August 29, 2014

Things to See in Kenting

Kenting, the Southern Tip of Taiwan

Kenting, the very south of Taiwan. Surfers' Paradise, as far as surfing goes in Taiwan, also the only real part of Taiwan where the waters are shallow enough for scuba diving to pay off, at least when it comes to the mainland – around the small island it outside of Taiwan it is different.

Kenting, 墾丁 in Chinese (Mandarin), or "Kending" in Pinyin, where the climate is relatively comfortable also in the winter, when the rest of the country can get chilly, especially when the cold winds from the north hits.

Kenting town is not very impressive, it is a small village and it reminds me of the tourist resorts in and around Greece, Spain, Turkey and Italy, well, actually the whole Mediterranean area, where the same cheap plastic toys and trinkets are sold in every shop and where the food is adjusted for the tourists. It's not bad, don't misunderstand me, it's just not that special or typical Taiwanese. 

However it is never the less a place that should not be missed – the climate is only one of the advantages, the closeness to the sea is another; But more than anything the whole area around Kenting is the home of what is one of the largest areas with protected and cared for nature in Taiwan; Kenting National Park.
Kenting National Park is in truth amazing.
In Kenting you have something relatively unique, traces of corals that can be found well above the surface on the ocean, namely up in the hills surrounding the little town. In the natural park of Kenting you can wander for hours, taking in the landscape, being fascinated of the dramatic rock formations, and if you look carefully you may also see traces of the many protected species that live here, from little dears that are unique for Taiwan, to many others. It's no wonder this is the first national park that was created in Taiwan back in 1984 - this is a unique area well worth preserving - all nature is, of course, we only have one Planet Earth, but as we can't turn all land into National Parks, spots like this is a good place to start.

Kenting National Park has a lot to offer, and it basically includes the whole area of Kenting.

One of the amazing things is the Kenting National Forest Recreation Area - 墾丁 國家 森林 遊樂 區  - (Kending guojia senlin youle qu). while what we often think of as  Kenting National Park is the wild nature having been protected, the Kenting National Forest Recreation Area is an park where trees and flowers were planted - basically a big botanical garden; Full of colours, flowers, butterflies, and banyan trees, the fantastic tropical trees with air roots and root systems that form what looks like big blades cutting through the soil, this is a park well worth visiting!

Another thing that those of us who aren't specialists don't realise is the fantastic bird life you find in Kenting area, I only learnt about it after having visited the area together with a woman who was passionate about birds myself. Many birds migrate here during the winter, which adds even more life to the already busy nature of Kenting, but there are also many migrating birds that just stop over here on the way to destinations even further south, far away from Kenting and Taiwan; In the nature park there are towers set up for the bird viewers and what I hear these towers are used extensively during the spring and autumn, when it is time for the birds to migrate again.

Make sure you bring good hiking boots when you go to Kenting!

Kenting National Park is fantastic, and if you have a chance, a visit Eluanbi lighthouse is time well spent. The lighthouse was built in the end of 1800, shortly before Taiwan became Japanese. The original lighthouse was damaged during several wars and had to be rebuilt, so it is not very old, but   it is a beautiful spot and quite very romantic too chances are you will find photographers and wedding parties here, busy with photo shoots. Eluanbi is the most southern tip of Taiwan's main island - come and stand on the cape and look over the amazing sea!

Here is Kenting:

View AK-The Next Chapter - travel and tours in a larger map

To find out more:

More information about Kenting National Park you find here, just click on the link
Kenting National Forest Recreation Area you can read about here, on the official link.

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