It may be a good time to write an English version of traveling post for showing foreign visitors to Taiwan the beauty of PengHu. I hope you will enjoy traveling to PengHu as well.
It was the first time for me to take a domestic flight from Kaohsiung International Airport to Magong city, Penghu. Interestingly there is no boarding gate, I had to walk onto the plane. The flight duration was around 30 minutes, but we encountered air turbulence from a nearby typhoon when landing. The airplane bounced up and down to the ground just like dribbling a basketball. Hence we had the second landing. Yes it was successful. Otherwise you wouldn't see this article.
The very first desert of this trip is a bowl of "shaved ice". Although seeming a small store from the outside, it is a very famous store and attracts numerous travelers waiting a long queue to buy its shaved ice with grass jelly . You will get a number slip after ordering.
Since I had just finished a big lunch, I thought this shaved ice was really too much for me.
At PengHu, the best transportation tool is a motorcycle. It is not a very large island, and is not very far from one attraction to another. But you should be aware that the weather is very very hot, and you really need to fully prepare for avoiding sunburn. We took the bowl of shaved ice to a popular beach, so-called 山水沙灘. Its literal meaning is "mountain and water beach". A legend said there was once a sow fallen into the sea at this beach and caught by a big octopus. So the beach's name once was related to a sow. But now it has been renamed to "mountain and water beach" as having a hill near by. google map
I guessed there was a surfing class.
That I wore a long-sleeve shirt was to reduce the chance of getting sunburn.
Banyan trees are popular in school or near a temple in Taiwan. But not all of them are as big as this one in the photos. It is awesome to see the aerial roots of a Banyan tree form a huge roof. google map
This tree has been more than 300 year old. And people consider this tree is sacred.
I was wondering how many times this Banyan tree has encountered devastating typhoons in the past. Its survival is a symbol of natural resilience.
The PengHu cross-sea bridge reminded my previous lovely trip to Key West, Florida. It took me probably less than 20 minutes for a round-trip to cross the bridge and come back. However the picturesque scenery along the road to bring was amazing. I remembered there were some wind mill generators, slowly moving just a electric fan under slow motion. Since it is a notable sightseeing spot, many visitors would like to took pictures here. There is even a electric motorcycle charging station near the bridge.
A famous well. Before I went to PengHu, I had known this well from TV programs. This well locates roughly in the city center and just several blocks away are shops for variety of food and souvenirs and crowded people. google map
This well has been more than 400 years old. I peeked inside the well, there was some water but not very deep. Near the well, there is a street vender of selling boiled egg in herb ( 藥膳蛋). It is a must-eat food after so many TV programs have reported it. Well for me it tasted like boiled egg in tea that you can buy in 7-11 convenience store. However there was an additional very gentle bitterness from the herb used when boiling the eggs.
From the past many people in Penghu made their living by fishing, and so they built a temple to worship Mazu. It was built originally from pure wood material, but recently the roof has been re-modulated by modern material like cement. google map
I don't know why but there are many travelers coming here to buy breakfast. Local people say because of the long waiting time they actually don't frequent them. google map
PengHu has its firework festival every Monday and Thursday during April 20 to June 25. The firework is let off near the following bridge. I didn't have much time to stay here to go around this park, because of my incoming flight back to Taiwan.
In PengHu it offers many opportunities to experience a cruise to nearby small islands. For the outward bound trip to Cimei I took a government-run cruise, and for the returning trip my girlfriend suggested me to take a private cruise to see a so-called "blue hole". Regarding the government-run cruise people who are not living in Penghu they have to wait in another line, and the local people have to priority to buy cruise tickets up to four tickets per person. 南海遊客服務中心 google map
There was only two cruises to Cimei island a day, so I came here very early to wait.
The total amount of passengers was seriously controlled. A Officer had to count how many people boarded and how many people left the cruise. If I remembered correctly, the capacity was 192 passengers, and each passenger would have a seat.
Probably around one hour later, we arrived 望安 island. The cruise stopped here temporally for around 30 minutes, and then we continued our journey to Cimei.
民宿 -- Thera Inn ( B&B)
When we arrived Cimei island, the owner of the BnB we lived in came to the harbor to welcome us and help carry our luggage to the BnB. We were also given a motorcycle. The roads in Cimei island are quite simple. The attraction spots have been merged in the roadsigns, such as you can see a road sign of " XXX noodle restaurant" repeatedly.
Most of the time you would not see a car. Local people here usually use motorcycle. Probably only taking five minutes, we arrived the BnB. Because of scorching temperature around noon, I cannot help but taking a shower, and then shortly we started our exploration to this small island. google map
七美芳子 - 粽子
rice dumpling, rice ball wrapped in bamboo leaves. It is no that rare to buy a rice dumpling in Taiwan, but this perfect sauce made rice dumpling so delicious. It is a quite small and obscure store, we passed it three times and finally got it. It just locates near the harbor next to a post office. google map
After having our lunch, you went on to explore Cimei island. You didn't really need a road map, since most of time there is just one straight road with detailed roadsigns. Along the road, you can frequently see a flock of goats. They lazily grazed in the field with ocean wind.
A legend said there were once seven women commit suicide into a well here to avoid Japanese pirates to offend or harness them. And later seven tree grew up near the current spot. And people worship them nowadays. (google map)
There was a class for snorkeling. (good map)
A legend said long time ago a military general went to Cimei by boat with his white horse and soldiers. A huge wave engulfed their boat. Only the white horse was survived, but when the white horse saw his general not coming to the shore. He jumped to the sea again to find him, but never came back.
PengHu is full of islands made of basalt, and so is for Cimei island. The are magnificent basalt columns on the shore.
A rock that resembles the shape of Taiwan.
Double-Heart of Stacked Stones. A very famous spot for travelers, and you can see this double-Heart symbol on Taiwanese high-speed railroad and several postcards. These stone was designed for trapping fishes, and there are other stacked stones in PengHu as well. But the one in Cimei island is the most famous.
When a tide rises, fishes are coming to stacked stone to seek seaweed, but when it ebbs, then the fishes cannot come out the stones.
There was a small fishing boat near the Double-Heart of Stacked Stones.
The view of sunset at the Nanhu harbor.
Yes~ You can see the road sign of "潮州大骨麵" many times in Cimei island. This is not so much as a restaurant as a home open to small group of visitors. It opens at 10 and closes at 18. We came by two times but at the wrong time. But finally at around 10:30 AM we got it. It was worthy of waiting.
We only stayed one day in Cimei island. On the returning trip, we booked a private cruise to see blue-hole, that was a hole of basalt rock made by erosion in the middle of the sea.
A coast guard officer to check the boarding process. I have once served in the information department of Coast Guard Administration in Kaohsiung.
We sat on the second floor of the cruise. And there was a huge trail of water jet from the motor used in the cruise. Quite interesting.
Here is the location of the blue hole. I was wondering how people can find it.
Due to the shaking from waves, I cannot have a good quality of video recording. And our cruise was relatively large, so it kept us from coming to closer position to the blue hole.
Alternatively, here you can see more photos of the blue hole taken by other person.
OK. I think I will end here~~thank you for your reading.