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Set on the sunny southern tip of Taiwan, Kenting is one of the country's most popular holiday destinations for its natural beauty and year-round warmth. It's best known for its national park, which includes mountains, lush forests, white-sand beaches and clear blue sea. Water sports draw travellers to Kenting's tropical shores for surfing, snorkelling and diving. On land, coastal trails pass twisting black rock formations and hot springs, while there's street food to feast on in the markets of Kenting town.
Stay at Kenting hostel in a renovated Japanese colonial building, luxurious ocean-facing rooms tucked off the beaten track or bright, modern accommodation 2 minutes' walk from the beach. Many Kenting hostels come with free breakfast. Some offer surfing lessons and board rental, and a handful have scuba diving or snorkelling equipment too. You'll even find a few with an electric scooter for guests to use free of charge, making it easy to get out and about. For a smooth trip, look out for hostels in Kenting offering airport transfer services.
Kenting town's beach is host to a 2km-long night market, with mighty Frog Rock 'leaping' into the sea behind. At the entrance to Kenting National Park, Hengchun's walled old town has four 150-year-old gates and another lively night market. Manzhou Township is one of the Park's quietest areas, with lush green landscapes inhabited by Taiwanese macaque birds. At the southernmost tip of Taiwan, Cape Eluanbi's towering white lighthouse looks out across the sea. Peaceful Guanshan mountain is famous for sunset views.
Kenting is a paradise for nature-lovers, especially at Kenting National Forest Recreation Area. Walk through giant, tangled banyan trees and limestone caves, or hike up to the cascading Qikong Falls. Back in Hengchun, toast popcorn over ChuHuo Eternal Flame – a naturally occurring underground fire phenomenon. Catch the waves at surf schools all along the coast and snorkel over coral at Xiaowan Beach. For easy-going nightlife, chill out later in the relaxed bars lining South Bay.
From Kaohsiung International Airport, the express bus to Kenting takes about 2 hours. If you're coming from Taipei, you can catch a bus or train to Kaohsiung, and travel onwards by bus to Kenting (around 2.5 hours' journey time in total). As distances between Kenting's sights are a bit longer, the best way to get around is to rent an electric scooter. You can also ride public buses or rent a bicycle.