Shalun Beach (沙崙)
Happy Dragon Boat Duanwu Festival (端午節)!
In Taiwan, Monday and Tuesday this week are public holidays.
Located closest to the city, Shalun is arguably the easiest to reach of the North Coast beaches. During the Japanese occupation, the beach was developed into a resort popular with locals, and during the Martial Law period it was used as a training ground for covert operatives headed to Mainland China.
After the Martial Law era, the beach was opened to the public. However, after years of heavy use and the beach's proximity to industry, pollution worsened and the beach's gates were closed in 1999. The beach is still accessible, however, once visitors pass over the warning tape.
Shalun is a very wide, sandy beach, that is usually completely free of visitors. The water is extremely dangerous to swim in due to odd tides and rip currents, resulting in over 30 deaths since the beach's closure in 1999. That being said, it is a great place to sunbathe as well as play beach sports on the wide, flat expanse. From time to time, people will hold parties and do activities like horseback riding along the beach.
DO NOT ENTER THE WATER
As of 2012, due to the deaths of local middle school students, the Coast Guard is actively patrolling the beach warning visitors to stay out of the water. Previously, it was fine to walk through the shallow part of the beach, however, since the events of 2012, the Coast Guard says it has no way of differentiating who is swimming and who is simply playing in the shallow areas. Officially, the Coast Guard says it will levy fines against those bathing, however, in reality it is more likely to just receive a polite warning. It is still okay to relax along the beach, as long as visitors do not enter the water.
Shalun Beach is located very close to Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf, a great place to spend a few hours walking around looking at the marina and taking in views of the Tamsui River and Pacific Ocean. To get to Fisherman's Wharf, just continue walking west down Guanhai Road, or take any bus heading that direction.
For swimming, another beach is Baishawan Beach, located further up along the coast.