Penghu is a large archipelago incorporating the Penghu, Paisha and Hsi Islands, between mainland China and Taiwan. The entire archipelago encompasses 64 small islands- with a combined coastline of more than 300 kilometers.
Unlike Mountainous Taiwan, the Penghu islands are generally low lying, with wide grassland plains. The islands have an excellent climate, with warm balmy weather perfect for the many beautiful beaches.
The Penghu chain is dotted with many small towns and fishing villages, so it!|s not suprising that there are almost 150 temples here devoted to the Goddess Matsu, who is known as the traditional guardian and protector of fisherman and sailors.
On the largest island, Penghu, is the only city in the archipelago- Makung- home to Taiwan!|s oldest temple (devoted to Matsu) which has been in existence for over 375 years.
Makung is an excellent base for exploring the entire archipelago- the city is easily accessible form mainland Tawian by either air of ferry and has an excellent local network of intra-island transport.
Easily accessible from Makung is beautiful Lintou- a stunning tropical beach with wide white sands.
To explore further afield, you!|ll need to charter a tourist boat or take an organized tour through the archipelago. Each island has different geographic, cultural and natural attractions- as well as plenty of idyllic beaches.
Paisha Island home to a giant 300 year old Banyan tree and to the Penghu Aquarium, where a purpose built undersea tunnel lets visitors explore the underwater world without setting foot in the sea.
Stunning Hsi Island is a gorgeous, completely unspoilt place- with many beaches and small hidden coves. At one end of the island stands the historic Hsitai fort, built in 1883 under the Manchu Dynasty. This large, well preserved fort is of great historical interest, but also has amazing views: from its rooftop it is possible to see the mountains of Taiwan on one side of the island, and of China on the other.
There are excellent beaches for swimming and watersports at Chipei and Hsienchiao and great snorkeling off the shores of Hsiaopiasha.
Bird watchers will be richly rewarded by colonies of birds on Chishan and Mao Islands, where it is believed that more migratory birds stop than in any other place in Asia.
At the Southernmost tip of the archipelago is Chimei Island- whose name means "Seven Beauties". Local legend has it that centuries ago seven beautiful young women committed suicide here rather than face a band of approaching Pirates. The Tomb of these young women can still be visited today.
Penghu can be reached by air from Taipei, Tainan, Taichung, Pingtung, Kaohsiung, Chimei and Chiayi (see Domestic Airlines for details) or by Ferry from Kaohsiung or Chiayi.