Taiwan Guides: Penghu + island hopping (4D3N itinerary)
Penghu is a beautiful place. It is an island just a short flight away from Taiwan mainland.
Penghu is also surrounded by many islands each with their own unique geological landscape and attractions.
I’ve found Penghu to be kid-friendly and suitable for all ages.
Here I’ll share what attractions you can expect to see in Penghu on your first visit here.
Penghu in 5 key points
1. Penghu island is the main island that many people go to first, before exploring the surrounding islands such as Qimei, Jibei, Tongpan etc.
2. You can fly to Penghu, or take a ferry.
You can purchase air tickets from Taipei (Songshan), Taichung, Chiayi and Kaohsiung. It will take less than an hour to reach Magong Airport in Penghu.
Alternatively you can take a ferry, duration varies e.g. 90 minutes from Budai Harbour, Chiayi, to 4–5 hours from Kaohsiung. I recommend flying because it is the most convenient option.
This website is useful for transport options to/fro and within Penghu.
3. Magong City is the most happening place in Penghu. There are many eateries, shops, hotels, activities and vehicle rentals located in Magong City.
On your first trip, it is more convenient to stay in Magong City. However you can choose to stay in other places if you have your own transport.
4. You can purchase island-hopping trips from the South Sea and North Sea visitor centres on Penghu by various tour operators.
There are half day, one day and multiple day trips available.
Book your trip at least the day before to secure your seat, or ask your hotel to help you.
5. You can also explore the main attractions Penghu island in a day via public shuttle bus, tour bus or self-drive. I prefer self-drive because you can choose where you want to go, when you like.
Suggested Penghu 4D3N itinerary
If you come to Penghu, I recommend you stay at least 3 nights here.
You can even extend your stay to a week if you like as there are quite a few island-hopping tours and various activities you can do on Penghu island itself.
Day 1: Magong City
Arrive in Penghu (typically in the afternoon).
Check into your hotel. Purchase your island hopping trip on Day 2 (or 3 if you couldn’t get a seat on Day 2). You can ask your hotel to book in advance as tickets sell out fast especially on weekends.
In the evening, go on a walking tour of Magong City to check out attractions such as the Mazu temple, Zhongyang Old Street, crooners at Sanmin Road (in front of a big ship turned into a shopping mall), nightlife along Zhongzheng Road.
Have dinner, dessert and shop.
Day 2: Full day island-hopping
If you’re going on an island-hopping tour, remember to put in sunblock, wear a hat and cover your arms.
Take along travel sickness medicine such as Blackmore’s Travel Calm Ginger as the ferry ride can be really choppy.
You can lie down and rest inside the air-conditioned cabin during the various trips to and fro the various islands.
Qimei island: Ensure your operator has included transport by tour bus in your ticket, or be prepared to rent a motorcycle to travel around the island.
It’ll take about 1 hour plus to cover the main sights, including Da Shi Scenic area, the Twin Hearts Stone Weir and the Tomb of the Seven Beauties (a fee applies but you can take photos from the entrance).
Blue Hole: The boat will only stop near the hole to let you take photos/videos. It can be choppy here so hold on tightly to your valuables.
Dongji island: The tour guide may show you the route to walk around the island (ours did).
You can climb up the hill to see the grasslands and the abandoned Japanese barracks from afar, before walking to the lighthouse.
Then you can walk down to the Visitor Centre to watch a short show.
Full day island-hopping trips usually end about 430–5pm.
We took the full day trip by 得以 (De Yi), and found the boss (who looks like a Chinese Laurence Fishburne) to be informative. He also played the role of a tour guide on Dongji Island and pointed out interesting facts to the tour group which we appreciated.
Upon coming back Penghu island, you can rest before going out for dinner.
Shanshui beach: There is a boardwalk and a hilly area called 山水吼洞 which used to be under the military that you can climb to for great photos of the beach. There are also cafés nearby for dinner.
Fenggui Cave: There’s a small blowhole here, and many families like to come to explore the small rocky beach area.
Day 3: Penghu Island Tour
After breakfast, visit Kui Bishan for a morning of beach side exploring a rocky path exposed by the low tide. You can see many hermit crabs, shrimp and other sea creatures here.
Appreciate the 300+ year old Tongliang Great Banyan tree at Bao An Temple, and marvel at the scenery along the Penghu Great Bridge
On Xiyu island, there is a natural formation called a Whale Cave which is near the Xiaomen Geological Gallery (free entry) that explains the geological formations of Xiaomenyu and other parts of Penghu.
The nearby stalls sell delicacies such as sea urchin omelette and cactus ice cream.
Walk around Erkan Ancient Residences where coral is used in the walls of houses.
Relax at the cosy Shepherd’s café nearby which operates from a refurbished old house.
In contrast, Xiyu West Fort has its own visitor centre and ticket booth (NT60/adult).
Have a good BBQ buffet dinner for NT350 onwards (depending which BBQ stall you go to). You can find a couple near the leisure park along Minzu Road.
Day 4: Jibei island / Lintou beach area
At Penghu airport, there is a 7–11 if you need food, a playground on the second floor before you enter the waiting area and shops inside the waiting area also.
Try to have lunch before you go to the airport though.
Penghu is one of Taiwan’s best kept secrets. With a short plane ride and a good hotel or minsu who can help you plan your trip, your Penghu holiday can be a great one!
Special thanks to Happiness B&B for providing one of the best B&B services we’ve ever experienced, from airport and ferry terminal pick-ups, to arranging our island-hopping tickets, to booking our vehicle for self-drive, to recommending the best places to eat, and always cheerfully answering our queries on WhatsApp.
Originally published at Jules of Singapore.