The water is warm, the people are awesome, the food is great, the waves are fun and the prices are reasonable. Plenty of reasons to head to Taiwan to surf.
For most consistent swell and good winds, travel from September to March. There are still waves in summer, however they are dependant on typhoon swells. There are a range of breaks for all levels including beachies, reefs, plenty of river mouth, A frames and points. Take your shortboard and for smaller days; a board with plenty of foam, perhaps a fish, mini mal or long board.
The easiest way is to book a guide, however you can do it on your own. Below are some tips that will help either way.
For accomodation and food and for activities when you’re not surfing check our other blogs.
Surf Guides Taitung
The easiest way around and to find waves is to book surf accom and have a guide show you around, below are some options around Taitung.
We utilised surftriptaiwan and stayed at the Formosa Surf Resort. A little expensive, nice accomodation, ideal for a trip with the missus or the family so they can be comfortable while you spend time in the water.
Travelling with boards
Taiwan is a tricky place to get around if you have your own board/s. They will not allow you to travel with boards on the bus or train. The easiest way to get around is to hire a car which will give you freedom to cruise the coast following the conditions, although spots can be hard to find with inconspicuous roads that lead to the breaks, google maps will help, as will some local surf websites and magicseaweed. Keep in mind this is expensive.
Fly into Taipei or Kaohsuing and take a domestic flight to a coastal airport on the east coast to a Town called Taitung and hire a car or take a taxi to a town called Donghe, about an hour away. Once there you can hire a scooter to access many breaks.
If you are surfing the South Coast at Nanwan, hire a car in Kaohsuing and drive towards Nanwan. Alternatively, if it’s your first trip, you can hire a surf guide to pick you up from the airport and show you around check out the guys from A fei they appear to be most organised.
Not travelling with boards.
Getting around is very easy, the train system is excellent, as are many of the bus services. On the east coast, take a train to Taitung and a taxi to Donghe.
There is a bus service, however it is not very consistent.
Arrange a transfer with your accomodation or take a taxi, the fare will be roughly TWD1000 which works out to be $50.
Once in Donghe, hire a board and a scooter to access a number of breaks.
You will need to travel there from Kaoshuing station via a bus or train and bus.
Take train to Kaohsiung Railway Station, and then the bus.
Take train to Pingtung Railway Station, and then take Pingtung Bus.
We got the train from Taitung ourselves to Fanglio and then the 9188 bus to Kenting via Hengchun and Nanwan.
We found this website super helpful to get around: https://www.rome2rio.comhttps://www.rome2rio.com
Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.
The cost of board hire seems to be consistently TWD500 roughly AUD25. If you can surf, as with anywhere the hire board quality is not the best. However, search a few places and you’ll find something worth a paddle. There are plenty of places to hire boards in Donghe on the east coast and there are plenty of places to hire a board at Nanwan in the South.
If you are learning to surf there are plenty of surf schools/camps that will provide you with lessons.
Breaks around Taitung – Donghe
Down the hill from Donghe, very easy to find is a left and right where they hold a WSL longboard event. Easy entry to the water, breaks over a sand and boulders. There are also a couple of breaks scattered on the road in.
North of Donghe, a black sand beach break with gentle waves, great for learning or a longboard. A couple of hidden roads in.
A number of A frames here, that break over boulders. Very fun waves on offer and even the odd barrel section.
Apparently there is a point break north of Douli, however the swell need to be solid for it to break.
Breaks in the South
Nanwan is a beach break with a fun right hand reef break at the southern end of the beach.
To the west of Nanwan has a long sand bottom left point break
We also spotted another long left point further to the west and a number of beachies, however the water quality we hear was questionable due to it being a typhoon swell.
To the East of Nanwan are a number of breaks, you may even want to base yourself in Jaileshuei as this will give easy access to both south and east coast breaks.
We enjoyed exploring Taiwan and all that it had to offer in regards to surf. There is plenty more to Taiwan, if you’d like to find out more check out our other blog posts.