Straddling Taiwan’s southern tip and bounded by sea on three sides, KENTING NATIONAL PARK (墾丁國家公園; kěndīng guójiā gōngyuán) attracts millions of visitors each year, lured by its warm tropical climate and magnificent white-sand beaches. The park covers most of the Hengchun Peninsula, which sits at the confluence of fault lines and tectonic plates. As a result, the peninsula has been pushed, pulled and twisted into a complex network of low-lying mountains, grassy meadows, steep cliffs, sand dunes and elaborate coral formations. Despite its remarkably varied natural scenery, much of it is overlooked by visitors, most of whom relish the amusement-park atmosphere of the main tourist area around Kenting Town and nearby Nanwan. With so many tourists clinging to these more developed spots, much of the park remains relatively quiet.
The park’s beaches are definitely its biggest draw and, although the ones closest to Kenting Town and Nanwan are overrated (and often overcrowded), it’s not hard to find your own stretch of fine white sand in a more secluded setting. While Kenting is no Ibiza, it can be entertaining at night and is also known as Taiwan’s premier surfing destination. Kenting’s busy season starts in May and lasts through September, but weekends can be crazy year-round. To avoid the crowds visit midweek March to May, when it should be warm enough to lounge on the beach in relative peace.Read More
The US has Spring Break, but Taiwan has Spring Scream. For the country’s growing legions of rock music fans, Kenting Town has become the site of one of Taiwan’s biggest annual rock festivals – Spring Scream (春天吶喊; chūntiān nàhǎn) – held every April since 1995. Popular with Taiwanese and expatriates alike, this five-day event showcases both international and home-grown talent and is consistently the country’s biggest gathering of foreigners, with expats from all corners of the island converging on Kenting Town for days of unbridled indulgence. Book accommodation way in advance or prepare to crash on the beach. Expect to pay around NT$1500 for an all-event pass, or NT$600–900 for single days. The venue changes, but all the most recent festivals have been held at the Eluanbi Lighthouse.