A popular and must do day trip when visiting Penghu is to visit the sparsely populated Penghu Qimei and Wangan Island.
Visitors can easily buy tickets for these trips at the harbor or through their hotels. The tours to Penghu Qimei and Wangan Island leave in the mornings around 9:00am and are back in Magong by 4:00pm. Prices cost around 900NT and that includes a boat ticket and a scooter rental on each island. If you don’t want to take a scooter, you can buy a ticket that includes a tour bus tour around the islands. Boats will stop at each island for 2 hours which is plenty of time to see the sites.
Wangan Island 望安嶼
Wangan is about a 45 minute boat ride from Magong City. It is small but actually has a few villages and even a small airport. It is also possible to find a small BNB/hostel on the island.
Mandarin Ducks Rocks
Your boat operator should give you a map of the island and once you dock, you hop off the boat and go to the scooter rental area with your voucher. Then, just follow the road (there is only 1) that circumvents around the island. There are many rock formations, pretty views, and a few old Chinese architecturally designed villages to see. There is really no traffic to speak of except other tourists.
Our first stop was the Mandarin Ducks rock formation. Frankly, I couldn’t see the “ducks” at this one. But the ocean view was nice.
Tiantai Hill on Wangan
Another stop is Tiantai Hill which gives a nice view of the island. The trees are short and strong. Mostly you will see tall grasses and of course cacti since it is a very windy climate.
Huazai Village was one of my favorite stops. The old houses show the unique architecture style on Penghu. The village still has a few aging residents, but mostly, the houses are abandoned. It is an interesting place to explore.
An old well sits in an old center square of Huazai Village.
A mural at the entrance of Huazai village. As the population has aged and the younger generation has moved out, Huazai village has died away.
Farming Wind Walls
It is common to see these farm walls surrounding plots of land. The wallls are made of coral and built piece by piece by hand. They are essential to protecting crops from the blustery winds.
Wangan Island Signs
You should have a map for Wangan and Qimei from your boat operator. There are also signs pointing out the major sites to see.
Wangan Island Beach
Penghu is full of nice beaches and there is a nice one on Wangan. If you are into beaches and a swim, Wangan Beach is quite nice. (and most likely empty)
Qimei Island 七美嶼
After two hours on Wangan, our boat headed another 45 minutes to Qimei Island. (“Chee-May”) Qimei has the most famous rock formations and are often used in the tourism marketing materials for Penghu. Qimei is a bit bigger than Wangan, but is still sparsely populated. The high cliffs and bluffs are worth a visit and make great photos.
“Wife Waiting for Husband Rock” on Qimei
After hopping off the boat, we took our scooter voucher to the rental station and took off around Qimei. Again, there is basically one road circumventing the island, but there are a few smaller roads leading to villages. It can be easy to get lost.
Our first stop was “Wife Waiting for Husband Rock”. The story goes that a pregnant wife’s husband went fishing and never came back. She waited for him so long that she died and turned to stone. The long rock looks like a woman lying on her back with her arms at her sides. On the left is her head and hair, then moving right, her bosom, then stomach, then legs, and feet.
Qimei Island Coastline
The coastline of Qimei is beautiful. The road gently rises high above the ocean and the views are spectacular.
Little Taiwan Formation on Qimei Island 小臺灣
It is easy to see this one. The “Little Taiwan Rock” actually looks like Taiwan.
Famous Double Hearts on Qimei Island 雙心
And the grand finale is the double hearts. Most tourists might just go straight to here to get their obligatory photo. This is not a natural formation. It is a fish trap designed to catch fish by drawing them in the hearts but not being able to find their way out. It has become the iconic image of Penghu and a must see when you visit Taiwan. This image is on everything from maps, to websites, to airport murals. The view on top of the bluff is beautiful. There is also a place to buy some food.
Tongpanyu Columnar Basalt
After Qimei, the boat headed back to Magong City. The return trip takes about 1.5 hours. On the way, the boat slowed down so we could take a picture of these picturesque basalt columns on island of Tongpanyu. The entire island is surrounded by these basalt columns which formed when the hot lava rock cooled. These columns are a rare find around the world.
Find time to do the day trips to Wangan and Qimei. They are worth a visit.
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