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If you are tired of the mainstream destinations, Taiwan may not be a conventional surfing destination, but it's a great choice because of the conditions of its waves, the hospitality of its locals and the affordable price, something that can be very fun and rewarding for surfers. Although you may only remember its name from the "Made in Taiwan" labels, it is a booming destination.
It's a suitable place for all kinds of wallets, in which the water good temperature and the high waves during the monsoon season ensure that there is no lack of surf activity. With a little research and always being aware of the weather, if you are ready to explore, you will be rewarded with lots of waves and not very busy surf spots.
Called by the Portuguese in their discovery "Isla Formosa", or "Beautiful Island", Taiwan is a large tropical island located in the Pacific, separated into two clearly differentiated parts by a high mountain range. Located just 160 km off the coast of China, its west coast is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with Taipei being a city whose best definition would be "crowded". However, the East coast is a true ecosystem that seems to have been created for the surfer, since less than 25% of the island's inhabitants live in this area.
Surfing in Taiwan has a long history and adequate conditions, since good waves arrive in all areas of the island. US soldiers were the first to surf the beach on the north coast of Jin Shan in 1965 and local pioneers like Mao Guh continued their legacy.
If what you are looking for is a paradise in which to lose yourself even if it does not provide world-class waves, Taiwan may be your next destination. An enormous amount of kilometers of virgin coast, fishing villages between the sea and the mountains, fields of sunflowers and quality waves breaking on the coast will make this island a place that will surprise you.
Taiwan hides a lot of beauty to discover. You can move by train or bus, its people are very hospitable, their food is a mixture of Asian influences but always accompanied with some marine ingredient. The food markets abound in each big city and are the best alternative for you to try typical dishes. And remember, if you are going to move by car looking for the best waves, take your international driving license and a GPS, it is very important that you do not get lost among the many mountains and beaches.
The surf season includes from October to May, since the winds are not so strong and the weather is better. The typhoon season is the one that provides the largest waves, from June to September, but, if there is a typhoon warning, surfing is forbidden. Beware of the police!
Since we have leave you wanting more, we are going to recommend our best places to take out your surfboard:
In this mouth of the river, good waves are formed if the swell is powerful. Perhaps the only downside is that the water, given that the river falls strong towards the beach, is dark brown and you do not see much, but the waves are still worth it.
Taidong is one of Taiwan's best kept secrets. It is an incredibly picturesque county with many coastal towns and cities. We recommend that you go to Donghe, the main surfing spot. While there are other places nearby, such as Jinzun Harbor, Dulan and Secret Spot Reef, Donghe is the most consistent throughout the year and, therefore, the most popular.
One of the best spots in Taiwan, with waves that form left tubes. Take the opportunity to talk with the locals in the area, who will explain how to "move" on the wave and give you travelling advice!
Black sand beaches in Taiwan are quite common. A destination that you might not know yet, Waiao Beach, but that will be in everyone's mouths soon, as it is getting incresingly popular with surfers and bathers in northern Taiwan.
Located in Kending in one of the most beautiful national parks in Taiwan, it is one of the most popular places in the south for surfers. It is not the main beach to which tourists and hikers in the area go, so it will have fewer people there.
We have also selected some surfcamps and establishments so that you have it easy and don't go crazy looking for lodgings:
- Formosa Surf Camp: the best surf camp in the eastern part of Taiwan, open since 1998. Located right in the middle of the 7 main surf spots in eastern Taiwan, it offers clean, elegant, comfortable and cozy rooms.
- Surf House Taiwan: open all year round on the east coast of Taiwan. They offer a base to leave your bags, relax and provide everything you need to make the most of it. With a maximum of 6 guests, the atmosphere is calm and cozy, perfect for people looking to relax, surf and meet new friends.
- Johnny Rose Surfclub: this establishment has common rooms and two rooms for 4 people on the second floor with TV and air conditioning. The owner, Johnny, is a surf trainer of the ISA surfing organization qualified as a Level 2 surfing trainer.
- Wa Ga LiGong Surfcamp: they offer surf lessons for beginners and advanced classes, guided tours to far away spots and accommodation at reasonable prices. Good food and a roof terrace to rest after a hard day of surfing are their big points.
So, after this explanation we hope you move from your usual surf destinys and check out new places!