Welcome to the new surfing mecca in Asia -- TAIWAN!
Thinking about Taiwan for your next surfing adventure? Good idea. I promise you simply cannot regret it -- Taiwan has it all: big waves, friendly locals, amazing food, affordable accommodation, stunning scenery, and on top of that, it still enjoys a relatively off-the-beaten-track vibe.
Here, I’ll help you find information about surfing in Taiwan, as well as other practical stuff to prepare a trip of a lifetime to Formosa.
Taiwan is now officially on the map for wave maniacs
It’s no longer a secret that Taiwan has become one of Asia’s top spots for surfing. Over the past 18 years, I’ve seen Taiwan go from a completely “unknown” surf destination to “man-you-gotta-check-this-place-out!”
I live only 10 minutes away from Jialeshui, one of Taiwan’s most popular surf spots, in Kenting National Park.
I surf, and have two boards, but I don’t consider myself a true hard-core surfer like my friends. I have a surfer’s camper van, but it mostly carries camping gear and my rock climbing equipment.
I have friends (both foreigners and Taiwanese) who only talk about waves, swells, weather, wind, tubes, hidden beaches, local surfers attitude, and other aspects of the ever-evolving, ever-developing surfing culture on Formosa.
Looking for a Surf Base Camp?
My friends Henri and Cindy are the owners of Wild East Country House, in wonderful and picturesque Manzhou, in the heart of Kenting National Park. Henri is the most enthusiastic surfer I know on this island, he wakes up at first light almost every morning to catch the waves at Jialeshui Beach as well as other spots around Kenting, at the southern tip of Taiwan.
If you are coming to Taiwan on a surfing trip, I would highly, HIGHLY suggest that you contact Henri to get information about surfing conditions around Kenting. He’s got tips and “secrets” I’m not allowed to disclose on this website -- by respect to the local surfer’s community. Staying at his lovely B&B will undoubtedly unlock some of these precious gems of tip and advice he’s gathered over the years surfing at all the magic spots in this area.
Top Reasons Why Surfing in Taiwan is so Awesome!
Whenever I meet international travellers who are here on a surfing trip, I always ask them the same questions. I am genuinely curious why people choose Taiwan as a surfing destination. I also really want to know how Taiwan stacks up against other Asian surfing hot-spots such as Bali, Australia, and Sri Lanka.
1. People are so nice!
You’d think the main answer why travellers enjoy their surfing experience in Taiwan is related to the waves… Nope. By far the most common positive thing I hear from folks traveling here is related to the amazing friendliness of the locals.
Last week I was talking to a South African guy who was teaching in Hanoi. He came to surf in Kenting for a week because plane tickets to Kaohsiung were so cheap. He told me that he was now thinking about moving to Taiwan because the surfing conditions were so awesome and Taiwanese were some of the friendliest people he had ever met on the road.
2. You don’t have to fight to get on a wave
Although I personally find the waves at Jialeshui and Donghe unbearably crowded, especially on weekends, most traveller are surprised at how few surfers are in the water in Taiwan, even during perfect surfing conditions. “It would be impossible to get a prime spot anywhere near the best waves where I live in Bali” an Australian guy tells me. “You have to be aggressive and take your place in the pack when you surf in Bali or Australia. Here in Taiwan, locals are cool, they don’t care, they’ll just smile at you.”
3. Off the beaten track and unique
Wether you’re in Vietnam, Lombok, Thailand, or Bali the main thing you’ll see are tourists and businesses that cater to the tourism industry. In a way, every place looks and feels the same: backpackers hostels, cafes, gift shops, Hotel California…
Taiwan is very different! Somehow, the island has escaped the wrath of mass-tourism, and hordes of backpackers are basically non-existent. Most villages have a distinctive local charm that doesn’t quite compare to anything else you can witness in Southeast Asia or other surfing destinations. Taiwan is very “real” and “authentic” in a way that it hasn’t converted itself to what tourists expect it to be -- which makes the whole surfing in Taiwan experience the more interesting!
4. Surfing in Taiwan -- All Budgets Welcomed!
Wether you’re a backpacker surfer who wants to sleep on a bunk-bed in a dorm and spend as little as possible for each meal, or wether you’re wanting your own king-size bed in a private suite with a marble bathroom, you will find accommodations and restaurants that fit your budget. You can have an enjoyable and memorable surfing trip to Taiwan wether you’re on a super-tight, or super-high budget.
If you’re planning on spending some time down at the southern tip of Taiwan in Kenting National Park, make sure to take a look at Koti B&B and Wild East Guesthouse, in picturesque Manzhou. They are some of the coolest surf houses you can find in all of Taiwan!
Top Surfing Beaches in Taiwan
Here is a quick list of the most popular surfing spots in Taiwan. The 2 hottest surf spots on the island are by far Donghe and Jialeshui in Kenting.
- Jinzun Harbor, Donghe (Taitung County)
- Chenggong (Taitung County)
- Jialeshui, Kenting (Pingtung County)
- Nanwan, Kenting (Pingtung County)
- Baishawan, Kenting (Pingtung County)
- Bashien Dong (Taidong County)
- Toucheng, (Yilan County)
- Waiao Beach (Yilan County)
- Fulong Beach (New Taipei City)
- Jici Beach (Hualien County)
- Chu Nan, Zhunan, (Miaoli County)
Taiwan Surf Report and Forecast
For the best Taiwan surf reports and surf forecast, make sure to bookmark or download the app Magic Seaweed!