Taiwan’s North Coast: Baisha Bay 白沙灣

Baisha Bay 白沙灣, a popular beach in New Taipei City’s Shimen District 新北市石門區, can get a bit crowded during the summer, but on a nice winter day, chances are you’ll have it almost to yourself. And it’s beautiful! Don’t confuse it with Baisha Bay in Kenting 墾丁 on the southern tip of Taiwan though. I’ll cover that beach in a different post.

If you’re based in Taipei, Baisha Bay is a great and easy get-away for the weekend or a day off. There is a bus, no. 862, which runs the full coastal tour from Tamsui 淡水 at the end of Taipei MRT’s red line to Keelung and which stops at various landmarks. The 862 runs every hour during the week and every half hour on the weekends, but if you don’t want to go all the way to Keelung, you can also take some of the other buses (863, 865, 867, etc.) which stop at Baisha Bay. It’s easiest to pay with your Easycard 悠游卡 if you have one. You’ll have to swipe it twice, when getting on and when getting off the bus.

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Baisha Bay in late February 2015: A few people were surfing or simply enjoying the great weather at Baisha Bay. Still, it wasn’t very busy at all.

10411102_10205594915259469_3910524579205121117_nShallow waves and clear water at Baisha Bay

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Directions on the coastal trail near Baisha Bay showing the way to various landmarks

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Along the coastal trail, you can see “windkanter”, volcanic rocks shaped by wind and sand.

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I didn’t see any snakes, but it’s probably a wise decision not to wander off into the thicket…

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The coastal trail is lined with beautiful trees.

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Finally, at the end of this part of the coastal trail, you reach a small harbor.

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From there, you can continue on to Qianshui Bay on the bike trail.

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This part of the coastline is famous for its coral reefs.

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Eventually, a tidal creek on the beach cut off my way. Even though you can’t see this in the picture, the creek was already a meter deep and with a fairly strong current, so I turned around and walked back.

All in all, I think it took me a bit over two hours to walk the trail from Baisha Bay to the coral reefs and back. Highly recommended!

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