8 great things to do in Kenting, Taiwan
Beyond the neon lights, scooter waterfalls and bustling city life, is Taiwan’s own little slice of paradise ~ Kenting (墾丁). Situated at the southern tip of Taiwan in Pingtung County, Kenting is a popular destination among locals and international travelers year-round. The little town is home to white sandy beaches, turquoise water, lush tropical forests and stretched-out seaside cliffs. Moreover, if you are a foodie traveller, Kenting will not disappoint your taste buds.
If you love ocean vibes or simply need a break from Taiwan city life, Kenting is the perfect add-on to your Taiwan itinerary. The great thing about Kenting is that you could spend as little as 3 days to literally weeks here. In fact, we’re pretty sure you’ll love it so much, you might not want to return to the bustling cities. In this guide, we highlight 8 great things to do in Kenting which you shouldn’t miss on your trip.
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Grab some Vitamin Sea
With white beaches, palm trees and gorgeous tropical water, who wouldn’t want to lie on the beach all day? Kenting is the pulse of Taiwan’s beach scene, making it a popular tourist spot in every season. Apart from just chilling on the beach or taking a dip in the warm waters of the Luzon Strait, there are plenty of beach activities too. Enjoy jet skiing, tube rides or bopping about on a banana boat to your heart’s content here.
The seaside town, is also a popular snorkeling and scuba diving spot. Pop into one of the many tourist shops on the main street to check prices and availability. If you are a surfer, you are in luck too! Roughly 20km east of Kenting is the scenic little town of Jialeshui. Here you will find some of the best surf in Taiwan. So much so, that is has become a premier surfing spot for local and international surfers alike.
Wander around at the Eluanbi Lighthouse
The Eluanbi Lighthouse, also known as “The Light of East Asia”, is one of the top 8 landmarks in Taiwan. Interestingly enough, it is also one of the few fortified lighthouses in the world. To this day, the lighthouse is armed and a trench surrounds it. If you stroll around a bit, you might even spot a few gun holes in the walls. There’s a great little museum filled with memorabilia and old photographs should you wish to learn more about the lighthouse’s history.
In addition, the Eluanbi Lighthouse is surrounded by beautiful gardens and has a gorgeous panorama. If you fancy a picnic, this is the perfect spot!
Entrance fee: NT$60 per adult
Parking fee: NT$10
Get your Instagram on at Chuanfan Rock
Chuanfanshi is one of our favorite areas to explore in Kenting. The main road, Chuanfan Road, is lined with some pretty peculiar and colorful minsu’s (B&B’s or hostels). If you are a shutterbug, you will easily get lost in the weird color combinations and diverse themes from Greek to Industrial to the very bizarre Rock House. And yes, you guessed it! It looks like a rock.
Apart from the colorful architecture, Chuanfanshi is home to one of Taiwan’s most iconic landmarks – Chuanfan Rock, also known as Sail Rock. Resembling a sailboat setting sail, this limestone rock has been shaped by years of erosion and is a sight to see.
See the Southernmost Point of Taiwan
Just a stone’s throw from the Eluanbi Lighthouse is the Southernmost point of Taiwan. The footpath is 1500m long and it takes about 20 minutes to reach the point. There’s a neat little structure signifying the point and some incredible ocean views. So, there is no reason not to add the Southernmost tip of Taiwan to your brag list.
Marvel at the Maobitou ocean views
Maobitou, best known for its “crouching cat” rock formation, lies on the southeast corner of the Hengchun Peninsula. It offers magnificent ocean views and unique natural landforms such as seashore coral reefs, caves and ditches. The panoramic views are best enjoyed in the early morning before the crowds gather and of course, at sunset.
Entrance: NT$30 per adult
Parking fee: NT$10
Head to the harbor
Although the harbor isn’t very big, it’s a great place to stroll around, snap pics of the fishing boats or simply watch the boats come and go. Like most harbors in Taiwan, the Kenting Harbor sells freshly caught fish during the morning, daily. There is also a fantastic seafood restaurant in front of the market’s entrance. Diving, snorkeling and boat ride packages can be purchased here too.
Explore the Night Market
Kenting’s night market is one of the most famous night markets in Taiwan. Which means, you will have no problem finding your favorite Taiwanese treats here – from stinky tofu to banana pancakes.
But, one thing sets the Kenting market apart from others on the island; the bountiful of freshly caught mouth-watering seafood. Cherry pick between oysters, giant squid, clams, fresh fish and more. One thing is certain, the Kenting Night Market will not disappoint seafood lovers!
The Kenting night market lines both sides of Kenting Street. So feel free to feast away from one side to the other. Vendors usually start to set up shop around 5pm, just in time for dinner.
Enjoy some sippers at a truck bar
Another unique attraction in Kenting is its quirky roadside truck bars. Conveniently found near the Howard Plaza Hotel. With unique decorations, bright shiny lights, amazing cocktail lists and thumping music, there’s no reason not to grab a cocktail or two here. Our favorite truck bar is The Reggae Bar. It has a bigger seating area and frankly, nothing beats listening to Bob Marley in a tropical setting.
Getting to Kenting
You can get to Kenting easily by using Taiwan’s very affordable and convenient public transport. Simply take the HSR to Zouying Station (the very last stop on the high-speed rail). Once you get to the high-speed rail station in Kaohsiung, go to Exit 2 where you’ll find the Kenting Express Bus ticket office. I highly recommend purchasing your bus ticket with an Easy card as it almost cuts the costs in half. Kenting Shuttle Bus return tickets go for roughly NT$600 and are open-ended, meaning you can use the return ticket anytime. The bus drivers do not speak much English, but there are random announcements in English. So, be sure to listen carefully. You could also check with your accommodation (before arriving) for suggestions on the easiest and closest bus stop.
If you have a few extra days to spare, I highly recommend spending some time in Kaohsiung – Taiwan’s second largest city, before heading to Kenting. Check out these best insta-worthy spots in the city, as well as these awesome Kaohsiung sightseeing ideas.
Have we missed any of your favourite things to do in Kenting? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. Feel free to also head to our Taiwan section to learn more about this fascinating little island.
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