Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiao Beach...Looks Like Hawaii, Drier Than BYU

Go here. 

Beach weekends are the best, especially when you're looking into the future (like me) and seeing no beach weekends. The Czech Republic is landlocked and cold, and will not be so inviting for tanning. Not like I tan anyway, so no huge issues.

Beachside temple of gorgeousness
We were luck enough to be recommended a tiny, unknown beach called Waiao  by some fellow teachers in Taipei. Somewhere between Taipei and Yilan, on the Pacific Ocean, is this tiny, black sand oasis that bears no closer resemblance to Hawaii than...Hawaii.

Hawaii? Only 3 hours from Taoyuan? How did we not know about this sooner?

Waiao is completely doable as a "show up and see how it goes" weekend trip. That's exactly what we did. First, we knocked on the doors of all of the surf shops to see if they had any vacancies, which they didn't, but they were more than helpful to direct us to other places. James wanted to stay in the Waiao Temple which is about 300NT a person (and in a temple!), but Chelsea and I were adamant about splurging and staying beachfront in the VIP room of the Waiao Beach House, which is run by Auntie Betty, who is fabulously accommodating and makes a full-on Taiwanese Breakfast (radish cake, dan bing, toast, sandwiches, fruit, coffee...holy crap it's AMAZING!). How to feel like an adult: Spend a night in a beach front hotel room in Waiao, and take a shower in the 8 person bathroom.

The beach nap, out of the sun!
Waiao is awesome because it's simple. You get off the slow-train onto a tropical, foreign platform. The station is nothing but a rickety ladder leading up to the tracks and down to the street, and the beach is directly across the street. And what do you do there? Lot's of people like to sit on surfboards and wait all day for the perfect wave, but if you're not a patient person, rent an umbrella, rent a boogie board and just chill. Look at the beautiful green hills and the parasailers coming down onto the beach. Look out at Turtle Mountain Island in the distance. Body surf in the gorgeous warm water. Wear lots of sunscreen.
And of course, the best lu rou fan I've ever had.

WARNING: Do you want your Waiao beach oasis weekend to include several to many beers? Well, it won't unless you like Taiwan beer in a can. It seems that there is no supermarket or 7-11 in Waiao, which means: no booze. Except for this fabulous Mom and Pop shop along the beach who sold us practically everything they have. So if you're going, and you want to pop a few can lids, bring your own from Taipei and then find some ice.

I am a lucky girl.

(And now you can be, too!)


  1. This place looks awesome! I'll be adding that to the list of place to drag the hubby. Thanks for telling us about it :)

  2. A friend of ours rents a room in a house across the street from the beach. We've been down here once and loved it! There are a couple of little Mom and Pops for beer and the one we went to has bottles.

    Glad you enjoyed the beach! I had the worst burn after our 4 hours of surfing and bodyboarding.