Penghu Island – Return to the Wilderness

It was what I call ADVENTURE and it was AMAZING.


Meet the crew:

Karl, the Estonian Captain; Bats and Yann, the dynamic French crab hunter and cook master; and the amazing blogger and one of my closest friends, Grexxen, the Australian… I mean the Austrian.
The plan was to camp, so we had a tent, sleeping bags, rain coats and a load of enthusiasm.

This was some-of-us first time camping in the real wild. I had done it before, but it was in a place well prepared, with a place to get food, showers and all. This time it was for real and we were on our own.


Getting there!

We thought the first boat was at 8am, so we left very early from Tainan, it took only about 1.5 hours to get there. When we arrived, the ticketing office was not even open. Time passed and soon it was 7:55 am, and it was still closed. Turns out the first boat was at 10 am…. So, we waited.

Just to be clear, they are not helping to clean but drawing unholy shapes with the mop.

 

I had heard that the boat from Budai 布袋, in Chiayi to Magong 馬公, in Penghu, was rough and many people get sea-sick. So, I prepared myself with pills, but as a matter of fact, they weren’t necessary. Perhaps we were lucky!


In Penghu

As we arrived to MaGong port, and I realize it was not a deserted island as I might have though, all the contrary, it is a city, with all the needed facilities. It has a main street, with shops, restaurants, and of course, 7-11 and Family Mart.

After lunch and a unforgettable cheese ice cream, we hoped on the scooter.

As we had planned we drove to  山水沙灘 “Watery Hill beach” “mountain water beach” [I’ll call it Hill Beach.]

Beautiful is too little for this place. Here, see for yourself.


Hidden Base, Jack the Crab, and the Wall!!!

The hill was on the right side. From the distance, it looked just like a view point, but we have explorer’s hearts, so we went up.

Along the road, there were cactus. I had never seen wild cactus this close and they had this cute curious flowers.

On the top of the hill we discovered the military base behind it. Can’t you see it? It is camouflage.

 

We went back down and stayed for a while around the rocks on the skirts of the hill. Some of the guys decided to go crab hunting. And hurray! They got a crab! Jack, the crab, was its name! Poor thing had two missing legs so it wasn’t as fast as the others. But, guess what? Crabs grow back their limbs.

At the end, they had to say good bye to good ol’ Jack. And they let him go!

We swam for a while. the water was nice, a little cold, but refreshing. Then, what do you do when you are on a beautiful beach with golden sand?

Build sand castles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And that is exactly what we did, except we did not build a castle, but a wall. Not just any wall, a wall to defend to defend Taiwan from China!

And we did it!


The children in us was very satisfied.


Camp 1.0

About 4:30-5, we thought it would be a good idea to find the perfect spot for camping. Bur first we stopped in convenience stores for a quick bite and to get some food to cook on the fire. The menu, chicken, bread and corn.

And after getting a little lost we finally found a right place. Some trees on the back, perfect for wood and the sea in front. At around 6:30 we had everything ready.

It was a great night, full of stories, fire cooking and laughs.

Next morning, most of us had left the tent and lay outside on the sand. A rather mysterious situation, but it was mostly because it was hot and it would be a waste not to enjoy the place.

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At around 11:30 we had picked up everything and were ready to continue our road.


Tourist-ing

We had lunch at a traditional Chinese restaurant where we were delighted by interesting new sea food dishes. But lunch would not be complete without ice cream. So we went looking for the perfect ice cream.


We found the ice cream, we wanted, not just any ice cream, the most famous and beguiling cactus flower ice cream!!!!


Now the plan was to go all the way on the other side of the island.

Here you can see a map of our trip. You can see that Penghu is in a hook shape, and we wanted to go to the tip of the hook.

 

I was a beautiful drive mostly beside the sea. It takes about 30 min to get there, but we made a few stops. Including a supermarket to have a more varied menu for our camp fire.

We first stopped here:

Then at the whale cave:

 

And of course, we could not miss the lighthouse.


Camp 2.0

At around 6 pm we arrived to the intended camping place. It was a paradise, not only breath-taking but well prepared.  It had everything for camping, even grills, and nice, clean showers and bathrooms. Taiwan never cease to amaze me.

When we arrived to Naian beach, the sun hadn’t set yet. Perfect timing

We noticed that the sand was particularly wet, but we did not pay too much attention to that until some locals warned us that the tide would come up and that we should not stay there the entire night. We moved the tent… but we stayed there with the fire, the bonfire.

What a night!!!!

For dinner, we had juicy mushrooms, sandy chicken and fish cooked on a rock. Everything was delicious, but that fish is the highlight of the night.

We kept on watching the tide and at some point, we realized that it was definitely rising, but at this point we would just wait until it reached us. Our fire was too good to move.

We danced, we sang, we gazed the stars. It was great. We had an amazing time.

When the tide had finally reach us, we saw how the flames slowly disappeared, until they were gone. Somehow a little sad.

The tide kept rising and it got higher than we expected. We thought “ehm, it might rise just up to the ankle”, but nooooooooooo… it bust have been about 1.5 mts. It was such an adventure. On the next morning there were no signs of us ever being there. All taken away. All swallowed by the waves.

When everybody was up we swam in those crystalline waters. It was a very special moment. I am sure the guys were also awed. But, personally I could not stop thinking how lucky I was to be able to see and experience this beautiful, unique place. Besides it was all just for us, we were the only ones. The weather was perfect; the water was absolutely enjoyable and the view was inspiring.


 Scootering and Old town

It was our last few hours in the island and we wanted to see as much as possible. We went driving around and trying to discover new places. Here are some videos of just driving:

 

On the travel book, it was suggested to visit Erkan village, an old Japanese town. After a revitalizing lunch, we went in discovering the place. It was so pretty. As if we were in a movie about old times. A village next to the sea. It is a great place to take your camera and spend the whole afternoon making contest-winning pictures.

And I am especially proud of this picture:

We continued driving along the coast until we reached MaGong again. We dropped the scooter back and went for a walk. We just needed to have that Cactus Flower Ice cream again.

This trip was quiet and adventure. Penghu is a beautiful place, there is no doubt about that. I highly recommend it. My only regret is not having gone before. However, at the end, what really made this trip especial and unique was the company.

Thank you, crew!


And thank you for reading.

Here is an Origami Boat Just for you!


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If you are interested in Taiwan, its beautiful places and all you can do here then  go check out my post of Fo Guang Shan. Discover the temple not only as a touristic place but also as a place for growth.

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Fo Guang Shan-Dual Growth

Or perhaps if you love Taiwan as much as I do, you want to go reading about some of the most convenient features of this beautiful country.

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Convenient Taiwan

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