9 Best Things to Do in Kenting - A One-Day Backpacking Itinerary to Kenting, Taiwan

9 Best Things to Do in Kenting

A One-Day Backpacking Itinerary to Kenting, Taiwan

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You may have known about Kenting from a movie Life of Pi but the national park, which encompasses the southern tip of Taiwan, has always been popular among travelers and backpackers who are looking for a more relaxed experience of Taiwan.

From the beautiful coastline, a warmer climate, and the slew of outdoor activities waiting for you to do, here is a complete backpacking guide on things to do in Kenting. Without further ado, let's first look at the itinerary map:

Kenting Things to Do Itinerary Map

Kenting Things to Do Itinerary Map

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When to Visit Kenting, Taiwan

The cloudy coastline of Kenting, Taiwan.

The best time to visit Kenting is from March to May where the temperature hovers around 22°C - 30°C, out of typhoon season, and the water temperature should be good enough for you to swim in.

As I mentioned in my other Taiwan guides, Taiwan is prone to typhoon and I would recommend you avoid visiting Kenting between June - September which is considered to be a Typhoon season.

Kenting in winter (October - February) is also not a bad time to visit but you might encounter more rain and extreme wind (Kenting is known for being windy all-year-round) which might make you enjoy outdoor activities less.

The water temperature during this time will also be too cold for swimming so if you visit Kenting during this time, you will unlikely be enjoying any of the water activities the area has to offer.

Where to Stay in Kenting, Taiwan

Budget - Kenting Original Hostel - 11 USD/Night (Dorm)

Mid-Range - Kenting Peninsula Inn - 32 USD/Night for 2 (Standard Queen Room)

How to Get to Kenting, Taiwan

A rice field passing by from a train in Taiwan.

In order to get to Kenting from abroad, you will first have to travel to Taipei and to do that you will have to fly into Taoyuan International Airport. Thankfully, there are several airlines you can fly to Taipei:

From the US, there are several direct flights from big cities like New York and LA via United Airlines, or you can also fly direct to Taipei via EVA Airlines, its national carrier.

From within Europe, you can also fly direct via EVA Airlines or popular carriers like KLM or AirFrance to Taipei. You can also fly via Asian Airlines like Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways but you will have to transit in their respective home country.

From Asia, traveling to Taiwan gets a lot easier and cheaper with several low-cost airlines operating this route from hub cities like Bangkok and Singapore. Lion Air, as well as AirAsia, have many flights flying from Bangkok/KL to Taipei every day so you should have no problem finding one if you are planning to fly from Asia.

To find a cheap flight to Taipei, I would recommend you use Skyscanner or Momondo to look for the cheapest route and schedule so you can compare and pick the best one.

The Ultimate Backpacking Guide To Taipei

How to Get from Taipei to Kenting

The interior of a train in Taiwan.

From Taipei to Kenting, you will be traveling from north to south and so I would recommend you take the high-speed train (HSR) from Taipei Main Station to Zuoying HSR Station in Kaohsiung City where you can then catch a shuttle bus to Kenting National Park.

By High-Speed Train

The HSR high-speed train ticket from Taipei to Zuoying in Kaohsiung will cost you about 1490 NTD and it will take you about 1.5 hours. There is no direct train to the national park, so from Zuoying HSR Station (Kaohsiung City), you will then have to take the shuttle bus to Kenting.

A directional sign to Kenting Express Bus Stop at Zuoying HSR Station in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

In order to get the Kenting Express shuttle bus, when you arrive at Zuoying HSR Station, Exit #2 and before you take the escalator down to the bus stop, there will be a kiosk where you can buy a ticket.

Kenting Express Ticket Kiosk at Exit 2 of Zuoying HSR Station in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

If you already have an EasyCard, you do not have to buy the ticket. Just tap the EasyCard when you get on the bus and tap it again when you arrive in Kenting. That is the beauty of having an EasyCard!

Me holding an EasyCard and a Kenting Express bus schedule in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

After you get down from the escalator, all you have to do is wait for the yellow/white bus with the word Kenting plastered all over to arrive at Zuoying HSR Station Bus Stop and get on one.

The exterior of the yellow/white Kenting Express Bus in Taiwan.

The Kenting Express operates from 8:30 - 19:10 every day connecting Zuoying HSR Station to Kenting. It usually comes every 30 minutes, cost about 350 NTD, and it takes about 2.5 hours to arrive. The bus can drop you off right in the center of Kenting at Kenting Police Bus Stop and you should be able to walk to your accommodation.

For the high-speed train schedule from Taipei to Kaohsiung or if you want to book online: Book HSR High-Speed Train from Taipei to Kaohsiung.

By Normal Train

For the normal train, there are more than 10 trains per day with 2 routes, through the mountains which is faster or along the coastline which is more scenic.

The Taipei-Xinzuoying train runs from 6:10 - 19:30, it will take around 5 hours via Mountain Line and 6.5 hours via Coast Line. The train should cost you 824 NTD for the Mountain Line and 635 NTD for the Coast Line.

If you want to take the normal train, be sure that you book the train from Taipei to Xinzuoying Station which connects directly to Zuoying HSR Station where you can then get the shuttle bus to Kenting.

Do not get off at Zuoying Station! Otherwise, you will have to take another train to Xinzuoying Station to get the shuttle bus to Kenting.

For the regular train schedule from Taipei to Kaohsiung or if you want to book online, be sure to check out: The Official TRA Ticket Information and Timetable.

How to Get from Taroko Gorge (Hualien) to Kenting

If you are currently traveling on the east coast of Taiwan and want to make your way down from Hualien to Kenting as I did, you can take the regular train from Hualien Station to Fangliao Station (one of the stops of Kenting Shuttle Bus) where you can then catch the same Kenting Shuttle Bus to Kenting National Park.

There are 5 trains connecting Hualien to Fangliao Station leaving from 6:08 to 17:54. It should take about 4 - 5 hours and cost around 548 NTD. If you are planning to catch the shuttle bus to Kenting on the same day, I would recommend you get on one of the trains before noon and you should arrive in Fangliao between 14 - 15 in time for the shuttle bus (8:30 - 19:10) to take you to Kenting.

The Kenting Express bus stop in Fangliao, Taiwan.

After you arrive at Fangliao Station, you will have to walk out to the main road and wait for the Kenting Bus at the Fangliao Station Bus Stop and you should be on your way in 30 minutes. From Fangliao to Kenting, the journey should take about 1 hour depending on the traffic.

The Ultimate Backpacking Guide For Taroko Gorge

How to Get Around Kenting, Taiwan

Me on an e-scooter in Kenting, Taiwan.

The best way to get around Kenting, especially for this itinerary, is to rent an e-scooter that should be able to take you to all the mentioned places to see here on 2 batteries that are included from most e-bike rental places around Kenting.

I rented an e-scooter from a rental place at the corner of Tonghai Lane and Kenting Main Road for 450 NTD for 12 hours. The e-scooter comes with 2 batteries where you can switch it yourself or let the store do it for you.

Since our itinerary is divided into 2 zones that go through Kenting Town, you can ask the store to change it for you when you are passing from one zone to another.

An aqua blue e-scooter parked along the road in Kenting, Taiwan.

Keep in mind that an e-scooter can only run along the coast. It doesn't have the horsepower to go up mountains so you won't be able to ride up to Kenting National Forest Recreational Area or hike Dejian Mountain.

Fortunately, this guide doesn't require you to go up any mountains so you should be able to reach all the points of interest within this guide with a rental e-scooter.

If you wish to go beyond this guide and visit some of the hard reaching locations, I would recommend you rent a car from a car rental agency in Kenting. It should cost you about 1800 NTD to rent a car for a day.

How Many Days to Spend in Kenting, Taiwan

The entrance to Kenting Forest Recreational Area in Taiwan.

For this itinerary, you will only need one full day to see all the places so I would recommend spending at least one full day (2 nights) in Kenting. You can spend one more day and explore other further away attractions if you have a car. Here's a rough one-day itinerary for Kenting:

Day 1: Start your journey by visiting Longpan Park in the morning to beat the crowds. Continue to Fengchuisha for a beach walk, before returning and visit Taiwan Southernmost Point and Eluanbi Park.

After visiting these places in the morning, travel through Kenting Town, change the battery of your e-scooter and continue on to see the Chuan Fan Rock, Little Bali Rock, Maobitou Park, and relax at White Sand Bay for the rest of the day before coming back to Kenting.

Day 2 (Optional): For those who have an extra in Kenting and do not mind renting a car, you can spend your second day exploring the Kenting National Park Reserve to the north. Visit the Recreational Area and go hike Dejian Mountain.

How Much Money Do I Need for Kenting, Taiwan

With the rough itinerary above, we can estimate how much money you will be spending in Kenting for one day. Here's a rough estimate on how much it will cost you to travel to Kenting:

Accommodation: With a total of 2 nights, you will be paying around 22 USD (661 NTD)

Food: A good meal in Kenting should cost you about 100 NTD per meal so you can expect to pay 300 NTD for 3-meals a day.

Transportation: Since we will be renting an e-scooter, your transportation cost will be 450 NTD for a 12-hours e-scooter rental fee.

Activities: Many of the parks in Kenting require you to pay for both parking and entry so you can expect to pay around 120 NTD for visiting Maobitou and Eluanbi Lighthouse.

Total Budget for one day in Kenting: 1,531 NTD (51 USD)

Is it Safe in Kenting?

Kenting is extremely windy almost all-year-round so if you are exploring the cliffs and mountains of Kenting, be sure that you are on the sturdy ground and please do not jump or step on uneven ground to avoid falling off the cliff.

Other than that and the fact that the place is prone to typhoons, Kenting and Taiwan, in general, is one of the safest countries you can travel to.

Internet in Kenting

Taiwan has one of the fastest public WIFI out there. Most of the hostels and restaurants I visited in Taiwan have fast reliable WIFI and you could go by without having a local sim card but if you wish to navigate the city by bus, I recommend getting a local sim card at the airport on your arrival.

Data Plan for Local Sim Card provided by Chungwa Telecom at Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan.

I recommend Chungwa Telecom, one of the leading telecommunication carriers in Taiwan that offers several 4G unlimited unthrottled data package with a price range from 300 NTD - 1,000 NTD.

Chungwa Telecom Kiosk at Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan.

You can find their kiosk among other carriers at the arrival hall at Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei. Simply approach them and they will show you the list of packages available that you can pick from. They will ask for your passport, pop the sim card in for you, and within 2 minutes, you will have unlimited 4G data for your Taiwan trip.

I had 15 days in Taiwan and so I bought their 15 days unlimited data sim card for 700 NTD (they also accept credit cards) and I was able to get 4G connection everywhere I went in the country and so if you are looking for a reliable way to stay connected throughout your stay in Taiwan, be sure to get a local sim card at the airport.

For more information about Taiwan's local sim card: Taiwan Prepaid Data Sim Card.

Travel Insurance

If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Taiwan, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure.

Get a Quote from World Nomads

9 Best Things to Do in Kenting, Taiwan

Admire the Southern Coastline of Taiwan at Longpan Park

The view of the coastline at Longpan Park, Kenting, Taiwan.

One of the first things you should do on your first day in Kenting is to find a place to rent an e-scooter. We will be covering both the east and west areas around Kenting Town beginning with Longpan Park and so be sure to rent an e-scooter before embarking on the journey.

Me looking at the observatory on a cliff at Longpan Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

Longpan Park is an open grassland along the southern coastline of Taiwan with a clear view of the Pacific Ocean. From the viewpoint, you will be able to see some of the most stunning coastlines in Taiwan along with wild buffalos and vivid grassland.

The coastline of Kenting, Taiwan.

Be warned, Longpan Park is known to receive strong wind all-year-round so be sure not to be standing too close to the cliff and make sure that you are on steady ground.

A group of buffalos at Longpan Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

To get to Longpan Park, you can simply ride east from Kenting Town Area, continue along the main road passing Eluanbi Lighthouse before the road turns up north with the coastline on your right before arriving at Longpan Park. You can't miss is as you will see a large parking lot on your left when you approach the park.

Since it is located on the eastern side of the island Longpan Park is the perfect place to go watch the sunrise, given that it is a clear day of course and if you don't mind waking up super early for it.

The road is all paved and it will only take you about 30 minutes on an e-scooter to get from Kenting Town to Longpan Park.

Walk Around the Sandy Beach of Fengchuisha

Fengchuisha Beach in Kenting, Taiwan.

After admiring the stunning coastline of Kenting, continue north on your e-scooter for about 5 minutes and you will arrive at Fengchuisha, a beautiful roadside beach area where you can stroll or given that it's not too windy or cold, swim.

An e-scooter parked at the Fengchuisha parking lot in Kenting, Taiwan.

If you are not interested in swimming, the viewpoint from the road is pretty stunning on its own and since it's not too far from Longpan Park, Fengchuisha is definitely worth the extra 5 minutes ride.

To get to Fengchuisha, just continue north along the Jiae Road for about 5 minutes and you will find a small parking lot just before a bridge. On your right is the sandy beach of Fengchuisha.

Visit Southern Most Point of Taiwan

Me walking towards the Southern Most Point of Taiwan monument in Kenting, Taiwan.

After visiting Fengchuisha, make your way back down along Jiae Road until you arrive at the Southern Most Point of Taiwan, a monument built on a wooden platform overlooking Taiwan rocky coast and the Pacific Ocean.

A directional sign pointing to the Southern Most Point of Taiwan in Kenting.

It is a great place to take photos commemorating the fact that you have traveled at the southernmost tip of Taiwan. The walk is also quite peaceful and only 500m away from the parking lot.

The coastline at the Southern Most Point of Taiwan in Kenting.

Also if you are there at the right time (no moon phase) and you visit the monument at night, you will be rewarded with a stunning sight of the Milky Way displaying itself across the sky. If you like stargazing, be sure to visit the Southern Most Point of Taiwan at night.

To get to the Southern Most Point of Taiwan, simply drive back from Longpan Park and just before the road u-turn itself to go back up the other side of the coast (just before Eluanbi Park), you continue south along the road until you find a large parking lot where you can then walk about 500m until you arrive at the monument.

They do charge you for parking but you don't really have to park there especially if you are on an e-scooter. Just park outside the parking lot under one of the many trees along the road and you can avoid the 20 NTD parking fee.

Visit Eluanbi Lighthouse and Stroll Around Eluanbi Park

The view from a viewpoint in Eluanbi Park in Kenting Taiwan.

Not too far from the Southern Most Point of Taiwan, you will find another beautiful park where you can spend hours walking around the nature trail that goes through some of the most stunning viewpoints around Kenting.

Me looking at the view from Eluanbi Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

Within Eluanbi Park, there are several walking trails you can take. Some go through an open-air museum showing what the life of the indigenous people was like, some take you to stunning viewpoints, all of them worth visiting so be sure to spend some time in the park.

Eluanbi Lighthouse being renovated in Kenting, Taiwan.

Unfortunately, when I was there, the 19th Century Eluanbi Lighthouse was under renovation so I was unable to get inside and see the museum or go up the lighthouse to check out the view from above. If you have better luck than I do, please let me know how it goes.

The beautiful green space around Eluanbi Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

Other attractions worth seeing in the parks are all the 3 pavilions located along the coast that will reward you with a stunning viewpoint of the coast, the prehistoric village, shadow valley, and the narrow gorge. You need at least an hour to really enjoy what park the park has to offer.

The Narrow Gorge in Eluanbi Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

The entrance to the park is 60 NTD which includes the lighthouse but even if the lighthouse is closed, the whole park and all the scenic trails are definitely worth the 2 USD price tag.

One of the many pavilions in Eluanbi Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

Beware that some areas have dense forest and there are known to be some snakes lurking around so avoid walking outside the walk paths. I was warned by a kind-hearted local not to walk through a dense forest area, although it took us quite some time to communicate due to the language barrier 😅.

Check Out Chuan Fan Rock

Chuan Fan Rock in Kenting, Taiwan.

After spending an hour at Eluanbi Park, make your way back to Kenting Town but right before you arrive, stop at Chuan Fan Rock and check out this peculiar-looking rock. From the photo above, What do you see?

The beach by Chuan Fan Rock in Kenting, Taiwan.

It somewhat looks like a sailboat raising the sail, ready to set off into the unknown, doesn't it? This coral limestone has been eroded for years by seawater which in turn created the peculiar shape you see today.

There is also a kayak rental or a place to sit if you wish you relax by the beach and absorb the sight of Chuan Fan Rock. If not, it's a good place for a few photos before we go back to Kenting, change the battery of our e-scooter and continue to explore the western part of Kenting.

Snorkel at Little Bali Rock (小巴里島岩)

The clear water of the Little Bali Rock in Kenting, Taiwan.

If you have your own snorkeling gear or you wish to swim a bit, the Little Bali Rock (小巴里島岩) is a beautiful hidden gem, tucked away along the twisty road of Kenting western section.

The landscape around Little Bali Rock in Kenting, Taiwan.

The place is known for its beautiful coral reefs, clear calm water, and quieter than other beaches in Kenting, making it the perfect getaway place to visit.

To get to Little Bali Rock, you will have to ride west from Kenting Town to Nanguang Rd. Intersection and from there continue west until you arrive at another intersection. Go left and take the Shawei Road down to Houbihu Harbor. Continue along the right side of the waterway until the road turn right and that is where you will find the Little Bali Rock.

Visit Maobitou Park

The view from Maobitou Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

Since you are already in the western section of Kenting, it would be a shame if you didn't visit Maobitou Park, although I think the ticket is a little overpriced compared to other parks you can visit in Kenting.

The black limestone reef coastline at Maobitou Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

That said, the black limestone reef coast and the greenery around the area make it one stunning viewpoint that is hard to pass by. From Maobitou Park, you can also see Kenting Town as well the landscape that surrounds it.

A fisherman boat fighting against strong wind near Maobitou Park in Kenting, Taiwan.

The entrance fee for Maobitou Park is 30 NTD and another 10 NTD to park your e-scooter. You can spend about 15 - 30 minutes walking around the park and checking out the viewpoint. Be warned, it gets extremely windy here as well make sure you are on a steady ground at all times.

To Get to Maobitou Park, continue south from Little Bali Rock along the road until it merges with Xiaquan Road and you will arrive at a small roundabout with a parking ticket booth where you will have to pay for your parking space before entering Maobitou Park.

Lay Down in the Sun at White Sand Bay (Baisha Beach)

The empty white sand beach of White Sand Bay (Baisha Beach) in Kenting, Taiwan.

After spending a few minutes at Maobitou Park, I would recommend you travel further west to White Sand Bay (Baisha Beach), a beautiful strip of white sand beach where you can relax and enjoy the sunset.

Me walking around White Sand Bay in Kenting, Taiwan.

You can also buy food and drinks as well as rent out a kayak, an umbrella (300 NTD for a day) or enjoy other water activities. White Sand Bay is the kind of place you can spend hours just relaxing at.

Sunset at White Sand Bay in Kenting, Taiwan.

The White Sand Bay is also a great spot for sunset and so if you follow this itinerary in its exact order, you should arrive at White Sand Bay in time for the sunset.

To get to White Sand Bay from Maobitou Park, simply go back up Xiaquan Road until it merges with Daguang Road where you can then continue west until you arrive at White Sand Bay.

Eat at Kenting Night Market

The crowded and busy night market in Kenting, Taiwan.

After the whole day exploring Kenting, it is time to return to Kenting Town, give back your e-scooter and continue to explore Kenting and its awesome night market on foot.

Street food from Kenting Night Market, Taiwan.

Kenting Night Market starts from 6 PM until later in the night and it is located along the side of the main road through Kenting Town where you will find all sorts of delicious street food as well as seafood restaurants and many other food stalls for you to indulge yourself in.

What to Eat and Drink in Kenting

Try Xiao Long Bao

Xiao Long Bao from Kenting Night Market in Taiwan.

At Kenting Night Market, I found a really delicious Xiao Long Bao street food truck that serves the iconic soupy dumplings Taiwan is known for, and it is only 60 NTD a box. If this isn't a great deal, I don't know what is!

Eat Taiwanese Sticky Rice Sausage

Me holding Taiwanese Sticky Rice Sausage in Kenting, Taiwan.

One of the food trucks I really like at the Kenting Night Market is the one that sells Taiwanese Sticky Rice Sausage, the Taiwanese version of hot-dogs but instead of a bun, they used glutinous rice, and instead of the regular hot dog, they used the Taiwanese sweet hot dog instead. If you find one, I highly recommend you try it!

Top 12 Street Food To Try In Taiwan

And there you have it, a complete backpacking guide on things to do in Kenting. If you are planning to visit Kenting in Taiwan and have some questions regarding this itinerary, feel free to ask me in the comments below.

Further Reading for Taiwan

Looking for more information for your trip to Taiwan? Here is a collection of articles about Taiwan that you might find useful:

The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by Pete Rojwongsuriya, the founder of BucketListly Blog where we will follow his solo journey around the world as he experiences different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.

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