Water Sports in Taiwan
Information about some of the water sports available in Taiwan, with details about surfing, windsurfing, canoeing and diving...
Surfing is a rapidly growing sport in many parts of Asia, including Taiwan. Much of Taiwan’s coastline is suitable for surfing. The sparsely populated east coast has waves suitable for all levels of surfer. The region catches plenty of swell from storms formed in the North Pacific; there are solid swells from October until May, during the monsoon. This is the best season for surfing in Taiwan; typhoons between June and September also give good conditions. The south coast also offers consistently good surf; the waves are at their best during the summer typhoons.
Daxi at Honeymoon Bay is one of the most famous surfing spots in Taiwan; it consistently has waves two to three metres high. National surfing competitions are held here regularly. There are surf shops offering equipment hire and lessons; the town has plenty of accommodation and is easily accessible from Taipei by train. Other popular spots include Fulong Beach in the north of the island, South Bay in Kenting and Shanyuan Resort Beach in Taitung.
- For information on surfing beaches and surf reports: Click here
The newly formed Chinese Taipei Surfing Association is the sport’s governing body in the country. It joined the international Surfing Association in 2011 and is doing much to develop the sport on the island.
Windsurfing is also popular in Taiwan. Fulong beach on the northeast coast is popular and is easy to reach from Taipei. The Penghu Islands, an archipelago off the western coast of Taiwan, are well known for their good wind conditions, especially between October and April.
Taiwan and its surrounding islands have diving spots that rival those in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Some of Taiwan’s best diving is found off Green Island, 50 Km off the coast of Taitung. There are some dives directly off the beach and many reefs to explore, with many organised trips available. One of the area’s major attractions is ‘Shark Point’, a dive site off the southeast corner of the island, where schooling hammerheads can be seen in the winter months; this site is for advanced divers only. Orchid Island, further offshore but accessible by ferry from Taitung, has stunning diving with visibility of up to 40m. There is a vast amount of marine life to spot: tuna, turtles, grouper, barracuda, jacks, sea snakes and, at the right time of year, whales and sharks. As well as reef diving the island has excellent wall and wreck diving sites.
Kenting National Park, in the extreme south of Taiwan, has dive spots suitable for both beginners and experienced divers. Visibility on the coral reefs is good, usually around 15m; it is best in the dry season between late autumn and early spring. The reefs are home to 60 percent of the coral species found in the world and there are plentiful fish, turtles, lobsters and stingrays to spot. There are also many caves and swim-throughs to explore. The straits around the Penghu Islands are also popular with divers; the waters here are a breeding ground for green turtles. There are plenty of dive schools offering training, certification and equipment hire.
- To find out more about scuba diving in Taiwan: Click here
Canoeing and kayaking is possible all around Taiwan; in rivers, lakes and the sea. The Siouguluan River in Hualien County and the Laonong River in Kaohsiung County are both popular rivers for rafting and canoeing. Canoeing is particularly popular where the Siouguluan River broadens out and meets the ocean; it is a good location for learning to canoe or kayak. Pinglin is also a popular spot with beginners. The Nan Sheh and Tai-Gong rivers offer relatively local opportunities for canoeing for people living in Taipei. The many beaches around Taiwan’s coast are popular with sea kayakers; Kenting and Penghu are particularly favoured.
- For more information on sea kayaking from the Taiwan Kayaking Association: Click here (in Chinese)