For an island, it can sometimes be surprisingly difficult to find nice beaches in Taiwan. Don’t come to Taiwan expecting to find Thailand-level ocean paradise, especially if you’re going to be living in the middle or on the West Coast. However, there are a couple of beaches even in the West, that can help you get your ocean fix. These include Cijin Beach in Kaohsiung, Anping and Golden Beach in Tainan, and the lesser known Zhunan Beach, which is South of Hsinchu.
How to Get There: Zhunan has a train station which is accessible by both mountain and coastal train lines, so its fairly easy to get to this small town.
How to Get Around: When you arrive at the train station, walk one block forward and then turn right. Then walk for about 15-20 minutes along the road until you reach the Giant shop at the end of the road. It was 200 NTD to rent a bike for 4-5 hours.
Giant Bicycles, No. 359號, Guangfu Rd, Zhunan Township, Miaoli County, 350
What to Eat: Seafood! Ask for directions to the “sha1 tan1,” which is Chinese for beach and ride towards the coast. From there it should be fairly easy to spot the marina and port. Nearby there is a fish market, with people buying baskets full of fresh seafood. Any of the restaurants near to the market will be good. We stopped at the one closest to the shore. Each dish was about 100-250 NTD. The seafood was very fresh and the portions were sizeable.
What to Do: I can highly recommend biking along the lovely ocean trails here and walking on the beach was nice. My boyfriend, Oscar, went swimming, but I don’t know that I can recommend the water. There was quite a bit of trash around the edges of the beach and he said the water tasted gross. As a whole I’ve been less than impressed with Taiwanese beach cleanliness, with the exception of Kenting. But I was happy putting my toes in and the views were lovely.
Also, apparently Zhunan has a lot of water sports, although we came down on a holiday weekend, so I didn’t see anyone surfing or kitesurfing. However, I’ve read that it is possible to rent the boards nearby.
Where to Stay: Zhunan is an easy day trip from most West Coast cities, but if you wanted to spend an overnight and explore the town as well as the beach, I’d recommend Airbnb as there are quite a few nice looking apartments available in town.
Overall Thoughts: Zhunan is good for a quick beach fix in Taiwan if you can’t get to Kenting or one of the bigger beaches. The highlight of the trip for me was the bike path along the coast, which threads through lovely green forests and rice fields with occasional glimpses of sea. So if you’re looking for some sand and surf in Central and West Coast Taiwan I can recommend hopping on the train and heading to Zhunan for some sand between your toes and a seafood lunch.
Can you recommend any other beaches in Taiwan, particularly along the West Coast? Let me know in the comments.