What are your thoughts on No Swimming in Taiwan?


#1

I’m planning a summer trip to eastern Taiwan, and I wanted to go to Taimali near Taidong because it seemed beautiful and not crowded like Kenting. Then I read that there’s “absolutely no swimming” in this whole area. face palm

From a Westerner’s perspective isn’t this more of a “Swim at your own risk” than a “Absolutely no swimming” situation? I get it, Taiwan has strong currents, riptides, and steep drop offs. That doesn’t really scare me away from cautiously swimming 50 meters out or so. I’d honestly enjoy a little adrenaline rush.

The thing that worries me far more than the currents is the potential for causing a scene and having local people come rushing and screaming about the danger. I know that weaving in and out of heavy traffic on scooters with complete disregard for safety is totally okay, but the ocean has ghosts.

What is your experience this? Will I get arrested if I swim in Taimali? Or will I get sucked out to sea and never heard from again? And can you recommend any good, not crowded beaches that allow swimming?


#2

Let me try to translate your words

You are a Westerner
You see on photos that this place is beautiful, it means you can swim, because you are a Westerner
There is a public sign ‘absolutely no swimming’, but you are a Westerner
You are aware there is danger, strong currents, riptides, steep drop offs, but you are a Westerner
It doesn’t really scare you, because you are a Westerner
You honestly enjoy a little adrenaline rush, because you are Westerner
You are worried that local -stupid, you mean Taiwanese?- people might rush and scream at you because you are a Westerner
The ocean has ghosts, local -stupid and Taiwanese- people say, but not you, because you are a Westerner

then… you need to ask other Westerners… What is your experience about this?


#3

So you mean you respect these signs
https://www.google.com.tw/search?q=england+beach+no+swimming+sign&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjEo4CFvJ7cAhXB62EKHasUCkUQ_AUICigB&biw=1680&bih=927

But not those signs
https://www.google.com.tw/search?biw=1680&bih=927&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=-9tJW-HdM4rr-Qa6q4i4BA&q=taiwan+beach+no+swimming+sign&oq=taiwan+beach+no+swimming+sign&gs_l=img.3...37830.40024.0.40310.7.7.0.0.0.0.158.502.6j1.7.0…0…1c.1.64.img…0.0.0…0.Y-pqvg9AxiI


#4

Speaking for myself
I’ll respect the signs when the locals do…For example street signs (because I’m a westerner)

Which will be never

I’ll take my own risk ,thank you nanny state
Like pretty much everyone else in Taiwan


#5

Considering the length of Taiwan’s coast line, the lack of beaches for swimming is truly a disgrace. Given that its an island, the fear of water among the population is also appalling.


#6

I myself don’t swim where there are signs posted warning against it.

I don’t know the situation in Taimali, but when I lived in Hualian I used to ride my scooter down Hwy 11 to Taidong and found plenty of swimming places without warning signs. And I’d be the only person there :grin:

I’m a little hesitant to advertise my “secret” spots, but here’s just one, at 杉原 beach by the halted Miramar Resort. Here’s even a Google Maps link to where I access it: https://goo.gl/maps/UqroTb1E6Ho

So if Taimali doesn’t work out and you have a scooter, drive along the coast and you’re bound to find a place.


#7

You see on photos that this place is beautiful, it means you can swim, because you are a Westerner

Actually, it’s not all beautiful. The last time I went to eastern Taiwan 5 years ago and camped on the dunes near Gangzi, the beach was literally a garbage dump. I’d never seen so much garbage on a beach.

There is a public sign ‘absolutely no swimming’, but you are a Westerner

There may or may not be a sign, but I definitely read online that there’s no swimming around Taimali.

You are aware there is danger, strong currents, riptides, steep drop offs, but you are a Westerner
It doesn’t really scare you, because you are a Westerner
You honestly enjoy a little adrenaline rush, because you are Westerner
You are worried that local -stupid, you mean Taiwanese?- people might rush and scream at you because you are a Westerner
The ocean has ghosts, local -stupid and Taiwanese- people say, but not you, because you are a Westerner
then… you need to ask other Westerners… What is your experience about this?

Yeah, you pretty much got it. Really not a nice way to say this, but I’m not afraid of ghosts, I know how to swim reasonably well, and I think Taiwanese people can be neurotic about such things. Although experiences about this don’t have to be limited to Westerners. I wouldn’t mind hearing from Taiwanese people who swim too. My key question is, is this really enforced for locals and foreigners or just a suggestion?

So you mean you respect these signs
But not those signs

I guess it depends on the circumstances. Where I’m from if there’s a no swimming sign it’s usually for a good reason like there’s a huge shipping port and not across huge areas. Otherwise signs typically say “swim at your own risk”, which I find reasonable.

So if Taimali doesn’t work out and you have a scooter, drive along the coast and you’re bound to find a place.

Planning on traveling with my friend who’s coming from overseas, so Taimali was also promising since it’s right off the rail line. Maybe we can rent transport and hike up to Taidong or Hualien… or just not swim and enjoy the view :confused:


#8

I’d look north of Taitung City in the Donghe area.


#9

Some of the East Coast beaches are treacherous, big undertows , steep drop off, currents. THat said also depends on swimming ability.


#10

Very true. Past couple times for me were a bit harrowing.


#11

I’m not sure what “suggestion” means, but when there is a sing of “absolutely no swimming”, swimming at that area is prohibited by the authority managing the area, so you shall not violate it.


#12

Nearly drowned in Taiwan
I have a healthy respect for the sea there

You need to avoid rip current and undertow both highly prevalent around Taiwan


#13

No reason to come/go to Taiwan or Taidong for swimming. If passing by, cautiously jump in. Just be careful of lost ghosts looking for company that pull you under.


#14

Well, there are no smoking signs in all hotels, but most of them still stink of cigarette smoke.

So I guess that means it’s treated as a suggestion?


#15

The no swimming signs and regulations suffer from “Boy Who Cried Wolf” syndrome. You’ll have lifeguards going crazy if you presume to wade past waist level in areas that are clearly safe - and that teaches people “Oh, OK, these swimming warnings are nonsense.” But other places, especially on the east coast, are genuinely dangerous.

The trouble is telling the difference.


#16

I you are not allowed to swim, get a surfboard!


#17

What are your thoughts on No Swimming in Taiwan?
I think it’s cos most people in Taiwan don’t know how to swim. They don’t understand ocean currents, rips, and conditions. They think undercurrents are ghosts. They get scared and panic because they don’t really know how to swim.


#18

Try Daxi in Ilan. But bring your own accommodations. 3 college kids actually died when I was there once, but I heard they couldn’t swim and went out too far on a windy day. Better for surfing than swimming in most parts.


#19

This may have been true a couple decades ago. However, younger generatiins are required to learn how to swim starting in early elementary school. 2nd grade I believe. It does not make them expert swimmers, nor does it teach them how to swim in the ocean, but they are learning to swim and quite a lot of people here can swim.

This superstition only applies to the very old generations that are on their way out. More like grandma and grandpa or great grandma and grandpa. Younger generations know darn well the whole ghosts thing is just a superstition. Taiwanese do a pretty good job educating children about the dangers of the ocean, rip tides, currents, etc. Again, it all happens starting in elementary school.

The signs for no swimming are out there for a good reason. The East coast is full of extremely dangerous swimming conditions. You really would need to be an expert swimmer to handle it. Most people (not just Taiwanese) most human beings are just casual swimmers and have no business being in such dangerous swimming conditions.

So if a life guard starts freaking out because you are wading out too far or swimming in a no swim zone, cut him some slack. He is trying to prevent the average Joe out there from drowning. For all he knows, you could be a novice swimmer too, they err on the side of caution, which is a good thing.


#20

Basically do your swimming in a swimming pool
The ocean is dangerous.