Table of Contents
Where exactly is Kenting National Park?
Kenting National Park is located on the Hengchun Peninsula at the southernmost tip of Taiwan’s main island, surrounded by the sea on three sides, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Taiwan Strait to the west, and the Bashi Strait to the south.
The west of the land area includes Guishan to the south to the platform cliff and the seaside area of Hongchai, the south includes Maobitou, Nanwan, Kenting Forest Recreation Area, Eluanbi, the east coast of the Pacific Ocean via JialeShui, and the north To Nanren Mountains, it is 17678.98 hectares.
The sea area includes the Nanwan sea area and the Guishan area through Maobitou, Eluanbi north to Nanren Bay, and the sea area within one kilometer from the coast, totaling 14,891.16 hectares.
The total area of sea and land is 32,570.15 hectares.
What are the areas of Kenting National Park?
In order to achieve the goals of conservation, research and recreation, the land in this area is divided into ecological protection areas, special landscape areas, historical relic preservation areas,
There are five management zones, such as recreation area and general control area, with different levels of protection plans, so that the characteristics of the area can be preserved.
Below infographic, designed by vr-kenting,com based on data provided by Kenting National Park Headquarters shows not only the territory of Kenting National Park, but also the name of each area, in Chinese and pinyin pronunciation, and shows the main attraction or landmark within this area.
Below is the list of 52 areas that Kenting National Park consists of, later in the article we will give an introduction of each area separately.
The total area of sea and land of Kenting National park is 32,570.15 hectares and is divided into 52 areas”
Below are the 52 areas of Kenting NationalPark in order of numbering that are assigned to them by 中華民國墾丁國家公園管理處Kenting National Park Headquarters(Republic of China)版權所有:
- 射寮 shè liáo
- 車城 Chē chéng
- 後灣 hòu wān
- 茄湖 qié hú
- 下水堀 xià shuǐ kū
- 四溝 Sì gōu
- 恒春 Héng chūn
- 萬里桐 Wàn lǐ tóng
- 蟳廣嘴 Xún guǎng zuǐ
- 龍鑾潭 Lóng luán lake
- 關山 Guānshān
- 大光 Dà guāng
- 白沙灣 Báishā wān White Sand Beach
- 後壁湖漁港 Hòu bì hú Marina
- 貓鼻頭 Māo bítóu
- 出火 Chūhuǒ
- 大崎 Dàqí
- 新莊 Xīn zhuāng
- 滿州 Mǎn zhōu
- 佳樂水 Jiā le shuǐ
- 烏石鼻 Wū shí bí
- 鎮南宮 Zhèn nángōng
- 門馬羅山 Mt. Menmaro
- 港口 Gǎngkǒu
- 海墘 Hǎi qián
- 佳樂水南部 Jiā le shuǐ South
- 南 灣 Nánwān South Bay
- 大尖 石山 Dà jiān shíshān Dajian Stone Mountain
- 墾 丁公園 Kenting Park
- 刣牛溪 Zhōng niú xī
- 石牛仔 Shí niúzǎi
- 墾 丁 Kenting
- 船帆石 Chuán fān shí Sail Rock
- 風吹沙 Fēngchuī shā
- 鵝鑾鼻 É luán bí
- 鵝鑾鼻東部 É luán bí East
- 八瑤山 Bayao Mountain
- 分水嶺 Fēnshuǐlǐng
- 九棚 Jiǔ péng
- 八瑤灣 Bā yáo bay
- 長樂 Changle
- 南仁山 Nanren Mountain
- 南山 路 Nanshan Street
- 南仁路 Nanren Street
- 萬得 路 Wande Street
- 萬里得 山 Wanlide Mountain
- 埤亦山 Piyi Mountain
- 埤日 Pí rì
- 響林 Xiǎng lín
- 欖仁溪 Lǎn rén xī
- 出風山 Chū fēng Mountain
- 出風鼻 Chū fēng bí
If you want to see the Kenting National Park current territory on google maps, here is the very important thing to note, and this is something that causes a lot of confusion to foreign visitors that are coming to this place.
Dark green shaded territory in google maps as depicted above is the whole Kenting National Park, and this is what is causing confusion, because if you enter “Kenting National Park” into google maps, it zooms in into this small area:
In fact Kenting National Park is much bigger than this area where google maps defaults in, and even calls a pin like this, once again – remember that Kenting National Park is all dark green territory on the image above, and consists of 52 areas, that we will review more in details below.
This is why you can literally stay within Kenting National Park because Kenting National park is not limited to Kenting Forest Recreation Area and Dawan Beach – even Manzhou, and even Nanren Lake away up to the North-East is still Kenting National Park!
As we can see on google maps now, and in our infographic – Kenting National Park is occupying almost all extreme southern part of Taiwan however, not all extreme south is a territory of it.
We clearly see that the west side of the park of is extremely thin, mostly includes only seaside areas, and this is because as it is common for Taiwan west side is more developed and there are always more buildings and even small factories located – while the eastern parts are much wilder, and nature is more intact.
Let’s now dive deeper to all of 52 areas of Kenting National Park.
射寮 shè liáo area - Mt. Gui and nearby township to explore
射寮 shè liáo area is mostly famous by Mt. Gui 龜山 guī shān.
Guishan is located at the northwest entrance of Kenting National Park, next to the National Marine Museum and Houwan Beach.
This is where you enter the Kenting National Park from North West!
It looks like a turtle carrying a square seal on its back. The geology of the whole area is dominated by coral reefs.
The Guishan Mountain was originally a part of the Hengchun West Platform, which was formed as an independent topography of residual hills due to erosion by rivers and waves.
Although Guishan is only 72 meters high, the view from the top of the mountain is very wide.
Looking east, the low mountains and hills in the east descend all the way, and the settlements and fields of the Hengchun Rift Valley.
Looking west, you can see the blue Taiwan Strait, looking north, you can see the topography of Baoli Stream and Sichong Stream formed by seasonal changes.
Guishan is also a place for exploring the history of Hengchun Peninsula.
Prehistoric sites have been discovered here during the Japanese occupation period.
The prehistoric cultural scene of Guishan about 1,500 years ago, the unearthed pottery patterns are the most eye-catching, with special human-shaped patterns, geometric patterns, Cloud and thunder patterns, etc.
A large number of animal skeletons have also been found at the Guishan site, among which deer bones are the most abundant.
Scholars speculate that if there were not a large number of settlements at that time, then Guishan was a transfer station for deer products at that time.
In the 10th year of Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty (1871 AD), the Ryukyu boat people were shipwrecked and went ashore from the Jiupeng area.
54 people were killed by the aborigines of the Gaoshi Buddhist Society.
Japan used this incident as an excuse to launch a war in 1874 and landed at Sheliao , with Guishan as the base of the curtain camp, along the Sichong River to attack the Peony Club, this is the famous “Peony Club Incident“.
After that, the Japanese army regarded Guishan as an important military stronghold and developed a camp, and therefore built the military tunnels that are crisscrossed in today’s Guishan.
National Army was also stationed here.
Although the current position has been abandoned, there are various military structures and defense facilities scattered along the Guishan Trail to the mountainside and the top of the mountain.
View from a mt. Gui – Northeastern entrance of Kenting National Park
車城 Chē chéng area - National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Hotsprings and Haikou beach
車城 Chē chéng consists 11 villages: Baoli, Fuan, Fuxing, Haikou, Houwan, Puqi, Sheliao, Tianzhong, Tongpu, Wenquan and Xinjie, and the main attractions in the area are:
- Checheng Fu’an Temple
- National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium
- Sichongxi Hot Spring
- Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area and Dongyuan Wet Grassland
- Shihmen Ancient battle Field and Mudan Incident Memorial Park
- Syuhai Grassland Recreation Area
- Hsi Chung River Hot Spring
National museum of marine biology & aquarium is a place not only to visit, but even a sleep overnight
Haikou beach in Checheng area of Kenting National Park
Sichongxi Hot Spring area in Kenting National Park
後灣 hòu wān - a hidden gem of the beaches in Kenting National Park
Houwan is a real hidden gem in the realm of Kenting National Park beaches – not only you can swim here, but it also offers a nice selection of hotels with a direct access to the beach, and on top of that – this beach is much less crowded as other beaches in the area.
茄湖 qié hú - an area near Hengchun Airport
This area, unlike others, does not have that many attractions to see, there arise a pretty good camping area, and a few temples worth visiting.
Grandmas Kenting is a homestay worth visiting and staying if you are up to explore this area more.
墾丁外婆家民宿 Grandma’s Kenting Homestay in Qiehu
下水堀 xià shuǐ kū - picturesque sea caves
Main attraction in this area will be a really nice sea caves to explore and sea views.
Although there is a certain distance from the coast, the Seawater Cave in the near the Houwan is a small world by itself because the sea water floods in during high tide, bringing some shell sand and forming a shoal in the cave.
Sea Caves offer an almost magical experience in the Xiashuiku area in Kenting National park
四溝 Sì gōu - outskirts of Hengchun city with some good hotels
This area is known for it’s rather luxurious homestays and the most famous one is 沉靛旅宿 La Casa Indaco – 墾丁夢幻島 度假別墅
This area can be chosen to stay overnight if you are up to exploring the Hengchun city, but do not want to stay within the city inside.
This is still Kenting National Park – La Casa Indaco
恒春 Héng chūn - main township in the area
Hengchun is an ancient city and is located within Kenting National Park and is on the way to the tropical beach resorts and night markets of Kenting, so it is worth stopping here to explore it.
Main attraction here is the “Hengchun Old Town” (恆春古城) is one of the best-preserved historical towns in Taiwan with four gates intact and about half of the walls remaining. It was built during the Qing Dynasty in the 1st year of the Guangxu Era (1875) and completed in 1879. It has a north, east, south, and west gate and the outer circumference of the moat measures 880 zhang (about 2,700 m or 8,800 ft).
Hengchun township in Kenting
萬里桐 Wàn lǐ tóng - Snorkelers to go there
Wanlitong is the place to go if you want to do some snorkeling, diving and kayaking – relatively small waves here, and this place is so popular that it even have a live camera stream 24 hours a day!
As a minus for Wanlitong as a place to go for snorkeling on your own we can mention crowds that are always there brought by snorkeling groups that local small businesses organize.
If you ever saw, what group snorkeling looks like in Taiwan, you know what we mean – usually, it is a group of 10 – 15 people heavily dressed, being pulled by a rope by a guide, while holding big floaters – this can be real problem if you want to enjoy the calmness of sea creature experience that snorkeling is meant to be.
Typical snorkeling group in Wanlitong with a guide
Yoho Beach Resort in Wanlitong is a good place to go if you have kids. But only if you have kids, otherwise, stay away.
蟳廣嘴 Xún guǎng zuǐ - Fishing Village Ambience
Xunguangzui (in some sources -Jigunagzui), located at the center of the coastline of Deheli (德和里) on the west side of Hengchun County, is one of the few important ports on the west side of Xiping Mountain (now Dapingding 大坪頂). According to the statistics of Lv Zhaoheng, the magistrate in the 15th year of Guangxu (1889), there were only six residents in Jinguangzuizhuang.
Head over to 山海漁港 Shanhai Fishing port to take some pictures and feel the lavish atmosphere of small southern Taiwanese Fishing Village.
Shanhai Fishing Port
龍鑾潭 Lóng luán lake - Bird Watchers Flock Here
Main attraction in this area is Longluantan Nature Center (龍鑾潭自然中心).
Longluantan Nature Center is located on the west bank of Longluan Lake. It has well-equipped bird-watching facilities.
Binoculars can be used in the museum to watch the posture of water birds on the lake. Plates and models showing the history and environment of Longluan Lake are provided.
People watching birds at Longluan lake
關山 Guānshān - This is a place for sunset selfies
Well, maybe be not really a selfies because this is a place about what google usually says “as busy as it gets”.
Just about busy as on the picture below, however, it depends on the season and weather.
Head to the 關山夕照觀景園區 Guanshan Sunset Viewing Platform if you want to experience this.
Winter time, when cold winds blow, it is much fewer people here, but of course, Kenting is not a place you usually will visit in winter.
You may also decide to visit Guanshan platform at daytime, since Guanshan, also known as Gaoshan Rock (高山巖), is 152 meters above sea level.
From the top of the mountain, you can see a wide view.
Looking north, you can see the complete section of the Dapingding (大平頂 platform (188 meters high) and the beautiful scenery of the fishing villages along the way.
大光 Dà guāng - scrap coral beach
Daguang beach is located just beside Houbihu Marina and is famous for it’s scrap corals and shells scattered all over the place.its
白沙灣 Báishā wān White Sand Beach - White Sand, Sunshine, Swimming, and Beach Bars
You probably were searching for this then yes, this is the one. Or rather – one of them – one of those beaches where you really have white sand, bikinis (sometimes), where swimming is allowed, and there are beach bars and coffee shops almost on the beach.
Baishawan, along with Nanwan and Chuanfanshi beaches are those beaches where most beach holiday action is happening in Kenting National Park.
The underwater landscape is quite rich, with caves, arches, canyons, etc.
In case you want to snorkel, or dive, there are many sea fans and gorgonian corals. The topography of the boundary changes over time, however, the shore is about 3 meters to 9 meters deep; after leaving the coast about 20 meters, there is a platform about 10 meters wide and 25 meters deep. Afterward, there is a large slope outward, where the drop is quite large and a grand canyon is formed on the sea floor.
Beach bar on Baishawan Beach in Kenting National Park
Baishawan beach in Kenting
後壁湖漁港 Hòu bì hú Marina - Fresh Seafood Restaurant Paradise
Houbihu marina is a fairly sized fishery boat port, however, ferries to Lanyu also are going from here.
Most interesting attraction here are countless seafood restaurants which are located under the roof on 2 floors and when you enter there, they will tout loudly trying to lure you in – and it is really worth eating there, especially if you are a sashimi lover – it is very fresh and always tasty here, besides the huge selection of different seafood dishes.
Fishing Vessels in Houbihu Marina in Kenting
Sea Food restaurants in Houbihu marina
貓鼻頭 Māobítóu - nature trails with views
Maobitou is about 3.5 kilometers away from Baishawan beach we described above.
It is named after a coral reef rock that rolled down from a sea cliff in this area, and its shape resembles a squatting cat.
Maobitou is the dividing point between the Taiwan Strait and the Bashi Strait, and forms the southernmost ends of Taiwan with Eluanbi.
出火 Chūhuǒ - Natural Gas Fireplace in the woods
Chuohuo is the place within Kenting National Park that has natural gas flowing out of the ground, and occasionally it gets ignited creating impressive views, especially at night.
The best time to see the actual fire is a winter, since that is a dry season in Kenting, so that fire has a less chance to get blocked by wet air, and surrounding mud.
Located on a Hexin road (nr 200) between Manzhou and Hengchun on the way to Chuhuo this area is full of stunning mountain views, rural southern Taiwan Villages and small rural temples along side the road.
新莊 Xīnzhuāng - still on the way to Manzhou
Xinzhuang area is still on the way to Manzhou and stands next to Daqi area, and this is really pure wild side of the Kenting National Park.
As an alternative to hiking and mountain views in this area, you can check out 瓊麻工廠遺址 Qiongma Factory Ruins.
滿州 Mǎn zhōu - Official Wild Side of Kenting National Park
Due to the favorable geographical conditions of Kenting National Park, there are more than 200 species of migratory birds that travel from south to north or leave behind to spend the winter here every year.
The most well-known is the gray-faced eagle (also known as the gray-faced eagle).
Because the number of gray-faced eagles crossing the border is as high as tens of thousands, whether it is in the autumn south to live in the Hengchun Peninsula at night, or in the spring north to spend the night in the Changhua area, the gray-faced eagle will stay there.
This is why you will sea eagle on just about every tourist guide introducing Manzhou, and the same you see on our own infographic featured above.
Eagles in Manzhou
佳樂水 Jiāleshuǐ - Sunrise in Wild Side of Kenting and Surf Waves
Due to the proximity of the vast Pacific Ocean, sandstone and coral reefs have been eroded by strong winds and waves for a long time, and various strange rocks and rocks have been carved out, such as sea frog stones, rabbit stones, ball stones, checkered stones, honeycomb rocks, etc.
Two and a half kilometers of coast, all just amazing nature’s magic.
門馬羅山 Mt. Menmaro
Located at the southernmost tip of the Central Mountains, Mt. Menmaro has open terrain and beautiful landscapes. From Hengchun Town, follow the county road No. 200, turn into the industrial road in Osaki, and after about 1 km is the prairie of “Menmaruo Mountain”.
The origin of the name Menmaruo Mountain is because the local people call this mountain “Mountain Road Mountain”, which means that there is no way to find the way deep into the mountains.
Mt. Menmaro in Kenting National Park
港口 Gǎngkǒu - Scenic Suspension Bridge to Cross Through
Besides the Diaqiao Wetland Park, Gangkou Suspension Bridge is the place you can cross through for a small fee, that is later used to fund studies of Manzhou students.
Gangkou beach is another scenic spot not be missed while in this area.
Kayaking is another activity that you can have near Gangkou bridge.
海墘 Hǎi qián - Walk in the secluded Yucun Park
Chances are, that after you had done with Gangkou Suspension Bridge, you will want to visit calm and secluded Yucun Park, which offers few really nice trails that head down to the beach.
佳樂水南部 Jiā le shuǐ South
Official Kenting National Park area division that can be found on Kenting National Park Headquarters website divides Jialesui in 2 different areas, north area, and south, and so we are following these rules also in our post.
South area is represented by Jialeshui Scenic Garden – a coastal stretch with wind-carved rock formations with nicknames like Sea Frog, Rabbit & Honeycomb.
Jialeshui Scenic Garden
南 灣 Nánwān South Bay - The Most Public and Crowded Beach in Kenting
This by all means are the place to go, if you like what in Taiwan is called 熱鬧 Rènào, which means, lively, bustling.
One of the most popular beaches in the whole Taiwan, where you can not only swim, but also all “banana boat”type activities are at your disposal, with a plenty of hotels and homestays at your fingertips.
Nanwan was called Dabanqi 大板埒 in ancient times, and it is also known as Blue Bay because of the blue water.
The beach here is about 600 meters long, with beautiful arcs and soft and clean sand. It is a place for wild outings, swimming, boating and sailing.
Kenting Nanwan Beach as it is in reality
大尖 石山 Dà jiān shíshān Dajian Stone Mountain
Another landmark of the Kenting on itself, along with Eluanbi Lighthouse, and Kenting Nightmarket.
Any bigger or smaller hotel in Kenting will want to have it’s own photo not only with a beach on the background, but also having Mt. Dajian as well.
Check it out how one of the most popular beach resorts in Taiwan Chateau Beach Resort shows their Provence Hall right on their homepage:
Provence Building in Chateau Beach Resort with Dajian mountain on the back
墾 丁公園 Kenting Park aka Kenting Forest Recreation Area
This is from where all the confusion that we were describing at the beginning of the post started, and till now has – and I suspect that this is why Kenting National Park administration finally decided to rename the area, however, officially on 52 official area map it is still named as Kenting Park.
Kenting National Park is not the same as Kenting park, and it is not limited to Kenting Forest Recreation Area only, like we talked about before, Kenting Forest Recreation Park is just one attraction in the whole Kenting National Park, even if it is one of the main ones.
This is the main entrance to the road that will bring you up the mountain to Kenting National Forest Recreation Park, and this is a really big nature park developed as a tropical botanical plant garden during Japanese colonial time.
The tour includes various views of Looking-Glass tree, Fairy Cave, Silver Dragon Cave, the Observation Tower and the Valley o the Hanging Banyans.
Nature trail in Kenting Forest Recreation area
刣牛溪 Zhōng niú xī - head to the Sheding National Park
Sheding Natural Park is located next to the Kenting Forest Recreation Area, covering an area of 128.7 hectares.
The trees growing on the reef are blown by the northeast monsoon, creating a natural bonsai-like artistic masterpiece, which is amazing.
The park is also rich in flora and fauna, limestone caves, several grassy fields with good views, green grass, and a line of sky landscapes caused by cracks in coral reefs, all of which are of great ornamental value.
墾丁 Kenting - Nightmarket, Bars, Restaurants, Attractions & Nightlife
If you visit only a beach and then you have no time for anything else – then Kenting village, or Kenting street is something you must visit at night.
Kenting nightmarket with myriad of food stands, bars, even a nightclub – all this gives a bustling feel or neverending joy of life going on.
Kenting Nightmarket rocks. Period.
I once took an iPhone with a DJI gimbal and walked thru Kenting Nightmarket until my battery ended.
Kenting is also a place for famous outdoor music festivals that take place here – such as The Spring Scream (Chinese: 春天吶喊) or 台灣祭.
In this case, you get a real nightlife to feel like in this 360° degree video below, made in early April 2021.
Another must-visit place in Kenting Nightmarket is Reggae Bar, which is locaelocatedd at the end of the nightmarket nearer to the Caesars Palace and Xiaowan beach (small bay), and it is a blue truck with plastic chairs and tables – but it is just enormously atmospheric place!
Reggae Bar in Kenting – come to listen some Bob Marley songs and have a beer near Xiaowan beach.
If you have some days more to stay, try to stay at any of the street hotels right within the night market – it is just another great experience – this is how it felt on one of the Kenting street hotels’ balconies – take a look at this 360° video again – best experience is with VR mask, but youtube app also will do.
船帆石 Chuán fān shí Sail Rock - probably the best swimmable beach in Kenting
Turquoise blue water, small waves, water activities, white sand, hotels nearby, what else would you want from a beach?
Unlike Baishawan and Nanawan it is less crowded as well.
If you check the video above, then far away you can see a sail Rock – the main landmark of the area.
Many tourists, especially local ones, prefer just to pass by this area, briefly stopping at the Chuanfan rock view platform to take some photos and rush away. This is how the Chuanfan rock view platform looks like:
風吹沙 Fēngchuī shā - Blowing Wind Sand Dunes
Fengchuisha is in the middle of the Eluanbi and Jialeshui recreation areas on the east coast, about 7 kilometers away from Eluanbi, already in the Wild Side of Kenting.
When the northeast monsoon prevails in winter, the sand is blown along the cliff slope to the top of the cliff, and these two reverse transport actions result in a special landscape of wind-blown sand.
The sand dunes in this area have a total length of 1,500 meters and a width of about 200 meters. They are divided into two parts, north and south.
鵝鑾鼻 Éluánbí - Another Postcard Area of Kenting - a must-visit place
When you think Eluanbi – you think lighthouse when you think lighthouse – you think Eluanbi.
While this is at least partially true for a regular 1-time visitor to Kenting, there is just so much more to Eluanbi, that you might want to reserve at least half of a day here.
The main landmark here of course is the Eluanbi Lighthouse – we have a whole blog post about it, however, it stands inside of a big nature park with many other attractions such as natural caves, coast walks, and much more.
Walk around Eluanbi lighthouse in our 360 degree virtual tour
Eluanbi is located at southernmosthet part of the whole Taiwan, so another point to visit here is called just this – the Southernmost Point of Taiwan.
八瑤山 Bayao Mountain - northeastern & wild corner of Kenting national park
One thing you need to be very sure of when you are visiting these really very wild and remote areas of Kenting national park, especially in mountain areas – is to be sure that you actually can really walk, not talking about driving there.
Many of these small roads require a local guide you bring there and a previous booking.
Just like it says on a sign below.
Ecological Protected Area of Kenting National park
分水嶺 Fēnshuǐlǐng - another wild corner in Kenting
Mostly protected areas here, however nearby village might have some aboriginal related activities to be organized on request,
南仁山 Nanren Mountain - Nature Ecological Parks at it's best
Nanren area is located at the northeast end of the planned area, bordering the Pacific Ocean on the east by a long and narrow coastal zone, and bounded by the state-owned forest land areas.
It is bounded by Jiale Water Recreation Area in the south and Taiping Mountain and its surrounding ridges and ravines in the north, covering an area of about 5,800 hectares.
欖仁溪 Lǎn rén xī - Nature Waterfalls and Wild Frogs
As a time goes on this post will be updated as new information comes in, and new interesting attractions appear in the areas mentioned above.
Most updated information with 360° videos and full virtual tours are always available on our interactive map here: http://vr-kenting.com/map/