Honestly, our first impression about Kenting was not good at all. It was cloudy when we arrived on the main street where our hotel was located. The beaches were recently visited by a typhoon and looked dirty. The ocean was grayish. Also, we didn’t find the local merchants as nice and smiley as those in Taipei or Tainan with the exception of the owner of our hotel. It is said that Kenting Street was created for local tourism. No wonder we felt it lacked sense of history and the restaurants were pricy.
As we were pondering the wisdom of our decision to come here, the morning weather gave us a pleasant surprise! It was sunny outside and we were excited. We ignored the random power outage in Kenting and prepared to tour around on our motorbike.
Our first stop was a reefy beach on our way to Eluanbi Park. The South China Sea reflected as sapphire, pure blue, totally different from what we saw the previous day.
It was a pity that the walking path along the coast in Eluanbi Park was closed for post-typhoon cleaning. It was still nice to take a walk in this verdant park and visit the historic lighthouse on Cape Eluanbi, the southernmost tip of Taiwan.
Our third stop was Longpan Park, an alpine steppe. From here, one can enjoy stunning views overlooking the meandering Pacific coastline. But the windy conditions on top of the mountain didn’t invite us to to stay there very long.
Before moving on, we stopped by a austere-looking restaurant in a small village for lunch. The beef noodle cooked by the old lady were pleasantly tasty, and reasonably priced compared Kenting Street.
Jialeshui Scenic Area was really today’s highlight. At the start we were just walking on a path built along the coast with the deafening sound of the waves hammering the reef on one side and an occasional waterfall on the other side. After reaching the end of the walking path, the real adventure began…
We found ponds formed by ocean water trapped among rocks. These tide pools were calm and clear in contrast to the choppy conditions of the ocean. Panda heard the call of the wild and popped into the pool without hesitation.
By the time we left Jialeshui Scenic Garden, the sun had begun to set. We jumped on the motorbike and started to book it towards White Beach, famous as the set of the Oscar-awarded movie Life of Pi (directed by Pingtung, Taiwan native Ang Lee).
We were expecting peaceful beach sunset but to our disappointment, the isolated virgin beach of the movie was missing. It was neither quiet nor clean. After taking a nap on the beach, we decided to call it a day and go back for dinner.