In 1949, the collapse of Nationalist forces in mainland China led to a new governmental separation between Taiwan and the mainland, with the Nationalist government (the Republic of China) on Taiwan and the Communist government (the People's Republic of China) on the mainland. This separation continues to the present day.
This page describes lighthouses of the Penghu (Pescadores) Islands, an archipelago of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait about 80 km (50 mi) west of Taiwan's southwest coast. The principal town, Makung, is accessible by air from Kaohsiung. The islands are a resort area for Taiwanese but are seldom visited by Westerners.
The Nationalist government also administers the Matsu, Wuciou, and Kinmen (Quemoy) islands in Fujian province across the Taiwan Strait. Lighthouses of these islands are listed on a separate page.
Historically, lighthouses in Taiwan have been operated by the Department of Maritime Affairs within the Directorate General of Customs. Beginning 1 January 2013 they are now managed by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, which has announced plans to restore and develop the light stations as tourist attractions.
The Chinese word for a lighthouse is dēngtǎ (灯塔). Jiao or chiao is a cape, dao, tao, yu, or hsu is an island, wan is a bay, and kang or gang is a harbor. Due to competing systems for transliterating Chinese into Latin characters, there are always several possible spellings for the names of places in China. In Taiwan, the Wade-Giles system was in use for many years, but at the beginning of 2009 the Pinyin system used on the mainland became the standard in Taiwan as well. At the present time, many place names in Taiwan are still known mostly under the Wade-Giles spellings.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.
Yuwengdao Light, July 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Shih-Pei Chang
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: Taiwan | West: Matsu and Kinmen
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Posted September 11, 2007. Checked and revised August 7, 2012. Lighthouses: 7. Site copyright 2012 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.