Last Updated on June 2, 2021 by queenie mak
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.
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.
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!
Related Post – The Ultimate 3-week Itinerary for Taiwan
Before you visit Kenting in Taiwan
Before you visit Kenting, take a look at my post on all the best tips for travelling to Taiwan. I included a lot of information, including getting a Taiwan prepaid SIM card, transportation around the country and much more.
Here are a few quick tips for travelling to Kenting:
- Southern Taiwan, including Kenting, is safe for solo female travellers.
- There are many surf schools near the beaches and in Hengchun. Many people surf during the colder months as it is especially windy during winter.
- If you plan on renting a scooter, make sure to bring your motorcycle license. Otherwise, you can rent an electric scooter.
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How to get to Kenting Taiwan
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.
If you are travelling to Kenting in Taiwan, you will most likely be coming from Kaohsiung. There are direct express buses from Kaohsiung Zuoying Station. They stop at Hengchun bus station and Kenting bus station.
- Kenting Express Line 9189 Bus: from Kaohsiung Zuoying Station to Kenting
- Time: 2 hours
- Cost: NT$650 (round trip ticket can be purchased at the bus station)
- Check the bus schedule here
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.
- Express TRA train: from Taitung Station to Fang Liao Station
- Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cost: NT$223
- Check Taitung to Fang Liao train schedule and cost
- Tip: select Pingtung (for the area) and Fang Liao (for the station)
- Kenting Express Line 9189 Bus: from Fang Liao Station to Kenting
- Time: 55 minutes
- Cost: NT$221 (one-way ticket can be purchased at the bus station)
- Check the bus schedule here
How to get around Kenting
There are several ways to see Kenting. Whether you join an organized tour, bicycle around the park or take the hop-on-hop-off bus. Every option has its own perks.
But the best way to get around Kenting is by scooter. There are many scooter rentals in Hengchun Old Town and on the main street in Kenting. However, you will have to provide a proper motorcycle license to rent one.
Otherwise, the alternative is to rent an electric scooter. It is just as much fun but maybe a bit slower going uphill, plus it requires a change of battery every 30km.
Where to stay in Kenting
There is plenty of budget and mid-range accommodations in Kenting including, hostels, hotels, guest houses and Airbnbs. I recommend staying in Hengchun Old Town because there are better options and more food options around.
And if you are coming from Kaohsiung, make sure you get off the express bus at the Hengchun station and not the Kenting station.
- Rainbow Wave Surfing Hostel (彩虹波浪背包客棧) ($) – 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
- 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
- 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
Kenting Travel Guide: Things to do in Kenting Taiwan
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.
1. 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.
2, 3 & 4. 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.
5, 6 & 7. 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.
8. 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!
9, 10, 11, 12, & 13. 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!
14. 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.
15. 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!
16. 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!
17. 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.
18. Try different Taiwanese food at the night markets 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).
- 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.
19. Eat your way around Kenting
- 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!
If you want to see Kenting with a tour, check out some of these tour ideas:
Are you trying out my Kenting 2 day itinerary?
I hope so because my Kenting itinerary includes all the best spots around the southern tip of Taiwan. But you’ll have to get a scooter – but that is part of the fun.
Let me know in the comments if you enjoy reading this post or if you have any questions about this itinerary.