Kenting National Park - A National Treasure
Kenting National Park, on the southern tip of Taiwan, is the perfect place to go for a naturalist holiday. It offers stunning vistas, spectacular ocean views and a tremendous array of both flora and fauna. It is a nature-lover's paradise.
Why Travel to Kenting?
Kenting is the first national park in China. It is home to beautiful beaches, lush vegetation, intriguing caves and many other historical sites. It is one of the top ten tropical botanical gardens in the world. More than 1200 types of plants can be found at Kenting National Park.
There are many reasons to visit. People who are interested in archeology will delight in the old temples and prehistoric sites.
Naturalists will love the coral reefs and vast number of birds and plants in the tropical forests.
A few of the places to see in Kenting National Park include the Stalagmite Cave, the Fairy Cave, the Labyrinth Forest and the Number One Gorge.
The History of Kenting
Over ten million years ago, the area that is now Kenting was under the sea. Over many hundreds of thousands of years, the sea receded and left behind stunning coral reefs. These eventually were covered with soil and became the home to an incredible assortment of plants.
Kenting has been a national park since 1984. The land was in danger of environmental damage from farming and building, so President Chiang Jing-Guo decreed that it must be set aside to preserve and protect the natural resources.
Where is Kenting and When Should I Visit?
Kenting National Park is on Hengchun Pensinsula. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the east, the Taiwan Strait on the west and the Bashi Channel on the north.
Kenting National Park is on the extreme southern tip of Taiwan and enjoys delightful weather for most of the year. Temperatures range from approximately 20 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius. The only time of the year you may wish to avoid is monsoon season in the winter months. It is open year-round.
What Else Can I Do in the Area?
There are many activities to do in and around Kenting National Park. Tourists enjoy surfing, jet-skis, go-karts and swimming at the park's two lovely beaches. You will find scuba diving and beautiful hiking trails. The main strip in Kenting has shops, restaurants and games. Be advised that many of these establishments close by approximately 22:00 every night.
Many people enjoy renting scooters to get around the park. They can be rented at many stores in Kenting. A current Taiwan driver's license is required. Please also be advised that helmets are required when driving or riding on a scooter.
Kenting National Park is a wonderful place to visit. It is safe, but please remember to lock your car and stay on the trails, especially when it is windy. You should also take care to avoid the stray dogs that roam the area.
Buses run from Taipei Bus Station to Kaohsiung. The United Bus, or UBus, is one company that runs this route. It is a five to six hour trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung. Once in Kaohsiung, take the Line 88 bus, which is not the city bus, to Kenting National Park. This trip will take approximately two and one half hours.
There is a regular bus and an express bus, but it is difficult to determine the difference because the drivers will most likely not speak English. Kaohsiung is also accessible from Taipei by High Speed Rail. This will shorten the trip time considerably.
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I updated this article on November 26, 2012
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