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Solo Traveller’s Guide to Kenting, Taiwan

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Kenting (墾丁) is the area that includes Kenting National Park (墾丁國家公園) and all the small townships including Hengchun (恆春) in Southern Taiwan. It is one of the most visited areas in Taiwan.

There are many things to do in Kenting. Visitors can experience Kenting’s beautiful beaches and see the unique land formation in this part of Taiwan that you will not see anywhere else. Moreover, there are many activities like swimming, kitesurfing, jet-skiing, kayaking, snorkelling, surfing, and hiking that can easily occupy a few days.

As one of the most visited national park in Taiwan, you do not want to miss Kenting. So make sure to include Kenting in your itinerary!

 

 

 

 

Why Kenting is Great for a Solo Female Traveller

If you want to see unique and natural surroundings and experience different types of outdoor activities, then Kenting is definitely for you!

Just a few hours away from Kaohsiung (高雄), you will arrive in Kenting and experience another world! Most visitors come here to chill, learn how to surf and just take their time to explore the southern tip of Taiwan.

The land formation in southern Taiwan is entirely different from the rest of the country. You will find white sand beaches lining the coast while black rock formation at the southern tip that resembles the surface of Mars! Other parts of the park have cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and cascading waterfalls and hot springs are found in this area as well.

Are you still wondering what else is there to do in Kenting? Well, there are plenty of outdoor activities. Surfing is popular in this region during winter weather because it is especially windy during the colder months. And there are many surf schools near the beaches and in Hengchun that offer lessons and accommodations.

 

 

 

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Beautiful coastal views of Kenting Long Keng Ecological Reserve

Beautiful coastal views of Kenting Long Keng Ecological Reserve

Kenting Transportation

 

How to get to Kenting

 

From Kaohsiung to Kenting

If you are travelling to Kenting in Taiwan, you will most likely be coming from Kaohsiung. There are direct express buses from Kaohsiung International Airport and from Kaohsiung Zuoying Station. They both stop in Hengchun bus station and Kenting bus station.

 

  • Kaohsiung International Airport to Kenting 
    • Kenting Express Bus
    • Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
    • Cost: NT$309 (one-way ticket can be purchased at the bus station)
    • Check for bus schedule here

 

  • Kaohsiung Zuoying Station to Kenting

 

 

 

From Taitung to Kenting

If you are coming from the east coast of Taiwan, it is possible to get to Kenting without connecting through Kaohsiung. If you are taking the train from the east coast, transfer to an express bus at Fang Liao Station (枋寮車站). The express bus stops at Hengchun bus station and Kenting bus station.

 

  • Fang Liao Station to Kenting

 

 

 

How to get around Kenting

There are several ways to see Kenting. Whether you join an organized tour, bicycle around the park or take the hop-on-hop-off bus, every option has its own perks.

But the best way to get around Kenting is by scooter. There are many scooter rentals in Hengchun Old Town and on the main street in Kenting. However, you will have to provide a proper motorcycle license to rent one.

Otherwise, the alternative is to rent an electric scooter. It is just as much fun but maybe a bit slower going uphill plus it requires a change of battery every 30km.

 

 

Walk across Gangkou Suspended Bridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Kenting

Walk across Gangkou Suspended Bridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Kenting

 

Where to eat in Kenting

You won’t go broke from eating in Kenting. Food is really cheap at local restaurants and night markets. You can find more information about each location in each pin in the attached google map (see above).

 

Night Markets

  • Hengchun Night Market (恆春夜市) – A vibrant and busy night market! Vendors sell meat skewers, savoury and sweet crepes, sizzling hot plates, roasted chestnut, pastries, fried dumplings, bubble tea, papaya milk smoothie and more.
  • Kenting Night Market (墾丁大街夜市) – The market opens every day as soon as the sun sets, making inexpensive and delicious food available all hours of the night. Many food stalls line both sides of the main street in Kenting Town.

 

 

 

Budget restaurants

  • Beef Noodles (恆春牛老街牛肉麵) – They are known for their beef noodles so definitely try one! The menu is in Chinese, but the staff is friendly and can help with ordering. They have small side dishes where you can just get them at the counter.
  • Vegetable Hotpot (一品滷味) – I love this place! You pick exactly what type of vegetables, tofu and meat, they cook it for you in their own special sauce and serve it on a big plate. The best part about this is you get to pick anything you want (and I chose a lot of vegetables as that was what I was craving at the time!)
  • Mangia Pizza – the Taiwanese and Italian couple runs this little restaurant and serves delicious thin crust pizza! They make the best margarita pizza! I never thought I’d be so happy to eat pizza in Taiwan!

 

 

Want to learn more about Taiwanese Food? Read about All the Must Eat Food in Taiwan

 

 
Walk across the unique landscape in Kenting Long Keng Ecological Reserve

Walk across the unique landscape in Kenting Long Keng Ecological Reserve

Where to stay in Kenting

There are plenty of budget and mid-range accommodations in Kenting including hostels, hotels, guest houses and Airbnbs. I recommend staying in Hengchun Old Town because there are better options and more food options around.

And if you are coming from Kaohsiung, make sure you get off the express bus at the Hengchun station and not the Kenting station.

 

 

 

Budget Accommodation

  • Cost: up to NT$1,000 per day
  • Rainbow Wave Surfing Hostel (彩虹波浪背包客棧)
    • It is close to the Hengchun bus station and in the centre of town. The best part about staying at the hostel is the inexpensive price tag, the welcoming shared space and the delicious breakfast each morning. The hostel staff cooks up something different each morning, and it is always yummy. Hostels are not usually my go-to option, but I had a great hostel experience here.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • 157 Boutique Guest House (墾丁157精品時尚會)
    • If you want to stay right in Kenting, choose 157 Boutique Guest House! They have a single room with a shared bathroom for next to nothing. The room is tiny, but at least you have your own private space. And the guest house is right on the main street. You will be right in the middle of all the action.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

 

Mid-range Accommodation

  • Cost: from NT$1,000 – 3,000 per day
  • 8 Door
    • The Scandinavian-inspired hotel has white-washed and minimalistic rooms. The rooms are simple but comfortable. It is conveniently located in Hengchun Old Town.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Sleep Inn (墾丁民宿)
    • Located in Hengchun Old Town, the standard queen room is exactly what you need for a short term stay. The spacious room has a comfortable bed, a desk, flat-screen tv and your private bathroom.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • MZ1090 Bed and Breakfast(墨磚民宿)
    • Just north of Hengchun centre, get a modern double room for a reasonable price. You even have a bathtub, which is quite rare to see these days.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

 

High-end Accommodation

  • Cost: over NT$3,000 per day
  • Grand Bay Resort (墾丁怡灣渡假酒店)
    • If you want to splurge accommodation, stay at the 5-star hotel in Hengchun Old Town. They have modern contemporary guest rooms and many shared common facilities.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

 

 

 

Long-term Accommodation

  • Cost: average NT$1,000 per day
  • If you intend to stay in Kenting for an extended period, it might be a good idea to stay at an Airbnb apartment instead. Kenting is an excellent spot for surfing and other outdoor activities.
  • Majority of the Airbnb accommodations in Kenting are in Hengchun Old Town and around the main road in Kenting Town. There are many options and maybe a little too many to choose from.
  • And if you are not part of Airbnb yet, please use this code to claim your $35 Airbnb discount.

 

 

 

 

 

Take photos at Fongchueisha Beach, one of the many beaches in Kenting National Park

Take photos at Fongchueisha Beach, one of the many beaches in Kenting National Park

Things to do in Kenting

Kenting covers a big area in Southern Taiwan. With proper planning, you can see the majority of the attractions in two days.

All the attractions in this post are pinned in the interactive map. You can find more information about each attraction by clicking on the individual pin.

 

Must-see attractions in Kenting

 

Kenting National Park (墾丁國家公園)

If you are travelling to Kenting, visiting Kenting National Park will be the highlight of your trip.

It is Taiwan’s most southern and oldest national park. The area has a diverse landscape from sharp rock formations that resemble the surface of another planet to luscious green vegetation that you will not see anywhere else.

From mountains to beaches, Kenting is one of the top attractions and most visited national park in Taiwan.

 

 

 

Kenting National Forest Recreation Area (墾丁國家森林遊樂區)

The Kenting National Forest Recreation Area has some pretty amazing attractions. When you walk through the recreation area, you will find signages that lead you to different attractions. Look for Fairy Cave (仙洞), and Silver Dragon Cave (銀龍洞). The area also has some of the biggest banyan trees. It is definitely worth a small entrance fee.

 

Cape Eluanbi (鵝鑾鼻)

Visit Cape Eluanbi where you will see some of the attractions at the southernmost tip of Taiwan. After you visit the Eluanbi Lighthouse (鵝鑾鼻燈塔), follow the trail to the Southernmost Point of Taiwan (臺灣最南點碑). It has a point market at the very tip.

 

Kenting Long Keng Ecological Reserve (龍坑珊瑚礁保護區)

And if there is one thing you must see in Cape Eluanbi, it is Kenting Long Keng Ecological Reserve. However, you must either book online for a spot on one of the tours or show up and hopefully you can get a spot right away.

Unfortunately (for me), the entire tour was in Mandarin. But even though I didn’t understand a word he said, the tour was absolutely one of the highlights of Kenting. Towards the end of the tour, you can see the unusual coastal rock formation that resembles something you see on Mars! It is totally out of this world!

 

 

 

Beaches of Kenting

Visiting the beautiful beaches of Kenting is a highlight for everyone who visits Kenting. And there are plenty along the coastline.

South Bay (南灣海灘) is the first beach you see when you drive towards Kenting Town, and it is one of the busiest beaches. And it is popular because of all the restaurants and bars in the nearby recreation centre.

As you move east, there is Kenting Beach (墾丁海水浴場) near Kenting Town.

Keep moving east, and you will find Xiaowan Beach (Little Bay Beach) (小灣海灘) which is a smaller beach but has lots of activities like diving and jet skis. The corals in this beach are especially lovely for snorkelling.

As you are driving further up the coast, you will see Fongchueisha (風吹砂). As the name suggested, “windblown sand,” the sand along the beach is washed away during summer but is blown back during winter. The natural cycle of movement of the sand created fantastic views of sandhills. This is a great spot for photos, but it is quite windy during the winter months.

Moving back to the western peninsula, you will find White Sand Bay Beach (墾丁白沙灣海灘). The beach is a bit less crowded than other beaches because it is not part of the route to Kenting Town. But it is still worth visiting!

 

 

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Other attractions in Kenting

 

Gangkou Suspended Bridge (港口吊橋)

Located in Manzhou Township, the Gangkou Suspended Bridge crosses over the Gangkou River, and it is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Kenting.

 

 

 

Qikong Falls (七孔瀑布)

Qikong waterfall is a cascading waterfall where you can actually jump into. After you pay a minimal fee, hike up the path along the river and waterfall. The higher you go, the more you will see. After about ten minutes or so, a small cascading waterfall appears. It is the most stunning and surprising gem in Kenting! But be careful, the path is very steep!

 

The ChuHuo Eternal Flame (出火)

A small amount of natural gas seeps through the ground in an area called The ChuHuo Eternal Flame. Basically, you can see flames coming up from the ground of several regions. During peak times, vendors sell popcorn so you can pop it over the eternal flames. I’ve never seen anything like this before!

 

 

 

Guanshan (關山)

Drive out to Guanshan and take in the famous sunrise and sunset views. It is a great spot along the coastline. There’s a bit of climb up to the top, but it will be worth your effort. It is said that the top of the mountain used to be underwater thousands of years ago. Which is why the temple is made of coral stone.

 

If you want to see Kenting with a tour, check out some of these tour ideas:

 

 

 

 

 

For more travel planning resources, check out my Amazon picks:

 

 

Where to go in Taiwan

Wondering which city you should visit in Taiwan? Check out my solo traveller’s guides to the best cities to visit in Taiwan.

solo travel guide hualien taiwan   solo travel guide tainan taiwan

 solo travel guide taipei day trips

 

 

 

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last update: January 25, 2019

About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 16+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

8 Comments

  • Nick Kembel
    September 5, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    I’ve been to Kenting several times but still haven’t explored many of the places you mentioned. I need to check out some of those hikes and waterfalls. Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      September 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm

      hey thanks for your comment. I’m so glad you want to go back and explore! I want to go back too…I just love Taiwan!! 🙂

      Reply
  • Lee
    March 27, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Hello! Just want to clarify that we don’t need a motorcycle license to rent an electric scooter? And how much should I budget to rent an electric scooter? Thanks!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      March 30, 2019 at 8:00 am

      Hi Lee, no you don’t need a motorcycle license to rent an electric scooter. Lots of tourist rent electric scooter and scoot around Kenting because distances are quite far and its hard to walk to all the attractions. I believe it is about 500NT per day. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Maya
    October 14, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Hi! I wanted to ask if March is a good month to go to kenting and its beaches (and to Taiwan in general), if it is not too cold / rainy. If it is not a good time, when is it recommended to come?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      October 17, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Maya! March is spring time in Taiwan – a great time to visit the country! It is cool-ish but can be warm during the day. So dress in layers!

      Reply
  • Cathy
    December 30, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Queenie,
    I m planning to Kenting in March to attend frined’s wedding. then i’d like to stay behind on my own and i’s want to learn Kitesurfing. Do you know where and who i can contact to do that?
    Cathy

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      December 31, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Cathy,
How exciting to attend a wedding in Kenting!
      I didn’t do any kitesurfing myself. But I did a quick search and seems like there is kitesurfing at Jialeshuei beach, which is just east of Gangkou Suspension Bridge. And this website shows the wind speed of Jialeshui https://www.windguru.cz/45291 There is a surf shop right at the north end of Gangkou Suspension Bridge. Their name is 阿郎衝浪俱樂部. Maybe you can ask them first? This is the website but it is in Chinese http://www.kentingsurfshop.com.tw/

      Or ask Rainbow Wave Surfing Hostel. When I stayed there, there were a group of people surfing. But I also remember they had a lot of information/brochures at the front so maybe they can guide you to where you can kitesurf. They are only on FB https://www.facebook.com/rainbowwavesurf

      Hope this helps! 🙂

      Reply

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