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I think if we had seen Kenting at the beginning of our now 8 months old journey, we would have been more impressed. Kenting is full of lush greenery, has some nice beaches, cliffs that reminded us in parts of Scotland, Taiwan’s oldest national park and tiny villages that are embraced by their surroundings in such a gentle and loving way, it’s seriously beautiful.
However, by now we have seen too many other places that were so much more impressive, denying Kenting the chance to stand out and shine in many ways.
In addition, Kenting is a very popular spot for Taiwanese and others to go to and we have seen this first hand when a never ending line of tourist coaches clogged its main street and a long line of people just melted into one long queue in Kenting’s center. The national park and beaches are the main magnets for tourists and in 2016 almost 6 million people came, a fourth of Taiwan’s total population.
Nature, Mountains and Beaches
The national park expands from the West to the East coast in the very south tip of the island and offers stunning views over dense forest, cliffs and beach lines. There are only a few little villages and townships in this area and you get the feeling that all young people from South Taiwan meet on the Kenting Night Market every damn night. It’s a bit like Newcastle on a Friday Night. Just swap the beer for bubble tea and imagine less visible skin and you’re there.
We rented an electric scooter one day to explore the national park and the coast line which made for a very peaceful ride, as the scooter didn’t go any faster than 40km/h. While obviously great for the environment and credits to Taiwan for pushing electric stuff, the scooter totally lacked any kind of feedback in terms of sound or otherwise, which made it feel even slower than the snail like 40 km/h.
Despite the avalanche of tourists, we found some nice beaches that were mainly empty. The few Asian tourists that make their way to a beach are covered in long sleeves and equipped with their favourite accessory: the umbrella.
Should you be in Taiwan, there is no reason not to visit Kenting, but there is little reason to travel specifically to this place from overseas.