days we stayed in the county.

1. EQUULEUS HOMESTAY

No. 26-9, Dongwei, Magong City, Penghu County, Taiwan 880

horseback ridign
horseback all you can at Equuleus Homestay

Fancy riding horses? Look no further than Equuleus Homestay. Not only can you ride them but you can feed the horses as well! The trainer will guide you every step of the way, especially if you are a first timer like us.

2.  WATERSKI

man in ski about to fall
Ian almost falling down, my personal favorite shot 🙂

One of the things we were really looking forward to was waterskiing, which we did at a place called Penghu Leisure Workshop. Ian had so much fun trying different skis but I had the most fun taking photos of him falling down. 😀

A post shared by ianandmar • travel couple (@ianandmar) on

Protip : Do you have a drone? Goodness this area is drone-genic!

3. LANTERN FESTIVAL ACTIVITIES

It was perfect timing that our visit coincided with the lantern festival. What happens here is that temples become the main attraction of the festivities, with performances, snacks, arcades and shops surrounding them. The locals enjoy playing games such as the one pictured above.

4. TEMPLE HOPPING

The whole country of Taiwan is filled with beautiful intricate temples so it wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that Penghu also has a lot of them. Here are three of them that we visited.

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Is Taichung a part of your travel plans in Taiwan?

Check out this article to read everything you need to know about Taichung.

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WHAT TO EAT

Penghu’s cuisine to me is pretty similar with that of Taiwan main island. I would say around 90% similar but because Penghu is made up of tiny islets, the food here is mainly seafood.

1. CACTUS ICE CREAM

cactus ice cream
cactus ice cream

What? A cactus? Yep, that’s right! I ate cactus ice cream! The pink shade is almost exactly the same as a pink dragonfruit or beetroot. And not only does cacti in Penghu come in the form of ice cream but they are also made into pastries. You might be wondering what the flavor is like, well, I would say it’s a bit tasteless BUT it looks so nice in photos. #millenial

2. TIE GUAN YIN MILK TEA

cups of bubble milk tea
茶汤会 (read as Cha Tang Hui) serves the best TieGuanYin milk tea in all of Taiwan!

Now now, we know that Tie Guan Yin milk tea (铁观音奶茶)is served all throughout Taiwan but it won’t hurt to say that you’ve tried one in Penghu. Get a cup from 茶汤会 (read as Cha Tang Hui) because for us, they serve the best in all of Taiwan!

3. SEAFOOD

scallop sauce and dried shrimp snack
scallops sauce and dried shrimp snacks are perfect gift souvenirs

Seafood sauces such as scallops and shrimp pastes, seafood snacks such as dried mini crabs are widely available everywhere in Penghu as these are their specialty. We visited some shops and tried their specialties, click each link to be redirected to their websites:

Humami’s Kitchen , 典酱家 (Dian Jiang Jia) , 澎福古棗味 (Peng Fu / Pong Food)

4. 马路益烧肉饭 Ma Lu e RESTAURANT

taiwanese food
MaLuE is our favourite local food place in all of Penghu

We ate here for 2 consecutive days because it’s just. so.

GOOD! The prices don’t hurt either! I would say order the fried chicken because the seasoning is to die for. <3

5. TRADITIONAL BREAKFAST

penghu food
the little turtle bread with ’福‘ was personally baked by our local guide Mona

To tell you honestly, I have no idea where to buy these because Mona just brings them for us everyday. She says these are available on the road every morning and are easy to spot. My personal favourite would be the fried fish nuggets in steamed bun paired with a cup of fresh local milk tea. Ahh, what a perfect way to start the day!

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WHERE TO STAY

Accommodations in Penghu are pretty easy to find but you would need to book them in advance. We found 3 hotels that are owned by one local couple, and booking a stay with them offers complete services such as tours and airport pick ups.

Hotel # 1 – Murraya paniculata Villa

This is where we stayed for 3D2N, the whole duration of the trip.

Hotel # 2 – GREEK FRONTIER VILLA

Heavily inspired by Greece, this hotel will transport you to Santorini!

Hotel # 3 – RAID GARDEN HOTEL

Morocco all the way, down to every last bit of detail.

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WHAT’S INTERESTING

What we found pretty unique about Penghu is their love for turtles. Wherever you go in the county, you will surely find turtles, and in all forms at that — Dessert turtles, rice turtles, bread turtles, chocolate turtles, cabbage turtles, and all else! And to add to that, eating turtle-shaped food means well wishes and luck will be with you. When we asked our guide why, Mona said the main reason is that the Chinese words ““, meaning turtle, and ““, meaning to return or come back, are both read exactly the same — GŪI. For the locals, turtles symbolize returning to land safely, just as when fishermen come home after dangerously fishing at sea. Hence, the tradition of making turtle shaped things came about as early as two hundred years ago.

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WATCH OUR VIDEO

Here’s a short video of our trip. Subscribe to our Youtube channel if you liked what you saw, we’ll appreciate it very much.


Our trip was sponsored by Save Money in Taiwan, in cooperation with Sunscape Cultural and Creative 山水文創有限公司 and Penghu County Government Economic Affairs Department 澎湖縣政府建設處.

We took part in the international tourism promotion of Penghu, in a campaign run by Penghu County Government and did not receive any payment as part of the cooperation. All photos and words are our own.


What do you think of Penghu? The county is a lesser known tourist destination in Taiwan but it has so much to offer. Would you agree?

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53 Replies to “Penghu Travel Guide : A Hidden Gem in Taiwan

  1. I’ve never heard about Penghu before! Looks so cute, hopefully I’ll make it to the Lantern festival one day 🙂

  2. Wow didn’t know Taiwan had this til i read your post.. I have to visit this place..!! now i’m not sure whether to go here OR to Taishung… what do u recommend?

    1. Oh! Hard question!! Taichung is more of like a city, complete with public transportation, trains, night markets and endless shopping. Penghu, on the other hand, is for relaxation because life there is more simple. It is more laid back and peaceful, with natural resources you will not find in Taichung. And by the way, the people in Penghu are probably the nicest kindest people on this planet! Having said that, you probably can visit Taichung first and then come visit Penghu next. You have to see both!!! 🙂

  3. I cannot beliebe how empty that amazing beach was and the sunset over the bridge looked stunning. I’d never heard of this spot before but it’s on my radar now 🙂

  4. What a hidden gem of an island! The beach and water is absolutely beautiful and you have captured the beauty of the entire island very well. There looks like so much to see and do! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love finding off the beaten path places like this! Also, great work on the photo of the back flip in front of the bridge… so perfectly timed! 😉

  6. This looks like such a beautiful place! I’ve always wanted to travel to Taiwan – I’ll add this island to my itinerary for sure!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. When I saw that you wrote an article about Taiwan I needed to check it as quick as possible. After visiting 50 countries, I called Taiwan the country of my life. You guys show so well why Taiwan is a country to visit not only once but several time. All the best Ian and Mar and wish you good travels.
    Gonçalo

  8. OMG! That cactus ice cream looks amazing! I seriously can’t wait to visit Taiwan! I love milk tea and their food culture is amazing. So many things to do see, do and eat. Great post! And your photos have me wanting to jump in and try everything!

  9. Your photos are so cool! We haven’t been to Taiwan yet, but this looks like a great city to visit. The basalt columns remind me of some that we saw in Iceland!

  10. This is a great guide, so detailed and includes stunning pictures! I’m definitely considering adding Taiwan and cactus ice cream to my travel bucket list. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Exploring the unexplored places is an adrenaline rush in itself. Penghu seems to be a quaint and untouched town. I’d love to try the cactus ice cream even if it’s tasteless 🙂

    1. It’s pretty remote that’s why it’s almost a virtually unvisited destination in Taiwan. Come to think of it, Penghu was the only place cactus ice cream is available. It’s not yet sent over to Taipei or to other cities.

  12. I haven’t heard of this place, ever, but it is heavenly. The Aimen beach is not gorgeous but also empty, wow I would love to roam around on the coast and click hundreds of pictures. The Erkan village is my second favorite place from Penghu. I am a fan of sunsets, so that stunning sunset at that rainbow bridge looks like a must-do 🙂 That bridge is really like a rainbow 🙂

  13. What a great review of Penghu. So much to do and see. Taiwan is on my bucket list and now will add Penghu to the list too. Good to know about the amazing seafood and unique cactus ice cream. What an interesting turtle culture. Fascinating!!

  14. Wow! Beautiful post and interesting information. Yuwengdao Lighthouse Seems like a nice place to spend time. Also, the cactus icecream – that’s something to look for now! 🙂

  15. Loved reading your post. I should admit I never thought about Taiwan as a travel destination. Taiwan has never been on my radar (I don’t know really why ?) but now I feel like I definitely need to go 🙂 You’re perfectly right, Penghu is one of those Taiwan hidden-gem. It’s perfect to be inspired and rich in activities. And I would love to taste this cactus ice cream !

    1. I also have never considered Taiwan before but when I did visit, we liked it so much that we hope one day we can live there even for a short bit. 😀

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