Kenting Taiwan: Everything you need to know to explore this amazing town.

We spent an amazing spring break in the southernmost point of the island. Kenting Taiwan perfectly combines sun, fun, and adrenaline for everyone. In the Henchun peninsula, this place is home to the perfect vacation environment. From the beach, museum, nature, caves and a good variety of food, Kenting was the perfect place to get out of the city for three days.

Puppy received me arriving at Kenting Taiwan

This beauty welcomed me in Kenting.

Exploring Kenting Taiwan.

Being from Costa Rica I was craving for a good time in the sand relaxing to the sound of waves, however, some of my friends in Taipei suggested me not to get excited about the beach in Kenting. Is different, but I wasn’t disappointed at all.

We headed there from Taipei, around 9:00 am. We went with friends and they drove us to Kenting. Very comfortable six hours ride. The road is impeccable and well signed.

As we were getting closer, we felt the warmer weather and the beach vibes. Colorful houses and seafood restaurants around the road let us know our destiny was close.

Purple flower in Kenting Beach

Based on my experience, let me recommend you some tips to get the most out of this beautiful place.

What to do in Kenting Taiwan?

There is something for every taste, doesn’t matter age or favorites Kenting offers a good variety of activities. Let me start with my favorite:

Kenting National Park.

Your visit to Kenting can’t miss a good time in this national park. Make sure you take time, either a whole morning or afternoon to get to visit their trails and caves.

The entrance is in Kenting main street, so it’s impossible to get lost. There is a big parking lot so you can leave your car or scooter safely. Depending on the area you will like to start your route there will be a parking cost of $50NT per car and $20NT per scooter.

The ticket for entrance to the park costs $150NT per adult, there are special rates for kids, students (with proper ID) and elderly people.

Once you walk you will be surrounded by nature. The first thing you’ll see is the visitor center, a beautiful, big white house at your left. Here you can find the restrooms, souvenirs, and snacks. Make sure you buy water for your way in because you’ll need it.

Visitor center at Kenting National Park

There are few paths you can follow, the trails are nicely paved and accessible, from time to time you will find stairs, however, is easy to get around the park.

After wandering around for a bit, we found the Silver Dragon cave, this one is short but cool, you will see a lot of cool sea rock formations, as everything used to be underwater a zillion years ago.

Kenting National Park

Kenting National Park

Silver Dragon Cave

Then, you will find the Viewing Tower. In here you can go up to the top floor (by elevator don’t worry!) and enjoy a complete 360° view of the park, including the Henchun peninsula where the Taiwan strait meets the Pacific ocean. If you need a snack break, this is your place, as the six floors tower has a little restaurant and you can use their facilities to eat your own snacks.

Make sure you take a picture of each landmark stated in the viewing tower, we had a perfect cleared sky that day and could see the frog-shaped rock and the Eluanbi Lighthouse from here.

Kenting National Park

Once you have enjoyed the view, is a time for you to go to the second and largest cave. This one has narrower and taller halls, as soon as you get in, you feel how the environment changes, on a hot day is perfect as the air is way cooler down there.

There are several interesting shaped rocks through all the cave, is signed, so pay attention and take a picture if you find them.

Inside of the biggest cave

Cave walls

The park closes at 5:00 pm, so try to arrive with enough time, one can do it in 3 hours.

To find out the most updated info on the park schedule and activities you can access their English website.

On a funny note, when we were going out of the park and were to cross the street, we found the most popular and lovely traffic lights in the world. So, the traffic light guy was alone and sad, then he got a girlfriend, proposed, got married, and this week I found out they had a baby!

 

I have no idea that the Taiwanese have invented this love story for the little traffic light guy!

Kenting beaches.

Baisha Bay.

I’m starting with the famous one, Baisha bay has a beautiful sand and perfect-colored water. Some areas are rocky so you need to be careful when dipping in the water.

You need to have your own ride to get to this beach as there is no bus service stopping nearby.

This beach was the place where Taiwanese director Ang Lee shoot scenes for the Life of Pi movie.

Nanwan beach.

This one is the busiest one as it is the center of all the fun water activities, you can rent jet-skies, banana boats, and even surf. There are also more restaurants and juice bars around.

Kenting Beach

Xiao Bay or Little Bay.

As it names shows is a small beach at the north edge of Kenting. Is one of the few places where may swim and you can find several commodities here, like restrooms and showers, but you need to take your own umbrella as there is no shadow to cover from the sun.

Kenting beach.

This one is the biggest and most centered. You can find it right across the main entrance of the national park. Some areas are dangerous so watch for the no-swimming signs around.

Also, as is easy and convenient to get here, this beach is very crowded all day long.

Kenting beach

Eluanbi Lighthouse.

Built in the 1880´s this still functioning lighthouse is one of the nicest spots around. Is part of Kenting National Park but has a separate entrance and fee, which is $30NT per adult.

It has a mixed vibe of ancient history with long white Mediterranean walls. The halls in the little museum next to the lighthouse are perfect for a framed picture with the blue ocean in the back.

Besides getting to know the history of this place, you can also walk around the scenery area with several trails heading to the coast.

Eluanbi Lighthouse

Where to eat in Kenting?

To be honest, the couple of restaurants we went were ok, a little overpriced and nothing memorable.

We enjoyed the night market very much and ate there two nights in a row. Very similar to any other night market in Taiwan you can find a good variety of street food, maybe the only difference I could find was the beer and cocktails kiosks around the street.

Kenting Taiwan

 

Eating in Kenting

Hotels in Kenting.

We stayed in a little hostel in the middle of Kenting street and its night market. Couldn’t have picked a better location, we were in the middle of everything!

Kenting has a place for every budget, you can find the resort with the big pool and the little trail going to the beach and most modest places where you can leave your stuff while being outside all day. So it’s pretty much your call what to choose, but know this, most hotels and hostels advertise themselves as being in Kenting, but, there are many hotels actually in the northern town of Henchun, which is far away from the main street and the beach.

Hotels in Kenting

Best way to move around Kenting.

We were all around with our friends in their car, neat!

However, if you aren’t as lucky as we were, your best choice is to rent a scooter. The daily fee goes from $400NT to $600NT depending on the place you ask.

Kenting Taiwan

 

These scooters are electric and have a low cylinder capacity, hence you won’t need a driving license to get one, but still, there will be good enough to be around town.

How to get to Kenting Taiwan?

If you are coming from abroad and want to land as close as possible pick the Kaohsiung airport. There is a smaller airport in Henchun, closer to Kenting, however, this one almost never operates.

The best route is to get to Kaohsiung. From Taipei, you can get there by High-speed rail, only two hours and ten minutes but it’s a bit expensive. The train is comfortable, with a better view for the half of the cost, but takes from 4 to 5 hours.

Also, you can take the bus which is the cheapest option and can take you about 6 hours.

No matter the way, once you are in Kaohsiung, go to the Zuoying Station, outside you will find the bus stop, take the bus 9117 to Kenting National Park, should take you only 2 hours to get there.

Kenting Taiwan

When is the best time to go to Kenting?

Kenting has a tropical warm weather all year round, but please have in mind that Taiwan has its typhoon season from June to October, and this may affect the normality of the services and the tourist attractions.

Recommendations.

  1. There are a few long holidays all year round in Taiwan, so make sure you double check the calendar for your visit and make hotel and transportation arrangements on time. This is a popular destination among Taiwanese.
  2. Have cash with you, most places won’t accept a credit card. Also, the banks are far away, if you can use the ATM at the 7/11 you are good.
  3. The National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium is worth a visit, we couldn’t go but is on our to-do list.
  4. The easy and most famous route to Kenting is from Kaohsiung, but there are also buses coming from Taitung, in case you are circling around the island.

Kenting beach

I have a great time in here; it was a perfect little celebration of our first months living in Taiwan. If you are ever in the area, make sure you reserved time to visit Kenting, you won’t regret it.

 

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Taiwan Cherry Blossoms Season 2018: Tips and Tricks for you to get the most out of it!

As the winter is getting colder here in Taipei, my time outdoors has decreased. While scrolling on my cellphone, I found the most interesting news “First cherry blossoms spotted in New Taipei City”.

Surprised by this (I always thought this was a Japanese thing!), I made a day, grabbed my coat, and headed to TianYuan Temple in Tamsui, whose gardens have several cherry blossoms.

I’ve always known of people’s fascination with cherry blossom trees, in high school, one of my closest friends was always dreaming ongoing to Japan and see these Sakura trees. Until this day, for me they were only nice trees with pink flowers. I’m now in love with these beauties!

 

TianYuan Temple

Wuji TianYuan Temple in Tamsui. Photo by Richard Marin.

 

 

The Taoist temple of Wuji TianYuan it’s stunning by itself, rising in the hill with its beautiful facade. Take your time and walk thru the gardens. As you get deeper into them, you can see the first cherry blossoms.

There is plenty of walkable space, water fountains, and benches for you to enjoy peacefully the place. Make sure to go all the way up to the top. The landscape from there won’t disappoint you!

Searching around the internet, Japan covers the entire information. Well, let me tell you, Taiwan has several places to sightsee, and the best part, it won’t kill your budget!

Taiwan Cherry Blossom Season

Cherry blossoms in Taiwan: What you need to know!

  • What is a cherry blossom?

The cherry blossom, known worldwide as Sakura, is the flower of a Prunus tree. These trees found more in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. This flower doesn’t become a fruit; however, this tree is related to almond, peach and plum trees.

  • Cherry blossom forecast 2018.

Is happening during the last months of winter, some places might bloom in late January, during February, and will end on March. Locals say this year started earlier due to a warmer winter (nonsense! I’ve been freezing all along!) This year in Taiwan they are due to appear from mid-January until the end of March.

  • How long is cherry blossom season?

The season last around two-and-a-half months, from mid-January until the end of March. Depending on how cold the weather is in a particular area, the season might start until late-February.

  • How long are the cherry blossoms in bloom?

Each tree lasts around 15 to 22 days. Once the flower has blossomed takes one week to reach its peak, after another week it’s completely blossomed, and then will start falling. Rain and strong winds can cut the flowers sooner.

  • Where can you find cherry blossoms in Taiwan? How to get there?

These are the most famous places around Taiwan to spot cherry blossom trees. I’m providing you with the easiest directions for you to get there.

Northern Area.

TianYuan Temple, Tamsui.

From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT red line to Tamsui, and get down at the last station. Get out and turn right to the bus station. Take bus 875, and after 30 minutes, get down at Bei Xin Zhuang stop, walk straight to the Seven Eleven store and make a right.

Pingjing Street, Lane 42, Shilin.

From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT red line to Tamsui and get down on Shilin station. Walk three minutes to Shilin Farmers Association bus stop and wait for bus 303, after one hour ride get down at Lunziwei stop, walk straight and you can find the beautiful street decorated in pink.

Yangmingshan National Park, Beitou.

From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT red line to Tamsui and get down on Beitou station. From there take the bus 230, it will take directly to the park. This place has many things to offer, make sure you take the whole day to enjoy it.

Wulai Scenic Area, New Taipei City.

From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT red line to Xiangshan, get down at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and switch to the green line to Xindian.  At the north of the same station, take bus 849 to Wulai.

Central Area.

Alishan National Scenic Area, Chiayi.

From Taipei, it can take over 10 hours to get there by public transportation. It would combine buses and high-speed train for you to prove how convenient the system is around here. Once you are at Chiayi main station, take the bus 7322, get down at A Li Shan Rts and take the Forest Railway.

Wuling Farm, Taichung.

Even though is located in Taichung, is easier to get access from Yilan. Get to the Yilan railway station and from there take the Kuo Kuang bus to Lishan and get down just in front of the farm.

  • What countries have cherry blossoms?

The most popular place is Japan; the cherry blossom is also their national flower. You can find it as well in Korea, Siberia, China, United States, Canada, India, Iran, Pakistan, and of course here in Taiwan.

Last but not least!

  1. Take your more comfortable shoes! These areas are worth the visit and they all will make you walk.
  2. Is winter season during those months, some days are colder than others. And especially in those high places, the cold and strong winds may be present.
  3. Take your camera and your patience! It’s obvious to think that being so beautiful and popular, these places won’t be alone, and everybody wants a picture!
  4. Make sure to visit the food places around, they won’t disappoint!
  5. Chinese New Year is on February 15 and 16, meaning people from around the country and some neighbors may be celebrating here!

Well now you know, if you need to visit the cherry blossom trees without breaking your savings account, Taiwan is the best option for you.

 

Found out more of my Taiwanese discoveries here.

Cherry Blossoms Season 2018 in Taiwan.

One of the most beautiful sightings of spring, the Cherry Blossoms Season 2018 is here and is gorgeous!

Cherry Blossoms Season 2018.

As the winter is getting colder here in Taipei, my time outdoors has decreased. While scrolling on my cellphone, I found the most interesting news “First cherry blossoms spotted in New Taipei City”. Surprised by this (I always thought this was a Japanese thing!), I made a day, grabbed my coat, and headed to TianYuan Temple in Tamsui, whose gardens have several cherry blossoms.

I’ve always known of people’s fascination with cherry blossom trees, in high school, one of my closest friends was always dreaming ongoing to Japan and see these Sakura trees. Until this day, for me they were only nice trees with pink flowers. I’m now in love with these beauties!

 

Cherry Blossoms Season 2018

Wuji TianYuan Temple in Tamsui. Photo by Richard Marin.

 

 

The Taoist temple of Wuji TianYuan it’s stunning by itself, rising in the hill with its beautiful facade. Take your time and walk thru the gardens. As you get deeper into them, you can see the first cherry blossoms.

There is plenty of walk-able space, water fountains, and benches for you to enjoy peacefully the place. Make sure to go all the way up to the top. The landscape from there won’t disappoint you!

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Searching around the internet, Japan covers the entire information. Well, let me tell you, Taiwan has several places to sight see, and the best part, it won’t kill your budget!

Cherry Blossoms Season 2018

Cherry blossoms welcoming spring!

Cherry blossoms in Taiwan: What you need to know!

  • What is a cherry blossom?

The cherry blossom, known worldwide as Sakura, is the flower of a Prunus tree. These trees found more in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. This flower doesn’t become a fruit; however, this tree is related to almond, peach and plum trees.

  • Cherry blossom forecast 2018.

Is happening during the last months of winter, some places might bloom in late January, during February, and will end on March. Locals say this year started earlier due to a warmer winter (nonsense! I’ve been freezing all along!) This year in Taiwan they are due to appear from mid-January until the end of March.

  • How long is cherry blossom season?

The season last around two-and-a-half months, from mid-January until the end of March. Depending on how cold the weather is in a particular area, the season might start until late-February.

  • How long are the cherry blossoms in bloom?

Each tree lasts around 15 to 22 days. Once the flower has blossomed takes one week to reach its peak, after another week it’s completely blossomed, and then will start falling. Rain and strong winds can cut the flowers sooner.

  • Where can you find cherry blossoms in Taiwan? How to get there?

These are the most famous places around Taiwan to spot cherry blossom trees. I’m providing you with the easiest directions for you to get there.

Northern Area.

TianYuan Temple, Tamsui.

From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT red line to Tamsui, and get down at the last station. Get out and turn right to the bus station. Take bus 875, and after 30 minutes, get down at Bei Xin Zhuang stop, walk straight to the Seven Eleven store and make a right.

Pingjing Street, Lane 42, Shilin.

From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT red line to Tamsui and get down on Shilin station. Walk three minutes to Shilin Farmers Association bus stop and wait for bus 303, after one hour ride get down at Lunziwei stop, walk straight and you can find the beautiful street decorated in pink.

Yangmingshan National Park, Beitou.

From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT red line to Tamsui and get down on Beitou station. From there take the bus 230, it will take directly to the park. This place has many things to offer, make sure you take the whole day to enjoy it.

Wulai Scenic Area, New Taipei City.

From Taipei Main Station, take the MRT red line to Xiangshan, get down at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and switch to the green line to Xindian.  At the north of the same station, take bus 849 to Wulai.

Central Area.

Alishan National Scenic Area, Chiayi.

From Taipei, it can take over 10 hours to get there by public transportation. It would combine buses and high-speed train for you to prove how convenient the system is around here. Once you are at Chiayi main station, take the bus 7322, get down at A Li Shan Rts and take the Forest Railway.

Wuling Farm, Taichung.

Even though is located in Taichung, is easier to get access from Yilan. Get to the Yilan railway station and from there take the Kuo Kuang bus to Lishan and get down just in front of the farm.

  • What countries have cherry blossoms?

The most popular place is Japan; the cherry blossom is also their national flower. You can find it as well in Korea, Siberia, China, United States, Canada, India, Iran, Pakistan, and of course here in Taiwan.

Last but not least!

  1. Take your more comfortable shoes! These areas are worth the visit and they all will make you walk.
  2. Is winter season during those months, some days are colder than others. And especially in those high places, the cold and strong winds may be present.
  3. Take your camera and your patience! It’s obvious to think that being so beautiful and popular, these places won’t be alone, and everybody wants a picture!
  4. Make sure to visit the food places around, they won’t disappoint!
  5. Chinese New Year is on February 15 and 16, meaning people from around the country and some neighbors may be celebrating here!

Well now you know, if you need to experience the cherry blossoms season 2018 without breaking your savings account, Taiwan is the best option for you!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Found out more of my Taiwanese discoveries here.