Kenting (墾丁) - How to go, tips and tricks | Travel in Asia

Kenting (墾丁) - How to go, tips and tricks

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How to go to Kenting

ABSTRACT: Spring is over and the temperature is rising across the island. Are you ready to flaunt that beach-ready body? If your answer is yes then there is one place in Taiwan where you should be. Kenting! Located at the Hengchun Peninsula, it is closer to the Batanes Group of Islands in the Philippines than to Taipei. On this place, the Pacific Ocean, Taiwan Strait and Bashi Channel merge to become one great body of water. You can see all of them at the same time at the southernmost point of Taiwan in Eulanbi. The weather is tropical in Kenting and it feels so nice to dip your body to three of its best beaches: Nanwan, Xiaowan and Baisha. Get wet and wild with the various water sports activities that you can try there. If you get tired of swimming then appreciate the beauty of marine life at Asia's fourth best aquarium. The Kenting Express Bus will take you there from the beach. Beautiful memories awaits you as the tour bus takes you along the coastlines of the peninsula. Do not forget to wear your slippers and bring a bottle of sunblock. So what are you waiting for? Time flies fast! Enjoy the summer in Taiwan before it's gone. Let's go to Kenting!
, Kenting (墾丁) - How to go, tips and tricks

1. How to go to Kenting?


How to go to Kenting

How to go to Kenting

How to go to Kenting

So are you now excited to see Kenting?  There are things that you need to know before going to the south of Taiwan.   If you are already in Taipei then it is not a problem.  You can just board any train of the High Speed Rail (HSR) going to Zuoying Station.   Go to Exit 2 and transfer to the Kenting Express Bus aka Taiwan Tour Bus and you will be at Xiaowan beach after two hours. 

How to go to Kenting
HSR Zuoying Station

How to go to Kenting

How to go to Kenting

How to go to Kenting

You can buy the roundtrip tickets for Bus 9189 going to Kenting at Exit 2 of the HSR Zuoying Station.  There is a counter there with the name “Kenting Express”. It is cheaper to buy roundtrip tickets (NTD 600) but using your EasyCard to pay a one-way fare will give you more flexibility when you are returning home in the afternoon from the beach.   One swipe of the EasyCard is worth NTD 344.  If a taxi driver offers a ride for a price of NTD 400 then take it.  You will arrive faster than if you board the Taiwan Tour Bus. 

But for those coming from the airports of the country, these are the things that you need to do: 

a. From Taipei Songshan Airport:  Board the Taipei MRT Brown Line and alight at Nangang Exhibition Center Station.  Continue the journey to Nangang Station to board the bullet train going to HSR Zuoying Station.

b. From Taoyuan International Airport:  Board Bus 705 to reach the Taoyuan HSR Station.  Ride any bullet train going to HSR Zuoying Station.

c. From Taichung International Airport:  Board Bus 156 to reach the Taichung HSR Station and ride any bullet train going to HSR Zuoying  Station.

d. From Kaohsiung International Airport: Board Bus 0918 to reach Kenting
Departure times from the airport (everyday): 1010/1110/1250/1350/1610/1710/1850/1950
Departure times from Kenting (everyday): 0810/0950/1050/1310/1410/1550/1650/1910

How to go to Kenting
My Kenting Shutle Bus 2-Day Pass

If you are also planning to see the other tourist attractions in Hengchun Peninsula then you can buy a 1-Day or 2-Day Pass for the Kenting Shuttle Bus (https://affiliate.klook.com/jump/activity/554-kenting-bus-transfers-kenting/?adid=5089&af_wid=324) at the  Kenting Express counter..  There are four lines for this tourist bus with the Blue Line and Orange Line serving the most well-known tourist sites like the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium and the South Beach Recreational Area (Nanwan).  I bought my ticket online through Klook for a price of NTD 150 for my 2-Day Pass.  A 1-Day Pass is price at NTD 100.  Print the voucher from the e-mail Klook or present it using your smartphone to get your pass.  


The ladies at the Kenting Express counter will take note of your voucher number before giving you the ticket.  Do not lose your 1-Day Pass or 2-Day Pass because you will have to present this to the bus driver upon entering the vehicle.  Klook has a link from its website about the timetables of the different lines of the Kenting Express Bus.  Save screenshots of it and use it as a guide during your travel adventure. With your 1-Day Pass or 2-Day Pass on your hand and your EasyCard loaded with NTD 1,000 then you are good to go.  

How to go to Kenting
A piece of paper indicating 9:15 am was handed to me at the Kenting Express Counter after saying that I would pay the fare using my EasyCard.

How to go to Kenting
Bus 9189 is the Taiwan Tour Bus which goest to Kenting (Xiaowan)

How to go to Kenting
timetable of Bus 9189

How to go to Kenting

How to go to Kenting
Bus 9189

For my experience in going to the south of Taiwan, I boarded the HSR at Nangang Station in Taipei.  The bullet train left at 6:40 am and it arrived in Kaohsiung at 8:50 am.   I got my 2-Day Pass at the Kenting Express counter after presenting my printed voucher that was e-mailed by Klook.   At 9:15 am, I was already inside the Taiwan Tour Bus going to Xiaowan.  The travel time was supposed to be 2 hours but for some unknown reason it took 3 hours to reach Kenting.  I slept along the way until the driver broke the silence, “Xiaowan! Xiaowan!”  As soon as I get off the bus, my adventure in Kenting had begun.

2. Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

This beach is known for its proximity to the town of Kenting. Xiaowan is the final stop of the Taiwan Tour Bus Kenting Express Shuttle route originating from the Zuoying HSR Station. Another public transportation option to get here is Bus 9188 that runs up to Eulanbi. The Kenting Express Blue and Orange Line also makes a stop at Xiaowan.

Kenting Xiaowan Beach
Xiaowan bus stop signs

Kenting Xiaowan Beach
looking at the town of Kenting from the bus stop

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach
rocky portion of Xiaowan 

Xiaowan means small bay in English and its name describes its size as compared to Nanwan and Baisha. Its blue waters will mesmerize as you look at it from Nanwan Road. There is a wooden staircase leading to the beach and a bar with a live band at night. 

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

Kenting Xiaowan Beach

The signs on the beach say that waters sports activity are prohibited but to my surprise, I saw visitors rode at the back of jet skis for a thrilling ride of their life. Ask your travel agency or your hotel/hostel manager if you want to do water sports activities here.

.Convenient stores, souvenir shops, and swimming apparel can be bought at along the stores in Nanwan Road. As the sun sets, Kenting Street slowly transforms into a food capital in the southernmost tip of Taiwan. Guests staying at hotels/hostels near Xiaowan will discover that their chosen accommodation is of great value. 

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Bus 9188 (HSR Zuoying Station ↔ Eulanbi) daily bus schedule
From HSR Zuoying Station: 0845/0945/1045/1145/1245/1345/1445/1545/1645/1745/1845/1945/2045/2145
From Eulanbi: 0610/0720/0830/0930/1030/1130/1230/1330/1430/1530/1630/1730/1800/1900

3. Nanwan Beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach

How to get here: From the HSR Zuoying Station, go to Exit 2 and board Bus 9188 or 9189. Get off the bus at Nanwan stop. Parking space is also provided for visitors coming with their own transportation. The Kenting Express Blue and Orange Line also makes a stop at this beach.

Kenting Nanwan Beach

The rent for umbrellas cost NTD 100 while the use of shower is NTD 20. Both can be free if you join any water sports activity. A 7-Eleven store located on the opposite side of Nanwan Road makes it convenient for beach lovers to buy food and other things that they need.

Kenting Nanwan Beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach
selfie with the waves of Nanwan

Kenting Nanwan Beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach
Splash!

Kenting Nanwan Beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach
You can try the water sports activities here.

Kenting Nanwan Beach
banana boats

Kenting Nanwan Beach
If you want to capture nice pictures of the waves then use a waterproof camera.

Kenting Nanwan Beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach
A rock on the beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach

Kenting Nanwan Beach
There is a nuclear power plant nearby.

Kenting Nanwan Beach

4. National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting's National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA).  One of Asia's best.  A trip to Taiwan's Hengchun Peninsula is not complete without a visit to this tourist attraction.  It boasts a range of aquatic life to see.  Not only serving the increasing number of Taiwanderers on the island, it also serves as a research facility in preserving the natural wonders of the sea and the oceans.  A national aquarium that educates people about the importance of the waters that surrounds Taiwan, it deserves to be featured in the luomujie blog.

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium


NMMBA transforms itself as a personal submarine for anyone who wishes to have an undersea adventure without the need to wear a SCUBA suit.   For an adult ticket price of NTD 450, you can enter its premises and wander around the Coral Kingdom Pavillion, Waters of Taiwan and Waters of the World.    Students, elderly and children need only to pay NTD 250.  I was very lucky to get the discounted ticket price after presenting my student ID in Taiwan.  Bwahaha!  Tickets are also available only via klook (https://affiliate.klook.com/jump/activity/1677-national-museum-of-marine-biology-aquarium-kenting/?adid=33595&af_wid=324).  If you are qualified to get the half-price tickets, then you should get them in person at the ticketing booths.


Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium
To get to NMMBA, board first the Taiwan Tour Bus from HSR Zuoying Station.  Get off the bus at the Museum of Marine Transfer Station aka NMMBA Transfer bus stop.

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium
Get off the Taiwan Tour Bus at the NMMBA Transfer bus stop.  Change bus for the Kenting Express Orange Line.  Alight at NMMBA

How to get here?  If you are coming from Taipei, the fastest way is to ride the High Speed Rail train going to Kaohsiung.  Get also your 1-Day or 2-Day Pass for the Kenting Shuttle Bus (https://affiliate.klook.com/jump/activity/554-kenting-bus-transfers-kenting/?adid=5089&af_wid=324) before your trip and exchange it with a bus ticket at HSR Zuoying Station.   Board the Taiwan Tour Bus going to Kenting and then get off at the NMMBA Transfer bus stop.  Change to the orange line of the Kenting Shuttle Bus to reach Taiwan's national aquarium.

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

I recommend a whole day to see all of its collections.  The museum is too big to be explored in less than four hours and you will easily get tired walking along it big halls.  Its giant aquariums are its main attractions but outside the building are outdoor parks that are also interesting.  They are a nice way to get your feet wet without going to the beach.   Do you want to take pictures with the dolphins?  How about the swordfish?  The Ocean Park Plaza invites kids and parents to have some fun time together at the open pool.

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium


Another place that is worth to see in the NMMBA is the Cetacean Plaza   It's funny to see locals enjoy their time here like it's some kind of water park.  Aside from the splash and excitement that you will experience if you ever decide to play here, tourists can also learn new things about whales.  A water park and a marine museum as one!  I was really impressed by these aesthetics of NMMBA.  

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Being ranked as the 5th best aquarium in Asia, I had high expectations on this first visit.   Like the other ocean parks located in Japan and Hong Kong, I had anticipated going into a water tunnel.  You enter the tube, walk along the aisle and get mesmerized by the various kinds of marine life that you can see.  Stingrays that are gliding freely,  sharks with sharp jaws and look what I saw inside the aquarium of NMMBA.  There was a man wearing a SCUBA!

Touring NMMBA is not an ordinary walk in the park because there are fun experiences and shows that one can enjoy.   The most common are the feeding times of the animals.  When I went to the water tunnel, I was surprised to see a school of fish surrounding a man on a SCUBA.   He interacted with the visitors reaching his hand to the glass mirror as if he can touch the person on the other side. 

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium



Another popular attraction in Taiwan's national aquarium is the feeding time of the penguins.   Taipei Zoo's Antarctic Region will have no match in Kenting's larger version.  A grander one with lots and lots of penguins.  Watching them was like enjoying a live theater show.  They marched forward and suddenly got wild upon smelling the flesh of a fish.   When they were already full, they jumped into the water.  Smiles and cheers were heard as young Taiwanese kids became overjoyed by what they were seeing.  Penguins swimming freely in the cold waters of an Antarctic-inspired aquarium.  Haha!

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

There was a touch pool but I didn't like it.   On this place, visitors have a chance to touch marine organisms.  However, the Taiwanese instructors were too strict.  You can touch the starfish and sea cucumbers but you must not lift them out of the water.   There was more liberty in Yehliu Ocean World compared here to NMMBA.   I think activities like these should be the done on the beach. Seeing these species in their natural environment will always be the best.   


I remember my trip to Penghu in 2016.  I went on a night tour with a group of new found friends.  We were on Niǎodǎo Island and we searched for tiny crabs along the beach.  We found the crustaceans but I was also able to find sea urchins (with dangerous-looking spikes), sea cucumbers and some kind of starfish.   Fresh and alive!

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium


Thanks to the coral section of the NMMBA, it helped save the day.  They were so colorful in their glass cages.  Looking at the fishes that swam inside their crevices was like going down the ocean and watching them via an invisible shield.  But the greatest surprise on my visit was the three-floor high aquarium.  It was so huge that I was expecting to see a giant octopus inside.  Haha!

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

What was inside?  It was a kelp.  A kind of seaweed that is found in subtropical waters.  Taiwan is an island located in the Tropic Cancer had been blessed with this kind of aquatic plant.   The aquarium was built to show how high the “plant” can be.  Its white “root” holds on the rocks below keeping it on its position.  Its “leaves” are air bladders which function like floatation devices.  Let's just say that they are small balloons that keeps the “trunk” perpendicular to the ground.  The glass cage was so tall that I have to wark further away from the aquarium just to get a good selfie.

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Before I left NMMBA, I made sure that I have a glance at the Whale Explorium building.  Shaped-like the giant marine mammal, it is one of the iconic man-made structures in Hengchun Peninsula.  I wanted to go inside but I wasn't able to do so.   I guessed the building is only used during special occasions and is not open to visitors.  Nevertheless,  I was able to get some photos of it.   
Kenting National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

5. Eulanbi Park lighthouse - Southernmost point of Taiwan

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

How much of Taiwan have you seen?  Up in the north of the island is its capital.  Taipei! The noise of the city in the day and its sparkling lights at night give life to a mighty concrete jungle.  Take a journey down to the west coast and you will encounter the provinces of Central Taiwan.  Its vast plains become disrupted at the heart of the island as it folds to form the tallest mountains in East Asia. The eastern side of Taiwan is an endless enchantment as it faces the giant waves of the Pacific Ocean. What about the south?   Of course, there is Kaohsiung and it is much like Taipei.  Busy and full of life.   But down to the southernmost tip of Taiwan is a totally different world. 

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
ticket office of Eulanbi Park

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
the ticket

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
Opening hours of Eulanbi Park

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
park map
Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
Eulanbi lighthouse
Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
The southermost point in Taiwan and the Batanes Group of Islands in the Philippines
Here, the blue sky looks down at the great seas that surround the island.  The sun, the sky, and the ocean meet at the horizon forming an illusion that there must be something out there far beyond than what the light of the Eulanbi lighthouse can reach.  Batanes! 

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
Coral rocks are so common in Eulanbi

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan

A great metaphor greets anyone in Eulanbi who reaches the monument that marks the southernmost point of Taiwan.  It is a cone-shaped concrete with a flat side facing the western side of the island.  You cannot go beyond that point because it is forbidden.   Locals simply ignore the warning.  They carry with themselves long fishing rods.  They hop over the giant rocks that were once corals immersed deep below the Bashi Channel.   

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
Taiwan Strait as seen from Eulanbi Park

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
The mountains of the Kenting National Park as seen from Eulanbi

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
Looking at Bashi Channel from the southernmost point of Taiwan
Life is so simple in Eulanbi.  Even its park is marked with simplicity. An entrance fee of NTD 60 allowed me to get near to the lighthouse that served as the guardian of the sea.   It was visible from the mountains of the Kenting National Park, to the calm waters of the Taiwan Strait and to the crystal blue beauty of the Bashi Channel.  

Kenting Eulanbi Park Southernmost point of Taiwan
selfie at the beach in the southernmost point of Taiwan.  Luo-Mu Jie,  Taiwan Strait, Bashi Channel and the Pacific Ocean in one great photo.

I was so happy when I took a selfie and behind me was the sea.  It was a job well done just like any other day in the office.  Standing here was a ritual with destiny.  To those who strive to work hard and continue to succeed in Taiwan, Eulanbi is the point of no return.  For those who call the island their second home, the southernmost point of the island is a reminder that the possibilities are endless.   Win or lose.  Life will always continue even if you reach the edge of Taiwan.

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Note: The cone-shaped monument indicating the southernmost point of Taiwan is not part of Eulanbi Park. Check this guide from Google Maps to help you locate the edge of Taiwan: [Google Map]


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