Taiwan

An afternoon in Kenting National Park, Taiwan

After a few days holed up in our hostel due to icky stomachs, today we finally ventured out to the place I’ve been dreaming of since booking our Taiwan trip; Kenting National Park.

As the weather has been so hot recently, we’ve been trying to avoid being out in the heat all day so we had a lovely lazy morning relaxing in the hostel before leaving at around 2pm.We caught a bus from where we’re staying in Heng Chun to the entrance of the National Park, just outside Kenting town. The distance from the entrance to the park itself is 4.5km uphill and there isn’t a bus in the daytime but in the heat we didn’t entertain the thought of walking! Instead, together with another tourist that we met on the bus, we caught a taxi from the entrance up to for 300NTD.

Entrance to the park is 100NTD for an adult and it’s open from 8.30-17.00. Upon entering the park, you must sign a register to say that you are visiting – our names looked so funny next to the Chinese characters! We noticed that there had been very few visitors before us that day and when we entered the park, it was unbelievably peaceful and serene. Bliss!

The park is full of easily signposted things to see but I would still recommend picking up a map at the visitor centre. Everything is within easy walking distance but be warned, there are a lot of stairs! If you manage to do the whole loop, it’s just under 5km long. There are lots of opportunities to shorten this though.

The park contains every shade of green that you could ever imagine. The colours are so vivid and powerful that you want to take photographs every other minute. This is the view from the ticket office of the park. Off to a good start!


My favourite part of the park was the viewing tower. It sits just above the trees, 6 floors above the ground. From here, you can see out over the Bashi Channel, the towns of Kenting and Heng Chun below and the mountains behind. We even spotted a few monkeys playing in the treetops.


Another really cool spot is the Silver Dragon Cave which is a very narrow cave that you can walk through. You may have to breathe in at certain places!


The Valley of Hanging Banyan does exactly what it says on the tin and is quite literally a valley full of hanging banyans. Seriously beautiful.


And there’s the Giant Autumn Maple that you can see right inside.


It’s easy to forget whilst you’re walking and seeing all the amazing things around you but remember to look up! There are some fantastic views above your head too.


And under your feet! 


Finally, the wildlife. Fortunately, we didn’t see any of the snakes or poisonous bees which we were warned about but we did see lots of great wildlife. There are jet black butterflies which flutter around the trees, deers which tread softly through the forest and of course, the cheeky monkeys who are swinging from the trees. Those of you who know me will know that I’m a little afraid of monkeys but these guys kept their distance so we could appreciate them without being afraid of them jumping on us!


Can you spot the monkeys? 

Despite sweating more than we would in a double circuits class, we had the best afternoon exploring Kenting National Park. We can’t wait to see more of the Taiwanese countryside.

Tomorrow we head to Kaohsiung for some more city life but after that we will certainly be seeing more countryside, weather permitting!

 

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