Baishawan 白沙灣, Baisha Bay
Located north of Taipei City slightly past Tamsui (淡水, Danshui) in Shimen, Baishawan (literally White Sand Bay) is a nice free public beach, which, even during the summer months, remains relatively uncrowded.
Baishawan's white sand differs greatly from the fine, black sand in Yilan's Wushigang and from the golden sand at Fulong Beach.
Promoted as a trendy water sports paradise, it is located between Linshan Cape and Fugui Cape, and is also home to the North Coast Exploratorium (next to the beach entrance), which shows 3D films in a mini submarine theater.
Towards the north end of the beach is a small shopping area with cafés, restaurants, and small shops.
A tent rental should cost around NT$250, cold shower NT$20, and hot shower NT$40.
There is ample English signage around to help visitors.
Take the MRT Red Line 2 to Tamsui Station (淡水), northern terminus of the red line. After exiting the station, cross the street to the bus stop, and board local busses 622 or 623, or long distance 1261, 1262, or 1263. Get off the bus at the Baishawan (白沙灣) stop. It is recommended to just use an EasyCard (悠遊卡) as the fare structure is a bit complex and may be confusing for non-Chinese speakers. To return to Tamsui, board the same busses in the opposite direction. Service on these routes is infrequent, so be sure to check the stop sign for boarding times.
By North Coast Shuttle Bus:
It is also possible to take the North Coast Shuttle Bus, offered by the Taiwan Tourism Board from MRT Tamsui Station (淡水), red line. The fare is NT$200 for a one-day pass. The shuttle travels between MRT Tamsui Station and Keelung Railway Station, and leaves around every half hour on weekends and every hour on weekdays.
To the south of the beach is a nice hiking trail that leads out to the edge of the point.
Due to its location close to the most northwestern point of Taiwan, Baishawan is very windy.
During low tide, the shore area of Baishawan becomes very large (sometimes over 200 meters deep) with shallow tide pools and many sand bars.
The nearby Linshan Cape Recreation Area is home to a large park containing walking trails and a boardwalk-type bikeway, where fans of Jay Chou's movie "Untold Secret" (不能說的秘密) will recognize the location from several scenes.
Slightly south of Baishawan is Qianshuiwan (淺水灣), a smaller beach well known for its numerous restaurants.