Off-peak season is also enjoyable! Unexpected advantages of winter travel in Penghu


As the seasons change, the chilly winter quietly arrives. Penghu, surrounded by the sea on all sides, may be imagined to be cold and unsuitable for travel. However, winter in Penghu has many unexpectedly enjoyable aspects. This article aims to debunk the misconception that islands can only be visited in summer!

How is the weather in winter in Penghu?

Penghu, with its flat terrain and low hills, lacks high mountains as barriers. Therefore, during the autumn and winter seasons, strong northeasterly winds prevail, giving people the impression that Penghu’s winter is always bitterly cold. In reality, Penghu’s winter is not consistently windy. The latitude is approximately parallel to Chiayi, and the average temperature in winter is around 20-25 degrees Celsius, providing a very pleasant and comfortable climate.

Before traveling to Penghu in winter, it is advisable to check the weather forecast in advance. Choosing suitable weather can significantly enhance the overall travel experience!

3 Great Advantages of Winter Travel in Penghu

Penghu, where the winter brings the northeast monsoon, has an average temperature of 22℃ to 16℃ and an average wind speed of about 6-10 levels. Although sometimes the wind is strong and feels chilly, there are also sunny and clear days! Winter in Penghu has three major advantages to dispel the myth that “winter is not suitable for travel”!

  • Advantage 1: Exclusive popular attractions for photography without crowds Compared to the crowds in spring and summer, Penghu sees a noticeable decrease in visitors during the winter. This allows you to easily take envy-inducing photos at popular Instagram-worthy spots without the crowds. The usually crowded attractions feel like they are exclusively yours, providing a chance to slow down and truly appreciate the beauty of Penghu.
  • Advantage 2: Winter is the off-season for tourism in Penghu, so many hotels and homestays offer promotional discounts to boost occupancy rates. Even airfares are not an exception! Sometimes, you can enjoy a 3-day-2-night trip to Penghu at a very affordable price.
  •  Advantage 3: Participate in Seasonal Festivals and Sports Events.

In addition to the annual summer event “Fireworks Festival,” Penghu hosts exciting festivals such as “Yuanxiao Festival Turtle-Begging” and rich sports events like the International Ironman competition. If you prefer hands-on activities, consider trying fun activities like grinding soy milk, stir-frying peanuts with sand, and divining with cold bamboo in the Nanliao community of Huxi Township.

Apart from the three advantages mentioned above, there are two potential drawbacks for winter travel to Penghu:

 Drawback 1: Unexpected Flight or Ferry Cancellations

Winter is the season when the northeasterly winds prevail, and domestic flights to Penghu from Taiwan may be canceled due to high wind speeds. Ferry companies may also cancel trips between Penghu and other islands due to cost and weather considerations. It is recommended to confirm sailing information with airlines and ferry companies in advance.

 Drawback 2: Driving Instead of Riding

While Penghu doesn’t have strong winds every day, the winter season, especially the northern part of the island, experiences much stronger winds than in spring or summer. It is advised to drive instead of riding a scooter for safety and comfort, as the winds can be quite strong. This doesn’t diminish the excitement of the trip at all!

Due to the limitations of the northeasterly winds during the winter season in Penghu, the suggested itinerary includes indoor attractions that are not affected by strong winds, such as the Penghu Aquarium, Life Museum, or the Old Post Office hosting the multimedia exhibition of the Blackwater Creek. Although many water and island activities might be canceled due to weather conditions in winter, there are fewer tourists on the island, and residents also tend to stay indoors. Overall, every attraction provides a sense of tranquility, making you feel like you have the place all to yourself. Therefore, special arrangements include popular photo spots like the Sanyen Pagoda (Wai’an Fishing Port), Nanliao Floating Ball Secret Realm, and Xiaochi Jiao Double Curved Bridge, where you can easily capture envy-inducing photos in winter.

Winter travel to Penghu offers high value for money! Flight and accommodation prices are highly discounted.

Getting to Penghu – Transportation Recommendations

 By Plane to Penghu:

  – Both Uni Air (from Songshan, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan, and Kaohsiung airports) and Mandarin Airlines (from Songshan, Taichung, and Kaohsiung airports) offer daily fixed flights to Magong Airport in Penghu. The flight duration is approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. Winter promotional ticket prices are around NT$1,066 to NT$1,288. Please check the flight information on the Uni Air and Mandarin Airlines official websites.

 By Ferry to Penghu:

  – During the peak tourism season, there are ferry services from Taichung Port, Budai Port in Chiayi, and Kaohsiung Port to Magong Port in Penghu. In winter, only Taihua Ferry operates, departing at 09:00 and 23:30, with a daytime journey of 4.5 hours and a nighttime journey of 7 hours. The ferry can accommodate 1,150 passengers, and ticket prices range from NT$860 to NT$1,700. Please check the Taihua Ferry official website for actual schedules. Due to strong waves in winter, which may cause seasickness, it is recommended to take a flight to Penghu for a more stable journey.

On-Island Transportation:

Due to the larger waves in winter, many ships will decide whether to sail based on the daily wave size. To avoid disruptions to your itinerary due to cancellations, it is safer to fly to Penghu. There is also a chance to grab discounted flight tickets, making it a win-win situation!

Car Rental on the Island:

As Penghu experiences the influence of the northeasterly winds in winter, the island’s winds are stronger than in other seasons. If using a scooter for transportation, be cautious of sudden gusts affecting road safety. Therefore, for comfort and safety, it is recommended to drive or hire a car to explore Penghu. The cost for a 24-hour car rental is approximately NT$1,300 to NT$1,500. Whether traveling the northern or southern route, there are gas stations along the way, eliminating concerns about refueling.

Winter Activities in Penghu

Whenever Penghu is mentioned, most people immediately think of sunshine, beaches, and cacti. Some may wonder if it’s possible to enjoy water activities in Penghu during winter. In fact, Penghu offers a variety of winter activities, allowing visitors to participate in local grand celebrations and sports events. Winter in Penghu is far from boring and provides a deeper understanding of the island’s cultural scenery.

Island Hopping:

When visiting Penghu, many people want to experience island hopping. Is it suitable for water activities in Penghu during winter? When the sun is out, and the sea waves are not too strong, the seawater temperature in Penghu during winter is warm enough for water activities. However, it is not recommended to take a boat to Qimei Island during the winter as the waves can be large, causing severe rocking and potential seasickness. If you still want to visit Qimei Island, it is advisable to take a plane. Instead, in winter, it is recommended to take a boat to the popular Chimei Island or enjoy a leisurely trip to Huqiu Islet.

Indoor Attractions:

In addition to water activities, Penghu offers many indoor attractions for various experiences, including ecological experiences, family fun, and experiencing local culture. There is something for everyone, providing a variety of travel styles.

Deep Travel Experiences:

When traveling to a place, if you can shed the role of a tourist and actively participate in local events or the lives of local people, it will undoubtedly bring a different travel feast. Penghu has many important festivals. Among them, the Lantern Festival is the most significant and distinctive one. If you enjoy experiencing folk culture, consider visiting Penghu during this time to participate in local festivities. For those who love various sports events, don’t miss Penghu’s annual winter marathon. Exercising while enjoying the island’s scenic beauty not only promotes physical and mental health but also deepens your understanding of Penghu.

Northern Island Tour:

After renting a car in Magong, Penghu, following Provincial Highway 203 will lead you to the “Northern Island Tour” route

. This tour route mainly covers attractions such as the Sanyen Pagoda, Nanliao Fishing Harbor, Tongliang Great Banyan, and Xiaochi Jiao Double Curved Bridge. Traveling the northern route in winter not only avoids the strong winds but also offers a relaxed pace for experiencing the island’s tranquility.

Southern Island Tour:

On the other hand, following Provincial Highway 203 in the opposite direction will lead to the “Southern Island Tour” route. The southern route includes popular attractions such as the Double-Heart Stone Weir, Tongpan Island, Twin Hearts Stone Tidal Weir, and the Fisherman’s Wharf. These attractions are more suitable for summer and autumn visits. However, in winter, fewer tourists travel to these attractions, providing a more exclusive and tranquil experience. If you prefer a laid-back pace and quieter surroundings, the southern route is a great option.

Popular Photo Spots:

If you enjoy photography, Penghu is a paradise for capturing beautiful images. The island offers numerous stunning landscapes and unique attractions. Some of the most popular photo spots include the Sanyen Pagoda (Wai’an Fishing Port), Nanliao Floating Ball Secret Realm, and Xiaochi Jiao Double Curved Bridge. During the winter, these spots are less crowded, allowing you to capture envy-inducing photos without the usual crowds.

Mazu Culture Exploration:

In addition to natural scenery, Penghu is rich in cultural resources. One of the most significant cultural elements is Mazu belief. Mazu, the Sea Goddess, is highly revered in Penghu, and there are many temples dedicated to her. During your winter visit, take the opportunity to explore Mazu culture by visiting temples, participating in religious ceremonies, and learning about the local customs and traditions.

Recommended Winter Itinerary:

Day 1: Explore Magong City and Northern Attractions

– Morning:

  – Arrive at Magong Airport and check into your accommodation.

– Afternoon:

  – Visit the Sanyen Pagoda and enjoy the view of Wai’an Fishing Port.

  – Explore Nanliao Fishing Harbor and the Nanliao Floating Ball Secret Realm.

– Evening:

  – Have dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

  – Rest and relax at your accommodation.

Day 2: Northern Island Tour

– Morning:

  – Rent a car and start the Northern Island Tour.

  – Visit Tongliang Great Banyan and Xiaochi Jiao Double Curved Bridge.

– Afternoon:

  – Explore other attractions on the northern route, such as Tongpan Island and Twin Hearts Stone Tidal Weir.

  – Enjoy the scenic views along the way.

– Evening:

  – Return to Magong City for dinner.

  – Rest and relax at your accommodation.

Day 3: Mazu Culture and Southern Attractions

– Morning:

  – Visit Mazu temples in Magong City, such as Tianhou Temple.

– Afternoon:

  – Explore the southern part of Penghu, including the Double-Heart Stone Weir and Fisherman’s Wharf.

– Evening:

  – Enjoy a seafood dinner at a local restaurant.

  – Reflect on your Penghu experience.

  – Depart from Magong Airport or Magong Harbor.

Additional Tips:Check the weather forecast and flight information before your trip.

  • Confirm the operating hours of attractions, as some may have seasonal changes.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather, considering the winter winds in Penghu.
  • Use a car or hire a driver for convenience and safety during winter.
  • Embrace the tranquility of Penghu in winter and savor the unique charm of the island.

Winter travel to Penghu offers a different perspective of this beautiful island. While some water activities may be limited due to weather conditions, there are plenty of indoor attractions, cultural experiences, and scenic landscapes to explore. The tranquility of Penghu in winter, combined with promotional discounts on flights and accommodations, makes it an ideal time for a peaceful and memorable getaway. Whether you’re interested in exploring Mazu culture, capturing stunning photos, or embarking on island tours, Penghu has something special to offer during the winter season. Plan your winter escape to Penghu and immerse yourself in the unique beauty and culture of this charming island destination.