Friday, September 14, 2018

Things to do in Kenting, Taiwan (updated August 2018)

Located at the southern tip of Taiwan, Kenting is well-known for its sandy beaches, mountains,  and its relaxing atmosphere. A chat with our friendly Uber driver revealed that he used to attend party gatherings in Kenting to kao lui (fishing for girls). My wife and I? Too disqualified for that now, so we rather enjoy each other's company while we stroll along the beaches and the streets of Kenting. 

Here's what this post is going to tell you.
- Getting to Kenting
- Getting around Kenting
- What to do
- Where to stay
Getting to Kenting

You would probably past by Kaoshiung on the way to Kenting, unless you are coming from East Taiwan or swimming north from the Philippines. Check out my Kaoshiung post for itinerary ideas!

Kenting is beautiful but rather inaccessible, so here's how you can get there:

1. Kenting Bus Express (~2 hours). Kenting Bus Express is probably the most efficient method to travel from Kaoshiung, Zuoying station. Simply purchase your tickets at the Kenting Bus Express booth outside Zuoying station. A return ticket with Easycard (Taiwan's equivalent of Singapore's EzLink) costs approximately NT$500 (SGD$22).

The terminal is located just beside Zuoying station, beside Rainbow Bazaar.
And here's the bus which will bring you to Kenting.
2. Private hire (~1.5 hours). A private taxi or UBER would cost set you back by at least NT$2000 (SGD$90) for a one-way ticket to Kenting from Kaohsiung. Not worth it if you are travelling in a pair, considering you only save approximately 30 minutes of travelling time.

Getting around Kenting

Transport in Kenting is not as convenient as compared to the cities, if you can get an Uber, consider yourself lucky. Here's how to get around Kenting:

1. Rent an electric scooter or a bicycle. This is the best method to explore Kenting. In addition, you don't need a permit to rent an electric scooter at Kenting, but we opt this out as I'm having a pregnant lady onboard. Rental prices vary but the average would cost approximately NT$500 (SGD$23) per day during the summer months. Charging points are located all over Kenting (some businesses may let you charge your scooter for free if you purchase some things from them). The only downside for thrill-seekers is that the top speed is about 50km/h.
Countless rental stores like this.

2. Public buses. The cheapest alternative - there are 4 routes around Kenting and beyond, but they do not always bring you right to your destination.

3. Taxi. The best place to grab a taxi is along Kenting Main Street. Other than that, you may have to pray and wait.
Kenting Main Street

What to do in Kenting

1. Kenting Main Street
This 2-km long street is the most happening place in Kenting. In the evening, it transforms itself into a bustling night market with stores lining both sides of the roads. There are local and international fares, nostalgic game stalls, and clubs with music booming and ladies dancing to attract hot-blooded males in.
2. Relax and chill at one of their famed beaches.
Taiwan is an island, meaning to say that it's surrounded by waters. Here at Kenting, they pride themselves to have one of the most beautiful beaches in Taiwan. There are a few beaches here, such as the famous Baishawan and South Bay (where most action takes place), but we ain't travelling that far without a scooter, so we just settled with Kenting beach, which is a mere 3-min walk from the Main Street.
3. Eluanbi Lighthouse
Constructed in the 1880s and standing at 21.4 meters, the Eluanbi Lighthouse is an iconic beacon which sits on the southern cape of Taiwan. There's an admission fee to get within the park (NT$40/SGD$1.80). Do visit if you're riding a scooter as this place is pretty inaccessible by foot.
4. Southernmost point of Taiwan
While you're at Eluanbi Lighthouse, why not travelling just a 1.2km south to find yourself at the literal tip of Taiwan - the southernmost point. Although most travel in the day because of safety, if you happened to wait it out till night, you may catch a view like this:

Where to stay in Kenting

Kenting has lots of hotels and resorts if you want to get the most out of Kenting, staying near the Kenting Main Street is the way to go. We chose Love 126 for our choice of accommodation and we were happy kids. It's located just beside the beach and a 3-min walk to Kenting Main Street, so we pretty much got the best of both worlds.
We woke up with this view:
Special mention to the resort boss, a really friendly and sincere guy, who helped us solve some minor issues during our stay and give advice on where to eat/do. Staying here is like staying at your own house as he trusts his guests to lock the main gate (cos' he sleeps early). There's even breakfast beside the free flow of ice-cream and bottled drinks and hot coffee/tea.