What Taiwan lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty. From the breathtaking coastlines and beaches to the mountain hot springs and sunrises above the clouds, Taiwan has so much to offer. Kenting is a beach area near the southern tip of Taiwan and is commonly considered one of the best vacation areas on the island. It offers a range of hotels, many great eats, fun shopping and beautiful hiking trails and beaches to explore. Read on to learn why Kenting is a must do, if you’re in Taiwan.
Baisha Beach in Taiwan
Baisha (White Sand) Beach is arguably the most beautiful beach in all of Taiwan. The sand matches its descriptive name and the clear, turquoise waters are the stuff of vacation fantasies.
Baisha Beach got its 15 minutes of fame when it was filmed as a stand-in for Mexico in the movie “Life Of Pi,” by Taiwanese director Ang Lee.
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Because it’s not right on the main strip in Kenting, Baisha is not as busy as some of the other beaches. So it’s definitely worth the short drive if you’re staying near the strip.
It has grown a lot in popularity over the last decade and restaurant and drink options are now available. Need some popsicles and drinks for the kids? Plenty of options can be found right at the beach. Chairs and beach umbrellas are also available to rent for the day for about 9USD.
If you’re the adventurous type, water activities like jet skis and banana boats can be booked for a fee. Some decent snorkeling can be enjoyed along the shore at the south end of the beach, but bring your floaties for any children that are not strong swimmers yet, as it can get a little rough at the shore sometimes. Relaxing on Baisha Beach is truly an incredible way to spend a day or two in Taiwan.
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Before you go, check out this Family Beach Vacation Packing List.
Kenting Night Market
No trip to Kenting would be complete without walking the main strip and taking in all the sights, sounds and smells (for better or for worse) of the Kenting night market. It’s the perfect place to head with an empty stomach, once you’re all cleaned up and feeling relaxed from a day in the surf and sun.
Whether you eat dinner at one of the great restaurant options, a pizza truck on the side of the road or snack your way along the night market, be sure to save room for dessert. If you’re feeling particularly naughty, go for the banana pancakes or deep fried snickers/oreos. If you’re keeping in mind that you’ll be back on the beach in your swimsuit tomorrow, there is plenty of fresh, cut up, tropical fruit to be found in Taiwan.
The night market has become quite popular among both the local Taiwanese and the tourists from the mainland. It is a fun one to shop at with lots of bathing suits and covers, sandals, sunglasses, jewelry and other fun souvenirs.
National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium
If the weather is not cooperating, or you’re looking for something educational and indoors (for the air conditioning) the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium is the perfect option. A full day can easily be spent here, taking in the exhibits and enjoying the beautiful aquatic displays. Some highlights include the whale shark tank, getting a glimpse of the beluga whales from Russia, and walking through the amazing 80 meter underwater tunnel.
See How to Turn a Beach Vacation into a Cultural Travel Experience.
A Few More Stops in the Kenting Area Worth Making
Kenting is a national park and is not without its share of walking and hiking trails. Check out the stunning limestone caves at The Forest Recreation Area and see how many different kinds of butterflies you can spot in Sheding Nature Park. Both areas have trails suitable for the whole family. (Not stroller friendly though.)
If you have the time, it’s worth it to head down to the southern most tip of Taiwan and enjoy the view from the lighthouse. Then, drive north up the east coast for the stunning, Hawaii-like views. If surf is what you’re after, continue on to Jialeshui Beach. Boards are available to rent and if you’re a beginner, sign up for lessons.
Getting to Kenting
The easiest way to get to Kenting is by car. If you don’t have a vehicle, the High Speed Rail goes as far as Kaohsiung from Taipei. Then there are plenty of bus options in Taiwan to get you to Kenting or if you don’t mind spending a little more, you can pay a taxi driver to take you.
Once you’re in Kenting, and if you’re comfortable with it, renting a scooter is the most efficient and enjoyable way to explore. Get out there and feel the sun on your face and the ocean breeze in your hair! But please, wear a helmet and drive safely.
Kenting is one of Taiwan’s many treasures. It’s picturesque, fun and a charming break from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. When in Taiwan, it’s not to be missed!
This post was written b y Katrina Jakola,