Awesome beachfront hostels for less than USD $20 are hard to come by no matter where you are. Sure, there is the occasional bamboo hut on the secluded beach in Thailand or the crowded dorm room in the Philippines, but, overall, quality beach front accommodation on a budget are not for everyone, nor are they found everywhere.
Without a doubt, the service and accommodations offered at affordable prices at the Rising Surf Inn at Wai Ao are as good as it gets. Rising Surf Inn is a feel-good place to stay: the staff are laid-back, super friendly and very helpful, the accommodation is clean and spacious and you really can’t ask for more from the surrounding neighborhood. Less than a minute from the Wai Ao train station, it’s super accessible. It should be noted, however, that there aren’t any convenience stores or restaurants in the area. My younger sister, Magalie, and I ordered pizza with the staff and other patrons during our one-night stay. Rising Surf Inn does offer a delicious (but limited) menu. I ordered up a breakfast burrito while I watched the sun rise out of the East China Sea. Magic.
Wai Ao boasts a black sand coastline dotted with big rock formations, making for an impressive landscape. No, it’s not the most beautiful beach in the world, but it’s less than 3 hours from the heart of Taipei and well-worth the trip. Frankly, Rising Surf Inn is worth a trip in and of itself.
Wai Ao is located on the east coast of Taiwan and is most easily accessed via the Yilan Line.