Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on July 1, 2023
Zhongao Beach is one of the most popular snorkeling locations on Liuqiu Island. It is famous for its many visiting green sea turtles, which are pretty easy to see even a very short distance from shore. Triggerfish, trevallies, parrotfish and surgeonfish also abound at the reef. While prevalent with fish, the reef, however, is quite poor in coral.
Zhongao Beach, just southeast of the Baishawei Fishing Harbor, is one of two popular beaches on the northeast end of Liuqiu Island. You can easily walk here on foot either by coming up from the southeast end of the harbor or walking up Guan Guang Gang Road. Walk up the road to where it turns right at the aquatic center into an area where some motor scooter rentals are offered.
It is free to enter and swim at this beach. There are organized snorkeling tours and various other organized groups in the water, but if you rent or bring your own gear, just go on in.
Water entrance is easy, from a sandy and rocky beach. This is a shallow and easy beach suitable for beginners.
You can go out 100 yards or so from the beach (which is itself only about 200 yards wide), as there are breakwaters around the harbor and an erosion control breakwater on the east end of the beach. These seem to block currents pretty well.
Despite crowds in the water, fish and turtles are plentiful and easy to see, and the coral is in fair condition. Green sea turtles are abundant in Liuqiu waters and Zhongao Beach is one of the best locations to spot them. Taiwanese laws are very strict about swimming with sea turtles: keep a distance and never try to touch or chase them.
Among the fish species you may spot at this location are the whitespotted puffer, the Moorish Idol, the blackbelly triggerfish, and several species of parrotfish and butterflyfish.
The beach is often crowded with people swimming, snorkeling, floating on inflatable rafts, kayaking, or cruising around on stand-up paddle boards. Boats come in close to shore as well.
There is no beach restaurant at Zhongdao, but you’ll find a fair choice of places to eat in Liuqiu Township main streets and around the harbor.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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