Taiwan

Is Kenting Worth Visiting? (YES! And Here’s Why)

April 29, 2024

< back to blog home

Kenting National Park stole a piece of our hearts, and is definitely worth visiting! As Taiwan’s southern tip national park, it boasts stunning beaches, lush greenery, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

Whether you’re a beach bum, a sunrise lover, or a couple looking for a romantic getaway, Kenting Taiwan in Pingtung county has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll share our experience getting to and around the park, what to do in Kenting, and how long you should spend in Kenting to soak it all in.

To answer the question “is Kenting worth visiting?” the short answer is yes! However, it’s not what you expect from its hype reputation and it’s also not the paradise you’re probably thinking it is.

Visiting Taiwan? Check out our Taiwan itinerary for 10 days guide and what to do in taiwan for 7 days.

How to Get to Kenting National Park (and around it)

Kenting is about as far away from Taipei as one can go. Fortunately, in most circumstances, you’ll be arriving from a nearby location. If you’re taking an east coast road trip, you’ll probably drive in from Taitung and Taroko Gorge which is only a few hours away.

Alternatively, if you’re taking a west coast road trip from Taipei to Kenting, you may arrive by a rental car from Kaohsiung or by bus from Zuoying station, the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) station that serves Kaohsiung.

Kenting beaches have the most beautiful sunsets. Visit Baishawan in Kenting.

Kenting beaches in Taiwan have the most beautiful sunsets. Visit Baishawan in Kenting.Our trip to Kenting began in Taipei, then we took the High speed rail (TSHR) to Kaohsiung. From Kaohsiung to Kenting, we rented a car in the nearby Zuoying station (THSR in Kaohsiung) and drove to Kenting. It was very easy process. The main road from Kaohsiung to Kenting was incredibly smooth to drive to our hotel.

While local buses may transport you around, it’s far more convenient to have your own vehicle and offers more flexibility. (Scenic spots in Kenting is spread out and it also helps you avoid crowded places at peek times). There are more rental vehicle outlets in major cities, which is why we’d definitely recommend renting a car in Taitung or Kaohsiung.

If you choose to take the bus, you can take the convenient Kenting Express Line 9189 bus, which takes you to the Nanwan stop. A quick transfer to the Kenting Shuttle Bus (either the 101 Orange Line or the 102 Blue Line) will drop you right at the doorstep of the national park.

Where to Go in Kenting National Park

Now that we covered how to get to Kenting National Park in Pingtung County, here are top things to do in Kenting from the best beaches to Kenting night markets.

Kenting Night Market

Kenting, like practically every other city in Taiwan, has a night market that is an excellent spot to eat food and shopping. The Kenting Night Market was the most pulsating energy center of Kenting, whereas everyone else had a more laid back and slow paced vibe (in a good way).

Stroll down the bustling night market streets, savor the mouthwatering street food (think gua bao, shaved ice, dragon fruit smoothies, and stinky tofu!). Browse the local souvenir shops for shopping famous things to buy in Taiwan.

Fengchuisha

As you drive into Kenting National Park from Taitung, the stunning shoreline of Fengchuisha is the first sign that you’ll arrived at. This horseshoe-shaped bay is a paradise for water babies. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the crystal-clear waters, or simply relax on the soft sand and soak up the sun. Note, you cannot swim in the ocean here.

Cape Santiago and Eluanbi Lighthouses

This is not to suggest that you cannot appreciate beach views in Kenting. Many visitors come here just to see the lighthouses, the first of which was built to mark Taiwan’s easternmost point. Note, lighthouses alone are not enough to make Kenting a worthwhile destination. Be sure to visit all the spots on this list to make your trip worth it.

On the other hand, History buffs and nature lovers will love Cape Santiago and Eluanbi Lighthouses. The dramatic cliffs of Cape Santiago and Eluanbi Lighthouse offer breathtaking views of the east coast.

Baishawan and Xiaowan Beaches

Indeed, Kenting has only a few swimmable beaches, but all the beaches are as gorgeous as the non-swimming ones.

Did you know that Kenting is famous for the best spots to see sunrise in Taiwan? We loved watching the sunset at Baishawan and Xiaowan every night. The beaches in Kenting are very big and have multiple parking entrances. If you get a car rental, try different entrances to find a less crowded beach.

If you’re craving a lively beach scene, head to Baishawan. This popular beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and indulging in some delicious street food from the vendors lining the main road. For a quieter experience, check out the secluded Xiaowan Beach, a favorite spot for surfers.

Silver Dragon Cave and Fairy Cave 銀龍洞及仙洞

In Kenting National Park, the Silver Dragon Cave and Fairy Cave offer a glimpse into the park’s underground wonders. Silver Dragon Cave, named for its shimmering rock formations, is a short and narrow marvel. Fairy Cave, Taiwan’s longest limestone cave, has towering ceilings, unique rock formations, and a paved path for easy exploration. The cave is home to a variety of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as other rock formations, such as Buddha’s Ear and South Pole Man.

Guan Shan Fude Temple

Nestled in Kenting national park’s mountains is Guan Shan Fuide temple. This beautiful temple offers a moment of peace and tranquility. Take a break from the beach and explore this delicate temple to admire the architecture, local culture, and serene atmosphere.

Check out this video on why Kenting is one of the best destinations to visit by Victor x Grace on Youtube

How Many Days Should You Spend in Kenting?

You will need to stay at least one night at Kenting in Taiwan. Even if you’re traveling from Kaohsiung or Taitung, the long drive to and from Kenting is unjustifiable for a simple day road trip. However, you could conceivably drive in from Taitung on the first day, spend the night, and then go clockwise around the island to Kaohsiung the following day.

The million-dollar question: how many days should you spend in Kenting? Spending 2-3 days in Kenting would be the perfect amount of time, to experience unique experiences like free diving and paring it with 7 days in Taiwan itinerary.

If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan, we recommend to spend 10 days in Taiwan to travel to 3-4 Taiwanese cities, and visit some of our favorite cities from North to South Taiwan including Pingxi old street to fly pingxi sky lanterns, experience Taiwanese tea ceremony at Xuan zi ju tea house in Pinglin Taiwan, and Jiufen Old Street to eat the best food like misty cake Taiwan.

Indeed, while it is conceivable to spend 4-5 days (or even more) in Kenting, I’m not sure if doing so would be worth while, when there are so many other amazing places to travel in Taiwan.

Kenting National Park Additional FAQs

Is Kenting worth visiting?

Yes, Kenting National Park in Pingtung has many great scenic spots and is definitely worth going to. However, it isn’t the secret paradise that it claims to be or “the Hawaii of Taiwan” that people refer to it as. It’s very different than Hawaii (and we’ve lived in Hawaii!), but has diverse offerings that cater to slow travelers, whether you’re a nature enthusiast, foodie, or culture buff.

We do not hesitant to recommend visiting Kenting Taiwan, just be mindful of the fact that it is quite busy most of the year and that only a few of its beaches are swimmable.

If you travel to Kenting during off peak times (early mornings or late afternoons), you’ll have a much better experience than visiting during peak times of the day. This will help you avoid large tourist groups.

What are the best things to do in Kenting Taiwan?

The best places to visit in Kenting are Kenting Night Market, Fengchuisha, Cape Santiago and Eluanbi Lighthouses, Baishawan and Xiaowan Beaches, and Guan Shan Fude Temple. Aside from these, explore the local neighborhoods and beaches to experience the beauty of Kenting.

You might be wondering is it safe to travel to Taiwan right now. It’s very safe to explore off the beaten path in Taiwan, and especially Kenting. Read our guide on Taiwan safety tips here. Thankfully, the recent earthquakes in eastern Taiwan have not effected Kenting at all.

What is Kenting’s weather like?

Kenting Taiwan has the most pleasant weather and crowds during the months of March and May, and October and November. During these months, it’s warm (and occasionally hot), but not so hot that you can’t enjoy yourself while going about your everyday activities. It’s unlikely to rain, and while crowds can be enormous on occasion, they’re not as insane as they are in the summer.

Kenting weather forecast is not always accurate because like any tropical island, there are passing rain clouds (that pass very quickly!). If its raining in one area, don’t be discouraged, just drive to another area and it’s likely to be sunny.

Can you swim in Kenting?

Certain Kenting Beaches, such as Baishawan and Xiaowan, are swimmable but not much beyond that. Baishawan stretches very big and has many different entry parking lots, so if one point is crowded, just drive to another.

Other Kenting beaches feature white sand that’s good for sunbathing, but are not suitable for swimming due to rocks or large waves. As a general rule, however, most of Kenting’s beaches are like most of Taiwan’s more broadly: They are wild and natural, and beautiful from afar but not swimmable up close.

Time to visit Kenting Taiwan and see the sunset! Kenting is worth it!

Where to stay in Kenting

Honestly there is not a one central area in Kenting, all the spots are all very spread out. This is why we recommend not to overthink where to stay in Kenting and focus on what are the amenities you want access to day to day.

Kenting Pingtung is one of the best places to visit in Taiwan

We hope you found this Kenting guide helpful. If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan, we recommend to spend 10 days in Taiwan to travel to 3-4 Taiwanese cities. Pairing these with a trip from Kaoshiung to Kenting would be perfect. There’s so much to do in Taiwan and many villages (even a cat village in Taiwan) to visit.

Kenting National Park has a reputation as being one of Taiwan’s most beautiful places, but does it actually live up to the hype?

Yes and no. There are so many beautiful nature places in Taiwan including Teapot mountain, Keelung mountain, Jade mountain, and various islands. Our verdict? Visit everywhere in Taiwan! It’s our mission to travel to Taiwan and visiting everywhere Taiwan has to offer!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *