Travel Guide to Fulong Beach in Taiwan

16 May

Welcome to Taiwan’s most accessible beach resort!

If you can only visit one beach during your stay in Taiwan, make it this one! Fulong Village has a long (3km), yellow stretch of soft sand that faces clear, turquoise water where you can swim, surf, and sail year round. The area is also home to one of Taiwan’s most scenic hiking trails, a cycling path, and Taiwan’s biggest outdoor music festival.

And yes, Fulong has the most accessible beach in Taiwan. It’s only an hour away from Taipei by train, and the village’s train station is a mere 5-minute walk from the ocean.

Where is Fulong?
The small village of Fulong is located in Gongliao Township, near the mouth of the Shuangxi River, along the beautiful northeast coast of Taiwan, between Keelung and Ilan. Fulong is in Taipei County.

Things to Do in Fulong

The Beach
Last time I visited Fulong Beach was the week before Christmas, in 2010. The beach was completely empty even though the temperature was around 25 degree Celsius and the sky was a perfect, crisp blue. Every time I’m the only one on a beach in Taiwan, in perfect weather, I have the same reaction… I raise both my arms, shake my head in disbelief and tell my girlfriend: “How is this possible?! Where is everyone?! Look at this! If this was in North America or Europe, the whole thing would be plastered with people!

But things are different in summer. Due to it’s convenient accessibility, Fulong Beach can get really crowded. People come here to swim, surf, sail, or just relax on the sand and enjoy the hot tropical sun.

You can rent surfboards, canoes, kayaks, and other equipment along the beachfront.

Opening Hours: 8:00am to 18:00pm
Admission: NT90 per person

Surfing, Sailing, and Windsurfing
Although Fulong Beach is not considered one of the best surfing spots in Taiwan, it still has excellent breaks and it does attract a great deal of surfers during weekends. If you are a serious surfer, you should know that the popular surfing beach at Honeymoon Bay, near Daxi (24km south of Fulong), has much bigger waves.

I’m not into sailing or windsurfing, but I’ve heard that Fulong Beach is the location for the country’s national sailing and windsurfing competition, so it must be a pretty decent place to indulge in these two water activities.

Hiking the Caoling Historic Trail
The Caoling Historic Trail attracts tens of thousands of walkers each year. (What a turnof right from the start!) Again, the reason why it’s so popular, is because it’s so close to Taipei City. Actually, most of the nice spots in Northern Taiwan are packed with tourists (on weekends) due to easy access from the capital.

So, yeah, the Caoling Historic Trail is about 8.5 km long and you’ll need around three hours to walk in one direction (if you don’t stop every 5 meters to take pictures like I do.) The trail runs along Taiwan’s east coast between Fulong and Daxi and it offers striking views over the Pacific. It’s easy most of the way, but it’s got some short strenuous sections, and it’s not hard to follow. Along the way, you’ll pass some historic relics including two gigantic stones with Chinese characters that were inscribed during the Qing Dynasty.

The trail can be tackled from both directions but I recommend you begin this hike in Fulong. Start your trip at the visitor center, where you’ll be able to get a map of the Caoling Trail. There are signs to the hiking track from the village.

Cycling in Fulong
There are two paths available for cyclists in the Fulong area: The Old Caoling Bikeway, and the Longmen-Yanliao Bikeway.

The Old Caoling Bikeway begins at Fulong Train Station, and ends at the southern entrance of the Old Caoling Tunnel. You can extend this trip by making a big loop all the way around Sandiao Cape Lighthouse, on a designated bikeway that runs along Highway 2. The entire loop is around 17km.

The Longmen-Yanliao Bikeway is another pleasant ride you can do if you feel like pedaling. The easy path starts at the train station and ends at the Yanliao Beach Park, some 4.5km north of Fulong Village. If you still have energy when you get to Yanliao Beach Park, keep on riding north (for another 4km) until you get to Aodi where you can eat at one of the many (around 20) seafood restaurants.

There are bicycle rental shops in front of the train station. Expect to pay around NT100 per day to rent a bike. Make sure to bring water and a hat (if you’re like me and don’t wear a helmet) if you don’t want to die from dehydration or be hit by a heatstroke. (Do I sound Taiwanese?)

Fulong’s Hohaiyan Music Festival
Every summer, Fulong hosts the Hohaiyan Rock Festival. It’s the biggest open-air music event in Taiwan and it attracts more than 100,000 people. The event lasts for three days and includes Taiwanese bands as well as musicians from overseas.

Where to Eat
Like most touristic places in Taiwan, Fulong Beach has lots of places to eat. If you ask Taiwanese people, they’ll tell you that you must try the lunch boxes that are sold around the train station. Lunch boxes are, well, as you would expect, boxes filled with food. A typical meal includes rice, vegetables and a piece of meat. I’m not a big fan of lunch boxes and I don’t see what’s the fuss about them, but if you’re on a budget, they surely can make you save some NTs.

For seafood, two places are worth noting: the restaurants by Dongxing Temple near the harbor, and Aodi Seafood Street, 4km north of Fulong. The local specialty here is the spanner crab.

Nightlife in Fulong
For a cheap drink, you can’t go wrong with 7/11. The beach is supposed to be closed after 18:00pm, but there are places where you can, euh, sneak in. Just try to keep it quiet, don’t make a huge fire (not even a small one), and you should be fine to have a drink in the sand under the stars. The campground is also a nice place to have a few Taiwan Beers.

Longmen Riverside Camping Resort
This campground is one of the biggest in Taiwan (38 hectares!) and it’s located right next to the Shuangxi River. The people who work there told me it can accommodate up to 1800 people! A site where you can pitch two tents cost NT600. You can rent a tent for NT200, but it’s probably better if you have your own. My experiences renting tents in Taiwan are never good (poles missing, holes in the mesh, broken zippers, weird smell…)

Telephone: (02)2499-1791
Address: 100, XingLong Street, Fulong Village, Taipei County

Fulong Bellevue Resort
The elegant Bellevue is quite expensive (rooms start at NT7200) but it is an amazing place that’s located right next to the beach. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant that serves some of the best food you’ll ever sample in your life, a karaoke lounge, and probably a hundred little things that make it a much more comfortable option than Longmen Campground.

If you feel like splurging all the money you saved for your entire trip around Taiwan, you can rent the VIP villa – it’s only NT40,000. That’s where I slept last time I was in Fulong. (Just kidding) Oh, and it’s got a fireplace to keep you warm during the cold summer months. (Seriously, who needs a fireplace?!)

Tel: (02)2499-2381
Address: 40, Singlong Street, Fulong Village, Taipei County

Other Fulong Hotels, Hostels, Guesthouses
If you’d like to find hotels, hostels, guesthouses, or a nice BnB in the Fulong area, the best place to do so is at an office that is located next to the visitor center, before Rainbow Bridge. As you walk towards the sea, you will notice a building with pictures of hotels to your right. People can speak English there and can help you make reservations to various accommodations in Fulong Village or at other travel destinations along Taiwan’s East Coast.

Getting to Fulong
Taipei – Fulong: The fastest (and easiest and cheapest) way to get to Fulong Beach is to take the train from Taipei. Trains leave every 30 minutes from Taipei Main Station and take about an hour to get here. The ride shouldn’t cost you more than NT140.

From other parts of Taiwan: If you’re gonna be traveling to Fulong from other cities on the western coast of Taiwan like Taichung, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Hsinchu, or Taoyuan, you’ll still have to go through Taipei, but you might not have to change train. If you’re coming from the southern part of Taiwan, you should consider taking the High Speed Train (HSR) to Taipei first, then switching to a normal train. That way will save you a lot of time.

Getting to Fulong from Hualien, Taitung (Taidong):
From Hualien, Taitung, and other places along the east coast of Taiwan, you can either take the bus, the normal train, or hitchhike. Hitchhiking along the east coast is very reliale and it’s an exciting experience.

Getting Around Fulong
Fulong Village is small. Walking and cycling are your two best options to visit the area. You can rent bicycles in front of the train station.

Map of Fulong
The first thing you should do as soon as you arrive in Fulong, is head to the Visitors’s Center where you can get your hand on a map of Fulong Beach. My favorite map is the one made by the Northeast and Yilan Coast Administration (the blue one). It’s big, colorful, and it shows all the main attractions in the Fulong area.

Videos of Fulong Beach and Taiwan’s Northeast Coast

Where the land meet the sea #1

Where the land meet the sea #2

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