I think if you ask anyone in Taiwan where their favourite place is they say Kenting. It’s as far south as you can go, so it enjoys nice warm weather, combined with sweeping beaches, views over the South China Sea, wildlife and a tropical air – what’s not to like?
We spent a couple of nights in Kenting in 2017. it’s east to get to by public transport, with cheap regular coaches from Kaohsiung. We stayed at one of the many homestays (a quirky place with a cow theme that makes it quite hard to miss from the road) but there’s a good selection of hotels and campsites in the area – though the hotels are large and focused on family holidaymakers.
Arriving in Kenting in mid winter meant that the beaches were pretty deserted and the locals looked at us as if we were mad for swimming in the sea. However, they maybe had a point. The waves at Kenting can be huge and some of the beaches were rightly closed for swimming. We struggled to stay on our feat and were regularly unceremoniously dumped by the waves on the beach.
Kenting has a nice range of beaches to suit differing tastes. We found Little Bay and Sail Rock, just to the south of Kenting to be the best places for bathing. Sail Rock is also known as Nixon Rock due to its alleged similarities to the former US President’s head. Here apparently you can dive into the sea, but it was too rough the day we were there.
Not everything in Kenting is perfect. Kenting village itself is far from pretty – not least because of blaring music from one of the nightclubs – and there is of course the nuclear power station up the road, so this is not quite paradise.
Much more appealing is to take the bus or taxi down to the most southerly point on Taiwan – Eluanbi. Here you will find the fascinating lighthouse where you can clearly see the old fortifications that were built to keep the local marauding tribes out – and quite rightly so as there’s some pretty grizzly stories of American sailors being shipwrecked and killed by the locals. Times, of course, have changed and today Eluanbi has a pleasant ambiance and interesting walks down to the shoreline.