Everybody's gone surfing! Or so it seems. So popular has the sport become that in the summer months you could probably walk from Baishawan all the way to Wushih Harbour. We mean on the water, or, rather, on the endless floating boards just offshore.
Surfboard rentals are widely available near the popular surf spots, usually for NT$600 to NT$800 per day. Wetsuits are also available, though you can usually surf in the north in a swimsuit or shortie, with a wetsuit reserved for those cold snaps in January and February.
Good diving spots can be found stretching from the limestone cape of Yeliu down to the high sea-cliff walls off Yilan. Visibility is generally good, averaging between 5m and 12m, while water temperature varies much more than down south: it can be a comfy 25°C to 28°C in summer, but in winter it can get down to 17°C. Bring a 5mm suit!
All entrances are shore based, and are a bit tough, with rocky shores, swells and currents to contend with. However, those same currents mean you'll find a rich variety of tropical and temperate sea life. Divers rave about the soft coral patches along coastal walls, and the large numbers of beautiful sea fans that can be seen in areas with particularly strong currents.
If you go out, note that the seas off Yeliu, Bitou Cape and Longdong bay are very crowded with divers on summer weekends. However, during the week they can be delightfully empty (of people).