Welcome back to “Taiwan” Day 3 people. By now I am sure you all must be in sync with my liking of the flavor of the nation and their amazing culture. Day 3 in Taiwan was all about unfolding the biggest secret itself and finding out yet again why this country, hands down is Asia’s Best Kept Secret. It also will be one of the friendliest places you will ever find in the whole of East Asia and the raw natural beauty of Taiwan will blow your mind the minute you step foot on it. We started our day by visiting the Caiyuan Ocean Farm which is one of the biggest “Oyster Farm” here in Magong, on Penghu island itself.
You get to witness the entire process of Oyster cleaning, sorting, shell polishing, drying and towards the end you see how the shells are sun-dried and painted on. We all were also a part of a fun DIY workshop where we made our own versions of flowers using different sun dried sea shells. All these humongous structures that you see are made with hand painted oyster shells. Talk about taking the art form of your culture to another level right?? Top this with amazing unending views of the sea on both sides and you are set my friend.
Taiwan is also known as the land of ancient historic temples, as it encompasses some 7,00,000+ pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artefacts. So in the same Magong area, right next to the Caiyuan Ocean Farm, there is an old temple which is visited by so many locals living near or far.
After paying our respects and seeing the majestic installations and hand painted pillars in the temple, we broke for lunch. The highlight of Magong is that you get to also feast on some yummiest hand-made rice noodles mixed with fish broth and veggies. This had to be the healthiest meal of our day!! The name “Magong” was initially derived from the word “Makeng” which means mother’s place!!
Next up was the Queen of Heaven Temple (Tianhou Temple) at Magong which was built in 1592. It is Taiwan’s oldest and finest temple. The temple survived for an age of 400 years and has become the worshipping center of Penghu Island residents. The architecture is the work of famous Tangshan artists. Every part of the temple is made with utmost refined style. Inside the temple are some prized Ching period arts. Its inside out is the extreme artistic presentation of styling and sculpture. After visiting the this georgeous temple we all decided to try the famous cactus ice-cream which is a speciality of Penghu island.
We then headed to witness how the locals live on the islands and how they get home the best catch every single day. And they mean serious business on the port, when the boats line up with boxes filled with fresh fish of so many different varieties, that the entire lot practically gets sold off within seconds or max minutes.
At the Penghu Fish Market, you will also find so many locals selling the best delicacies like the stinky tofu, brown sugar cake, freshly made tuna sandwiches and different kinds of buns and cakes. We enjoyed so many freshly made Penghu delicacies while watching the local sea-food shopping!!!
As the day progressed, it was time to hit one of the most romantic beaches on the Penghu Islands – Aimen Beach which is also fondly called as the “Love Gate Beach” by the locals. This beach is a beautiful combination of white sand, fragments of corals and shells, and remains of foraminifera.
If you too have an adventurous streak like Salman does, then he highly recommends the adrenaline pumping water sports to ya’ll. Jet skiing, banana rides, and so many more interesting water sports activities await you. For the sungazers or sunbathing enthusiasts like myself, make sure to make the most of their sea-facing huge family swings.
Also, make sure to call dibs on the Aimen beach seating area. Here’s exactly how you can end your beautiful day here. Keep walking towards the left end of the beach and a twin hearts signage will greet you. The sea facing restaurant right next to it is one place to find best veg options. I recommend the mushroom risotto, cheese fries, and double choco-chip dark chocolate iced-coffee.
Also on our way back home, we dropped by at Pier No. 3 which is a humongous ground + 5 floors of non-stop international shopping. It truly is a one stop shop which is duty free and it boats of some of the top notch brands in leisure, sports, fashion make-up, beauty and skin care, gadgets and more!!
Day 4 is upon us ladies & gents!!! Yoohoooo. Time to pay a visit to my personal favourite historic site on the Penghu Island – “The Yuwengdao Lighthouse” also know as Yu-Won Island Lighthouse.
The roots of it’s existence take this place all the way back to 1778 and back in the day, this very place used to be a station when Taiwan was ruled by an Emperor. So much history is attached to this place, that it makes me think of all the people, rulers, travelers that must have walked on this very same path that we stand on. It was finally made into a lighthouse and opened to the public in the year 1992.
The white paint of the lighthouse and the structures around add a very Greek vibe to it, not to forget that it is surrounded by sea on one side. A small fashion tip – Wear something very pastel or completely contrasting when you visit here to bring out that gorgeous outfit of yours against these milky white walls. <3
Located just few minutes away is a unique and one of a kind location – Basalt Terrain. Situated in the East of the Penghu Island, you will see the exclusive hexagonal basalt columns that are formed as a result of hot lava explosions which ultimately has led to quick cooling and thus birthing these rock formations.
Located in Xiyu island of Penghu, Erkan Historical Village is the first settlement protection area of Taiwan. As you stroll through the village, you will witness different relief carvings, stone carvings, wooden windows, antique calligraphy and several paintings preservations all through the village.
If you want to see all the traditions and customs brought to life from ancient times, then this is one place that you shouldn’t miss out on. The locals are so helpful and down to earth that they will actually go out of their way to be nice to you. The two things that I highly recommend you should try here are – their almond milk and fresh cactus juice.
After all, the fresh almond aroma will travel along right next to you as you pass through the village. This Erkan Village has also been declared as one of the top 10 noteworthy Penghu traditional buildings in Taiwan.
For lunch, we again had a hearty seafood party with over 12+ seafood dishes cooked all in a traditional Penghu way. They usually have separate tables for non-veg and veg meals so that way it becomes easier to serve. The highlight for me personally was the dragon fruit cake which was out of this world and cannot be missed out on when you are on the Penghu Island.
When on Xiyu Island, you need to make a quick pit stop at the longest and most famous bridge called as the “Great Penghu Ocean Bridge” or the Trans-Ocean Bridge. This is the same bridge that links Xiyu and BaiSha island. The reason why this bridge is such a major attraction is because this is the only bridge that covers such a large ocean in the whole South East / East Asia. There was a huge queue for this picture since every tourist makes a stop at this iconic place.
Right next to the bridge you will spot a heart shaped sign placed next to the Xiyu board.
Next up was Xiaomen Whale Cave. Xiaomen in Chinese means “small door” and this is situated towards the north end of the Xiyu Island. It is also known as a “Whale Cave” and it is one of the most unique marine abrasion topography you will ever find in the whole Island.
This whale-cut platform looks exactly like a shape of a whale if viewed from the side angle. The Whale Cave was originally a basalt sea cliff, which has been eroded by the splashing sea water and the rainwater, which over a period of time led it to become a marine arch. This is indeed a very special terrain.
When discovering Asia’s Best Kept Secret, you have to see for yourself nature’s yet another mystery through the astonishing 300-year-old Tungliang Banyan Tree. The branches and roots of the banyan tree cover more than 600 sq meters space, no wonder there will always be cool shade for the endless number of visitors here. The huge cement frame covered in the banyan tree branches made for a dramatic background for my picture, don’t you think so??
Never did I ever imagine that I will get a chance to experience something on the lines of what “Moses” did. Yes, you heard that right my friend. If you remember how Moses divided the Red Sea, here on the Penghu Island you can experience just that with “Kuibishan”. Once a day during the low tide, the water pulls back right from the centre, leaving a magnificent trail that leads you to a beautiful basalt hill. Within 1 hr to 2 hrs the water continues to merge back forming the beautiful sea that it was before. Please make sure to carry a pair of slip-resistant shoes/sandals since the pathway consists of slippery rocks and basalt gravels. On the path of Kuibishan you will also spot starfish, crabs, starfish, hermit crabs, sea hares and so much more of the marine life. For din din I opted for a light pumpkin soup and smoked salmon for the win. This double chocolate whipped latte with ice-cream was bomb!!!
Olaa my Sassy Fam, I am sooo happy and excited to share my experience of the opening of the Annual International Fireworks Festival In #PenghuIsland #Taiwan Here’s exactly why you need to get ur ass down here & be a part of it : – This festival lasts for 2 whole months in Summer. – You get to witness such amazing performances by their national actors / singers. – Hands down the best fireworks I have ever witnessed, even more power packed than the Dubai or Singapore shows. – Best way to experience the Penghu culture. – Food stalls here sell some of the best local delicacies. – Getting here is so easyyyy!!! 📸 – @darkangel_photography #SassyShifSays #TimeForTaiwan #AsiasBestKeptSecret #HeartOfAsia #Traveller #TravelBlogger #LuxuryBlogger #PenghuFireworksFestival #PenghuFireworks #SassyShifTravels #SassyShifInTaiwan #BloggerGal #IndianTravelBlogger #GlobalInfluencer #MumbaiBlogger #InternationalBlogger #TaiwanTourism #Taiwan2018
Now comes the highlight of the day – Annual International Fireworks Festival on Penghu Islands. Here is what you need to know and NOT MISS OUT on it :
- This festival lasts for 2 whole months in Summer.
- You get to witness such amazing performances by their national actors / singers that are flown from different parts in Taiwan.
- Hands down the best fireworks I have ever witnessed, even more power packed than the Dubai or Singapore shows.
- Best way to experience the Penghu culture.
- Food stalls here sell some of the best local delicacies.
- Since the Festival first kick-started in 2003, it has become a hot favourite amongst tourists worldwide.
After a glorious day 4, we checked into Discovery Hotel, which is the best hotel located downtown. Do make sure to come back here for our PART 3 & the last article on our trip to Asia’s Best Kept Secret – TAIWAN.