If you have only 24 hours, you’ll try to make the most of it. And what better place to enjoy a day in than in Kenting?
Kenting National Park is located at the southern tip of the island, in the Hengchun Peninsula of Pintung County. It is Taiwan’s oldest national park, established in 1984. It is Taiwan’s only tropical national park. And what a beauty it is!
A true tropical paradise, Kenting enjoys warmth and sun all year round. The only weather one has to look out for are seasonal typhoons. Kenting is particularly blessed with beautiful white beaches as well as lush vegetation. Kenting is characterized by the thick tropical jungles that roam across the range of the park. Scenic mountains surround visitors to Kenting as well. Hundreds of trees, themselves hundreds of years old, are a common sight in the park. Verdant green stretching as far as the eye can see. Its beautiful white beaches have clean sand, a far cry from Singapore’s beach litter. The sea at Kenting has many moods as well. Sometimes the ocean is emerald green, sometimes it is nothing but grey darkness. But other times, the sea is a beautiful rich blue, stretching as far as the eye can see.
The entire area was under sea level 10 million years ago. As a result, Kenting is stocked with dozens of limestone caves, adorned with stalagmites. Being the only tropical park in Taiwan, flora and fauna here cannot be found elsewhere on the island. Thousands of tropical plants, birds, butterflies and reptiles can be classified from the park. Groups of Formosan macaques can be seen frolicking about at times. During the autumn and winter, migratory birds including Chinese goshawks, oriental honey-buzzards, and gray-faced buzzards flock to the national park for a place to roost. Kenting National Park lets you get closer to nature and enjoy the wondrous beauty it holds for you. A morning would be well spent trekking along the soft white sand of the beaches of Kenting, before the sun rises too high in the sky. Walking through the forests and exploring the numerous caves speckling the area, is another way to spend your time.
In the afternoon, another landmark to look out for would be the Eluanbi Lighthouse. Built between the Pacific and the Taiwan Strait, facing the Luzon Strait, the lighthouse is known as the Light of East Asia, because of the sheer intensity of its light. An interesting historical monument, it is a pleasant walk across the beach, with the sea wind tugging at one’s hair and the green grass across the hill down at one’s feet.
If history isn’t one’s thing, the beach is still an alternative prospect. Singaporean city-dwellers can try to learn surfing, Kenting’s waves being optimal form such a venture. With the sun high in the sky, its perfect for sun-tanning too. Long slow walks at the beach are great ideas too, with such beautiful scenery at one’s beck and call, mountains to one side, and the vast sea to the other, unspoiled by the sights of ships and trash.
An attraction to look out for would be the 出火 natural phenomenon. Natural gas escapes from fissures in the ground, igniting as it comes out of the earth. An amazing spectacle, especially at night or twilight, which are the best times to visit the place. Small spurts of flame suddenly light up the night, awing newcomers. Enterprising vendors often set up booths cooking food and providing drinks for walkers along the route.
When night falls, a visitor can saunter through the Kenting night strip. The main Kenting strip turns into a massive night market. Merchandise, mainly in the form of clothes and accessories, can be found there. Typical Taiwanese road fare, being common yet no less delicious for that can be found. Seafood, some freshly caught on the same day, are a common sight as well. Games can also be found, just like at a carnival.
Accommodation is in the form of Taiwanese “minsus” as well as bed and breakfasts or motels. Most are at a reasonable price
Kenting is a great place to visit for beach-lovers or scenery viewers, or even people who are tired of visiting cities after cities. Any interested parties can find a great tour planning service in the form of Taiwan Free and Easy. Do drop us a call or email!